Teaching Doctrine of Christ Is Central to Missionary Work
Contributed By By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
If there is one thing that is central to missionary work, it is what is known as the doctrine of Christ, Elder David F. Evans said January 14 during the opening session of the 2014 Seminar for New Missionary Training Center Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors.
“The reason we call it the doctrine of Christ is because that’s what Nephi called it,” said Elder Evans of the Seventy, who is Executive Director of the Missionary Department. When the Savior taught it, He referred to it as “my doctrine,” Elder Evans added.
“Once you become familiar with it, you’re going to find the doctrine of Christ is sprinkled through every prophet’s teachings [in the Book of Mormon],” he said. “Nephi teaches it with great clarity, but so does Mosiah, Alma, King Benjamin.”
The terms “doctrine of Christ” and “doctrine of the gospel” are used interchangeably in scripture, Elder Evans said.
He defined it as faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to repentance, which leads to the firstfruits of repentance, or baptism, which then leads to the gift of the Holy Ghost, followed by enduring to the end.
He read from scriptures that teach the doctrine of Christ, including 2 Nephi 31, which, in part, tells why Christ was baptized and that all must follow Christ and endure to the end.
“One of the ways you might teach obedience is by starting with the doctrine of Christ and the Savior’s willingness to be obedient, that He came to do the will of His Father and He humbled Himself and committed Himself to be obedient,” Elder Evans said.
He said that in accordance with instruction from President Thomas S. Monson, missionaries today are being instructed to work longer with people to help them apply all aspects of the doctrine of Christ, including enduring to the end.
The Provo Missionary Training Center choir, under the direction of Ryan Eggett, provides music on January 14 during a devotional held in conjunction with the 2014 Seminar for New Missionary Training Center Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.