The word gospel literally means “good news” or “good message.” We commonly use the term to refer to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
During the Savior’s ministry on the American continent, He emphasized to His disciples that they needed to be “built upon [His] gospel.” Then, lest there be any doubt, He summarized primary components of that gospel (3 Nephi 27:13-17).
In February 1832, as part of a vision about life after death, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon heard a voice which explained the gospel in similar terms (Doctrine and Covenants 76:40-43).
Here are the two passages side by side for comparison:
|3 Nephi 27:13-17||Doctrine and Covenants 76:41-43|
|And this is the gospel which I have given unto you—||And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—|
|that I came into the world||That he came into the world, even Jesus,|
|to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.|
|And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross;||to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;|
|and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me,||That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;|
|that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil||Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition…|
Here are the components of the gospel that stand out to me in these passages:
- Jesus came into the world. He didn’t wait for us to seek Him. He was willing to take the first step.
- He was crucified. He willingly suffered on our behalf, doing something for us which we couldn’t do for ourselves.
- He did this for “all men [and women].” Everyone can benefit from His sacrifice.
- He did this on behalf of His Father. His mission was part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness.
- He honors our choices. His suffering opens doors for us, but it is still our decision whether to enter them.
Today, I will remember the simplicity of the Savior’s mission. I will be grateful for the clarity of His message and for the work He has done to save us.