Did you know that "the scriptures have been written to preserve principles"?
(President Marion G. Romney, CES Symposium, Aug. 17, 1979).
What is a principle? A truth you can use.
Here is Elder Richard G. Scott's definition. "Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle.” (Ensign, Nov. 1993)
Let's use Alma 57:21 as an example.
"Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them."
- Here is a wonderful truth from this verse but its not put in a way that you can easily use: "Obedience."
- Here is a truth you can use written as a principle: "Obeying with exactness brings blessings."
- To make principles even easier to find and use, try writing them in your own words as an "if...then" cause-and-effect statement. "If I obey with exactness, God will bless me."
"And it came to pass that as [Lehi] read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord."
- Here is a principle from the verse that is written as an "if..then.." cause-and-effect statement in my own words. "If I study the scriptures, I will be filled with the Spirit."
Here are three tips to help you find, internalize, and apply principles.
- Look for cause-and-effect verses or stories that you can pull out a truth you can use, writing it like this, "If I... then I..."
- Asking these questions can also help you find principles: “What is the author trying to teach?” "What is a life lesson I can use here?" "What does God want me to do?"
- Rewrite principles in your own words in a way that applies to you in in the margin next to the verse. Or in a scripture journal.
Want more? Click here for some quotes about the importance of finding principles in the scriptures.
Feel free to share a principle from your current scripture study in a comment below!
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