From the hymn: One in doctrine

I noticed this phrase in the hymn, Onward, Christian Soldiers.

All one body we:  One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.

When LDS friends sing this from the LDS hymnal, I am curious how they interpret the “one doctrine” part.


  1. Interesting observation. I think about what Stephen Robinson wrote in “How Wide The Divide?”: “The real sticking point is not what the LDS think of Christ and his gospel, but rather the different ontological frame or view of the nature of the universe into which Mormons fit the gospel. For Latter-day Saints also believe in the literal fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of humanity. We believe that God and humans are the same species of being and that all men and women were his spiritual offspring in a premortal existence. The main purpose of the gospel of Christ is therefore not so much to get us to heaven as it is to get us home.”

    In short, we since we believe the same New Testament teachings of Christ and His gospel, we can sing with other Christians “one in doctrine” if we’re referring to the doctrine of Christ, or His atonement. We just happen to fit that gospel into a different view of the universe than other Christians. I think I would tend to sing this hymn thinking more of our similarities as a body of believers than our differences with other denominations. We tend to forget how much in common. On the other hand, it’s possible that Latter-day Saints simply think of other LDS when singing this hymn. We do tend to have an “us against the world” mentality at times, although I think much less than, say, in the 19th century when other Christians drove the LDS from their homes in the United States and into the intermountain west. That apparent “bunker mentality” really began to be traded for a mentality of worldwide outreach and fellowship during the administration of David O. McKay, and it obviously was a major theme of President Hinckley the past few years.

  2. Now you have me thinking of another chorus, Clean Cut: “This world is not my home, I am just a passing through.”

    Thanks for jumping in over here at HI4LDS.

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