How to Live Today » Join the Church and Receive the Holy Ghost

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]

We live in a time of greater wickedness and depravity than any previous period in the history of the world. Vulgarity and blasphemy are everywhere, and the morality of the masses has become almost "anything goes." Unspeakable perversions once hidden from view are now practiced openly and even given protection under the law. Satan's influence is stronger than ever in our lifetimes, and the world has become like that of Noah's before the Flood.

Since the time of Adam and Eve nearly 6,000 years ago, prophets have looked forward to our time. This is a marked generation. Make no mistake: all those yet to be born—and billions of those who have lived and died—have their eyes on us. Those now living have been held in reserve by God to live in these final years before the Second Coming of Christ. Some of God's strongest children have been saved for last.

Our mortal lives on earth are but a short segment of our eternal lives, but they provide an important education. Our lives are a school of suffering and fiery trials to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation in the life to come. Jesus has revealed to us the requirements necessary for us to return to our Heavenly Father after death and set us on the road to becoming gods ourselves. The starting steps are: have faith in Jesus, repent of your sins, and become a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church that Jesus Christ organized when he lived on earth was called the Church of Jesus Christ, and its members were called Saints. At Jesus's command, his church was reestablished in these latter days by Joseph Smith in 1830, and so it is now referred to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus still leads the Church through revelations to his living prophet who is the president of the Church. The Church today is organized just as it was in Jesus's day, with twelve apostles, and with bishops, deacons, etc.

Some consider it is unreasonable that Jesus sent his latter-day revelations through Joseph Smith. They wonder why Jesus wouldn't use some miraculous means to convert the entire world. They hear the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon from gold plates, and ask if these plates are somewhere they can be examined. But if scholars could examine the gold plates, they would scoff at them. People are not converted by examining records. Neither are they converted by miracles, for the Jews witnessed many miracles and yet still crucified Jesus. We are called to live by faith, not by sight.

All those who have reached age 8—the age of accountability for one's actions—should become baptized. Some other churches baptize those younger than 8, but this is a mockery before God because little children are incapable of sin. There are, in actuality, only two churches: the Church of Jesus Christ and the church of Satan. Whoever does not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ belongs to the other church, the mother of abominations and the whore of all the earth.

In order to be acceptable to Jesus and effective in the cleansing of sins, a baptism must be performed by a male holding proper priesthood authority in the Church. It must be a full-body immersion in water, but it need not be in a baptismal font inside a temple—suitable bodies of water include streams, lakes, oceans, and swimming pools. This ritual is absolutely essential for every person in order for them to be eligible to return to Heavenly Father after death and to eventually become a god.

Immediately following the baptism of water, a baptism of fire is performed with the laying on of hands, confirming membership in the Church. All sensuality and wickedness is burned out of the repentant soul as if by fire. The receiver of this baptism literally becomes a new creature, born again. Through this act, the gift of the Holy Ghost is given, allowing the receiver the companionship of the Holy Ghost throughout their life, so long as they remain worthy.

The Holy Ghost is a personage of the spirit and member of the godhead who tells each of us what Jesus wants them to do. He speaks in a voice that is felt more than it is heard. To return to Heavenly Father after death, we must spend the rest of our lives obeying and serving the Holy Ghost. If someone fails to receive the Holy Ghost, it is their own fault for not being spiritual enough or close enough to Heavenly Father.

Every member of the Church who receives the Holy Ghost is entitled to one or more spiritual gifts, some of which include: working miracles, healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, or the interpretation of tongues. Receipt of such gifts is dependent on one's obedience to the commandments. Many in the past have been blessed with the gift of tongues. If a bishop instructs a Church member to restrain such a gift, however, it is their duty to do so without finding any fault with the bishop.

Through baptism, we begin a new life by making a sincere promise to God to accept Jesus Christ and become his followers. We promise to keep Heavenly Father's commandments for the rest of our lives. And we promise to stand as a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places—we promise to tell other people about Jesus whenever we can.

New members of the Church may face great difficulties. Their new commitments may seem demanding and require them to leave behind old habits. Some are cut off from their families and lose lifelong friends. Some lose their jobs or even their lives. These sacrifices do not go unnoticed by Jesus, and he has promised "Everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

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