οὕτως (In This Way - In This Manner) Christs Doctrine
οὕτως is a greek word and is pronounced "houtó and houtós"
Another way to to understand the meaning in our Mormon vernacular is "on this wise" or in other modern comprehension; …what proceeds or follows from this - after that, or after (in) this manner, as, even (so), for all that, like(-wise), no more than this, on this fashion (-wise), so (in like manner, thus, (verily, verily) - I am telling you the truth, exactitude - in keeping with)
This brings me to the point of this blog post.
In 3rd Nephi 5:8 We enter into the account of Nephi being commanded by the Lord to come forth, and in obedience he arises and comes to the Lord before his people who are watching this unfold; then Nephi bows himself and kisses the Lords feet. The Lord commands him to arise and much to Nephi's hesitancy, due to the holiness and what is coming out of the Lords heart, Nephi stands before Him and the Lord gives unto him power to baptize and then He calls others.
"And again, the Lord called others and said unto them likewise, and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them, On this wise shall ye baptize, and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying, Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water and come forth again out of the water. And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name, for behold, verily I say unto you that the Father and the Son and the holy ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. And according as I have commanded you, thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there hath hitherto been, neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there hath hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the Devil, who is the father of contention; and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another, but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."
See how many times the Lord repeats the 'houtó' but in different phrases? I count at least 8 times in the one verse. If space to etch on the pates was so limited, why would the Lord repeat the same wordage over and over? What is the Lord trying to make us notice and take seriously?
We know that all those who received this power would not have doubted about the authority to perform the ordinance in the Lords Name. Also these chosen servants would have already been previously baptized and all those present observing the formality would have no doubt as to the validity of the authority bestowed on the 12 and, I am sure each person there would have recognized the need to be rebaptized in this new season upon them. One thing is very clear though, all present would have desired receive the ordinance or newly bestowed power Christ had Himself, given.
Just like then, today a new season has begun, think back to Sept 9th 2014 when the final talk (10) in the 40 years in Mormonism Lecture Series came to completion and we were told...
"This is Christ's doctrine. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. This is His doctrine. This is the power of redemption. This is the means by which the Holy Ghost is given. It is the Holy Ghost, which when given, bears record of all things. The Holy Ghost teaches you. Believe in Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and become as a little child. There is no more inquisitive creature on the planet than a little child. That is who you are to become. You should hunger and search for understanding. This is all of the doctrine. There is no more doctrine. This is not all of the teachings, nor all the tenants, nor all the precepts, nor all the covenants, nor all of the commandments, nor all of the principles, but it is all of the doctrine. There is no more doctrine than this, according to Christ...
"But we should remember, that though we use the term loosely today Christ was very serious about confining His doctrine to these few statements. He accompanied it with the warning:
"Whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock...
"It was the Doctrine of Christ at the time of Nephi some six centuries before the Lord’s ministry; it remains the Doctrine of Christ in the Restoration. Between these, it was the doctrine the Lord taught in His own voice to the Nephites in 3 Nephi. That is the doctrine. Preach Christ's doctrine to any who will receive it, baptize them. It doesn’t if they have never been members of any church. It does not matter if it is a Catholic priest that comes to you. It does not matter if it is a Mormon Apostle in any of the Restoration churches. If they are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Baptist, and they come to you and accept the Doctrine of Christ, baptize them. There is a coming time of distress. Those who believe Christ’s doctrine will need to have the baptism you will minister to survive the judgments to come. This is the only way they can face Him when He comes again."
Today, new power has been given, so we ought to make use of it while the heavens are open, the administrator is upon the earth and the Lord grants us repentance today. From Christ's direct words, quoting the commandments of the Father, it is a very serious thing to make sure we do not neglect or change the ordinance. The power of redemption is lost to us when we perform this service for another in neglect.
There is no more doctrine than this, according to Christ...
Accord: Agreement, Harmony of minds, An accord of light or sound, Voluntary will of the person/s, To make an agreement between two parties, The Mediator of the accord or in other words, to keep the commandments and keep the covenant.
Who do we want to make an 'accord' with? The Lord Himself or to some other end?
In 3 Nephi 6:11 Why would the Lord say to some in that day: "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
I recently learned that another level of meaning of the word "Keep" is to stay within the bounds the Lord has prescribed.
Since the Book of Mormon lays the matter out beyond doubt, that the Lord Himself gives the precise instruction on how to perform his Doctrine with the accompanying power, can we then change the ordinance?
Joseph Smith said “And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. There is a law, irrevocably decreed in Heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated — and ”
Joseph Smith also said, “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”
If the Law was decreed BEFORE the foundations of this world and cannot be changed, reversed or altered; then what right have we, who did not lay the plan, set boundaries to the waters nor apply the compass to establish the order of creation...what keys do we have authorizing us to change the manner of baptism?
On the other hand, what slight allowances might be made to accommodate those who are bedridden, infirm, of old age or ill? Would this allow for a slight deviation to accommodate the persons physical needs? Might this be the only merciful exception allowed in order to perform the ordinance for the one seeking to take upon them the Name of Christ?
The problem comes when this rare exception becomes the norm and wording is changed and over time the ordinance becomes altered and broken. It is powerlessness.
We can also change the ordinance through our ambition, even if we have correct understanding of a mystery, if that law wasn’t established by the Gods from before the foundation of this creation, it is powerless. It is improvising and out of season.
If the dispensation head cannot change the ordinance of baptism as Christ explained it in 3rd Nephi, despite the minister having keys, what does this mean for the other ordinances, does this 'before the foundations' rule apply?
How would you be able to recognize a true servant from misguided one? Could we trust todays authorized minister if he decided to change the ordinance? Is there a connection between power to baptize and the right to change the ordinance? For those who do not know better, would that make the Lord a liar from the beginning?
What if there is no higher and lower order of baptism?
Maybe something more in the form of additional ordinances might be given in the correct season when we have a people willing and eager to receive commandments not a few and also revelations from the Lord in connection with Zion. I think this will be given in a temple under the hand, through the direction of the High Priest; in fact, I believe it to be so but I do not yet comprehend what that will look like and that doesn't mean we understand all things in the Spirit of Elijah and the Spirit of Messiah nor are all things lawful unto us to act upon and then openly teach just because we desire it to be so.
There is something to be said for haste, rushing the pass because we presume we understand the Glory of the Fathers and partaking of fruit out of season.
Disputations and confusion and rushing the pass come when we do not 'keep' the Lords commandments in strict conformity with the law. To this end, we are working cross purposes with the current dispensation under way, we are not following the proper order of things and are therefore found in iniquity.
If the Lord blesses someone with a deep understanding of a mystery, if they have been taken up on the mount and have seen certain things, this does not give them the right to teach it. The authorized minister in our day is dispensing truth in the correct portions, directed by the Lord and as we can receive it in order to move as a body. It is about community.
If you think you know more, then thank God and show gratitude by meeting your fellow sister and brother where they are at and kneel to serve them, and seek to kindly elevate them. Teach them and inspire hope and courage by repeating what the Father of the dispensation is labouring to teach. No more and no less.
Live what is being taught so you become a living witness, embodying the covenant. Your works matter more than quoting scripture and expounding mysteries to those who are unprepared. In fact, it is uncharitable.
It is unwise to think we are special. It is tragic to think we can bypass the Lord and His servant. We lose ground and bring others with us.
This post is written as my personal repentance for taking the Doctrine of Christ lightly and my recommitment to live in strict conformity with the Law and Commandments. And above all, to serve and walk equally with you. I am a witness to the power of Christ’s Doctrine in bestowing light and truth enabling me to gradually overcome my weaknesses and correct my unbelief.
The ordinances of Christ Doctrine when performed correctly by one who pleads for the authority to act in behalf of the convert, provides stones to illuminate the soul through intelligence and direction as revelation to lead to Christ.