These last few chapters of 2nd Nephi are some of my very favorites. Last
... Nephi breaks it down to the plain Doctrine of Christ. For his soul delighteth in plainness. So let's talk about what Nephi really wants us to get out of all of his teachings.
First: Baptism is essential to salvation
I was baptized when I was 8 years old, sometime in November of 1974. My dad was an inactive member of the church, and did not hold the proper Priesthood Authority, so he couldn't baptize me. Some guy named Bro. Lowe happened to be in the font and already wet from baptizing his son, Mark, so he did the dunking. In The Church we are baptized by immersion, so when my big toe stuck out of the water, I had to be baptized again. There went the toe again. Third time's the charm; Bro. Lowe planted his foot on my foot, and was able to put me all the way under the water. Whew! I was finally clean from all those sins I'd accumulated since my birthday on November 9th. I don't remember how many there were, but I'm glad they're gone.
So, since we know that Jesus Christ was completely without sin, did he need to be baptized? Is baptism just for cleansing our sins, or is there more to it than that?
The Gift of the Holy Ghost is essential to salvation
After baptism, baptismees are confirmed a member of The Church, and are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, also by one holding the proper Priesthood authority. I have zero memory of my confirmation, but I'm sure it looked something like the photo above (except I'm a dude).
Where baptism cleanses us from sin, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, or the baptism of fire, sanctifies us, and makes us (or has the potential to make us) holy. And this "speaking with the tongue of angels" thing and this "shouting praises unto the Holy One of Israel" thing, I think that means that once we receive the Holy Ghost, and the witness of Christ and His Gospel that follows those who sincerely seek it, the Holy Ghost will testify to others when you testify of Him. Anywayz, that's what I think.
Repentance is essential for salvation
Enduring to the End is essential for salvation
The word "enduring" conjures up images of marathons and summits of high mountains. It seems to connote (one of my favorite words) hardship and suffering. I like how President Monson puts it much better. Enduring to the End to me is less about always choosing the right, no matter how hard the rain falls, and more about daily repentance, no matter how hard I fall.
And lastly (but really firstly)...
Faith in The Lord Jesus Christ is essential for salvation
- Have Faith in Jesus Christ
- Repent and follow Jesus Christ
- Covenant to be obedient to Jesus Christ through baptism and other ordinances
- If you fail, start over
- Rely alone on the merits of Jesus Christ; He is mighty to save
Peace be with you