The Doctrine of Christ vs. the Moral and Ethical Teachings of Men

The Power of Moral and Ethical Principles

It’s exciting to read about great men and women of the past. I remember in 8th grade reading about George Washington and other men of renown who brought America into existence. I also remember the thrill I felt watching movies about brave men and women overcoming insurmountable difficulties and achieving hero status. The early pioneers are an example. The sacrifices that members of the “Greatest Generation” made during the dark days of the depression and World War II are awe inspiring. Paul Harvey had a radio program called, “The Rest of the Story”. It was always interesting to learn the “rest of the story” about men and women who had achieved much in this life because of their grit and determination.

The history of the world is filled with examples of men and women of dignity who gave their yesterdays so that we can enjoy the day we live in. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants.

The more we learn about these men and women the more we realize the place that moral and ethical teachings had in shaping them. The virtues of honesty and fair dealing are qualities these people exhibited, even when it was difficult to do so.

In truth, men and women can become noble human beings by learning and following the moral and ethical principles contained in philosophy and world religion.

The Power of the Doctrine of Christ

It’s exciting to read about great men and women of the past. I remember my mother reading Bible stories to me. The picture and words told stories about men and their families who kept the commandments and were blessed by God. Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, and Samson were among my favorites. When I was older I remember how I felt in Sunday school when I learned about heroic figures from the Book of Mormon and Church History.

On my mission I taught the discussions and marveled as I witnessed the power the Doctrine of Christ had on the lives of those we taught and baptized. 

When I was in college I began to understand more completely the power contained in the Doctrine of Christ. I enjoyed reading the biographies of early church members. I came to understand the transforming power the Doctrine of Christ had in their lives.

The Doctrine of Christ is based on the atonement. It is a redemptive system developed by Deity to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men and women who willingly make and keep covenants. The Doctrine of Christ or more simply stated, “the gospel” has power to make men and women gods. Every child has the potential to become like their parents, and so it’s possible to become like our parents. This can be accomplished by embracing the Doctrine of Christ.

The Works of Men and the Works of God

We live in a world where the works of men are all around us. Recently I went on a trip and used a GPS navigation system. It is truly an amazing way to travel. I thought about all that goes into one of these systems and realized just how much technology is represented in this electronic device.

While on this same trip I went to the temple and thought about how amazing a temple is. I thought about all that goes into one of our temples and realized just how much Heavenly Father has given us, and what is represented in the temple. A GPS system allows us to navigate the globe; the temple allows us to navigate the universe.

President John Taylor taught:

“A man, as a man, could arrive at all the dignity that a man was capable of obtaining or receiving; but it needed a God to raise him to the dignity of a God.” (The Mediation and Atonement, Deseret News Co., 1882, p. 145.)

The moral and ethical teachings of men allow us to arrive at the dignity of a man. The Doctrine of Christ (the gospel) provides us the potential to arrive at the dignity of a God.

Summary

One of the reasons I wrote this post is to remind myself and others that there is a difference in the power of God and the power of men. Each of us needs to remember keeping the commandments will not save us any more than going to the gym and eating the perfect diet will allow us avoid death.

We need Christ. If we over estimate what man can do compared to what God can do, then we get off course. As it is now, many blogs in the Bloggernacle keep the Doctrine of Christ out of sight, while the moral and ethical teachings of men are held in high esteem.

I hope to see the day in the Bloggernacle that the majority of the blog writers will clearly teach and testify from their own experience regarding the Doctrine of Christ. As Jeremiah wrote: “… for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD…” Jeremiah 31:34

The following verses describe the day we live in:

20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

(Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 28:20 – 26)

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