4. First Principles of the Gospel

ARTICLE 4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

A painting of Jesus knocking at a door without a handle on the outside. Nature of Faith-The predominating sense in which the term faith is used throughout the scriptures is that of full confidence and trust in the being, purposes, and words of God. Such trust, if implicit, will remove all doubt concerning things accomplished or promised of God, even though such things be not apparent to or explicable by the ordinary senses of mortality; hence arises the definition of faith given by Paul: “Now faith is the substance [i.e., confidence, or assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence [i.e., the demonstration or proof] of things not seen.” It is plain that such a feeling of trust may exist in different persons in varying degrees; indeed, faith may manifest itself from the incipient state which is little more than feeble belief, scarcely free from hesitation and fear, to the strength of abiding confidence that sets doubt and sophistry at defiance (read more).


Nature of Repentance-The term repentance is used in the scriptures with several different meanings, but, as representing the duty required of all who would obtain forgiveness for transgression it indicates a godly sorrow for sin, producing a reformation of life, and embodies (1) a conviction of guilt; (2) a desire to be relieved from the hurtful effects of sin; and (3) an earnest determination to forsake sin and to accomplish good. Repentance is a result of contrition of soul, which springs from a deep sense of humility, and this in turn is dependent upon the exercise of an abiding faith in God. Repentance therefore properly ranks as the second principle of the Gospel, closely associated with and immediately following faith (read more)


Nature of Baptism-In the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, water baptism ranks as the third principle and the first essential ordinance of the Gospel. Baptism is the gateway leading into the fold of Christ, the portal to the Church, the established rite of naturalization in the kingdom of God. The candidate for admission into the Church, having obtained and professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and having sincerely repented of his sins, is properly required to give evidence of this spiritual sanctification by some outward ordinance, prescribed by authority as the sign or symbol of his new profession. The initiatory ordinance is baptism by water, to be followed by the higher baptism of the Holy Spirit; and, as a result of this act of obedience, remission of sins is granted (read more)

The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost Promised-John the Baptist, proclaiming in the wilderness repentance and baptism by water, foretold a second and higher baptism, which he characterized as being of fire and the Holy Ghost; this was to follow his administration, and was to be given by that Mightier One the latchet of whose shoes the Baptist considered himself unworthy to unloose. That the holder of this superior authority was none other than the Christ is proved by John’s solemn record: “Behold the Lamb of God This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” (read more)

The Sacrament

The Sacrament-In the course of our study of the principles and ordinances of the Gospel, as specified in the fourth of the Articles of Faith, the subject of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper very properly claims attention, the observance of this ordinance being required of all who have become members of the Church of Christ through compliance with the requirements of faith, repentance, and baptism by water and of the Holy Ghost (read more)

Article Name
4. First Principles of the Gospel
The first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Mormon Church.