A Handbook of Basic Doctrines

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A study of these doctrines will also help students be better prepared to teach these important truths to others.

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The majority of the scripture references listed in this document refer to scripture mastery passages. They have been included to show how they relate to the Basic Doctrines. They are one in purpose and doctrine.


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God the Father is the Supreme Ruler of the universe. He is the Father of our spirits see Hebrews He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He is also a God of perfect mercy, kindness, and charity.


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  • Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and made a perfect Atonement for the sins of all mankind see Alma — He will come again in power and glory and will reign on the earth during the Millennium. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead.

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    He is a personage of spirit without a body of flesh and bones. The Holy Ghost bears witness of the Father and the Son, reveals the truth of all things, and sanctifies those who repent and are baptized see Moroni —5. In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father introduced a plan to enable us to become like Him and obtain immortality and eternal life see Moses The scriptures refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the great plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, and the plan of mercy.

    The plan of salvation includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all of the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. Our family relationships can last throughout the eternities. Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as His spirit children see Abraham — We prepared to come to earth, where we could continue to progress.

    Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan. He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality. Related reference: Jeremiah —5. Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth under the direction of the Father.

    The earth was not created from nothing; it was organized from existing matter. It provided a place where we could gain a physical body, be tested and tried, and develop divine attributes. Adam was the first man created on the earth. God created Adam and Eve in His own image.

    All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God see Genesis — In the Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam and Eve not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the consequence of doing so would be spiritual and physical death.


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    • Spiritual death is separation from God. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the mortal body. As descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherit a fallen condition during mortality. We are separated from the presence of the Lord and subject to physical death. We are also tested by the difficulties of life and the temptations of the adversary. See Mosiah It has a twofold direction—downward yet forward. In addition to introducing physical and spiritual death, it gave us the opportunity to be born on the earth and to learn and progress.

      Mortal life is a time of learning when we can prepare for eternal life and prove that we will use our agency to do all that the Lord has commanded. During this mortal life, we are to love and serve others see Mosiah ; Moroni , 47— In mortality, our spirits are united with our physical bodies, giving us opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in the premortal life. When we die, our spirits enter the spirit world and await the Resurrection. The spirits of the righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise. Many of the faithful will preach the gospel to those in spirit prison.

      Spirit prison is a temporary place in the postmortal world for those who die without knowledge of the truth and for those who are disobedient in mortality. Those who accept the gospel will dwell in paradise until the Resurrection. Resurrection is the reuniting of our spirit bodies with our perfected physical bodies of flesh and bones see Luke — After resurrection, the spirit and body will never again be separated and we will be immortal.

      The righteous will be resurrected before the wicked and will come forth in the First Resurrection. The Final Judgment will occur after the Resurrection. Jesus Christ will judge each person to determine the eternal glory that he or she will receive. The highest of these is the celestial kingdom.

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      The second of the three kingdoms of glory is the terrestrial kingdom. Those who dwell in this kingdom will be the honorable men and women of the earth who were not valiant in the testimony of Jesus. The telestial kingdom is the lowest of the three kingdoms of glory. Those who inherit this kingdom will be those who chose wickedness rather than righteousness during their mortal lives.

      These individuals will receive their glory after being redeemed from spirit prison. In order to utilize all of the features of this web site, JavaScript must be enabled in your browser. Understanding Theology 3 vols. Kendall's notes from lectures given on those Friday evening classes form the basis for this three-volume collection.

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      The Understanding Theology 3 vols. Kendall's conviction that all Christians should have an understanding of basic doctrine is represented in this collection. In keeping with the motto of Westminster Chapel's School of Theology, "theology put simply," Understanding Theology 3 vols. Every chapter of Understanding Theology 3 vols. Whether you use these volumes as an impetus for personal study and edification, for sermon or Bible study preparation, or to bolster an already growing theology collection, Understanding Theology 3 vols.

      With the advanced search features of Logos Bible Software, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference. That makes your theology books easier to access than ever before for scholarly work or personal study. This first volume of R.

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      Kendall's Understanding Theology has been re-printed every year since it was first published in The content and the format of the book are its strengths, making it searching, clear, profound, and fair minded. The church encourages members to enter into a celestial marriage , performed as a church ordinance in an LDS temple. This is the only form of marriage recognized by the church as a sacrament and "the only due and proper way of joining husband and wife". In the church's view, exceptions to the acceptance of civil unions include same-sex marriage , polygamous marriage , common law marriage , and other types of non-ceremonial marriages in non- common law countries.

      The law of chastity has also been interpreted to include standards of modesty in dress and action. LGBT members of the church are expected to keep the law of chastity.

      The church has supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and polygamous marriage in the United States and has stated that it "favors measures that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship. The emphasis on the law of chastity leads to a lower rate of pre-marital sex among LDS youth than among their peers. Latter-day Saint sacraments are called ordinances , of which there are two types: saving ordinances and non-saving ordinances. All ordinances, whether saving or non-saving, must be performed by a man ordained to the appropriate priesthood office, with the exception of certain parts of the temple endowment and the initiatory or washings and anointings , in which men and women are separated, and women administer the ordinances for women, and men administer the ordinances for men.

      However, both men and women must be " set apart ", or authorized and "blessed by the laying on of hands" by those who have proper authority before serving as temple ordinance workers. Saving ordinances are those that are required for salvation or exaltation , and include baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost confirmation of membership in the church of Jesus Christ ; the " sacrament " of the Lord's supper, taken each Sunday, to keep in remembrance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and to renew the covenants made at baptism; ordination to an office of the priesthood for males ; the initiatory or washings and anointings ; the endowment ; celestial marriage ; and family sealings.

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      Each saving ordinance is associated with one or more covenants that the person receiving the ordinance makes with God, and one or more blessing that God promises to the recipient.