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The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Salvation from Physical Death
Our Heavenly Father has given us this mortal life to enable us to become more like him. There are two major obstacles to this goal. The first is physical death--the separation of the spirit from the physical body. Although the spirit continues to live on, the imperfect, mortal body dies. This physical death is overcome through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Resurrection is the reuniting of the spirit with a glorified, immortal body. Because of Christ, all of us will be resurrected.
Salvation from Sin
The second major obstacle to our becoming like our Heavenly Father is sin. To enable us to grow, God has made us free to choose between good and evil., between obeying or disobeying him. To act against the will of God is to commit sin and become unclean. Sin leads to unhappiness in this life and after this life.

Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed from sin and become worthy to return to our Father. Jesus also taught us what we must do to make his atonement effective for us personally. These steps are the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.

Faith in Jesus Christ
The first principle of the gospel is faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith means that we firmly believe he is the Savior of the world. We accept his atonement and do all he has asked us to do. We want with all our hearts to keep his commandments. We center our hearts on him and follow his perfect example.
As our faith in Christ grows, we will feel the need to repent of our sins. To repent, we must feel sincere sorrow that we have sinned and ask God to forgive us. We must do all that we can do to correct any harm that we have done. We should also experience "a change of heart." This means that we lose all desire for the sin, turn away from it, and do it no more. Throughout our lives we will need to continue the process of repentance whenever we fall short of the perfect example of Jesus.
Baptism by Water and by the Spirit
Faith and repentance leads us to baptism. Jesus taught that we must be baptized by immersion in water for the remission (or forgiveness) of sins. Through baptism we enter into a covenant with God. We promise we will accept Christ and keep his commandments. He promises to forgive our sins if we keep this covenant.

After baptism we receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The Holy Ghost has a sanctifying, cleansing effect on us. We can enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost as we remain worthy. The Holy Ghost helps us recognize the truth, gives strength in doing what is right, and comorts us in sorrows or trials.

Obedience to the Commandments of God
To keep our baptismal covenant and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we must strive to obey all the commandments of God. The commandments are not restrictions, but are actually directions. They point out the path we must follow to gain peace and true happiness.

God has reaffirmed in our day that he expects us to obey his commandments. To disobey God leads to unhappiness. To embrace his commandments brings happiness in this life and eternal life with him.

Copyright 1986 by Corporation of the President of THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.

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