Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants has been removed from the restored edition of the scripture project, and this is my recommendation to replace Governing Principles with what was taken out. It is incomplete, as I have not included anything regarding the process of baptism, sacrament, and priesthood. But what I have included is a good start to restoring the mind and will of God to lead out, and for individuals and fellowships to remain free and independent. The step-by-step instructions of baptism, sacrament, and priesthood seems to be straight forward among the fellowships involved. Here’s what I wrote:
Concerning The Doctrine of Christ: The objective of the doctrine of Christ is “Progression.” Progression is changing a person from who they are, to become precisely what God is. Belief in God, learning His correct attributes, perfections, and characteristics, and knowing that the path you are on is acceptable to God, is the starting point of the process of change, beginning progression, through the doctrine of Christ.
Process: Repentance is an individual’s choice to participate in progression. Baptism is a sign from the Earth to the Heavens that a person has repented and seeks progression by changing his ways to align with God’s. Sacrament is offered to those who have been baptized to receive Christ’s Spirit to always be with them, as a guide through the long process of progression to be like God. Priesthood is given by God to administer the gospel, holding the keys of the knowledge of God, so that in the ordinances the power of godliness is manifest, progressing God’s children to see His face and live. The repeated pattern of the process of progression can be expressed:
- Change (repentance)
- Ordinances (baptism, sacrament, etc.)
- Knowledge/Wisdom (power in the Priesthood)
Caution: This pattern, if properly repeated, will produce sweeter fruits through an increase in light, until the perfect day, knowing the mysteries of God in full. Deviation from the principles of the doctrine of Christ will manifest itself in a gradual decay of light, increasing darkness and ignorance, until you know nothing of the mysteries of God, and are eventually bound by the chains of hell.
Concerning The Government of Fellowships: A fellowship is a friendly association amongst people who share common interests, and ought to be self-governed, freely and independently. The greatest potential of a fellowship is the power within it’s people to unite and rise-up in the effort of individually progressing through the doctrine of Christ. Salvation is an individual matter, and NOT collective, as all people differ in progression. The people united in a fellowship, and how that fellowship operates must be governed by the mind and will of God “to them.” Thus it is known in scripture as the church of Christ, because it operates by the same Spirit that directs Christ.
Valuing Individuals: The responsibility of uniting a people into one is God’s. Each person has value. Everyone has gifts from God and are called to contribute to the effort of building the Kingdom of God on the Earth. Because all individuals require a customized approach, one fellowship will not be the same as another, just as revelation to one is not revelation to another. God is the giver of such gifts, therefore it is the application of the mind and will of God that will converge His people into one, and NOT man’s innovations.
Work: The pattern of work within a fellowship is intended/designed to progress all through the gate, in the path, and into the way. While baptism does NOT offer membership, it does offer those entering through the gate the option of fellowship with like minded believers. If fellowships are done by the mind and will of God to them, the Spirit of Christ will guide them in the path, increasing their individual and collective knowledge. As a fellowship is united by the sharing and proper application of knowledge, having no poor among them, the Spirit of Christ will affect a continuous ascending spiral of light, producing power, and progressing individuals into the way. The pattern is simplified as such:
- The Gate (ordinances)
- The Path (knowledge/wisdom)
- The Way (power)
Caution: Fellowships will find greater success in their change, progression, and unity as their efforts are exercised through seven attributes: persuasion, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, and pure knowledge. It is sound counsel to not run faster than you are able. Waiting upon the Lord expresses faith in God, entrusting God to implement the necessary change, progression, and unity in the doctrine of Christ. The world is full of lying spirits intending to deceive. If fellowships choose to use haste, hypocrisy, guile, compulsion, coercion, or manipulation, to force change, only to put on the appearance of unity, it will result in pestilence, confusion, hurt and ultimate loss.
Concerning Initiatives: The objective of initiatives is to seek and discover more light, bringing all closer to Christ. Initiatives are not governed by fellowships, but are temporary in nature, as an experimental effort. The same principles governing fellowships can be applied towards initiatives. The gate casts a broad net of ideas, the path narrows the efforts guided by the spirt, and the way arrives at a desired destination, bringing all participants closer to Christ. Those who volunteer to participate will be those who seek to increase agency, and to exercise and expand their individual gifts in the direction of the initiative. If the initiative failed, the findings may be helpful, but it’s results are easily and peacefully discarded. If the initiative proves successful, their findings can be presented in a conference by a spokesman and a witness, so that other fellowships can choose to adopt the idea, in part, or as a whole, in their individual efforts in progression. Participants may include more than two people, but only two are necessary to legitimize the initiative. All attempts to force a uniformity of new initiatives disrespects the gift of agency, expresses no confidence in Christ, initiates priestcraft, and rejects trust in the mind and will of God to lead and direct the affairs of the individual fellowships into unity.