And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Doctrine of Christ

The Lord tells us the following about the doctrine of Christ.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine [After expounding it], and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 
And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
3 Nephi11:39-40
If any man declares more or less than what He has established he cometh of evil and is not built upon the Rock. This is a striking declaration from the Savior. It shows the strict line one must walk to return to his presence. It shows the great burden it places upon each of us to not only know the doctrine for ourselves but make sure we follow this admonition seriously and carefully. We may not be perfect but if we ever want to be Zion we must learn how to do precisely what Christ asks us to do and become precisely like Him.

The Doctrine and Covenants gives us another view of this doctrine.
And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them
Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery; 
For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts; 
 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. 
Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
He is unfolding a mystery here! We should take heed. There were many contentions so he taught this to do away with them. Christ's Gospel is a gospel where we accept each other even with differing personal beliefs, but we will have the core understanding of the Doctrine of Christ and all will be obeying the will of the Lord

Again the Lord tells us, those who repents and cometh unto Him, IS His Church. Know ye not the kingdom of God is within you? This is a warning the Savior gives to His disiples about the last days as well.
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  
Luke 17:21
Many will say lo here, or lo there in the last days. Joseph Smith spoke about his experience in Joseph Smith History Verse 5. Perhaps this will be another post.

Each of us are to be built upon His rock, His doctrine, and if we do that we shall not fall. Not another man, not another servant, prophet, priest, or king, But Jesus Christ Only. For He is the keeper of the Gate and he employeth no servant there (2 Nephi 9:41)

So what is the Doctrine of Christ?

The Doctrine is outlined in 2 Nephi 31:17-21; 32:1-7. 
...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. 
 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. (Ch 31, vs 17-18)
Repentance, Baptism by Water, baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost is the gospel along with faith. One enters the path by receiving the Holy Ghost (Baptism by fire and the holy ghost).Verse 21 tells us this is the doctrine of Christ, verse 20 tells us to pressforward, feasting upon the words of Christ (which we will hear His words through the Holy Ghost) and endure to the end. 

So what does it mean to endure to the End? Also why is the name "the end" also given to Jesus Christ? Is it pointing us to Him, or "endure to Christ" that we may have eternal life? Chapter 32 touches on this a little more.
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts? (vs 1)
So how did we enter in by the Way? Verse 17 from chapter 31 told us. Repentance, Baptism, and the remission of sins by fire and the holy ghost (baptism by fire and the holy ghost). Now that we are on the way what should we do? He really did see our day didn't he? I have asked this question many times.

Verse 2, "angels speak by the power of the holy ghost", and in verse 3 Nephi states "I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." So here we feast upon His words so that we can receive revelation, or the spirit of prophecy, through the Holy ghost to be guided in all things. (vs 5) 

Now he ends talking about the doctrine of Christ in verses 6-7.
Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do. 
And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.
These verses should be taken literally. I would like to suggest that verse 6 refers to YOU. That no more doctrine (more or less) will be given until he shall manifest (appear) unto you in the flesh. Verse 7 tell us why more is not given. Unbelief, wickedness, ignorance, stiffneckedness, will not search knowledge, nor understand it. This is the purpose of the Holy Ghost. To bring us to the Son, Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ brings us to the Father. We receive the Holy Ghost by listening to the Light of Christ.

This is the doctrine of Christ. Here is what Joseph Smith expounded on these same principles. Here I will simply Quote what Joseph Smith has already written. I hope I have laid out the basic doctrine of Christ. Of course each principle expands in many directions but it all ties back into Faith, repentance, baptism by water, baptism by fire and the holy ghost, and receiving Christ as the Second Comforter.

Willard Richards 2 Pocket Companion Other important items of doctrines from Joseph given in Commerce Ills On the Doctrines of Faith

Faith: comes by hearing the word of God 3 through the testimony of the Servants of God, that Testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy & Revelation
Repentance: Is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression & daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God

Baptism: Is a holy ordinance preparatory to the reception of the Holy Ghost. It is the channel & Key by which the Holy Ghost will be administered The gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands cannot be received through the medium of any other principle. than the principle of Righteousness, for if the proposals are not complied with it is of no use but withdraws.

The doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead & Eternal Judgment are necessary to preach among the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Doctrine of Election [Calling and Election] ...
Second Comforter ...

Widtsoe, John A.; Whitney, Orson F.; Roberts, B. H.; Smith, Joseph Fielding; Smith, Joseph; Ehat, Andrew; Smith, Lucy Mack; Cannon, George Q.; Taylor, John (2012-02-25). Words of Joseph Smith - Deluxe Study Edition including the LDS Standar Works, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, History of the Church, History of Joseph by His Mother, and More (Kindle Locations 245-289).Packard Technologies. Kindle Edition.
Also found here: (Some things were omitted from the original quote that one can read at this link as they do relate)

I have only attempted to outline the basics of the Doctrine of Christ and the need for us to understand it. I will like to add also what Joseph Smith said elsewhere.

“Oh! I beseech you to forward, go forward and make your calling and your election sure and if any man preach any other gospel with that which I have preached, he shall be cursed.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 366-367)

This is consistent with Galatians 1:8-9 . The main thing I wanted to bring up here is that Calling and election and the Second Comforter are a part of the core gospel of Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ is the fullness of the gospel. The gospel leads us to the fullness, Jesus Christ. These things must be sought after and anything “less or more” than this they shall “be cursed”. Have I expounded less or more? Most likely J. But the scriptures are there already so I will leave it at this to expound themselves further.

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