“Members of the Savior’s Church,” Friend, Jan. 2003, 42
Instructions: Read, or tell in your own words, the story below. When a number appears in the story, put up the flannel-board figure with the same number (or move it to a new place—see diagrams—or point to it, if it is already in place). Save the flannel-board figures to use with next month’s Poster Article.
Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return to live with Him (1). As part of the plan of salvation, Jesus Christ (2) came to earth to overcome death and to atone for our sins if we repent and obey the commandments. He also organized His church (3) so that with the proper priesthood authority, members would have the ordinances they need to return to live with Heavenly Father.
The first ordinance needed is baptism. The Savior (2) explained this to a man named Nicodemus (4) one night. He told this ruler of the Jews, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God [The Church of Jesus Christ]” (3) (John 3:5).
Before a person is baptized, he or she must have faith (5) in Jesus Christ. He said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The person must also repent (6) of his or her sins. Then, when he or she is baptized (7), his or her sins are washed away. John the Baptist (8), who held the Aaronic Priesthood, explained to those he baptized, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance” (Matt. 3:11).
When Jesus Christ (2) came to him to be baptized, John did not understand, because he knew that the Savior was sinless. Jesus told him to do it “for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). That is, by having John baptize Him, they were showing people how important the ordinance of baptism is.
When the Savior was baptized, Heavenly Father testified to the importance of baptism, too: “The heavens were opened, … and lo a voice from heaven [said], This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:16–17).
But that is not all. After a person is baptized, he or she is confirmed a member of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost (9). That is what Jesus (2) meant when He told Nicodemus (4) that a man must be born not only of water but of the Spirit.
The gift of the Holy Ghost is important in the plan of salvation because the Holy Ghost can help us have greater faith in Jesus Christ and guide us in making right choices so that we obey the commandments and repent when we need to. When we do those things—and obtain the further blessings of temple ordinances (10)—thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can live with Heavenly Father again (1).
1 Celestial Kingdom
2 Jesus Christ
3 “Foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”(Eph. 2:20)
5 Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
8 John the Baptist
9 Gift of the Holy Ghost
10 Temple Ordinances