Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive. (2 Nephi 31:17-18)
Repentance and Baptism
The “gate” is twofold, repentance and baptism by water (2 Nephi 31:17)
The “keeper of the gate” is Christ only (2 Nephi 9:41)
Entering into the strait (not straight) and narrow “path” is done by following “the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism— yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 31:13).
Acting with HYPOCRISY is having moral standards or BELIEFS that do not match your present behavior or actions. This is also known as being in a state of cognitive dissonance.
Repentance and baptism by water (gate) is a witness to the Father that you are willing to keep His commandments and to follow His Son. You have been figuratively made clean, water cleanses.
According to His word after you have done these things, then you receive the Holy Ghost. Then comes the baptism of fire of the Holy Ghost, first anointing, then you receive a remission of your sins.
The Act of Water
- Water sustains life, it gives nourishment and renews
- Water in motion, it can either be passive and move around an object or as a force, and it can move through and break down the toughest of objects
- Water is passive; it is patient, it wears down and makes smooth all rough surfaces
- Water cleanses, it washes away the dirt, scum, cleans the body, clothes, even wounds, as well as the food you eat, water prepares
- Water always seeks the lowest level
The Act of Fire
- Fire provides warmth, it gives light, it dispels darkness, life needs either light or warmth or both
- Fire burns, it breaks things down into their elements, it divides the elements that are being consumed by fire
- Fire is visible, you can feel the heat, it is the chemical reaction of elements undergoing a change that is observed by the light it produces and felt by heat
- Fire cleanses, purifies, removes impurities, changes the structure of that which was consumed
- Fire always ascends
Water and Fire
Water cleanses, but it is symbolic of your actual cleansing, it cannot change you. It can only make you ready by smoothing out your rough surfaces and sustaining life. Water seeks the lowest level to find the lowliest of persons needing saving. Fire cleanses, it purifies by removing the impurities from your life and changes you. Fire ascends and lifts you.
You need to witness to the Father that you are willing to keep His commandments and follow Jesus Christ. However, your baptism is not yet complete. You have only entered in at the gate. You are not yet on the strait and narrow path. Secondly, you must demonstrate your willingness to be lead by Christ by keeping His commandments, acting with no hypocrisy, or deception before God. You must act with real intent, all your energies, holding nothing back, feasting upon His words, seek Him. Then as He has promised “to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 31:12).
Think about water and fire, how they interact with each other and also with other elements. Fire may appear to destroy, but it changes. Material and mater cannot be destroyed only transformed. Water does not have the power to produce change; it breaks down and makes ready, for change to be possible. If you are still dirty, as fire cannot burn the soil itself, you cannot be changed. You must first make yourself ready and clean, and repent so that the fire of the Holy Ghost may work in your life and bring about a change in you.
After you have received the Holy Ghost and have been baptized by fire and of the Holy Ghost, then you are on the strait and narrow path and the path that leads to eternal life. Then you are clean, but you are not yet sanctified. You must continue and endure until the end, and when you have endured until the end of your probation (not mortal life) having been proven in all things; then you will receive THE testimony of Jesus, His testimony of you that He bears to the Father, then are you sanctified and receive the second anointing (not of man), but by coming into the Father’s presence then are you sealed up His by the Holy Spirit of Promise (D&C 88:75; D&C 76:51-70; 2 Nephi 31:20).