Gospel of Jesus Christ

gospel of jesus christWhat do Latter-day Saints believe a person must do to be saved?
Joseph Smith wrote in 1842: "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3).

Gospel of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ and his apostles and prophets have repeatedly announced the "good news" or "gospel" that by coming to Christ, a person may be saved. The Father is the author of the gospel, but it is called the gospel of Jesus Christ because, in agreement with the Father's plan, Christ's Atonement makes the gospel operative in human lives. Christ's gospel is the only true gospel, and "there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17; cf. Acts 4:12)."

Joining the Church
Converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have various motivations for their initial interest in the Church, and many factors influence them in the conversion process.

The First Principles of the Gospel
The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are "first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost (Articles of Faith)

The Plan of Salvation
Latter-day Saints believe that God, in his infinite wisdom and never-ending mercy, formulated a plan whereby his children could experience mortality and then return to live in his presence in eternal felicity and glory.

The Plan of Our Heavenly Father
The first of the missionary discussions that were used by LDS missionaries prior to the current "Preach my Gospel" system, focused on Our Heavenly Father's Plan for his children to gain a body, be tested, and return to his presence after death.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ (Second Missionary Discussion)
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation. It embraces all of the laws, principles, doctrines, rites, ordinances, acts, powers, authorities, and keys necessary to save and exalt men in the highest heaven hereafter. It is the covenant of salvation which the Lord makes with men on earth." Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine

Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
When Latter-day Saints speak of the "restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ" they refer primarily to the restoration that has occurred in the latter days, establishing the dispensation of the fulness of times (Eph. 1:10; D&C 27:13). However, there have been a number of restorations of the gospel over the history of the earth.

Faith in Jesus Christ
Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ (A of F 4). One who has this faith believes him to be the living Son of God, trusts in his goodness and power, repents of one's sins, and follows his guidance.

Repentance - the process by which humans set aside or overcome sins by changing hearts, attitudes, and actions that are out of harmony with God's teachings, thereby conforming their lives more completely to his will.

"Latter-day Saints believe, as do many Christians, that baptism is an essential initiatory ordinance for all persons who are joining the Church, as it admits them to Christ's church on earth (John 3:3-5; D&C 20:37, 68-74). "


Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost
"Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost refers to the experience of an individual who receives the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the second in a two-part sequence following baptism by immersion in water through which a repentant person committed to Christ and his gospel is born of God or born again."

Born of God
"Born of God or "born again" refers to the personal spiritual experience in which repentant individuals receive a forgiveness of sins and a witness from God that if they continue to live the commandments and endure to the end, they will inherit eternal life."

"From its beginnings to the present day, the Church has had a strong missionary orientation. It teaches that conversion is essentially a process of repentance and personal spiritual experience."

"Like many other Christians, Latter-day Saints believe that only the transformational discipleship of those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ leads to a fulness of joy and peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come."

Enduring to the End
"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."

Abrahamic Covenant
"The divine archetypal covenant, of which Abraham's covenant is an example, is the everlasting covenant of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By accepting the gospel, humankind can be redeemed from the doom of death and the blight of sin to enjoy eternal life with God."

Gospel of Abraham
"The gospel dispensation of Abraham includes the patriarchal order of the priesthood and the eternal marriage covenant (D&C 131:1-4; 132:28-30; see also Marriage: Eternal Marriage), by which the Abrahamic Covenant is perpetuated from generation to generation among the faithful."

Latter-day Covenant Israel
God established a covenant with Abraham, reaffirming it with Isaac and Jacob and then with the children of Israel. In the LDS view, this covenant has been renewed repeatedly and then breached, because God's people, after receiving his commandments and promises, have fallen into apostasy and disbelief. Today, as prophesied anciently, this covenant has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and is included in the new and everlasting covenant of the gospel (D&C 22:1; cf. Jer. 31:31-34; 32:36-40)."

The Elect of God
"The elect of God are those who are heirs to all that the Father has."

The Last Days
"The term "last days" refers to the current period of time, the preparatory era before the second coming of the Christ."

Dispensations of the Gospel
"'Dispensations' are also time periods in which the Lord placed on the earth the necessary knowledge, priesthood, and keys of authority to implement his Plan of Salvation for his children."

Fullness of the Gospel
"The phrase "fulness of the gospel" refers to the whole doctrine of redemption demonstrated and taught in the ministry and life of Jesus Christ."

The True Points of My Doctrine
Noel B. Reynolds explains what the Book of Mormon teaches about the six-point formula or message of the gospel (about what men must do if they will be saved.)

Missionary Work
"The mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to invite everyone to come to Christ. This includes a mandate to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people."



Creation Accounts
".... Latter-day Saints understand that Jesus Christ, acting under the direction of God the Father, created this and other worlds to make possible the immortality and eternal life of human beings who already existed as spirit children of the Father."

"Latter-day Saints believe that animals, like humans, have spirits, in the form of their bodies."

"Latter-day Saints believe that God created this earth to provide his children, the human race, with the opportunity to receive physical bodies and to hear and accept his gospel that they might be prepared for life with him on a celestialized earth hereafter."

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints views all descendants of Adam and Eve as the children of God—not in an abstract or metaphorical sense, but as actual spirit offspring of God the Father and a Mother in Heaven. This basic premise has profound implications for the LDS understanding of what human beings are, why they are here on earth, and what they can become."

"These are key statements: "The elements are eternal" (D&C 93:33). "The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity" (Joseph Smith, in HC 3:387)."

Origin of Man
"The clearest presentation of the Church position may be a 1909 statement by the First Presidency entitled "The Origin of Man," where four essential points are made: (1) God created humans (Gen. 1:27-28); (2) God created Adam, "the origin of the human family" and "the first man"; (3) creation was sequential: first spiritual, later physical; and (4) each human body displays the characteristics of the individual premortal spirit that inhabits it."

"Latter-day Saint prophets and scripture teach that other worlds similar to this earth have been and will be created and inhabited in fulfillment of God's eternal designs for his children."

The Atonement
At October 1996 General Conference, Elder Russell M. Nelson explains the interrelationship between the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, declares man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity…. Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes."

"Kolob means "the first creation." It is the name of the planet "nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God." Elder Bruce R. McConkie



Fall of Adam
"Latter-day Saints recognize the Fall of Adam and Eve as an actual event that occurred in the Garden of Eden and has affected the entire earth and everyone in the human family. The Fall was a necessary step in the eternal progress of mankind and introduced the conditions that made the mission of Jesus Christ absolutely necessary for salvation."

The Fall as Taught in the Book of Mormon
Understanding the fall of man is essential to understanding the plan of salvation. In this lecture, Dr. Robert L. Millet discusses what the Book of Mormon teaches about the doctrine of the fall. He refutes the notion of original sin and discusses instead concepts such as being born into a sinful world, spiritual death and the natural man, and redemption from our fallen nature.

Natural Man
"The phrase 'natural man' is understood by Latter-day Saints to be an unrepentant person; it does not imply that mortals are by nature depraved or evil, but only that they are in a fallen condition."

"Mortality is not viewed as a curse by Latter-day Saints, but as an opportunity and an essential stage in progress toward obtaining exaltation. The ultimate purpose of the period of mortality from birth to death is to prepare to meet God with a resurrected body of glory (John 5:25-29; Alma 12:24)."

"Opposition and agency are eternal and interrelated principles in the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Agency is man's innate power to choose between alternative commitments and finally between whole ways of life. Opposition is the framework within which these choices and their consequences are possible."

Spiritual Death
"Spiritual death is the condition of one who is spiritually cut off, temporarily or permanently, from the presence of God. LDS scriptures speak of two spiritual deaths, and the concept manifests itself in many ways."

Original Sin
"While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the transgression of Adam and Eve brought death into the world and made all mortals subject to temptation, suffering, and weakness, it denies that any culpability is automatically transmitted to Adam and Eve's offspring. All mortals commit sin, but they will be punished "for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression" (A of F 2)."

Adam: LDS Sources
"For Latter-day Saints, Adam stands as one of the noblest and greatest of all men."

Adam: Ancient Sources
"Adam is portrayed in ancient Jewish and Christian sources as the first human and progenitor of the race."

"Eve, first woman of earthly creation, companion of Adam, and mother and matriarch of the human race, is honored by Latter-day Saints as one of the most important, righteous, and heroic of all the human family. Eve's supreme gift to mankind, the opportunity of life on this earth, resulted from her choice to become mortal."

Garden of Eden
"The significance of the Garden of Eden is fundamental among the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christof Latter-day Saints and is referred to in each of the standard works."

The Garden Story:  Literal vs. Figurative
"Church leaders have taught that most parts of Garden of Eden story are allegorical." W. John Walsh

Adamic Language
"The scriptures state that this language, written and spoken by Adam and his children, was "pure and undefiled" (Moses 6:5-6)."

"The Prophet's revelations indicated several things about the area: (1) the Garden of Eden was located in Jackson County, Missouri, and after Adam was expelled from the garden, he went north to Adam-ondi-Ahman; (2) three years before Adam's death, he gathered the righteous of his posterity to Adam-ondi-Ahman and bestowed upon them his last blessing; (3) this site would be the location of a future meeting of the Lord with Adam and the Saints, as spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Dan. 7:9-14, 21-27; 12:1-3)."