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Enduring to the End

by John M. Madsen

Enduring to the end, or remaining faithful to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout life, is a fundamental requirement for salvation in the kingdom of God. This belief distinguishes Latter-day Saints from many other Christian denominations, which teach that salvation is given to all who simply believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ. Latter-day Saints believe that to be saved a person must have faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrate repentance of sins, submit to baptism by immersion, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying-on of hands by those holding the true priesthood authority, and then remain faithful to all covenants, continue in righteousness, and endure faithfully to the end of mortal life (Heb. 3:6-14; 6:4-15; Mark 13:13). This enduring faithfulness makes it possible for a person to receive fully the grace of Christ. The Doctrine and Covenants states, "If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God" (D&C 14:7).

The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi1 taught the principle of enduring to the end as a requirement of salvation: "After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost,…and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you not to have known me…. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved" (2 Ne. 31:14-15; cf. Heb. 6:4-6). As Nephi explains, enduring to the end involves having faith, hope, and charity; faithfully following the example of Jesus Christ; and always abounding in good works (cf. Alma 7:23-24): "Unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved…. 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,…ye shall have eternal life" (2 Ne. 31:16, 20).

Enduring to the end includes being willing and prepared to endure faithfully the trials of life, as did Job, Stephen (Acts 7), Paul (2 Tim. 4:5-7), Peter (1 Pet. 1- 4), and Moroni 2 (Moroni 1:1-3). The Lord spoke this reassurance to the Prophet Joseph Smith after several months of incarceration in Liberty Jail: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7-8).

(See "Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure" by Elder Robert D. Hales; Basic Beliefs home page; The Gospel of Jesus Christ home page)

Bibliography

Ashton, Marvin J. "If Thou Endure It Well." Ensign 14 (Nov. 1984):20-22.

Maxwell, Neal A. "Endure It Well." Ensign 20 (May 1990):33-35.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Enduring to the End

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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