April 24, 2012

General Conference Week 2: The Doctrine of Christ

So... I may or may not be a week behind on my General Conference challenge. Whoops.

I chose Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk entitled "The Doctrine of Christ" for my Week 2 studying. Figuring out what is official church doctrine and how it's made is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. After listening to this talk, here's what I've learned"

1- The doctrine of Christ is simple. It tells us what we need to do to return to God's presence. Namely:

    1. Faith in Jesus Christ
    2. Repentance
    3. Baptism
    4. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
    5. Enduring to the end

2- There's a lot we don't know.

3- What we DO know has come by divine revelation.

4- We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. This belief is one that sets the LDS Church apart. We believe in living prophets and apostles and in continuing, modern revelation.

5- God speaks to us today through prophets. We sustain some of the General Authorities of the Church (the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) as prophets, seers, and revelators. This means "they have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church" who is THE Prophet, Seer, and Revelator for the whole Church.

6- God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. Sometimes, He will modify a practice or reveal a more complete doctrinal understanding to us, but the core principles of His doctrine never change. An example of this is when Peter received revelation to extend preaching of the gospel unto the Gentiles.

7- "How does the Savior reveal his will and doctrine to prophets, seers, and revelators? He may act by messenger or in His own person. He may speak by His own voice or by the voice of the Holy Spirit -- a communication of Spirit to spirit that may be expressed in words or feelings that convey understanding beyond words. He may direct Himself to His servants individually or acting in council."

8- Prophets are men, and not everything they say is direct revelation from God. Only what is spoken in their capacity as a prophet is considered revelation for the Church.

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