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"This Is My Doctrine," 3 Nephi 11:21-40

3 Nephi 11:21-40

Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.(vs. 23)
The Savior, in this introductory instruction to the Nephite disciples, clearly and simply lays out the doctrines of his gospel: faith unto repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

Stepping back to verse 21, the significance of this verse is eternal. Christ gives to Nephi the power to perform the ordinance of baptism, which is both recognized on earth and in heaven. Outside the ordinances of the priesthood, there is none other covenant nor pact nor agreement that can be made on earth and that is recognized in the eternal realms.

Throughout these verses, the Savior iterates that with this instruction on baptism there should be no disputations, contention, nor disunity among them. He emphasizes this point by explaining how the Father, the Son (Himself), and the Holy Ghost are one. Three distinct beings completely unified in purpose. Thus, we see that this is the order of heaven, and it is God's desire that such be the order of the kingdom of God on earth.

I am impressed by the all inclusive nature of this commandment from the Father, that he "commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in [Jesus Christ]." (see vs. 32) Is the gospel of Christ for everyone? Yes, it is. Is there any man, king, ruler, rich man, beggar, vagabond, inmate, sheriff, mother, nurse, or otherwise that is excused from this commandment. Nay. All men, everywhere, must repent and believe in Christ or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

My thoughts have been all over the place this morning. Verses 37 & 38, though, sum up the essence of Christ's message and demand personal introspection to evaluate our progress: 
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
How am I doing with this? I have to ask myself. Are my thoughts pure, even as a little child? Are there mistakes that I have need of repentance? Do I still bear the name of Christ upon me in my behavior and actions and have I recently recommitted myself through covenant to do so? 


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