Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, "This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God's presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3).
"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).
Nephi emphasized that after we have entered this "strait and narrow path," we must endure to the end in faith:
"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.
"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" (2 Nephi 31:19–20).
After we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, much of our progress toward eternal life depends on our receiving other ordinances of salvation: for men, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood; for men and women, the temple endowment and marriage sealing. When we receive these ordinances and keep the covenants that accompany them, we prepare ourselves to inherit eternal life.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 52–53
"Eternal Life through Jesus Christ"
John M. Madsen, Liahona, July 2002, 87–88; or Ensign, May 2002, 78–79
To know the Lord Jesus Christ, we and all mankind must receive Him. . . . To receive Him, we must receive the fulness of His gospel.
"Have You Been Saved?"
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 1998, 55–57
As Latter-day Saints use the words saved and salvation, there are at least six different meanings.
Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 86–88
We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. . . . It can come in full only after the Resurrection and only through the Lord.
"The Path to Eternal Life"
Delbert L. Stapley, Ensign, Jan. 1974, 42–45
Through revelation, God has given the gospel plan of salvation and exaltation for men to live by.
Guide to the Scriptures
"Preparing for Eternal Progression"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 13
"Salvation through Jesus Christ"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 40
"Walking in the Path That Leads to Life Eternal"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, Chapter 3
"The Way to Eternal Life"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, Chapter 1