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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Sacred Contract

If you have read the previous posts in this series, you have read that repentance is necessary for all to see Heavenly Father. Repentance is changing who we are. In other words, we are abolishing the sinful, or "unclean" parts of our character. Nephi wrote, "... If their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also. But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God..."(1 Nephi 15: 33-34)
We must be full of righteousness, not an ounce of a desire to sin must be found in us. (Yup, we must be perfect.) The next "work" of repentance pertaining to the flame of faith is baptism. Baptism is a commandment. Thus, if we are not baptized, we aren't following God's commandments. (This is known as sinning.) So, a part of the repentance process is our getting baptized. Christ said before he was baptized, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness..." (Matt 3: 15) Some people seem to take this as meaning that Jesus Christ sinned, or was a sinner! If Christ was a sinner, we deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. If Christ was a sinner, than we would have no hope. If Christ was a sinner, we would be subject to a fallen, imperfect God. Thus, I can assure you that Christ was the only sinless man to walk upon the face of the earth. He was baptized, not because He was a sinner, but it is necessary to become fully righteous. This is further expounded by Nephi:
"if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments." (2 Nephi 31: 5-7; underline added)

One of the things I have taken out of experience in High School, was to underline a get the main idea out of an entire paragraph to fit into two or three sentences. Hence, The Lamb of God (Jesus Christ), being holy, did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water; he showeth unto the children of men that he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient. Baptism isn't just about "washing away our sins." Baptism is a covenant where those who are baptized witness unto the Father that they are going to do what He tells us to do. A covenant is like a legally binding contract. Usually, a contract has both parties agree to terms. A covenant is the same way. The Lord promises us blessings when we make those covenants. Thus we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, give this opportunity to receive blessings to all, but before any of this, one must have faith that God will fulfill His end of the deal. (and He is God, so He will.)


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