I’ve really enjoyed studying the Doctrine of Christ this week for my Book of Mormon religion class. The BYU-Idaho Pathway program is changing my life. I seriously feel like I’m living my life backwards and feel so grateful to have this inspired opportunity (because of technology) to seek higher education at this stage of my life.

I’m grateful to know that learning is a life-long endeavor because knowledge is a thing of eternal worth. I will say, however, that this experience is teaching me better what it means to be humble. We are at our most humble when we are teachable – and these days, I am definitely that, as I desire to better understand and know my path going forward.

Which is why, I believe, finding a deeper understanding to the application of the “Doctrine of Christ” was so meaningful to me as I studied, in particular, 2 Nephi Chapter 31 this week.

The Doctrine of Christ is intended to set us on a qualified course, guided by the Holy Ghost, back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. After Nephi had, painstakingly, taught each required step along this path (faith, repentance, baptism, receive HG) he taught us how to proceed from that point forward.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

To “press forward” describes the circumstances in which true disciples of Jesus Christ find themselves as they strive to keep sacred covenants in a world contrary to God. To “press forward” in this context then, is to prove oneself in the midst of oncoming opposition. We do this, successfully, as we seek God’s grace through the Atonement. The promise then is that as we continue to “press forward” and feast upon “the word,” continually, we shall obtain “eternal life.”

In other words, once we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost the real “test” begins. We should expect our faith to be challenged, frequently. These opportunities, if you will, become the way to develop greater faith in Jesus Christ as "the way, the truth and the life."

The Doctrine of Christ is the established pattern, and path, by which we may return to the presence of God. As we press daily to "come unto Christ" by following the Spirit, we learn to trust God and his plan for us, personally, and all of his children.

There's no question that we are living during a time of much opposition to eternal truth -- perhaps more so than ever before in the history of the world. Satan is on a rampage! His desire is for us to lose our faith by doubting the truths of the gospel and/or our leaders. Nephi saw our day and understood what it would require for us to stand under such circumstances. He knew what we would be up against, thus his admonition that we must "press forward" with "a perfect brightness of hope and a love of all men"!

Kathryn Skaggs

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