Living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives is becoming important today than in earlier generations. Over the years, the General Authorities (Prophets and Apostles) have constantly admonished members of the Church to engage in developing the following habits:
- Daily personal and family prayer
- Daily personal and family scripture study/reading
- Consistent home teaching/visiting teaching
- Attending all meetings
- Fulfilling our callings to the best of our abilities
- Serve within our families, Ward, Stake, and even communities
- Live within our means and live providentially – refraining from incurring unnecessary debt
- Refrain from anything that may become addictive and takes us away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we develop these spiritual and temporal habits in our lives, we will be able to endure and withstand the fiery darts of the adversary by putting on the full armor of God (See Ephesians 6:11). We will be able to not only endure, we are working out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12). We are after the counsel of our leaders, and securing a temporal refuge for our families, our neighbors and ourselves. Joseph Fielding Smith, speaking at the April 1971 General Conference, made this statement:
We are engaged in the Lord’s work; this is his church; he is the author of the plan of salvation; it is his gospel which we have received by the opening of the heavens in this day; and our desire and whole purpose in life should be to believe the truths he has revealed and to conform our lives to them. No person in or out of the Church should believe any doctrine, advocate any practice, or support any cause that is not in harmony with the divine will. Our sole objective where the truths of salvation are concerned should be to find out what the Lord has revealed and then to believe and act accordingly.
Today, we are still engaged in the Lord’s work. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a missionary Church. As members, we should not shirk our responsibility in sharing the message of the Gospel to all who are willing, ready, and humble to listen and accept its message. To this end, President Smith also stated:
There is no need for anyone to remain in darkness; the light of the everlasting gospel is here; and every sincere investigator on earth can gain a personal witness from the Holy Spirit of the truth and divine nature of the Lord’s work.
What is it that we are to engage in? What is the Divine will of the Father? What is the purpose of the restoration of the Gospel in these last days? President Smith outlines some key importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Restored Kingdom of God here on earth:
- Through divine revelation that we know and understand who our Heavenly Father is: A Divine being that is glorified and resurrected with a body of flesh and bone.
- Our Heavenly Father, through his Only Begotten Son, is the creator of this earth and of worlds without number.
- That our Heavenly Father is infinite and eternal, having ordained the laws by which we are capable of progressing and becoming like him.
- Salvation is by and through Christ; that he is the Firstborn Son of the Eternal Father; that he was chosen to bring about the infinite and eternal atonement and that he was born into mortality to carry out the divine will and purpose of the Father.
- The atonement of Christ ransoms humanity from the effects of the fall where temporal and spiritual death came into the world by Adam. Because of the fall, Christ took upon himself our infirmities and sin of all humanity.
- The very Gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation; and that through our Lord’s atoning sacrifice all men shall be raised in immortality, to be judged by him according to the deeds done in the flesh; and that those who do obey the fullness of the Gospel law shall be raised unto eternal life in our Father’s kingdom.
- We are saved by Grace, after all that we can do, and that building upon the foundation of the atonement of Christ, all men must work out their salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.
- How men gain salvation is through repentance of their sins, participating in the ordinance of Baptism for the remission of sins by one having the authority, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, and then pressing forward with steadfastness in Christ, keeping the commandments and enduring to the end.
This is, as we understand President Smith, the Scriptures, and Divine revelation in these last days, the essential Gospel plan that has been revealed since Adam and down through the various dispensations of humanity. Many attempt to disprove these eternal truths. They scoff at the idea that an individual can receive a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel by sincerely seeking the will and desire of our Heavenly Father. Unfortunately, many have lost their way because of the great mist of darkness, or the scoffers and mockers in the large and spacious building (see Nephi 8) once they had partaken of the Tree of Life. Blessings abide when we live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. These come when we discipline ourselves in after the counsel of the prophets and apostles that are called to lead His Church. For, when we heed the teachings of our Prophets and Apostles, we are heeding the teachings of our Savior, for this is His Church, and His Gospel and through our obedience to make our calling and election sure we are fulfilling the Divine will and plan of our Heavenly Father – To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of Man (See Moses 1:39).