Presentation on theme: "First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel. 4 th Article of Faith, D&C 20:29 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are:"— Presentation transcript:
4 th Article of Faith, D&C 20:29 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
First principles? D&C 19:31-32; 39:6 The word first in “first principles and ordinances” should not be interpreted as primarily chronological in meaning, as though these four steps were intended only for our initial entry into the kingdom. Rather, the term first is better understood as “basic” or “fundamental,” for these principles and ordinances constitute the heart of the gospel of salvation, being the essential requirements for entry into the celestial kingdom. Bruce D. Porter, “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 8
All Mankind Eternal Life The First principles and Ordinances The Creation The Fall The Atonement of Jesus Christ 1. Be with God 2. Be like God Spirit Body Eternal family Divine nature What purpose does a bridge serve that a road alone cannot? What gap existed between Heavenly Father and us ?
Lifelong importance Moreover, numerous scriptures make clear that these principles and ordinances apply throughout our lives, not just at age eight or at the time of conversion. They remain vital to our salvation even as we receive additional doctrinal truths, as well as the higher ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood found in the temple. There is never a time in our lives when we may cease to exercise faith in the Savior or cease to repent of our sins. Our baptismal covenant is a lifelong commitment, and the Holy Ghost is needed as a constant companion. We never outgrow or move beyond these basic principles and ordinances. Bruce D. Porter, “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 8
Principles and Ordinances and Invitations All of the gospel principles and all of the gospel ordinances are but invitations to the learning of the gospel by the practice of its teachings. That’s all they are— invitations to come and practice in order that you can know. … It seems clear to me that we might well say, we never really know any of the teachings of the gospel until we have experienced them one by one by living them. We learn the gospel, in other words, by living it. Harold B.Lee, “Learning the Gospel by Living It,” address to 52nd annual Primary conference, 3 Apr. 1958, Historical Department Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3.
The Order? The order in which the first principles and ordinances are given in the fourth article of faith and in other scriptural references is important. Each step follows from the one before it and is linked to the one after it. To better understand their meaning, it will be helpful to examine them individually, beginning with faith in Christ. Bruce D. Porter, “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 8 Faith Repentance Baptism Gift of the Holy Ghost Endure to the end
What does it mean to have faith? Heb 11:1“faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Alma 32:21“If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” True to the Faith Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show your hope for something that you cannot yet see
Why is it important to center our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Faith = Belief + Action + Power Story of Martha’s Vineyard, Deen Kemsley, Trust in the Lord, 20 Fame Power Popularity Money Lust Eternal Life
Christ helps us put all things in perspective "I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Rx for Struggling Faith? Whatever his change in attitude was, I also wondered about it. Did it matter? He was a faithful Church member and a good person. But he had become less childlike, less believing. Was he simply more mature now, or had his sense of the miraculous waned?believing Bruce Hafen story of the calf
Rx for Struggling faith? For some of us, faith is like stepping stones that light our way. For others, it is a boulder that we have to push forward, inch by inch, with great effort, struggle and energy. http://itsawonderfulwonderfulworld.blogspot.com/
How can we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ? D&C 19:23; D&C 88:118; Alma 32:27 D&C 19:23D&C 88:118Alma 32:27 We strengthen faith gradually, not through a single experience. We must nurture our faith constantly to keep it strong
Three Essentials for Faith (Lectures on Faith) "First, the idea that he actually exists. "Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes. "Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which you are pursuing is according to his will." (Lectures on Faith 3:2-5.) What is the relationship between faith and knowledge?
Knowledge Faith = Action Knowledge Faith = Action Knowledge Faith= Action Faith is a principle of action, even the “moving cause of all action. LF 1:10
Faith Repentance What is repentance? D&C 58:42–43D&C 58:42–43
‘Daddy, isn’t there any way we can ever be friends again?”
We all know what it feels like to be 'sent to our rooms' spiritually, that is to be alienated from our Heavenly Father, to be cut off and alone."
The Great Dilemma On the one hand, we learn from Doctrine and Covenants in 1:31, "For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance." On the other hand, to be mortal is also to have sinned. Paul tells us in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
His Love D&C 18:11-13; 19:16-19; What do these passages teach about the Savior’s love for us? D&C 1:31-32 and The “nevertheless principle”
Why do we sometimes find it difficult to forgive ourselves or others even though the Lord has promised to forgive us when we repent? Sometimes the part of that scripture that rings in our ears is “after all we can do” and we hurry along through life trying somehow to be good enough. ► 2 Nephi 25:23 – that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”
What that scripture is telling us, is that our efforts will never be enough, and we are saved through a monumental act of love. It is by the grace of our loving father in heaven that we are saved.
“We may not be enough, but he is.” “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Luke 4:18..to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for morning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness… Isaiah 61:3
3 Nephi 17:9 “And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner, and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him”
Repentance Repentance is not a heavy, sorrowful thing, but a way of coming to him that our yoke may be easy and our burden light.
When we have a correct understanding of His love, we seek repentance “Repentance is a rescuing, not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as to the already good individual striving for incremental improvement” Neal A Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 30
What is the difference between true repentance and merely breaking a bad habit or changing a behavior?
“Repentance means more than simply a reformation of behavior. … True repentance is based on and flows from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way. True repentance involves a change of heart and not just a change of behavior (see Alma 5:13)”Alma 5:13 (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson , 71).
“repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God” Neal A Maxwell,Ensign, Nov. 1991, 30
“I Am” Susan Easton Black story from BYU Women’s Conf 1993 in The Great plan of Happiness, by Jerry Wilson
What are the consequences of not repenting? The light one has received will be taken. D&C 1:33D&C 1:33 One must suffer as Christ did. D&C 19:17-18 D&C 19:17-18 Cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. D&C 20:29D&C 20:29 The Lord to take vengeance upon the wicked. D&C 29:17 One's sorrow will be great. D&C 136:35D&C 29:17D&C 136:35 One shall be forgiven. D&C 1:32D&C 1:32 The Lord will no longer remember the sin. D&C 58:42D&C 58:42 Salvation. D&C 20:29D&C 20:29 We don't have to face the consequences listed in the opposite column. What are the Blessings of Repenting?
What are the purposes of baptism? D&C 18:22; D&C 49:13–14 D&C 18:22D&C 49:13–14 showing our commitment to the Savior receiving a remission of sins becoming members of the Church entering the path that leads to exaltation preparing to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
What qualifies a person for baptism? D&C 20:37 Am I living up to promises made at baptism?
Watch out for Pride: Cultivate Humility "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.“ C. S. Lewis
Faith Repentance Baptism By Water Gift of the Holy Ghost
The Gift of the Holy Ghost D&C 33:15; 35:5-6; 39:23
Joseph Fielding Smith The world will not listen to the testimony of men who tell them that the Lord lives and that he is able to reveal his will to man today. Those of the world cannot advance nor learn the ways of the Lord nor walk in his paths because they do not have the gift of the Holy Ghost. … This was the counsel given [by Peter at Pentacost], and inasmuch as they obeyed it, they were entitled to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which would bring peace and happiness, reveal to them their duties, and enable them to understand their relationship to the Lord.
Faith Repentance Baptism By Water Gift of the Holy Ghost Understand
Gift of the Holy Ghost The gift of the Holy Ghost is given to us that we might be strengthened, taught and guided to our eternal home.
Manifestations of the Holy Ghost Elder Bruce R. McConkie compared the Manifestations of the Holy Ghost that a person can receive before baptism to flashes of lightning that blaze forth in a dark and stormy night.”
The Gift of the Holy Ghost D&C 20:77 “Is the continuing blaze of the sun at noonday, shedding its rays on the path of life and all that surrounds it.”
“The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel” Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost
How does Faith help you? What are some circumstances in daily life that require us to exercise faith in Christ? How has faith helped you overcome discouragement, weaknesses, or other difficulties? How can faith in Christ strengthen our relationships with others? (Discuss specific types of relationships, such as with a spouse, a child, a parent, a ward member, or a neighbor.)
How can we become more repentant? Why do we sometimes procrastinate our repentance? How can we overcome any pride, discouragement, complacency, or anything else that may keep us from repenting?
A word about the meaning of change may be in order. In the heyday of lightbulb jokes, there was one that went about the Church: How many bishops does it take to change a lightbulb? The answer: Just one, but the lightbulb really has to want to change. I don’t know whether one can speak of a “true” joke, but that one comes close. Dana T Griffen, BYU Dev, 31 May 2005
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught: “Repentance is a rescuing, not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as to the already good individual striving for incremental improvement” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 40; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 30). Emphasize that even though repentance can be a difficult process, it can also bring great joy as we turn our hearts from sin to God.
The fourth article of faith sets forth the basics of the gospel plan by which we may obtain forgiveness of sin through Christ’s Atonement: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” [A of F 1:4] Because the term enduring to the end appears so often in the scriptures in connection with these principles and ordinances, it is often added as a fifth element. 1A of F 1:4 1 Bruce D. Porter, “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 8
How is sinning like putting on a blindfold? How is exercising faith in Jesus Christ and repenting of our sins like removing the blindfold? What can we see more clearly when we repent? Explain that this lesson discusses the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. Through faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are better able to see our eternal path and purpose while in mortality.
Demonstrate Faith How can we demonstrate our faith in Christ? (See D&C 20:69; James 2:14–17.) How does faith in Christ affect our desire to do good works?D&C 20:69James 2:14–17 Read D&C 8:10 with class members. What can we accomplish without faith? What can we accomplish with faith? (For some answers to this question, see D&C 35:9; D&C 42:48–51; D&C 63:9–11; Moroni 7:33.) How have you seen the power of faith manifested?D&C 8:10D&C 35:9D&C 42:48–51D&C 63:9–11Moroni 7:33
Faith and Prayers One frequently repeated message in the Doctrine and Covenants is the importance of praying with faith. For example, in D&C 10:46–52 the Lord says that the Book of Mormon was preserved because the ancient prophets had “faith in their prayers” that it would be preserved. What is the role of faith in our prayers?D&C 10:46–52