Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Thought I'd Share

      Jesus Christ lived so that we would be able to keep our baptismal covenants. Through the example of his life, he paved the way on how we should live it, which is by serving our fellow men. Through the reality of his death, he created the way so that we can return to Him, which is through repentance.

     When we are baptized, we take upon us Christ's name, so that every day we strive to live the life he led, and enter into the kingdom of God. In John 18:36, Jesus teaches us that "his kingdom is not of this world." Ultimately, we are promising Heavenly Father that, starting at the age of accountability, we will "be in the world, but not of the world." Jesus himself, who didn't need baptism, shows us that the only way to live this lifestyle, which is His lifestyle, is by beginning with baptism. He is the perfect example that this part of the plan, and this part of our life, is crucial. Matthew 3:13-17 reads:

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

"But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

"And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for this it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

     Heavenly Father is pleased with all of us after we are baptized. This is the reason why we are confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is our Father's spirit, which is God's promise to us: if we keep the covenants we made during baptism, his spirit will always continue to be with us. Mosiah 18:8-10 reads:

". . . And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;

"yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God. . .

"Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"

     In a conference talk, Elder Hales teaches us, "When we understand our baptismal covenant[s] and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God. When temptations come our way, if we listen, the Holy Ghost will remind us that we have promised to remember our savior and obey the commandments of God."

     The Atonement was done for us so that we can repent and return to our Heavenly Father eternally, and also so that we can return to our cleansed, baptized state temporally. The sacrament is the time that we renew all of our baptismal covenants. Through the sacrament, we should be thinking about what we can do throughout our weeks and throughout our lives to better ourselves and become more like Christ; to "establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God." We should be thinking and trying to understand our covenants, and by doing so, we will allow our Father in heaven keep his promise by sending us his spirit to direct us in our lives, our thoughts, and our actions.

     I know all of this to be absolutely true. In all honesty, I had trouble with this topic; to know what to say, and how to say it. When I turned eight, baptism was just something that happened, and I was too young to comprehend or have the desire to want to comprehend the covenants I was making. Having this experience to really read in the scriptures and read the council from the general authorities, I've come to an understanding that baptism and the covenants made weren't just something to do because my parents told me to. They are crucial; they are the foundation to my faith and to my obedience. I know that Christ atoned for my sins so that I can repent and again strive to be like Him; to live the life he led, and to one day enter into the kingdom of God. I know that my father in heaven loves me. I know that the prophets are true; that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith, and that it truly is the word of God.

1 comment:

  1. Sidney,
    You are an amazing example! Thank you for sharing something so dear to your heart! :) xoxo