doctrine of Christ
Week 04 is scheduled for study Jan. 17-23, 2022. We have to look in modern scriptures to see most of it, but the doctrine of Christ is everywhere from Adam’s time through today.

Day 1

As you read and ponder Genesis 5 and Moses 6, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What messages do you find that are valuable to you and your family?

Moses 6:26-36 – A prophet is a seer.

Let’s look at some of these verses backwards as we think about what it means to have a seer among us. I have abbreviated some verses so as to only present the parts I want to highlight.

36 And he beheld the spirits that God had created; and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye; …

37 And it came to pass that Enoch went forth … and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.

Am all alone here, or is it more comfortable imagining Enoch being a seer and seeing things not visible to the naked eye, than it is to think of our current prophet and apostles as seers? Somehow, it is easier for me to think of some person from six thousand years ago being able to do these things than someone who lives and walks among us now. For a sinner, this is a scary thing. To have someone able to see what your particular sin is, and declare it publicly – is it any wonder people were offended? Most sinners prefer the privacy and cloak of darkness so their sins feel like they are their own, and not seen by anyone else. Guilt makes cowards of us all.

27 And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off;

28 And for these many generations, ever since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments, which I gave unto their father, Adam.

29 Wherefore, they have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not;

30 And this is a decree, which I have sent forth in the beginning of the world, from my own mouth, from the foundation thereof, and by the mouths of my servants, thy fathers, have I decreed it, even as it shall be sent forth in the world, unto the ends thereof.

What is the decree God prepared from the foundation of the world? Verse 30 doesn’t specify what that decree is, but if we assume His decree is about the last thing he talked about, we have to look back at verse 29. Verse 29 tells us that the people forswore themselves. That means they made promises, or declared themselves, then they did what they swore they didn’t or wouldn’t do. In other words, they perjured themselves. They lied to God. They made themselves hypocrites and false swearers before the Lord.

The people, because they swore to God one thing, because they were taught one thing, but rebelled against it and did something else, had earned a place of punishment God calls hell. From the beginning or foundation of the world, God promised that those who do such things as devise evil and break covenants, etc. will, if they don’t repent, go to hell.

Verses 28-30 tell us why the people were offended by the words of Enoch. This also explains why people are offended with the prophets today. Those who are obedient to the commandments have no need to feel guilty. It is the person who has gone astray doctrinally, or morally, who takes offense when the prophet speaks of their evils and their need to repent. None of us likes to think that our private sins are being talked about openly, or that God has prepared a special place for people who don’t repent and like to participate in our own flavor of wickedness. Such talk makes us squirm, for it violates our hopes that our sins remain hidden from the eyes of others. We’re back to the notion that sinners are almost always hypocrites in some way. It is difficult not to be a hypocrite when we aren’t deliberately sinning, but the deliberate sinner is almost always a hypocrite.

Being a seer is not a popular thing to be. They see things we prefer remain hidden, and they understand things we cannot even comprehend. As a result of what God shows them, seers must declare the word of God to the people. They do this boldly, knowing it will cause offense and discomfort. But it is precisely this ability to see what others can’t see that makes a seer so valuable. They see far into the future. They understand the end of the course we have all set ourselves on, and they declare what our end result will be if we don’t repent, which means to change our ways. Only when we return to God and live as He has directed us can we avoid the end results of what the seers prophesy lies ahead of us.

What do you think? When our prophet tells us that in coming days if we don’t learn to have the constant influence of the Holy Ghost we won’t be able to survive spiritually, do you think he is just making these things up? Or perhaps he actually sees something ahead that we don’t see, and he is giving us a chance to prepare for the way things really will be in a few years. Remember that it was a seer who gave us the proclamation on the family at least 10-15 years before it became a great blessing to the Church. At the time, the contents of the proclamation were widely accepted as standard knowledge, but within a couple of decades the world had changed so much that the statements within the proclamation seemed almost radical compared to the world’s new norms.

Seers don’t tell us everything they see. Often they don’t themselves know all the specifics, but the Lord has told them to prepare the people by doing certain things. These things they declare with boldness, because they know obedience to the Lord’s directions will be the salvation of the people. We need to have as much faith in our seer as he has in the Lord who sent him to warn us.

Day 2

As you read and ponder Genesis 5 and Moses 6, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What messages do you find that are valuable to you and your family?

Moses 6:26-47 – God calls us to do His work despite our inadequacies.

In the Old Testament we have at least two great examples of the Lord calling someone to speak for Him who had an actual physical handicap in the area of speaking to others. I am sure that when Moses received the revelation on Enoch, he was relieved that he wasn’t the only one the Lord had called who was slow of speech. This gives credence to our current teaching in the Church that the Lord qualifies those whom He calls. He doesn’t just call those who are currently qualified for the job at hand. Often when we are called we are unprepared in any number of ways for the calling we receive.

Why doesn’t the Lord honor or respect our inadequacies when He calls us to positions in the Church? I believe the answer is that the Lord not only knows what we are capable of, but what He is capable of. If He needs us to understand new things for our calling, He can help us understand what we need to in order to fulfill our calling. If we need to have physical strength for our calling, He can provide us with the stamina to get us through it. All He asks is that we give Him a chance to step in and supplement our inadequacies, for He will when we put our faith in Him. Our inadequacies seem to be a much bigger deal to us than they are to the Lord. All He wants is our willing heart.

Day 3

As you read and ponder Genesis 5 and Moses 6, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What messages do you find that are valuable to you and your family?

Moses 6:48-68 – The doctrine of Christ is central to God’s plan of salvation.

Here are the basic doctrines Christ wants all people in every generation of the earth to know. This is what we refer to as the doctrine of Christ.

48 – Adam’s fall brought not only us, but death into the world.

49 – Because we are in this world being tempted by Satan, we are carnal, sensual, and devilish and are shut out of the presence of God.

50 – God has declared that we must all repent.

51 – God has always revealed Himself to His children.

52 and 57 – Salvation comes only through repentance and faith on the name of Jesus Christ. This is a universal requirement in order to be saved from punishment for our sins. If we come to Christ and are baptized, He will give us the Holy Ghost who will teach us all things.

58 – We are to teach these things freely to our children.

68 – All of us can become one with God and become His sons and daughters.

There are other verses that give more information about these same principles, but these are the basics of what constitutes the doctrine of Christ. This has been taught, unchanged, since the creation of Adam. Unfortunately, much of this doctrine has been lost in our scriptures over the last six thousand years. Only the basic stories remain in the Old Testament. We only get bits and pieces of the doctrine of Christ, for most of it has been removed over the millennia by wicked men. This is our challenge this year as we read the Old Testament – see how often you can find remnants of the doctrine of Christ scattered throughout the text. It is there, but we will have to be looking for it.

Day 4

As you read and ponder Genesis 5 and Moses 6, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What messages do you find that are valuable to you and your family?

Moses 6:51-62 – “Teach these things freely unto your children.”

This is one of those evidences that Satan has been busy masking and perverting the truth from the very beginning. We don’t see this doctrine taught anywhere in Genesis, yet it is so clearly stated in the book of Moses. Awww, the wonders of modern revelation.

We often feel embarrassed if we have one or more children who are less than stellar in their Church attendance or in their belief in the doctrines of the Church. We look around at others and see “perfect” families where all the children marry in the temple and seem to have happy, well adjusted lives. Well here is a bit of hope for you. Consider Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve lived for more than 900 years together. In this time they were having children and raising their family. And their children were having children, and those children were having children, etc. By the time Adam and Eve died, there must have been millions of descendants. Adam did as he was told. He taught the doctrine of Christ freely to his children. Yet within about 700 years of Adam’s death the Lord had to destroy all of humanity. Why? Because they had fully embraced Satan and his secret covenants of evil. Adam’s children had almost all turned away from the truths God had given Adam.

I am confident that this hurt our first parents. To have almost all of their children turn away from the Lord, that which gave them their greatest hopes for their future, had to be painful. But then personal worthiness is all any of us have to rely on.  Our salvation is not based on the worthiness of our children. Their salvation, if they were taught properly by us, because we taught them the doctrine of Christ freely, is between them and the Lord. Their sins won’t be on our heads if we have done our best to teach them of Christ, and set for them a good example.

Adam and Eve taught their children freely of Christ, and lived to see relatively few of them remain faithful to God. We really shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations that our children will all turn out perfect and happy. That is just simply not the pattern in this life. Even if our immediate children are obedient, we can’t guarantee the spiritual safety of our grand or great grandchildren. All we can do is continue to teach the doctrine of Christ freely, and set the example of a Christlike life, just like Christ did.

FHE/Personal Study

Genesis 5; Moses 6:5-25, 46 – The Book of Remembrance

My concern is not so much about the Book of Remembrance specifically, but their writings generally. Adam and his posterity kept records, as commanded by God to do so. Abraham said he had these records as they had been handed down from his fathers (Abraham 1:28).

28 But I shall endeavor, hereafter, to delineate the chronology running back from myself to the beginning of the creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time.

The scriptures only refer to the records that came down from Adam as a book of remembrance, and all we have from that book is the genealogical listing of who gave birth to whom. But I ask you, if you read the book of Abraham or the book of Moses, and you see the rich detail of their revelations and their lives, do you really think this book of remembrance was only about genealogy? My guess is that Adam’s book of remembrance had all the revelations from each of the subsequent generations of prophets, and that the book Abraham received had all the revelations and accounts of life from the creation down to at least Noah’s time. But I have no way to prove this. It only makes sense to me that the Lord would have commanded them to record their revelations and lives just as He commanded every other prophet down through history.

My point here is that somewhere there is a massive treasure trove full of detail and beauty of the lives of these patriarchs. Their records have been lost to us, though the Lord knows where they are. What we have in our scriptures is the barest of accounts, containing only the scantiest of details. Now let’s consider a record a little closer to home, that of the Nephites.

Compared to the Biblical record, our knowledge of the Nephites is rich and full. Yet time and again in the Nephite record we read things like this verse from 2 Nephi 10:3.

Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name—should come among the Jews, …

Jesus Christ has been the name given through which salvation is to be had among all the children of men. Yet over and over again, the Lord has had to reveal that this is the name of their redeemer. Why? Because from generation to generation it keeps getting lost! Even in the Book of Mormon we see more than one reference to the Lord having to reveal the name of the redeemer to the Nephites, because it had been lost to them. They had the records, because the righteous wrote records, but the records weren’t being read by those writing the prophecies, evidently. It wasn’t until Mormon went searching among the records to fill in blanks in his record that he stumbled across many of these prophets who even he evidently hadn’t heard of, or didn’t know of their history.

This means that all we have of our rich story of the Nephites and Lamanites is more like the Bible than we care to think of. There are prophets mentioned in the Book of Mormon for which we have no record, except for the quotes the Book of Mormon prophets give us. Without righteous people constantly writing down their life’s history and their dealings with the Lord, we wouldn’t have most of what we have now in the way of scriptures. This is why the Lord commands us to write our personal histories. It isn’t so much that He wants to use our little lives as the basis for new scriptures. It is because what is written can be used to bolster faith in Christ, and to introduce those who haven’t been initiated into who and what the Christ is, to all the wonderful things He does for each of those who come to Him and follow His ways.

My record may only be useful to a small handful of my posterity, for who else would find any interest in my life? But we never know what the Lord will do with what we do in this life to save the lives of His other children. Our only responsibility is to write the record. Just imagine how much more beauty we might have before us if more of the records of the ancient prophets had been kept and preserved for us to read today. The evidences we would have of the Lord’s dealings with us, as His children, would be staggering to see.

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OT04-2022 – Teach These Things Freely

Week 04