Notice how Moroni pulls some of these elements together in Chapter Six. He talks in verse one by saying, “Now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized, and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit—meet that they were worthy of it.” And what is that fruit? He describes it in verse two; it’s a broken heart and a contrite spirit, witnessing unto the church that they truly had repented of all their sins. Then, when they’re received, they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.
Brothers and sisters, this is our definition of what it means to be a Christian, to be a follower of Christ. It’s not just saying nice things about him or quoting scriptures about him that defines our Christianity. It’s literally taking upon us the name of Christ—having faith in him, repenting, getting baptized with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And then verse four, after they had been received unto baptism and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the Church of Christ, and their names were taken that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. It all comes to him. It’s not about the missionaries; it’s not about the leaders of the church; it’s not about the scriptures. It’s about Christ. He is the author and the finisher of our faith and of everything that happens for us moving forward as a church.
Notice verse 5, “And the church did meet together oft to fast and to pray and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls, and they did meet together oft to partake of the bread and the wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. So when you come together as we gather, that’s where we can draw strength from one another.
Now let’s finish with verse nine, actually verse 8 and 9: “But as often as they repented and sought forgiveness with real intent, they were forgiven.” I love that verse because as one who knows very well what it feels like to not do the right thing and need mercy and grace and the power of forgiveness, there’s so much hope in that little verse eight. That when you really, your real intent, “I want to be good; I’m trying hard but the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” I love the fact that as oft—you could circle the words “as oft”—that means every time that they come with real intent, they were forgiven. I love that promise.
And now finally, verse 9: “Their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost. For as the power of the Holy Ghost led them, whether to preach or to exhort or to pray or to supplicate or to sing, even so, it was done.”
Brothers and sisters, regardless of what other labels or what they may say and put on you and on me individually and collectively in the world. I hope you will increasingly take upon you the only label that really matters—take upon you the name of Christ and plead with him to help you to keep his commandments, to always remember him, and to keep that name upon you as you move forward. And his promise is sure; he will forgive you; he’ll always send his Spirit and keep his Spirit to be with you. And he’ll walk that covenant path with you. You won’t walk it alone. I know he lives; I know he loves you, and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
By Dr. Tyler Griffin, Source Expert
Dr. Tyler Griffin embarked on his professional journey by teaching seminary courses for a period of six years in Brigham City, Utah. Following that, he dedicated the subsequent seven years to instructing at the Logan LDS Institute, located adjacent to Utah State University. Alongside his participation in the Seminary Preservice program, he spearheaded and supervised the implementation of the online seminary program. Dr. Griffin has been an educator at BYU for well over a decade and holds a co-founding position within the BYU Virtual Scriptures Group. His undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering, while both his master’s and doctorate degrees center around Instructional Technology. Dr. Griffin is the exclusive author of “When Heaven Appears Distant” co-author of “Come Unto Me: Illuminating the Savior’s Life, Mission, Parables, and Miracles” and co-editor of “Millions Shall Rediscover Brother Joseph.”
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