Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Brother Brian K. Ashton

The doctrine of Christ, with its scriptural definition of exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, was the focus of the Sunday afternoon conference message by Brother Brian K. Ashton.

He explored, in turn, each element of the doctrine:

Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement

“We exercise faith by choosing to follow the teachings and example of the Savior,” said Brother Ashton, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.

“Because Jesus was a God in the pre-mortal existence, lived a sinless life and during His Atonement satisfied all the demands of justice for you and me, He has the power and keys to bring about the resurrection of all men, and He made it possible for mercy to overpower justice upon conditions of repentance.”

Repentance

Brother Ashton said repentance “is not just for big sins, but is a daily process of self-evaluation and improvement that helps us to overcome our sins, our imperfections, our weaknesses and our inadequacies. Repentance causes us to become ‘true followers’ of Christ, which fills us with love and casts out our fears. Repentance is not a backup plan just in case our plan to live perfectly fails. Continual repentance is the only path that can bring us lasting joy and enable us to return to live with our Heavenly Father.”

Baptism and the sacrament

To be complete, repentance must be combined with baptism administered by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God, and for members of the Church, the covenants made at baptism and other occasions are renewed with the partaking of the sacrament, Brother Ashton said.

Gift of the Holy Ghost

“As our constant companion, the Holy Ghost gives us additional power or strength to keep our covenants,” he said. “He also sanctifies us, which … not only cleanses us, but it also endows us with needed spiritual gifts or divine attributes of the Savior.”

Enduring to the end

Receiving the Holy Ghost builds faith, which in turn leads to additional repentance, Brother Ashton said.

rscott@deseretnews.com

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