Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 7
“The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel”


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand and seek the blessings that come from the first principles and ordinances of the gospel: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and confirmation.

Scripture references for study:  Review the material for this lesson in the Class Member Study Guide
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 7 Handout (PDF)


Faith In The Lord Jesus Christ

The restoration of the gospel corrected many errors in doctrine that crept in during the centuries that passed since the death of the Apostles. It seems appropriate to explore the Doctrine and Covenants and see what modern revelation says about these basic principles and ordinances of the gospel. All of the scriptures have much to say on these vitally important principles, but we shall limit our focus to what is written in this book of modern revelation.

See Gospel Topic Faith at LDS.org for more information.


Repentance

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

"For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance." (D&C 18:11-12)

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT REPENTING? THE BLESSINGS OF REPENTANCE?
 

Consequences

Blessings

The light one has received will be taken.
     D&C 1:33
One must suffer as did Christ. 
     D&C 19:17-18
Cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
     D&C 20:29
The Lord to take vengeance upon the wicked.
     D&C 29:17
One's sorrow will be great.
     D&C 136:35
One shall be forgiven.
     D&C 1:32
The Lord will no longer remember the sin.
     D&C 58:42
Salvation.
     D&C 20:29
We don't have to face the consequences listed
     in the opposite column.

See Gospel Topic Repentance at LDS.org for more information.


Baptism - An Essential Ordinance

"The subject of Christian baptism was much discussed among the rival sects in the early decades of the 19th century. The purpose of it; the proper subjects to receive it; the effects of it; the manner in which it should be administered; by whom it could be administered, by any Christian who understood its significance, or only by ordained ministers? By pouring, or sprinkling, or by immersion only? All these questions were subjects of intense controversy in the period named.
    "When, therefore, in the course of translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery came to a passage making reference to 'baptism for the remission of sins,' it is not surprising that they held divergent views upon the subject; but instead of resorting to argument on the matter they agreed to inquire of the Lord, through prayer, for the knowledge essential to a right understanding of the subject." (Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:177-178)

WHY IS BAPTISM AN ESSENTIAL ORDINANCE?

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BAPTISM?

WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO BE BAPTIZED BY ONE WHO HAS THE PROPER AUTHORITY?

Baptism by immersion is the way the Lord has directed it be done.

See Gospel Topic Baptism at LDS.org for more information.


The Gift of the Holy Ghost

In a revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, at or near Fayette in December 1830, the Lord said:  "Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old." (D&C 35:5-6)

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE HOLY GHOST?

As we review the above list of characteristics and functions of the Holy Ghost, we should be inspired and thankful to have access to such an enormous gift.

HOW HAS THE HOLY GHOST BLESSED YOU IN YOUR LIFE?

See Gospel Topic Holy Ghost at LDS.org for more information.


Endure to the End

Enduring to the end is sometimes called the fifth principle of the gospel. We must endure to the end to receive eternal life. Baptism is the door that opens the path to eternal life. What we do on that path determines our ultimate destiny.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ENDURE TO THE END?

We are so blessed to have the Doctrine and Covenants to teach us more precisely about these principles that are essential to our eternal salvation. In the past, my studies of the Doctrine and Covenants have generally been historical and chronological in nature. The past three lessons have verified what a wonderful resource this work is when we seek information on specific doctrines.


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the principles of the gospel as discussed in this lesson. What can you do to make these principles a more active part of your life?


Resources Used In This Lesson

A Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts (CHC).

Church News.

Conference Reports (CR).

Ensign.

If Thou Endure It Well by Neal A. Maxwell.

Journal of Discourses (JD).

Saturday Night Thoughts by Orson F. Whitney.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).

The Divine Center by Stephen R. Covey.

The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.


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Changes last made on:  27 January 2017