Gospel is simple, but profound

Repent of sins

Forgive others- Serve others

The gospel is very simple but also very profound, declared Elder Hartman Rector Jr. of the Seventy.

Elder Rector, who was granted emeritus status during the opening session of conference, gave his final conference address as a General Authority Saturday afternoon. He was called to the First Council of the Seventy in 1968 and to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1975.

Continuing, Elder Rector said: "Once we have sufficient faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we believe He has paid for our sins, then we will repent. And no one truly repents until they believe in Christ."

In beginning his address, Elder Rector related his conversion to the Church in 1952 in Tokyo, Japan, while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. He recalled he had questions, such as "Where was I before I was born, and where do I go when I die? How can just believing in Christ save me when I haven't kept God's Ten Commandments?"

The answers came, he continued, when Elders Ted Raban and Ronald Flygare knocked on his door in San Diego, Calif., in 1951. He was away at the time, but his wife, Connie, accepted a Book of Mormon. After investigating the Church, he was baptized on Feb. 26, 1952, and Sister Rector on March 1.

Elder Rector spoke of repentance, baptism and enduring to the end. "There is a difference between stopping sinning and repentance. In the first instance we are still guilty, in the other we are free of sin and guilt."

He explained that repentance happens when a non-member "follows Jesus Christ down into the waters of baptism, then comes forth and receives the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by priesthood authority."

After baptism, he continued, the Father requires enduring to the end, which means continuing to repent, continuing to forgive others and serving others.

"To walk guiltless before God, we must love and serve others. His statement through King Benjamin that, When ye are in the service of your fellow being, ye are only in the service of your God' (Mosiah 2:17) can, I believe, be turned around to say thatunless you are in the service of your fellow being you are not in the service of your God.'

"I am persuaded that only this charity, this pure love of Christ, this love plus sacrifice which is exemplified in the work that goes on in our temples is the only thing that will save this nation and the world, for that matter, when the Lord comes."

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