Doctrine of Christ
Christ explained His Doctrine immediately following His instruction on baptism: Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me — and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the holy ghost beareth record of the Father and me — and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men everywhere to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved, and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father. And whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also, and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the holy ghost (3 Nephi 5:9). The Doctrine of Christ is connected to the ordinance of baptism. Once baptized, all can receive the Father’s testimony of His Son by the power of the holy ghost. It comes as a result of baptism. If Christ lays hands on someone, then that person can also confer the holy ghost by the laying on of hands. Even in the absence of such an ordained man, the holy ghost is given according to the Doctrine of Christ to any who repent and are baptized following His direction. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine. 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 establisheth 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 standeth open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. Therefore, go forth unto this people and declare the words which I have spoken unto the ends of the earth (3 Nephi 5:9). This is Christ’s doctrine, nothing more and certainly nothing less. This is His doctrine. This is the power of redemption. This is the way the holy ghost is obtained. This is not all of Christ’s teachings, tenets, precepts, covenants, commandments, or principles, but it is all of His doctrine. There is no more doctrine than this, according to Christ. The word “doctrine” is used very liberally among mankind. This was also the case when Joseph was alive, but Christ used the word very specifically and confined His doctrine to only a few statements. He accompanied it with the warning: Whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establisheth it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil and is not built upon my rock (3 Nephi 5:9). Sometimes the word “doctrine” is used when what is really meant is a “tenet,” “teaching,” “precept,” “principal,” or “covenant.” Christ has narrowly defined His doctrine and did so in order to avoid the “coming of evil.”1 “This doctrine of Christ will bring you in contact with God. You were meant to return to the Family you came from. It is the homecoming you have always felt was needed. You do not belong here. There is something higher, something more holy calling to you. It is not found in an institution, or program, or a ward, or office. It is only found in God, who is your home. The Doctrine of Christ is the doctrine of God’s return to be with you and abide with you. It is Him coming to sup with you. He has been knocking at the door all these years seeking entry into your life (Revelation 1:20). If you let Him come in, He will prepare a throne for you (Revelation 1:20). Only those who have descended will be permitted to rise. Only those who humble themselves can be exalted (Matthew 10:26).”2 The reason for this doctrine is that it will allow those who accept and follow it to endure against all enemies. It will allow them to prevail. Even the “gates of hell shall not prevail against them,” meaning that death and hell can have no claim upon them. They will not be taken captive, either in this world or when they leave this world.3See also GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
1 Preserving the Restoration, 517–518.
2 “2 Nephi 31:18,” Aug. 29, 2010, blog post.
3 “3 Nephi 11:39,” Sept. 30, 2010, blog post.