The Apostle Paul taught that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1; see footnote b). Alma made a similar statement: “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show your hope for something that you cannot yet see. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ In order for your faith to lead you to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ
In the Garden of Eden, God commanded, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:16–17). Because Adam and Eve transgressed this command and partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were cast out from the presence of the Lord (see D&C 29:40–41).
On September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th President of the Church, read the following proclamation in a general Relief Society meeting. This inspired proclamation, titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” has become the Church’s definitive statement on the family: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
On April 3, 1836, the prophet Elijah came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. He conferred upon them the sealing power of the priesthood, making it possible for families to be sealed throughout the generations. In conferring this power, he fulfilled the prophecy that the Lord would send him “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers” (see D&C 110:14–16; see also Malachi 4:5–6).
The home is the most important place for gospel learning. No other organization can take the place of the family. Latter-day prophets have repeatedly called on parents to nurture their children with love and gospel teaching. In 1915 President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency began a Churchwide effort to strengthen the family.
To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can help you prepare yourself and others to receive God’s blessings. Purposes of Fasting On one occasion, the Savior cast a devil out from a child and used this experience to teach His disciples about the power of prayer and fasting. His disciples asked Him, “Why could not we cast him out?” Jesus answered: “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (See Matthew 17:14–21.)
The scriptures refer to forgiveness in two ways. The Lord commands us to repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness. He also commands us to forgive those who offend or hurt us. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus counsels us to ask Heavenly Father to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Seeking Forgiveness from the Lord Sin is a heavy burden. It brings the tenseness of guilt and the anguish of knowing that we have acted against the will of our Father in Heaven.
God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22). Our Heavenly Father is a God of judgment and strength and knowledge and power, but He is also a God of perfect mercy, kindness, and charity.
The first article of faith states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” These three beings make up the Godhead. They preside over this world and all other creations of our Father in Heaven. The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior’s mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14- year-old Joseph Smith received his First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17).
Heaven In the scriptures, the word heaven is used in two basic ways. First, it refers to the place where God lives, which is the ultimate home of the faithful (see Mosiah 2:41). Second, it refers to the expanse around the earth (see Genesis 1:1). Additional references: Psalm 11:4; Matthew 6:9; 1 Nephi 1:8; Mosiah 3:8; D&C 20:17 See also Kingdoms of Glory
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.
On January 1, 2000, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued the following declaration. Titled “The Living Christ,” this declaration bears witness of the Lord Jesus Christ and summarizes His identity and divine mission: “As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice.
In the spring of 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith was searching for the true Church of Jesus Christ when he read a passage in the Bible: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” ( James 1:5; see also Joseph Smith— History 1:11–12). With simple, unwavering faith, young Joseph followed the counsel in that passage.
The Light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” It is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:12–13; see also verses 6–11).
In the world today, many people dismiss and even mock marriage and the family. Amid such confusing and destructive voices, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles provide the consistent voice of truth. They “solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children”
When we experience the blessings of gospel living, we naturally want to share those blessings with others. The Lord spoke of the joy that comes into our lives when we share His gospel: “If it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! “
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like Him and receive a fulness of joy. The scriptures refer to this plan as “the plan of salvation” (Alma 24:14; Moses 6:62), “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8), “the plan of redemption” ( Jacob 6:8; Alma 12:30), and “the plan of mercy” (Alma 42:15). The plan of salvation is the fulness of the gospel.
You are a child of God. Your Heavenly Father loves you and knows your needs, and He wants you to communicate with Him through prayer. Pray to Him and no one else. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, “Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 18:19). As you make a habit of approaching God in prayer, you will come to know Him and draw ever nearer to Him. Your desires will become more like His.
The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Priesthood Authority Given to Men on Earth God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, just as Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures. We sustain the President of the Church as our prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire Church.
Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel (see Articles of Faith 1:4). It is essential to your happiness in this life and throughout eternity. Repentance is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives you a fresh view about God, about yourself, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness.
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church among His followers. After His Crucifixion and the deaths of His Apostles, the fulness of the gospel was taken from the earth because of widespread apostasy (see “Apostasy,” pages 13–14). Many men and women sought the fulness of gospel truth during the centuries of the Great Apostasy, but they were unable to find it.
Revelation is communication from God to His children. This guidance comes through various channels according to the needs and circumstances of individuals, families, and the Church as a whole. When the Lord reveals His will to the Church, He speaks through His prophet. The scriptures contain many such revelations—the word of the Lord through ancient and latter-day prophets.
The Sabbath is the Lord’s day, set apart each week for rest and worship. In Old Testament times, God’s covenant people observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week because God rested on the seventh day when He had created the earth. The Lord emphasized the importance of Sabbath observance in the Ten Commandments: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
On the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ met with His Apostles and instituted the sacrament. “He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19–20).
Satan, also called the adversary or the devil, is the enemy of righteousness and those who seek to follow God. He is a spirit son of God who was once an angel “in authority in the presence of God” (D&C 76:25; see also Isaiah 14:12; D&C 76:26–27). But in the premortal Council in Heaven, Lucifer, as Satan was then called, rebelled against Heavenly Father and the plan of salvation. In this rebellion against God, Satan “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3).
When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words “shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4).
True disciples of Jesus Christ desire to serve those around them. The Savior said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” ( John 13:35). When you were baptized, you covenanted to take the name of Jesus Christ upon yourself. The prophet Alma explained this covenant to a group of new converts who wanted to be baptized.
Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit. Only the home can compare with temples in sacredness. Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Today the Mormon Church is heeding the Lord’s call to build temples all over the world, making temple blessings more available for a great number of our Heavenly Father’s children.
A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves us; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that we are led by a living prophet today; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth.
One of the blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of paying tithing. By living the law of tithing, you participate in building up the kingdom of God on the earth. Definition and Purpose of Tithing To pay a full tithe, you give one-tenth of your income to the Lord through His Church.
The Word of Wisdom is a law of health revealed by the Lord for our physical and spiritual benefit. In this revelation, which is recorded in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord tells us which foods are good for us to eat and which substances are not good for our bodies. He promises spiritual and physical blessings for obeying the Word of Wisdom.