THE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ teaches us that the salvation and exaltation of men are made possible solely through the graciousness and goodness and love of God in his gift to us of his Divine Son, whose life exemplified the Father’s purposeful plan for abundant living and whose sacrificial death made available to us and gave us a vision of our eternal possibilities as children of God. From the record of Nephi we read these impressive words:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to he reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23.)
The Latter-day Saint understands that through the gift of God, through the great atoning sacrifice of his Divine Son, all that we might achieve is made possible for us, but he understands also that in the plan of God it is necessary that we accept this free gift if we would enjoy all of our eternal possibilities. For the Lord told his people through the Prophet in 1832,
For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. (D & C 88:33.)
And be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38.)
But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the straight path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation. (2 Nephi 33:9.)
For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. (Ibid., 31:17.)
. . . He that receiveth my gospel receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel receiveth not me. And this is my gospel-repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. . (D & C 39:5-6.)
And then are ye in this straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; . . . And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this straight and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?
Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.
Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. . . . (2 Nephi 31:18-21.)
We know also that if we are to enjoy the high possibilities for which we are created and which we might desire as children of God, we must build upon our faith and obedience with right thinking and well-doing. We must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Through so doing, if we endure to the end, we shall have eternal life. There is no other way.
I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
General Conference October 1956