First Principles and Ordinances

The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple

Familiarity can lead to a kind of blindness in life and in religion. The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are particularly at risk for neglectful misunderstanding. Author Samuel M. Brown offers a fresh approach by asking how our relationship with God and others can transform our understanding of the gospel basics of faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. By weaving a tapestry of personal stories, scripture, and history, Brown shows how the truths taught in the highest Temple ordinances relate to the first principles of the gospel. Get to know the Fourth Article of Faith all over again in this intellectually and spiritually stimulating book.


About the Author

Samuel M. Brown

Samuel M. Brown is Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah and an intensive care physician in the Shock Trauma ICU at Intermountain Medical Center. His latest book on Latter-day Saint history and theology, Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism was published by Oxford University Press in 2020 and his award-winning book In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. His previous contribution to the Maxwell Institute's Living Faith Series, First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple, was published in 2014. He is also translator of Aleksandr Men’s Son of Man: The Story of Christ and Christianity (Oakwood Publications, 1998). 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Faith, Fidelity, Faithfulness
  • 2. Repentance, Atonement, Community
  • 3. Ordinances: The Power of God is Manifest
  • 4. Baptism and the Hosts of Heaven
  • 5. The Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • 6. Everything Speaks of the Temple
  • Afterword
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Publication Information

  • Subject: Mormon Studies
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2880-1
  • Page Count: 176
  • Price: $ 16.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)