Thursday, November 03, 2011

Laws and Ordinances

Just as we have Laws for a Country and State Laws, there are also Laws that have been set to Govern our Spirit.  It is by obedience to these Laws that we receive blessings. (Doctrine and Covenants 130)

Faith is the First Principle of the gospel, or a Spiritual Law of Salvation.  Without Faith there is no progress.  Faith is an action word, and you gain more by exercising it.  Just like a muscle in your physical body, Faith is the muscle of your Spiritual body, the more you use it the stronger it becomes, but if neglected and left to itself it begins to fade away.

Reading scriptures, praying, going to church, and teaching others about the gospel are all ways to exercise Faith.

Repentance is the Second Principle or Law of the gospel.  Repentance is also an act of Faith, therefore if you have Faith it will lead you to Repent for things you have done wrong.  Repentance is the means by which we receive forgiveness from our sins, and align our will to the will of God.

Sometimes you might hear of an Ordinance.  The Ordinances of the gospel are Physical actions, prompted by Faith, that are part of the Plan of Salvation.  Where Faith and Repentance are Principles to live by everyday, an Ordinance is something that happens at a specific place and time.

Baptism is the First Ordinance of Salvation, and the Third Law of the gospel.  Baptism is the Gate by which we start down the path of living the fulness of the gospel.  Baptism is symbolic of death, burial, and the resurrection. When we are Baptized we are cleansed from past transgressions.

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, or Confirmation, is the fourth Law of the gospel and is the second half of Baptism.  Baptism and Confirmation both must be done by Priesthood Authority.  The Priesthood is the Authority to act in God's name, and makes the ordinance binding both in this life and for all eternity.  The Gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the Influence of the Holy Ghost.  The Influence of the Holy Ghost is how we gain a testimony of truth before baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a promise given as part of the Baptismal Covenant (a covenant is a promise made with God) and entitles each of us to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion as long as we live worthy of His presence by keeping the commandments.

By living these Principles and partaking of the Ordinances of the Gospel, we chart a course for ourselves to return to live with our Heavenly Father.

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