Reconciled unto Christ, Part 6

Reconciliation with Christ begins with baptism. Baptism marks the end of your old life and the beginning of a new one. Leaving the old life includes abandoning the errors, evils and worldliness of a fallen society. In exchange for believing in Him, and being baptized to witness your faith in Him, you receive forgiveness of those past mistakes. As one prophet explained, “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the holy ghost. And then are ye in this straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life. Yea, ye have entered in by the gate, ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son, and ye have received the holy ghost, which witness of the Father and the Son unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way, ye should receive.” (RE 2 Ne. 13:3)

This begins a new life in Christ. “And now my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this straight and narrow path, I would ask if all is done. Behold, I say unto you, nay, for ye have not come thus 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. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (Id., Paragraph 4)

This prophet anticipated that many people would wonder what the words “feasting upon the word of Christ” means. There are two direct ways in which this is done: The first is by studying the scriptures. The New Testament was written by 8 disciples who knew Christ: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James (Jacob), Jude (Judas) and Peter. They did not write to explain everything they knew, understood, or taught in person about Christ. And they wrote for an audience of believers living at the time. While we benefit from those records, they do not contain everything these witnesses knew about Christ. In many ways studying the New Testament is like reading someone else’s mail.

We should want to know Christ like those early witnesses knew Him. We should want a direct and intimate connection with Him, so we can share the faith of those first Christians. The prophet explained the second way we can ‘feast on the word of Christ.’ He wrote: “I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts? Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the holy ghost, ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the holy ghost? Angels speak by the power of the holy ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Ne. 14:1)

The holy ghost is the conduit through which Christ will speak to you, now. Today. With the same guidance He provided to those 8 witnesses who wrote the New Testament.

The right to receive that guidance also imposes on us the responsibility to ask. We are not supposed to remain in doubt. As New Testament writer Jacob put it: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and upbraids not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering,” (Jacob 1:2)

The prophet who explained the process emphasized how important it was that we ask and pursue God for guidance: “Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them, it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock. Wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way and receive the holy ghost, it will shew unto you all things what ye should do.” (2 Ne. 14:1)

Christ established the way for all of us to be reconciled unto Him.