There are 10 thoughts on “The Gospel According to Mormon”.

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderfully clear exposition of the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel! The examples you give through pointing out synonyms and delineating connections has brought me numerous inspirational insights. It is so much easier to connect daily choices to basic principles when the principles are made so clear.

    You might want to consider changing “straight and narrow” to “strait and narrow.”

    • Cynthia:
      There was a time when I agreed with you completely on “strait and narrow.” I think it is clearly influenced from the NT. However, I was recently reading Royals Skousen’s discussion on the topic, and I have come to agree with him. The contexts are sufficiently different, and in the Book of Mormon “strait and narrow” becomes redundant (i.e. “small and tiny”). I still think that the use of the combination is influenced by the NT (where Skousen would suggest that it appeared that way on the seerstone). Nevertheless, there are times where the better meaning really would be straight and narrow. Skousen’s work on Textual Variants can be read on bookofmormoncentral.org, if you wish to look it up.

      • Br. Gardner,
        Thanks very much for referring me to new information on that!
        Do you think “by fire and by the Holy Ghost” are redundancies, or are they different as suggested by Daniel’s comment above?

        • I don’t believe that they are redundant, but for different reasons than Daniel. I took a look at the uses of baptism by fire and water in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon. I think some of the vocabulary in the Book of Mormon was influenced by the traditional intepretations that had a baptism by fire as equivalent to the Holy Ghost–but I think the original understanding was different. The NT baptism by fire appears to be related to the fire accompanying the apocalypse. So there is a baptism of water as a cleansing, and a baptism of fire as a transformation. Clearly, the apocalyptic fire has be be metaphorically applied to individual lives, but I do see a difference between that and the gift of the Holy Ghost (perhaps as the mediator/instructor of the personal transformation).

          • Here are two quotes that appear to be from Joseph Smith in which he speaks of the three distinct parts of baptism

            “Alexander Campbell, how are you
            going to save them with water alone? For John said his baptism was nothing without the baptism of Jesus Christ. There is one God, one Father, one Jesus, one hope of our calling, one baptism all these three baptisms only make one.”

            https://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1844/7Apr44.html

            “Here we have baptism with water, baptism with the Holy Ghost, and baptism with fire, three in number…. Joseph Smith… said, there is but one baptism; it takes the baptism of water, of the Holy Ghost, and of fire to constitute one full baptism” (They knew the Prophet” Page 51)

  2. I have spent a long time trying to understand the difference between the Doctrine of Christ as taught by Christ and the doctrine of Christ as taught by the church because they are not the same. Christ always makes a point about all three baptisms, (Water, Fire, Holy Ghost), whereas the Church basically ignores the baptism by fire and just lumps it in with the Holy Ghost. Even as recorded in the Book of Moses the words of Enoch which he appears to have learned from Adam that three steps are needed coming out of the presence of god and three to return to his presence (Water, Blood, and Spirit in both cases).
    Additionally, as part of Christ’s Doctrine (My understanding is that Doctrine and Gospel are in fact different, one cannot change and the latter includes all those things that help us to live the doctrine and can change) in 2 Nephi and 3 Nephi he gives emphasis to the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as a key element of his Doctrine.
    Christ Never mentions the Enduring to the End as part of his Doctrine only as part of the Gospel. He also makes a big point about how you should not add or take away from his doctrine. I think that there are keys to understanding the relationship between becoming like a little child and enduring to the end found in Christ’s Post-mortal but Pre-resurrected sermon given to the Nephites that help show how they are related but not the same.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful exposition. It occurred to me while reading it that the same thing is manifested in Mosiah 18 when Alma secretly taught and baptized his followers at the Waters of Mormon.

    INTRODUCTION
    1 And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi–
    2 Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven.

    FAITH
    7….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.
    8 Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God….
    10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts….
    11….they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.
    20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord….

    REPENTANCE
    7….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.
    20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

    BAPTISM
    10….what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments…
    13….I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body;
    17 And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.

    HOLY GHOST
    12 And now it came to pass that Alma took Helam, he being one of the first, and went and stood forth in the water, and cried, saying: O Lord, pour out thy Spirit upon thy servant, that he may do this work with holiness of heart.
    13….and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you….
    14 And after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit.

    ENDURING
    9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death…..
    10…..what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments…
    I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body;

    SAVED
    7….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.
    9 …..that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life–
    20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

    SUMMARY
    21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. Verses 19-30 are Alma’s Instructions on what enduring to the end means….30….”yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.”

    • This is amazing, I love Mosiah 18 but never read it under this light!

      I am frankly surprised at the statement that 2 nephi 31, 3 ne 11 and 27 are kind of ‘ignored’ for lack of a better word. As a missionary a decade and a half ago I recall teaching lesson 3 from PMG by reading Jesus’s statement in 3 nephi 27. AF 3&4 are essentially a summary of these chapters.

      This book never ceases to impress.

  4. I am very pleased that this remarkable essay by my friend, colleague and former student is now available for the Latter-day Saints audience.

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