Skip main navigation

Faith, Repentance and Redemption

baptisms

            One of the wonderful events that occurred in the Book of Mormon took place at the Waters of Mormon.   I often visualize the beautiful place that this must have been.  It was a sacred place.   I recently visited Nsit Ubium, the place of some of the first baptisms in West Africa.  It is a secluded place, separated from the rest of the world.  It is quiet and peaceful as it rests in the heart of the Nigerian jungle.  I thought during our visit that perhaps this was a little like the Waters of Mormon and I started to imagine that beautiful place and sacred time where four hundred saints were taught and received the gospel.  At significant peril to their mortal lives, they received the saving ordinance of baptism and made sacred covenants.   I also can imagine Alma’s concern for these humble people as he contemplated what he must teach during this sacred ministry.   We read part of the account in the book of Mosiah.  

             “And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma.  Yea, all were gathered together that believed on His word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.” (Mosiah 18:7)

            Later Alma instructs the newly baptized members of the church:

            “And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. 

            “Yea even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed His people.” (Mosiah 18:20)

baptisms

 I recently wrote articles for the Liahona about faith and repentance.  I would like to concentrate on the redemption for this article representing an important trilogy in the lives of those who come unto Christ through the waters of baptism.  I believe it is important to understand and recognize that today holy prophets, seers, and revelators, teach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and redemption though the power of Christ.  They teach of the sacred ordinances which will lead us back to our Father in Heaven. They continue to teach us exactly what Alma taught at the Waters of Mormon.  There is consistency in the message.  The prophets of old and those of our day continue to teach the Doctrine of Christ in its pure form.   It is so important for all of God’s children to understand that hope and faith in the Savior and His power to save us through His atonement for our sins bring us to repentance.  Repentance is an expression of our love for the Savior, our acceptance of His gift of redemption, and our commitment to seek sanctification throughout our lives.  Sanctification is a process that occurs as we strengthen our faith by obedience to the laws and commandments of the gospel and submit ourselves to God’s will by persistent and continual repentance.  Faith and repentance unlock the power of Christ’s sacrifice in our lives.  We become redeemed before the Father because of the atoning sacrifice of the Savior.  The Bible Dictionary states that the word redemption is used throughout the New Testament to describe the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ and our deliverance from sin.[1]

            By His power are we brought spotless before the Father.[2]   This is the redemption of Christ.   The redemption of Christ is what allows us to become pure.  Without the sacrifice of the Savior sanctification would not be possible. There could be no hope for us without the atonement of Christ.  We could never approach the throne of our Father solely upon our own merit.   Yet His grace is sufficient for us as we apply the principles of His doctrine.  This grace is manifest in His redeeming sacrifice for us.  This is His doctrine; faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.[3]  Not one, but all of these things will sanctify us and bring the power of Christ through His redemption to us, that we might be brought spotless before the judgement seat of God.  Though we often teach sanctification as a process we must not confuse it with a series of events that must be checked off, boxes that must be ticked, but rather an ever growing and expanding righteousness in our lives.  We must constantly increase our faith, increase the intensity and frequency of our repentance, and seek more fervently the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  In so doing, we change, become sanctified, and will ultimately be  brought before God by the Savior, redeemed. As Nephi taught: “And now, beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay for ye have not come this far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save.” (2 Nephi 31:19)   We must continue to rely wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save.

            I would like to tell you how I feel about the sacrifice of the Savior for me.  I fear, however that words can never adequately express my feelings.  The redemption of Christ is the greatest manifestation of love ever expressed both by a loving Father who sent His Only Begotten and by the Savior who freely, willingly, and completely gave everything, even His life, to free us from sin.  As I think of a perfect being, who was brought to the depths of spiritual despair by the corruption of the world, I anguish to think of pain that my sins caused him.  Perhaps Enos best expresses my feelings when He asked, “Lord, how is it done?” (Enos 1:7) What creates a love so grand as this?  It is a love that is infinite, all encompassing, and unconditional.  It is extended to all equally and without exception.  We choose whether we accept or not.  I agree completely with Sister Linda S. Reeves, who was recently released as the 2nd counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, when she said in a recent conference address: “To me, the greatest miracles in life are not the parting of the Red Sea, the moving of mountains, or even the healing of the body.  The greatest miracle happens when we humbly approach our Father in Heaven in prayer, fervently plead to be forgiven, and then are cleansed of those sins through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior.”[4]

            It is my prayer, brothers and sisters, that we will continue in a path that will bring us before God sanctified and redeemed by the power of Christ.  May we all seek this blessing.  I bear strong testimony of Christ’s power to save.  It is through Him and only Him that we can receive eternal life.  May all sincerely seek this blessing, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen



[1] Bible Dictionary: Redemption

[2] Alma 13:11-13, 3 Nephi 27:20

[3] 2 Nephi 31:2-21

[4] Linda S. Reeves, “The Great Plan of Redemption,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2016, 88.