Sometimes the scope of the Gospel and the breadth of its reach astounds me. At baptism we covenant to follow Christ’s teachings and obey his commandments. As we begin to follow him, he invites us to join in his mission, to take His yoke upon ourselves. Where we started out seeking baptism in order to receive forgiveness for our own sins, it’s not long before we are serving and consoling and teaching those around us as Christ would do.
It doesn’t stop there, though. When we are able to enter the temple, we have the opportunity to participate in baptism for the dead, offering the same covenants and blessings to our own ancestors and others. Later, we can even help extend the blessings of the endowment and the sealing ordinances to those who have passed into the Spirit World.
Think of it! Just as Christ offers salvation and exaltation to all mankind, we offer these ordinances to our own ancestors, one by one. No longer are we simply seeking our own salvation through the grace of Christ; now we are actively taking part in extending it to others. We are participating in God’s work and his glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
What a blessing and an honor it is to participate in this work.
Today’s hymn is The Glorious Gospel Light Has Shone. Its lyrics rejoice in this exact thing: the opportunity we have to participate with Christ in the salvation of the dead. Consider these passages from the hymn:
As Christ to spirits went to preach
Who were to prison led,
So many Saints have gone to teach
The gospel to the dead.
And we for them can be baptized,
Yes, for our friends most dear,
That they can with the just be raised
When Gabriel’s trump they hear;
Now, O ye Saints, rejoice today
That you can saviors be
Of all your dead who will obey
The gospel and be free.
There is an excitement in this hymn, an eagerness to participate in the work of the Lord. I hope we’ll partake of that eagerness and seek to apply it in our own lives.