The student of Christian Science who has become sufficiently acquainted with its divine Principle to desire earnestly to cooperate with the cause, should regard the acts connected with taking membership in the Christian Science church as among the important footsteps of his religious career, and he should give prayerful consideration to the great privilege and happiness which this step of progress brings. He should also carefully consider the serious responsibilities which each individual assumes in seeking and obtaining membership in the Church of Christ, Scientist, whether it relates to The Mother Church in Boston or to any one of its branches, as it is a step which demands thoughtful self-examination and wisdom, with obedience to God and to every requirement laid down in the Manual of The Mother Church as to proper qualifications and measures. The student should be willing to take every step necessary to make his eligibility to membership in the Christian Science church clear and indisputable.

Plenty of time should be taken to become reasonably familiar with the teachings of our denominational text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures"—particularly with the platform of Christian Science (pages 330 to 340), with the "religious tenets" on page 497, and with the definition of "Church" on page 583. If the student feels that he can sincerely subscribe to all the declarations of truth laid down in the text-book, with both faith and understanding, he should then carefully study the essentials of church-membership in the Church Manual, to become in some measure acquainted with the laws which govern The Mother Church, and the fundamental organic requirements of all its branch churches.

Although the student may not thereby secure a full understanding of the nature and operation of all the laws which govern the cause of Christian Science, he can obtain sufficient light to enable him to proceed intelligently, and in some degree to understand what is expected of a consecrated Christian Scientist in his relations with the church. By these means he soon perceives that a proper union with the work is not to be secured by a mere verbal profession of faith in Christ, but through spiritual understanding expressed in repentance, obedience, meekness, and by an earnest desire to serve God and man in the way taught and practised by Christ Jesus. This means, in the language of Christian Science, that the student is entirely willing to take an active part in the healing work of the Master—to enlist "to lessen evil, disease, and death" (Science and Health, p. 450), and not merely to join the church because he "believes in Christian Science."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

April 6, 1912

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.