The Fifth Principle and Ordinance of the Gospel
“Eternal life, or celestial glory or exaltation, is a conditional gift. Conditions of this gift have been established by the Lord who said, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God. Those qualifying conditions include faith in the Lord, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and remaining faithful to the ordinances and covenants of the temple.”
“Enduring to the end implies “patient continuance in well doing” (Romans 2:7), striving to keep the commandments (see 2 Nephi 31:10), and doing the works of righteousness (see D&C 59:23). It requires sacrifice and hard work. To endure to the end, we need to trust our Father in Heaven and make wise choices, including paying our tithes and offerings, honoring our temple covenants, and serving the Lord and one another willingly and faithfully in our Church callings and responsibilities. It means strength of character, selflessness, and humility; it means integrity and honesty to the Lord and our fellowmen. It means making our homes strong places of defense and a refuge against worldly evils…”
A farmer and his son were out hunting in the mountains and came across a young eagle. Since the eagle’s nest was so high up, they decided to keep it. They brought it home and put it in the chicken coop and fed it chicken feed. Five years later a naturalist came to see the farmer and after passing through the garden he said to the farmer, “That bird is an eagle, not a chicken.” “Yes,” said the farmer. “But I have trained it to be a chicken. It is no longer an eagle, it is a chicken,” “No,” said the naturalist. “It is an eagle still; it has the heart of an eagle, and I will make it soar up to the heavens.” “No,” said the farmer. “It is a chicken and it will never fly.” They agreed to test it the next morning. The naturalist picked up the eagle and said to it, “Eagle, thou art an Eagle, stretch for thy wings and fly.” The eagle turned this way and that and then, looking down, saw the chickens eating their food, and down he jumped. The farmer said, “I told you it was a chicken,” “No,” said the naturalist. “It is an eagle, give it another chance tomorrow.” So the next day he took it to the top of the barn and said, “Eagle thou art an eagle; stretch forth thy wings and fly.” But again the eagle seeing the chickens feeding, floated down and fed with them. The farmer then said again, “I told you it was a chicken.” “No,” asserted the naturalist. “It is an eagle and still has the heart of an eagle. Only give it one more chance, and I will make it fly tomorrow.” The next morning they arose early and took the eagle outside of town, to the top of the high mountain. The naturalist picked up the eagle and said, “Eagle thou art an eagle, stretch forth thy wings and fly.” But the eagle just shivered. He then pointed the eagle directly towards the newly rising sun and added these words to it. “Eagle thou art an eagle. Thou dost belong to the sky and not to this earth. Stretch forth they wings and fly.” The eagle looked around and trembled as if new life were coming to it and suddenly it stretched out its wings and, with the screech of an eagle, it flew.