gospel of Jesus Christ, doctrine of Christ, faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end, eternal life


In a 1991 BYU Studies article, I identified and analyzed three core Book of Mormon passages in which the gospel or doctrine of Jesus Christ is defined. Each of these passages presents the gospel as a six-point formula or message about what men must do if they will be saved. In the present article I go on to examine all other Book of Mormon references to the six elements in this formula. Faith is choosing to trust in Jesus Christ in all that one does. Repentance is turning away from the life of sin by making a covenant to obey the Lord and remember him always. Baptism in water is the public witnessing to the Father of that covenant. The baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost is a gift sent from the Father in fulfillment of his promise to all his children that if they will repent and be baptized, they will be filled with the Holy Ghost. It brings the remission of sins with its cleansing fires. The recipient of these great blessings must yet endure to the end in faith, hope, and charity

Original Publication Citation

“The True Points of My Doctrine,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 5, No. 2 (Fall 1996): 26–56.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor