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John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Jesus Christ promised to personally comfort any who seek to come to Him. His disciple asked how Jesus would show Himself.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught in no uncertain terms what is required.

Matthew 7:

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

But what is this gate that leads to eternal life? Jesus answered this question when posed to Nicodemus.

John 3:Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

A prophet who descended from the tribe of Joseph wrote in his own record in plainness what this gate is, verifying Jesus’ teachings:

2 Nephi 31:16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
17 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.
18 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.

Nephi’s walk is illustrated in his two books. It is the overarching narrative expressed in his father’s vision of the tree of life. The world is the large and spacious field we read about in 1 Nephi chapter 8. Once one enters in at the gate, which is repentance and baptism of water, THEN comes the remission of sins.

So now Nephi has established by his own life’s experience and his father’s vision of the tree of life that entering the gate is receiving the First Comforter, even the Holy Ghost. Nephi, continues the narrative:

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

tree-of-life

As we read in 1 Nephi 8, linked above, if one endures to the end of the path along the iron rod, one finally comes to the tree of life. It is the inevitable consequence of traveling a straight path between two points–between receiving the Holy Ghost and then receiving Jesus Christ. At the end of the path, the rod ends. One falls to the ground to partake of the fruit of one’s labors of pressing forward with the love of God and of ALL men. If one has the Love of God and all men (TWO greatest commandments/Golden Rule), one becomes like Christ. And what is the inevitable result of becoming like Christ?

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Or as Jesus expressed directly to one of his disciples, as I have quoted above:

John 14: 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Both the Father and the Son visit him. And we see evidence of this in Nephi’s life, as expressed in the same chapter mentioned above:

2 Nephi 31:14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

As mentioned above, if one loves God and all men, one will retain a remission of one’s sins as King Benjamin taught:

Mosiah 4:12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due…

He goes on to teach:

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

Jesus gave three parables in Matthew chapter 25 about those who did and did not love all men. To summarize, He declared:

Matthew 25:

31 ¶When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Therefore as one presses forward along the straight and narrow path with the Love of God in one’s heart toward all men, being merciful as God is merciful, one inevitably, finds oneself partaking of the fruit of his labors and finds rest. Thus to partake of the fruit of the tree of life is to gain eternal salvation, which is to make one’s calling and election sure. It is to personally receive comfort from the God of all the earth, even Jesus Christ, an anchor to the soul. It is to receive the Second Comforter. It is to be sealed up by the calling of His voice. The apostle Peter said the same:

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things,ye shall never fall

Peter acknowledges that it is the love of God and of all men, which results in knowing Jesus Christ. This doesn’t just mean knowing about Him, or reading about Him. It means actually knowing Him. Talking with Him. Seeing Him. But whoso lacks the qualities Peter lists is blind and cannot see afar off. He loses that perfect brightness of hope. He forgets that he was baptized with fire, which brings about the remission of his sins. Therefore, it is imperative to press forward to obtain the “knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” as Peter taught in his epistle.

Knowledge saves. We cannot be saved in ignorance. In other words, we cannot be saved without knowing WHO it is that saves us. Knowing Jesus Christ is parting the veil, which keeps us from His presence because of unbelief. It is this veil, as Paul teaches the Corinthians in his second epistle, that is done away in Christ. It is being redeemed from the fall of Adam. It is the end result of entering in at the way, which is the gate spoken of above and pressing forward until one reaches the end. Most give up. Most wander off in unbelief. Some end up in the great and spacious building and point fingers and mock those who have pressed forward and reached the tree to partake of eternal salvation.

In summary dear reader, to be born of the Spirit occurs upon entering in at the gate, which is the beginning of the journey to come unto Christ–literally. But your journey is NOT over until you press forward to receive the greatest gift, even eternal life, which is to KNOW Jesus Christ who then makes His abode with you. When you enter in at the gate, you are blessed with the Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, being born of the Spirit. And if and when you finally arrive at the end of the straight and narrow path, you are blessed with the Second Comforter, even Jesus Christ, thus becoming fruitful in the knowledge of He who is mighty to save.

1 Corinthians 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

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