3 In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher) to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.
3 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.
I like the phrase “the endurance of faith on his name to the end.” It appears twice in the Book of Mormon, both times in the book of Moroni:
- It is part of the prayer that was offered to ordain men to the priesthood (Moroni 3:3).
- Mormon used the phrase to express his hope that his son would remain faithful to the gospel (Moroni 8:3).
As I’ve pondered this phrase, I’ve thought about two other occasions when prophets taught about the importance of sustaining faith over time:
- When King Benjamin’s people obtained a forgiveness of their sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, his immediate concern was to help them “continue in the faith” and “retain a remission of [their] sins” over time (Mosiah 4:6, 12). He made it very clear that their salvation depended on their sustaining a spiritual closeness with God over time, not merely achieving it as an isolated event.
- After Alma reminded the people of Zarahemla about the conversion of their fathers, and after asking them whether they had also been converted, he asked this challenging question: “Can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26) Past spiritual experiences may inspire us, but we must actually choose to exercise our faith, or it will atrophy over time.
When people are interested in becoming members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we teach them the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, as defined in the fourth Article of Faith
. After they exercise faith in Christ, repent of their sins, are baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we teach them that the next step is to endure to the end. But what exactly does that mean? It means to continue to exercise faith, to repent, to participate in the ordinances of the gospel, and to receive the Holy Ghost. The same actions which resulted in their initial conversion will result in their continued conversion.
Today, I will ensure that my faith endures. I will turn my heart to God and will take those actions which will enable me to retain my conversion over time, recognizing that the endurance of faith over time, not merely occasional flashes of faith, will enable me to receive God’s greatest gifts.