“How Can My Family Return to Live with God?” Families and Temples (2016), 2–5
“How Can My Family Return to Live with God?” Families and Temples, 2–5
God has provided a clear plan for you and your family to return to Him. This plan is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because God loves all of His children, every person will eventually have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel, whether in this life or the next. You accept the gospel by exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, and receiving sacred ordinances like baptism and confirmation. An ordinance* is a sacred religious ceremony performed by someone who has authority from God. When you receive an ordinance, you show your love for God as you make sacred promises to Him and He makes sacred promises to you. The promises you make when you receive an ordinance are called covenants. Receiving ordinances and keeping covenants are necessary to return to God’s presence.
Baptism and confirmation are the first ordinances you receive when you become a member of His Church. When you are baptized and confirmed by someone with proper authority, you promise to live a Christlike life, keep the commandments, and remember Christ in all you do. If you faithfully keep these covenants, God promises you forgiveness of your sins and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Baptism and confirmation are the first ordinances on your path toward eternal life with God.
Some ordinances, such as baptism and confirmation, are essential for you to return to God. Other essential ordinances include receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), receiving your temple endowment, and being sealed as part of an eternal family in the temple. Through these ordinances and covenants, you will learn more about God’s plan and experience more of His power in your life (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:20). These ordinances and covenants are personal milestones that mark the path to eternal life. You endure to the end of this path by continually exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, following the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and keeping your covenants. Covenants with God will give you strength and a sense of purpose. You will also enjoy greater happiness in this life, feel increased spiritual strength, receive protection and guidance, and be prepared to eventually live with God and your family forever.