Truly accepting gospel is first step for members

At the April 1976 general conference, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, then an Assistant to the Twelve, said that the first step in the process of becoming a Latter-day Saint, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants in a revelation to James Covill, is truly to accept the gospel. Elder Wirthlin quoted the Lord's declaration:

" And this is my gospel - repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom.' " (D&C 39:6.)Elder Wirthlin said that after James Covill accepted the gospel, he was "charged to do what is the uncompromising obligation of all of us today. For the Lord says,And if thou do this, I have prepared thee for a greater work. Thou shalt preach the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth in these last days, the covenant which I have sent forth to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel.' (D&C 39:11.)

"And here is the promise made to Elder Covill: `And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith, and I will be with thee and go before thy face.' (D&C 39:12.) What is said here to James Covill in this dispensation, when the Church was only nine months old, applies with equal force to us now - and is a remarkable and powerful reiteration of the promise made by the Savior during His earthly ministry. His pledge that He will be in our midst when two or three are gathered together in His name is a wonderful declaration of His unbounded love for each of us and assures us of His presence in our church services, in our individual lives, and in the intimate circles of our families."

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