What Do Mormons Believe?–Article of Faith #6

Jesus Ordaining His Twelve Apostles

We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

During Jesus’ mortal ministry, He organized His church here upon the earth.  This organization consisted of various positions or offices.  For example, we are all aware of the calling of His twelve apostles.  The Bible also speaks of prophets such as Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Abraham. Ephesians 4:11 tells us that “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.   This pattern has existed throughout time.

The Twelve Apostles Today

Today, this same organization has again been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.  Again we are blessed to have    ‘. . .prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth’ providing order and direction to the saints just as there was in Jesus’ day.

According to the LDS Guide to the Scriptures, a prophet is “A person who has been called by and speaks for God.  As a messenger of God, a prophet receives commandments, prophecies, and revelations from God.  His responsibility is to make known God’s will and true character to mankind and to show the meaning of his dealings with them. A prophet denounces sin and foretells its consequences.  He is a preacher of righteousness.  On occasion, prophets may be inspired to foretell the future for the benefit of mankind. His primary responsibility, however, is to bear witness of Christ.

The First Presidency--(sitting) President Thomas S. Monson, (standing from left to right) Henry B. Eyring (1st counselor), Dieter F. Uchtdorf (2nd counselor)

The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s prophet on earth today.  Members of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators.”

To learn more about the importance and role of apostles today, please see “And He Gave Some, Apostles” by Edward J. Brandt.

Next Week:  Article of Faith #7–Mormon beliefs regarding gifts of the spirit.

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

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What Do Mormons Believe?–Article of Faith #4

BaptismWe believe that 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; and fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When one accepts Jesus Christ, he is willing to follow Him and keep His commandments.  This Article of Faith tells us some of the basic ways in which we do this.  First, we must exercise faith in Jesus Christ.  To have faith in Jesus Christ means that we believe that He is the Son of God.  It also means that we trust Him.  As we keep His commandments, we will come to know that our trust in Him is well placed.  This will enable our faith in Him to continue to grow until it becomes unshakeable.

Mormons also believe that a disciple of Jesus Christ is willing to repent of his sins.  Repentance means that one has a godly sorrow for having transgressed the commandments of God.  He desires to bring his life in accordance with God’s will and is willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish this goal.  He will confess his sins before God and before any person whom he may have injured by his actions.  He will also be willing, when possible, to repair any damage he may have caused by his mistakes.

Jesus being BaptizedAs an outward symbol that one has accepted Jesus Christ, he is willing to be baptized.  Mormons believe that the proper mode of baptism is that of immersion.  When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Matthew 3:16 tell us that “[He] went up straightway out of the water” (italics added).  Thus, we follow Jesus Christ’s example when we are baptized by immersion.  Baptism by immersion is symbolic of the death and burial of the old man as he goes down into the water and the birth of the new man as he comes forth out of the water–one who is free from sin and willing to follow Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments.

When one has exercised faith in Jesus Christ, repented of his sins, and been baptized, he is then ready to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead who has many roles.  He is a personage of spirit whose influence is without end.  He is the comforter whom Jesus promised to send to His disciples.  The Holy Ghost also testifies of truth and can bring all things to remembrance.   When one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost through properly authorized priesthood authority, he has the privilege of having that influence always with him.  This is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in this life.

To learn more about the fourth Article of Faith and one example of showing faith in Jesus Christ, please read “The Lord’s Wind” by John H. Groberg.

Next Week:  Article of Faith #5–Mormon beliefs regarding who is authorized to administer the ordinances of Jesus Christ’s gospel.

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]