Sunday, February 24, 2008

What is doctrine?

This can be a pretty challenging topic as some of my friends have found out, what is actual doctrine and what is not? Are there varying degrees of doctrine, and if so what are they and how are they established? Initially I would assume that there are varying degrees because that is just how most things are in life. Many people might just initially assume, "Anything that is said across the pulpit by a GA is doctrine." When one looks into that further they find that there are many times when this parameter of the doctrine definition brings opposing statements in conflict with one another.

I came across a church press release that discusses this exact topic in unusual detail. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:
  • Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.
  • Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines.
  • According to the Articles of Faith, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” [Carson's note - therefore the fullness of the gospel does not mean that we have already received all the doctrine that the Lord is to reveal. Sounds obvious, but is forgotten too often].
  • [T]he Church exhorts all people to approach the gospel not only intellectually but with the intellect and the spirit, a process in which reason and faith work together. [Carson's note - and vice versa therefore, not just via the spirit, but with your intellect as well.]
From these statements one can quickly surmise that there are core doctrines, non core doctrines and opinions. What falls into each category on a more specific basis is something for another day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Written/Unwritten Orders

I don't post very often here in an effort to keep it concentrated (as in just add water, not as in focused thought). I couldn't resist posting this thread from one of my favorite LDS blogs. The Old Written Order of Things. I can be somewhat of a dichotomy at times. I strongly believe that priesthood holders should try to wear white shirts when officiating in ordinances of the priesthood in an effort to show respect to the power that they hold and the ordinance they are performing. At the same time I even more strongly feel that people should not make this a requirement. This thread on Times & Seasons gives a good explanation of why we should not require it.


If I don't listen to an audiobook or a podcast on my way to work I am usually listening to NPR. This morning they had a feature on the LDS church's reaction to the negative attitude that many had in the nation. The report said that we as a church were surprised by the negativity after all the positive press we received from the Olympic games and in general throughout the last few years. I don't agree with that personally, and I even expected the backlash to be even worse that it was when Romney took the spotlight. Thankfully it wasn't! Here is the text and a link within for the audio clip.