For those who have made covenants to follow Christ there is a simple plan that needs to be obeyed in order to realize the promised blessings. The following scripture clearly describes the plan and promise:
Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. 3 Nephi 27:20
In forty words the Savior succinctly explains the gospel plan. Receiving the Holy Ghost is the focal point of the gospel plan. In other words, the purpose of repentance and baptism is to receive the Holy Ghost. Without the Holy Ghost, repentance and baptism have no power to sanctify. And without becoming sanctified we cannot stand spotless before the Lord.
As Latter-day Saints we have many responsibilities. Following is a brief list of some of the things expected of us. There is no particular order to this list:
1. Visiting teaching/Home teaching
2. Attend the three hour block of meetings
3. Accept and magnify callings
4. Sustain church leaders
5. Keep the commandments
7. Pay tithing and offerings
8. Daily prayer
9. Have weekly home evenings
10. Every member a missionary
11. Home storage
12. Receive the priesthood
13. Serve a mission (especially young men)
14. Read the scriptures
15. Temple marriage
16. Regular temple attendance
The things contained on this list, in and of themselves, have no power to sanctify a follower of Christ. Putting it another way, the power to sanctify comes exclusively from the Holy Ghost. Diligently doing those things on the list might help us be better people, but being better people isn’t the ultimate goal of the gospel. We don’t need the gospel to become better people. We can do that on our own by following moral and ethical principles. Reformation is not the same as sanctification.
The only way we can be prepared to stand spotless before the Lord at the last day is by coming unto Christ and receiving the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a sanctifier and once we’ve been baptized we have the right to receive His companionship. Our focus needs to be on Christ. Otherwise, we can end up where five of the ten virgins found themselves. “Worthy”, but not sanctified.