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, by one holding the proper priesthood authority; fourth, the Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, also accomplished through one holding the holy priesthood authority.
Faith is belief put into action. It is only belief if not practiced and acted upon. Faith that Jesus Christ has the power to save, forgive, and renew light and life in you, and that partaking of His gift of love and wisdom will bring you hope, happiness and eternal salvation, is acting on the doctrines and commandments set forth in His gospel.
This creates in us a newness, and changes our bodys and spirits, through taking the next steps in the process of the gospel, namely repentance, baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Upon acting on the substance of our faith, a creative process, we first bring things to pass of a new creation, first spiritually, and then manifesting physically, all made possible through the fruits of the atonement.
Faith in Christ, and all good, real things, are all fruits of Christ’s atonement, for we can do no good thing without Him. Everything else is counterfeit, and cannot bring happiness, nor can they last.
Belief that Jesus Christ will help us in all we do and face, and then relying on His promises, while acting our part of faithful obedience in Him, upon inspiration from the Holy Spirit, is faith.
Repentance, is recognizing the error of our ways and actions, and feeling the necessary and helpful godly sorrow, rather than worldly sorrow, for what we did wrong. Worldly sorrow is sorrow for being caught or exposed. Godly sorrow is sorrow for doing the wrong thing and hurting God and His son Jesus Christ.
As part of godly sorrow, we must feel pain and sorrow for what we did wrong, for this is an important and necessary part of the repentance process. Godly sorrow works in us unto repentance, through the power of the Holy Ghost and prayer.
If the sin is of a certain seriousness, it must be confessed to a bishop, who is your local priesthood leader. He will help you on your pathway and road to repentance and recovery.
To receive the miracle of forgiveness, wherein God, through His Son, applies through the Holy Ghost, through the source of the atonement, the gift of forgiveness, is a process in which we are restored and made clean. We are also healed of any emotional and spiritual deficit as well. We are purified through the cleansing fire of the Holy Ghost, both spiritually and physically, and made new and whole, being fully restored from the damage we incurred from the sin we abused ourselves and others in. This is why we are also commanded to forgive all people, so we too can be forgiven. In this there comes a change of mind and heart, which change will also give us a fresh view about God, ourselves, and the world around us. It includes constantly turning away from sin, and turning to God for everyday forgiveness.
Repentance is motivated by a love for God, a deep desire to be clean, and a sincere desire to obey all His commandments.
Baptism, is the first saving ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and must be preceded by faith and repentance. It is necessary to be prepared and ready for baptism, to exercise proper repentance, and understand the covenants we will make at baptism.
Baptism symbolizes the old man of sin being buried in a watery grave, and the new man in Christ coming forth, or resurrecting unto a new creature alive in Him.
Baptism is only made sanctifying and efficacious for our physical as well as spiritual body, when it is performed by the proper priesthood authority, for as we must again accept our Savior in the flesh, as we once did in the spirit before being born in the flesh, we thus have the privilege of purification for our physical bodies.
Baptism is our physical and spiritual manifestation, that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and follow Him. The ordinance of baptism is the first of a two part requirement to enter God’s kingdom or church on earth.
Receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the second requirement, and is a reception, wherein as we receive Him (The Holy Ghost), we can then be purged and healed both physically and spiritually.
Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a higher reception of the Holy Ghost, more so than is available to all other people, and gives the recipient entrance into the Lord’s kingdom. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we can supplicate God for the other spiritual gifts we need, to repent, and overcome all our weaknesses. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit can also be a continual companion, and give us an even stronger and growing influence of God and His Son Jesus Christ in our lives.
Through this gift, we can have full access to the atonement, along with having all the other saving ordinances of the gospel made available to us.
In short, these steps in becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are amazing, and just the beginning. We can all receive these blessings and more, which come from taking these first few steps.