The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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To give you an idea about what I am going to discuss on this blog, I would like you to know that I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are sometimes called "Mormons". The church has 13 Articles of Faith and I will be talking about the fourth one which is: "We 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; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." I will be discussing each principle and ordinance on this blog in the best way I can to help you understand one of the basic beliefs of our church. Please don't take me wrong, it is not my intention to make you believe our teachings and be converted in our church. I just want you to open your heart and mind, try to understand our church's point of view and respect our beliefs just like the way we respect yours.



The Fourth Articles of Faith


Video - The 4th Article of Faith as told by a 3 year old

As members of the church, one of our practices is to memorize the 13 Articles of Faith. On this video, a 3 year old boy recites the 4th Articles of Faith. 

(video source:, credits to Kris Irvin)



Let me enlighten you by explaining the fourth Articles of Faith in a quite simple manner.

The word first in “first principles and ordinances of the gospel” should not be interpreted as primarily chronological in meaning, as if these four steps were intended only for our initial entry into the kingdom of God. Instead, the term first should be better understood as “basic” or “fundamental”, because these principles and ordinances constitute the heart of the gospel of salvation, being the essential requirements to enter God's kingdom to live with Him forever. Let us take note again that there are four principles and ordinances: Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immersion, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands. If for example we have faith and we repented of our sins but we were not baptized and had not received the gift of the Holy Ghost, then we are still not worthy to enter into God's kingdom. The absence of one or two principle/s or ordinance/s will not guarantee our salvation. These four principles and ordinances should all be done or received by each and every person in order to live with Heavenly Father someday. The image below simply shows that these principles and ordinances are required to reach our God's presence.

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Video - Lesson 07 -- "The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel" -- Mormon Doctrine & Covenants

If my explanation is not quite clear for you, please listen to this great podcast.



(video source:, credits to This Week in Mormons)



 Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

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The first principle is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This means we believe in Jesus Christ. He knows and loves each and every person in the world, and wants to bless us. We show our faith in Jesus by following His commandments. He showed the perfect example, He lived a perfect life. Faith is like believing or knowing the truth of something even if there is no proof or evidence. That means, even if we didn't see Jesus Christ with our own eyes, we still believe Him as our savior, as our redeemer. Faith is where our salvation starts. Without faith, it may be impossible to continue the other principles and ordinances of the gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ helps us realize that sometimes we commit sin and therefore faith pushes us to into the depths of repentance.


Video - Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Elder Kevin W Pearson April 2009 General Conference

In this video, one of the leaders of the church speaks clearly about Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

(video source:, credits to Mark Metcalf)




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Repentance is the second principle of the gospel. When we don’t do the things Jesus taught, that means we have sinned and therefore we should repent and try our best again to do what He wants us to do. Repentance is made possible because of the atonement or sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made to help us overcome sin, adversity, and death. Jesus's atoning sacrifice happened in the Garden of Gethsemane where he bled on every pore and on the cross at Calvary where he was crucified. Jesus paid the price for our sins, took upon Himself death, and was resurrected after three days. His work is done. The only thing left to be done for us to be saved is to do our part of the work. One of the many things we should do to be saved is to repent of the sins we committed and seek forgiveness from God. After we sincerely repent, we are forgiven and will then be worthy for baptism.


Video - Mormon Messages: Repentance

In this video, another leader of the church talks about the power of repentance.

(video source:, credits to Film Pictures)



Baptism by Immersion

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Baptism by immersion is the first ordinance of the gospel. Before we get baptized, there are two things to consider: 1. We should be baptized by a man who holds the Priesthood just like John the Baptist who baptized Jesus Christ. 2. We should be baptized in the proper way which is being immersed in the water, that is the way Jesus was baptized. Even if a person claims he was baptized many times if his baptism was not by immersion, it will not be valid in the eyes of God. If he also claims that he was baptized by immersion but the man who baptized him does not hold the Priesthood, his baptism is also not valid. When we are baptized we make a covenant with Heavenly Father. Every time we partake of the sacrament (bread and water that is blessed by Priesthood holders) we renew that covenant. A covenant is actually a sacred promise. It is a promise made between man and God. We make promises to God and He also makes promises to us. God always keeps His promises to us, and we in return should always try our best to keep our promises to Him. After baptism, we will be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost to help us keep these promises.


Video - Baptism and Remembering Jesus

This video shows the proper way of baptism and how we should always remember Him and keep our covenant.

(video source:, credits to clarksiler)



Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost

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The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the second ordinance of the gospel. It is given to us after we are baptized by Priesthood holders as they lay their hands upon our head. This is also called Confirmation by our church. The priesthood holders confirm the person as a member of the church and at the same time give the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost helps us keep our covenant. It helps us do what is right and leads us to obey the commandments and live the gospel so we can become more like Jesus. Let me clarify that only by laying on of hands do we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Those who were not confirmed by laying on of hands can still feel the Holy Ghost but it is not the Gift of the Holy Ghost. What they experience is only the influence of the Holy Ghost.


Video - Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost

David Perry shares his personal thoughts about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost on his walk to a temple.

(video source:, credits to Temple Walk)



Endure to the End

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Video - Endure to the End

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency teaches how to endure to the end.

(video source:, credits to mormon2011)



Lastly, I will discuss about "Endure to the End" which is sometimes considered a part of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. After we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we continue to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ by attending church meetings, Sunday school and other church activities. At home, we pray personally and as a family, study the scriptures and apply the teachings of Jesus in our daily lives. We strive to provide the necessities of life like food, shelter and education. This is what "endure to the end" means. We have faith, repented of our sins, baptized by immersion and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost but this does not mean we are already saved. We must continue doing what the Lords wants us to do, not what we want to do. He knows what is the best for us. He wants us to come back to His presence someday. Enduring to the end means obeying the commandments of God until the end of our lives. That way, we prove our love and faith in Him. I know that what I've discussed in this blog are all true and I leave it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.



(6th blog submitted for review)


About the author


It's better to meet me personally if you want to know more about me :)

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