Editor’s note: This is another article in our series of BYU students sharing letters and reflections on scripture. Thanks to Derrik for sharing his thoughts.
I am so grateful to know that we are children of God. It amazes me to really contemplate what this really means. We lived with him and He wants us to be like him and return to him. In this world there is so much confusion and misdirection about our purpose of life. The scriptures give us the direction we need to direct our lives and help us be truly happy and satisfied with life.
In class we discussed the analogy of climbing a mountain. We have all inherited a fallen state, subject to sickness, pain, trials, weaknesses and with sin we are distanced from the Lord. We must overcome these in order to become like Him and live in His presence. We must climb the mountain. We do this by looking to our Savior and striving to become like him. He is our perfect example. The scriptures help us by showing us what to do to live his teachings. We are all at different places in our journey up this “mountain.”
As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had the privilege of meeting some amazing people doing very well on their way up the mountain. Some even knew the scriptures way better than I did. One might think what could I possible offer to someone like that but then I was reminded of my sacred calling. I was called by the Lord to “Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end” (Preach My Gospel 1). This reminded me of another part in Preach my Gospel which states:
Our invitation to you and all people is to add to the truths you already treasure. Consider our evidence that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, have again reached out to God’s children in love and revealed the fulness of the gospel to a prophet. This prophet’s name is Joseph Smith. The evidence of this glorious truth is found in a book—the Book of Mormon—which you can read, ponder, and pray about. If you pray with a sincere heart, with real intent and faith in Christ, God will tell you by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true.
I had something marvelous to offer all people who wanted to continue on the climb and return to our Heavenly Father. The ordinances of baptism and reception of the Holy Ghost must be performed by the proper authority. This is evident in the story recorded in Acts 19. Paul sees men who had been baptized previously. It had been a great experience- a great vista on journey up. We don’t in anyway want to take away from the experience they already had because it definitely was a step in coming unto Christ. Our God, is a God of order and in order to receive the fullness of the blessings we must obey his laws in the way He has set them forth. Baptism and the conferring of the Holy Ghost must be done by the proper authority. Paul and the ancient apostles held this authority. When they were killed, this authority taken from the Earth. Because our Father in Heaven loves us so much he called prophets again starting with Joseph Smith in 1830 and delegated this authority once again.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can help anyone who is on this mountain climb and wants to be closer to their Heavenly Father and be able to be clean and return to live with Him, by offering a fullness of the Gospel and these saving ordinances by those authorized by Him. Without it we can’t fully make it to the top by any other means. As the Book of Mormon prophet said it so beautifully, “ And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.”