Everyone is in a different place with respect to Christ’s doctrine (the gospel; the doctrine of Christ). Some are very new to this and have not even read The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. For that situation, I highly recommend you follow the link and commit to studying it all the way through first.
I have had other conversations with those whose hearts are full and desire to fulfill the doctrine of Christ but do not know where to start or literally ask, “what do I do next?” Some have formally started their journey but are stuck or have been sidetracked and want to return with a new commitment. This post is for those that have completed the Study Guide or guides (there is more than one) and whose desire it is to simply move forward.
I am not a huge fan of prescribed checklists. It is a hard thing to offer someone while also expressing to someone how personal and customized one’s own journey really is. The last thing I want to do is to offer something to you that prescribes a must-do or have-to-do. So, please let me be clear that the reason I am offering this in a sequence is simply to be a guide of sorts. The entire process is rooted in the principle of working with the Lord in a mentor-apprentice relationship. Since there are probably a hundred other ways to demonstrate or fulfill that principle, the sequence I provided is not infallible, it is generalized, and could be done totally different. So, as always, take these comments or guidance to the Lord for how this is best applied to you and your circumstances.
In general, you should develop your relationship with the Lord through the following pattern of always petitioning the Lord for what you personally need “next”. This is possible because of the omniscience, omnipotence, and the perfect justice and mercy of God.
1. Assess where you are now with respect to the doctrine of Christ. Identify what milestone is next in the Doctrine of Christ. This is why it is so important to have studied The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide–to understand the universal path. Remember, “the path outlined in Christ’s doctrine as found in scripture will be the same for everyone however, each person will have their own unique journey on that path.”
2. Tell the Lord that you desire to come unto Him. Express yourself openly, honestly, and with complete transparency. God already knows you and your situation. Humble yourself and cry out to God with your whole soul.
“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens” (Enos 1:4).
The experience of Peter petitioning the Lord for permission to come out of the boat and approach the Lord by walking on the water is a great metaphor for your journey to the Lord. Peter is asking to come out of his safe and comfortable place (the boat) through an uncomfortable means or process (by walking on the water). The purpose is to come into the presence of the Lord who is already walking on the water.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:22-33).
More on this is found in The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide here.
3. Covenant and commit to the Lord that you will seek to come unto Him.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments [personal commandments], and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism [water baptism signifies initiating the covenant; signifies death and burial].
16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.
4. Give Him permission to give you the next experience you need to come closer to Him. Pray each day for that next experience. He knows what you need. Again, He makes it possible because of His omniscience, omnipotence, and His perfect justice and mercy.
5. Seek to recognize the experience when it happens and confirm that experience with the Lord. Seek counsel and direction from the Lord throughout the entire experience. This is where it is so important to take counsel task by task–“Lord/Father, I did [blank]. Is it well? [If yes] Ok, now what would you like me to do?”
6. Praise the Lord for the experience and discuss the experience with Him. Ask the Lord to reveal what you need to learn. What did you do correctly (according to the Lord’s will)? What could you have done differently that was more aligned with the Lord’s will.
7. Repeat, starting again.
JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on complimentary, online Study Guides to help you learn, believe, live and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).
Blog posts are intended to supplement the Study Guides. Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation. Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to come into His presence while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org