"Faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things [of which] not seen." (Heb 11: 1) "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32: 21) Faith is what gives us a desire to change. My faith in the Lord Jesus Christ gives me the desire to better myself. My faith in His suffering gives me the desire to not add to it. Everyone has faith, not necessarily in God, but in principles. It is the faith in these principles (morals and ethics) on which we can build to get them to the point to have faith in Jesus Christ which gives them a desire to change. Without faith, we would have no desire.
Repentance is far too often associated with condemnation. It ought not to be considered a 'negative term.' Repentance is the most wonderful gift Christ has given us. It is the process by which we change. This is most evident in me. I am better than I was before my mission, but there are still sins which easily beset me. But as I change, I will continue to be happy. Repentance the process by which we act on our desire (faith) to change. If there was no repentance, there would be no way to act on faith. This is the simple reason God requires us to repent.
"A God who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist."
-- Elder D. Todd Christofferson
The first covenant we make is baptism by immersion. Making covenants with God is how the Lord can bless us after we repent. As we promise to give our desires to the Lord, He promises us blessings, such as cleansing of our sins, and peace and happiness. Covenants, also, internalizes our changes. For this cause, God has required us to make and keep sacred covenants.
The Holy Ghost is what SEALS the changes. It makes those changes permanent. The Holy Ghost changes our very souls to that of a Saintly Nature. If it weren't for the covenant of "receiving the Holy Ghost," the changes we make would only remain on the surface. God requires us to receive the Holy Ghost because He provides the cleansing power, and brings us back to the presence of God.
This serves one purpose, but is the most important purpose. To continue to make covenants after baptism, including participating in the ordinance of the Sacrament. This internalizes the change within us, and provides us a way to work on multiple aspects of our life after baptism. Without this requirement, we could only change one aspect of our fallen Nature. The changes after baptism would only be on the surface, and not sink into our heart to change our being. Hence, God requires that we Endure to the End.
|"behold my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." (2 Nephi 31: 21)|