As I’ve cruised the Bloggernacle over the last eight months, I’ve been impressed by those who write and comment in the various blogs. Most are faithful, testimony bearing Latter Day Saints, who have done much to build up the Kingdom.
Nearly all Bloggernaclist have had their faith challenged to one degree or another by an array of historical/doctrinal problems that have come to light. A few have left the church, yet still exhibit a love for the gospel, but most are settled in their faith and are waiting for further light and knowledge. However, their view of the church and church leaders has experienced a “paradigm shift”.
A few Bloggernaclist have communicated their struggle with the appetites of the flesh and appear to be entangled in sin.
Wherever we’re at on the continuum of faith, we can take the “next step” as a follower of Christ. The next step might be different for each of us, that isn’t the important part, but taking the next step is important if we’re determined to be “perfected in Christ”. The means each of us employs in taking the next step is similar; we need to surrender the natural man, and in doing so we’ll gain access to the divine nature. We know that the natural man is an enemy of God. Giving up the natural man isn’t easy, but it can be done, a piece at a time, if necessary.
The natural man that each of us inherits because of our flesh is on display 24/7, so it’s easy to observe in others and even in ourselves-when we’re willing to look. The Book of Mormon specifically identifies those qualities and characteristics of the natural man, and teaches us how to access the things of the spirit so we can put them off.
According to the scriptures there are many things we can do to please God, but some things are more pleasing to Him than others. I’m certain the number one thing we can do to please God is to seek diligently to put off the natural man through the atonement of Christ. The steps to doing this, as taught by Nephi, in his final message in the Book of Mormon follow.
Nephi calls these steps the Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31:11-13, 17-21):
2. be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son
3. the Father will give the Holy Ghost if we will
a. follow the Son with full purpose of heart
b. acting no hypocrisy and no deception
c. have real intent
d. take upon us the name of Christ
4. then cometh a remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost
5. then ye are in the strait and narrow path to eternal life
6. rely wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save
7. press forward with steadfastness in Christ
8. love God and all men
9. feast upon the words of Christ
10. endure to the end
Based on my experience, as one makes progress through these steps, continuing repentance is necessary, each step of the way.
Where are you in the process of coming to Christ as taught by the prophet Nephi? What is the next step you need to make?
I invited you to participate in a miracle. I wasn’t jesting; miracles accompany those who diligently apply the doctrine of Christ. I know this by my own experience (go here) and testify to the truth of these things. The Lord most often speaks to us in our minds and hearts, but not always. There are many other ways the Lord can communicate with us. He can use the ministering of angels (seen or unseen), visions, dreams, and the spoken word, to name a few. Don’t be surprised if these kinds of miracles are made available to you as you move through these steps.