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In the 31st and 32nd chapter of Second Nephi, we are given a treatise by Nephi of the doctrine of Christ.  Nephi describes the Savior fulfilling the requirements of righteousness by being baptized of John and receiving the Holy Ghost ‘in the form of a dove.’ We are urged to take this as an example of our own need to be baptized by water and receive the Holy Ghost.

Nephi tells us that ‘it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them’ ( 2 Nephi 31:9). The promise then follows:

And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 31:10-13)

The narrow gate and the strait way is to repent, take upon ourselves the name of Christ through baptism, first by water, and then by fire and the Holy Ghost. We are again encouraged to apply this in our own lives:

Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter.  For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive. (2 Nephi 31:17-18)

The gate is repentance, baptism by water, and baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost. This latter baptism is the conduit through which we receive a remission of our sins. Once this is accomplished, we are then on the strait and narrow path to eternal life.

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:19-20)

Once we are on the path, we are to ‘feast upon the word of Christ’ and endure to the end. This description of the doctrine of Christ is not the only place where we are introduced to the ‘strait and narrow path.’

Over the last few days, my mind has dwelled on this doctrine of Christ as well as other places in the scriptures where the strait and narrow are represented.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

The word ‘strait’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘narrow’ while ‘narrow’ in the translation from the Greek word, thlibo, which can also be translated as afflicted, troubled, narrow, or constrained. Wide was translated from the Greek word ‘platys’ and carries the meaning wide or broad. Broad, as used in this scripture comes  the Greek word, eurychoros, and, at least according to Strong’s concordance, can be translated as broad or spacious.

The gate and the way, in this portion of the Beatitudes leads to life. The message I receive here is that to way to this life described by Christ requires a specific constrained entry point, the gate. The way is one that can also be considered narrow and may lead to affliction as one moves toward life.

Of course, this is not these are not the only scripture that alludes to a gate and a path. In Lehi’s dream, we also find the reference:

And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.

And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.

And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.

And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.

And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.

And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.

But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.

And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.

And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.

And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building.  And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not. (1 Nephi 8:19-24, 30-33)

Again, we are presented with the image of the strait and narrow. This time both adjectives are applied to the path. I believe it is reasonable to assume that we can treat both circumstances, in the doctrine of Christ of Second Nephi, chapter 31 and Lehi’s vision of the tree of life as delivering a consistent message regarding the strait and narrow path.

When we are on the strait and narrow path and are encouraged to feast upon the words of Christ; the message is consistent with the strait and narrow path and the rod of iron in Lehi’s dream. While the, perhaps, standard interpretation of the rod of iron is that it refers to the scriptures, I would like to present an alternative viewpoint. Nephi was told as he received the same vision as his father that the rod of iron was the word of God.

If one looks at other references to the word of God, the first in the Book of Mormon comes in reference to the dream that Lehi received with the message to leave Jerusalem:

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him. (1 Nephi 2:2-3)

In this case, the word of the Lord came as personal revelation to Lehi. Later in the same chapter, Nephi refers to scripture as the words of the prophets:

And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father.  And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.

Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets.  And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.( 1 Nephi 2:12-13)

Here in the same chapter, Nephi draws a clear distinction between the word of God as personal revelation to Lehi and the words of the prophets as scripture recited to Laman and Lemuel. Likewise we should all have the faith that we are entitled to the same word of God as described here. Once we have made our way to the strait narrow path, we are told we can hold on to and feast upon the words of Christ. We are, each, entitled to receive the word of God for ourselves. We are each promised that by enduring to the end on the strait and narrow path, we will be able to receive eternal life or eternal lives as described here:

For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.  I am he.  Receive ye, therefore, my law. (D&C 132:22-24)

No one, even the least of those who call themselves Saints, should doubt that the Lord will keep His word. If we repent and take upon ourselves the name of Christ and receive both the baptism of water and the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost,  we will be able to hold to the iron rod, personal revelation from Jesus Christ. As we endure to the end, we will be the recipients of eternal life. This is the strait and narrow path of which these scriptures speak.

Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.

Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out. (Helaman 3:28-30)

What think ye?

—————–

As a side note, the preliminary program is out for this year’s Sunstone Symposium the end of July. There great list of notables are included in the program. Not so notable is that I will be giving a presentation entitled  ‘The Latter Day Apostasy – A Scriptural Perspective on Friday morning. Hope to carve off some time for the Wasatch Front like minded. Also planning to be in Las Vegas and Saint George the week before…

In a regional multi-stake conference beamed in from Salt Lake City this month, Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke about his experience on board a cruise ship. He talked about the fine accommodations, food and entertainment available to the participants. However, one of the nightly shows was deemed to be too risqué, so he and his wife left the performance. He noted that this episode had relevance in the church experience. Just because one of the events on board the ship didn’t meet with their satisfaction, they didn’t jump off the boat. In a similar vein, he stated that just because something doesn’t go the way we expect in our church experience, we should not abandon the Mormon mother ship. His message to the listeners in this conference was repeated several times: Don’t get off the ship; it will take you to many venues and complete its journey.

I assume that message was prompted by the number of members who are leaving the church. Is this true for the 64 stakes involved in this regional conference or is this message going out to the broader church?

As I pondered his comments, I decided that the analogy of the ship and a cruise is relevant but I don’t think he took the idea far enough. A cruise will take you and its passengers to many destinations but will not be able to carry you to past the port. In other words, a cruise ship to Rome won’t get you to the Coliseum. To accomplish that objective, one must get off the ship and proceed on their own to the chosen venue.

In a similar manner, the church can only take you so far before you have to put on your walking shoes and move under your own power. Elder Eyring, later in the same conference, noted that no apostle, stake president, or bishop can save a person; this must be accomplished by the individual.

While the church can get us close to the destination and provide instructions on how to complete the journey, it does not have the power to carry each of us to the final objective. The fundamental purpose of the church is to teach us how to come unto Christ. It is not the end but a means to an end. We must each learn to ‘walk by faith’ and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. No leader from the president of the church down to the local bishop can carry us to that final destination – our personal sanctification. We must accomplish this under our own power.

In the definition of the gospel given by Christ to the Nephites found in Third Nephi, chapter 27, we read:

18  And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men.  And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

19  And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

20  Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

21  Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

If our ultimate goal is to ‘stand spotless’ before Christ, we are instructed to apply this gospel in our lives. We are told we must repent and come unto Christ. We are to be baptized and receive a remission of our sins through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, which sanctifies us in preparation for the presence of our Redeemer.

The purpose of those who guide this church, I believe is found in D&C 19:

31  And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

32  Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter; for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.

The more the leadership of the church tries to go beyond this simple admonition, the less effective they will be. Instead of telling us ‘Don’t get off the ship,’ the message should be ‘here are the things you need to know so that you can be prepared to leave the ship and finish your journey under your own power.’

Both Paul (Philippians 2:12) and Mormon (Mormon 9:27) told us that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, or as I would suggest, a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The more that church correlation and programs detract from this objective, the less relevant the church becomes.

So… my message is simple. Use the church as a vehicle to bring you closer to your ultimate destination, but at the same time, prepare to leave the ship and move forward on your own.

What think ye?

In second Nephi, we find the last messages Lehi left with his sons before he passed away. His message to Jacob carries a lot of meaning to me. Of course, the most often quoted phrase from the second chapter is likely to be:

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25)

In my opinion, there is much more in the message to Jacob than this simple phrase. I also believe that it is the formula for the joy and happiness that Lehi referenced.

As Lehi talked about the necessity of the creation, here are some of the points that continue to inspire me to seek a better understanding of the purpose of life and the joys and sorrows it brings:

  • By the law, no flesh is justified (verse 5)
  • Redemption comes through Jesus Christ to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit (verse 7)
  • No flesh can dwell in the presence of God except through the mercy and grace of Christ (verse 8)
  • We will be judged by Him (verse 10)
  • Opposition in all things (verse11)

All of this is leading up to what I consider a key learning that I have taken away from this scripture. Without opposition, good/bad, there would be nothing. So we all should expect face opposition in our lives; the continual battle between self and God, the seeking of happiness or the reaping of sadness. In this drawing of contrasts in these verses, one that has taken on much meaning is found in verse 14:

“…for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.”

Being one of God’s creations, we also either act or are acted upon. As I look back on my life, I recognize that I have, in large part, received joy when I have acted while sadness has come when I have let other things act upon me. The conflict comes because, as Lehi said, in verse 11, ‘all things must needs be a compound in one.’ Sometimes, I act, and sometimes, I am acted upon.

We have, in this day, many conveniences; one that stands out in my mind is the much maligned remote control. Pushing a button on the remote produces an immediate and well-defined response. I push the ‘on’ button and the TV turns on; push it again and it turns off. This stimulus/response is ‘hardwired’ into the equipment.

If we allow it, we have buttons also. Certain conditions, words, images, or circumstances that trigger the expected response. What are the triggers for your addiction/character flaw? What is your response to being cut off in traffic? Ever have a ‘bad day?’ Have you ever said: ‘you make me so mad?’ This statement is typical of the perspective of life when we allow the stimulus from our environment to determine our response. In traffic, do we allow another driver to determine our happiness? Do we let our friends or family members to ‘make’ us mad and by so doing remove our ability to decide if we want to be mad or not?

Our ability to inject analysis in between the stimulus and response is what allows us to control our response. We are not hardwired unless we allow ourselves to be, unless we are acted upon. This idea is not new and is well covered in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey.

I would suggest that allowing ourselves to be ‘acted upon’ detracts from our ability to acquire joy. As in the 13 step programs around us, one of the keys is the recognition of triggers and consciously redirecting our thoughts and actions away from our ‘programmed’ response. As it states in verse 26, God has given man the ability to ‘act for themselves and not be acted upon.”

One of the stories the found in Covey’s book is about Victor Frankl who lived through the second world war. He was a psychiatrist and a Jew who was imprisoned in the death camps of Nazi Germany, where he experienced things that were so repugnant to our sense of decency that we would shudder to even repeat them. His parents, his brother and his wife, all died in the camps. Except for his sister, his entire family perished. Frankl himself suffered torture and innumerable indignities, never knowing from one moment to the next if his path would lead to the ovens or if he would be among the temporarily saved who would clean up.

Frankl writes:

“Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him — mentally and spiritually. . . . It is this spiritual freedom–which cannot be taken away–that makes life meaningful and purposeful.
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity–even under the most difficult circumstances–to add a deeper meaning to his life.” (From Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor L. Frankl. Revised edition)

One day, alone in a small room, Victor began to develop this concept of the “last of the human freedoms” They could control his entire environment. They could do what they wanted to his body, but Victor Frankl himself could decide how all of this was going to effect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus, and his response to it, was his freedom or power to choose that response.

What is the simple lesson we can learn?

Just as Victor Frankl had the ability to determine his response to the events around him, so we can determine our response to the events around us. We have been given the gift to choose, whether we act or be acted upon.
This gives us the opportunity to analyze our own situation. What are stimuli or “buttons” that we encounter in our day to day activities that we allow to control us? Can we begin a transformation, to break that automatic reaction that binds us to a particular behavior or attitude? It can be as simple as recognizing when one of our buttons is pushed and refusing to allow it to control our actions.

I would submit that we can find as much joy in this life as we allow ourselves. Joy comes from our ability to not react to our environment but to decide how, if at all, the stimulus will affect us.

What think ye?

As I have often pondered the purpose of life, one of the contrasts that has beckoned my attention is the difference between spirituality and religion. I see it in a similar vein  as the primary distinction between the ‘works of God’ and the ‘works of man’ as discussed in 3rd Nephi, chapter 27. Here is an attempt to draw out the differences that, I believe, help illuminate the characteristics of someone who is spiritual versus someone who is religious.

1.

Being religious allows one to express righteous indignation when a visitor to church reeks of tobacco.

Being spiritual means that you feel sorrow for someone who carries the odor of their addiction.

2.

Being religious means taking pride in the magnificent structures that are built through the donations of money and wealth.

Being spiritual is understanding that a mountain can bring us close to our Maker if our hearts are right.

3.

Religion is the domain of those who feel a need to be seen and heard and is a necessary platform to conduct our charity.

Spirituality is found in the random acts of kindness that require no forethought and exhibit no ownership of the deed.

4.

A religious person takes comfort in ritual.

A spiritual person senses when an act of reverence has become rote and seeks renewal.

5.

A religious person can easily be satisfied with platitudes and has an answer for everything.

A spiritual person finds that every answer spawns another twenty questions.

6.

Being religious means taking pride in heritage and success; easily and unknowingly classifying others based on clothes, address, and possessions.

Being spiritual acknowledges that the only true measure of a person is the spiritual dimensions of their heart.

7.

A religious person understands that power and position are to be sought after but never publically acknowledged.

A spiritual person seeks only the happiness of others; knowing inside that we can only help ourselves by helping others.

Religion is based on the works of man while spirituality is the work that the spirit vests in one who maintains a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

What think ye?

The word ‘fulness’ is found numerous times in the scriptures; used to signify ‘completeness,’ ‘all that is therein’ and ‘full’ as identified in Strong’s Concordance. The Lord, for example, in Psalms 16:11 states:“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”representing the idea that the object could not receive any more joy.

The less pleasant use of the word can be found in 1 Nephi 17:35:

“…But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them…”

It is easily conceived that the ‘fulness of the wrath of God’ doesn’t leave much room in the ‘glass.’

The word is also used to signify that a period of time representing the completion as is found in Ephesians 1:10:

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

The same can be said by the attribution to the gospel. The fulness of the gospel, as cited in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 20, represents all that is contained in the gospel. Speaking of the Book of Mormon, we find this recorded:

“…Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also…”

As such, the Book of Mormon contains all that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This idea is reinforced in 1 Nephi 15:13 which reads:

“And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—“

As can be seen by the above references, both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon represent that the fulness of the gospel is contained in the Book of Mormon. The Joseph Smith History found in the Pearl of Great Price helps to zero in on the location of this information speaking of Moroni’s message to Joseph Smith in verse 34:

“He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;”

The visit of Jesus Christ to the ‘ancient inhabitants’ is found in 3rd Nephi; specifically between his descent from heaven in Chapters 9-11 and his subsequent departure found in Chapter 28 verse 12. It is made even easier since, rather than leaving it to speculation, the Lord was very specific on this topic. As with any good speaker, the Lord told us what he was going to tell us, told us, and then told us what he had told us. This is found in 3rd Nephi, Chapter 27 starting with verse 13:

“13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;”

Based on the scriptures cited above, the fulness of the gospel, as delivered by the Savior, is:

  • – Christ is the author of our salvation and died on the cross to draw all men to Him

  • – All men will be judged of their works

  • – We must repent and be baptized and endure to the end

  • – To enter his kingdom, we must be cleansed by the by His blood through the atonement of Jesus Christ through faith and repentance to the end

  • – We are cleansed or sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost

The Lord summarizes this treatise of the fulness of the gospel in verse 20: Repent, come unto me, be baptized, receive sanctification through the Holy Ghost. The theme of ‘repent and come unto me’ is found throughout the scriptures. The message here is that we must repent of our sins and then seek Him out.

Again, we are specifically told that the fulness of the gospel is found in the words of Jesus Christ to the Nephites recorded in 3 Nephi. So, it is, perhaps equally important to understand what is is not. The fulness of the gospel is NOT the law of plural marriage. It is NOT the united order. It IS the path we must individually take to be admitted into the kingdom of God. It IS the way by which we are cleansed from sin and truly partake of the atonement of Christ.

Paul has warned us:

“If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:9)

I take this to be a warning that we are to pay attention to the specific meaning of the gospel of Christ. Allowing ourselves to accept and defend another version of the gospel or ascribe to the idea that the gospel is all knowledge given to man is not acceptable to the Lord.

To clearly understand what another gospel is, we should clearly comprehend that the fulness of the gospel contains. It is, indeed,  the power of God unto Salvation.