I almost didn't post anything tonight..... But... I've gotta.
One thing which seems to irritate me quite a bit is this phenomenon among people of my faith which drives them to make some pseudo-philosophical yet some how not quite doctrinally correct quote and then follow it by "I'm sure it's in the scriptures. I just read it. I swear. " or, "I'm sure a prophet or someone said it, but... I'm not quite sure." Man, that really irritates me.
While on my mission, I started *seriously* studying the scriptures and while doing so, I found that, while not the majority, still an alarmingly large amount of "doctrine" I was taught really... wasn't... doctrine. At all. Two (of many) examples:
- Sometime during my teens, I had a teacher that taught us emphatically during one lesson that the "figure" or "shape" of our spirit was not known. It wasn't necessarily in the shape of our bodies. It wasn't necessarily in the shape of a small tropical fruit, either. We just didn't know. At the time, I thought this was true. Everything my teachers taught me was true, and man, did I believe it, preach it, all but spread it as the gospel truth. Well, my teacher was wrong. A passage in Ether explains it quite well. Ether 3:15-16 explains that man was created in the image of Christ's spirit. The brother of Jared was looking at Christ's spirit, and he saw it was in the form of a man (as did Nephi, also). If that weren't enough, Moroni goes on to explain in verse 17, just in case there was any confusion, that Christ's spirit is in the same likeness of his body. Could it be any clearer? Apparently not. Man, I hate it when people teach what they believe to be true, as something doctrinally true without going the length to make sure it IS the truth.
- Number 2. Ever heard the phrase "He never said it would be easy, he only said it would be worth it." ???? Yeah, me too. I've heard this quote attributed to just about every prophet I know of, and a few apostles, and a few authorities, and a few authors, and a few scriptures. Is it true? Well... To be completely honest, I believe that statement is good and true. I guess it's just a gripe of mine that people use it as something quoted from an authority. Could someone please find out who said this, or where it's written? Or... something? Until it's settled, I don't care how often you say it, as long as you don't claim it to be doctrine.
I guess mingling peoples' opinions and gospel doctrinal truth just irritates me. If it's your opinion, and you're doing some serious truth-seeking with a friend, or explaining the Gospel to a young-budding mind, either in age, or in gospel understanding, PLEASE let them know its your opinion and nothing more. Or as I like to say "This is the Gospel of ... ME... Please take it as such." And, if it's doctrinal, please know it well enough at LEAST to be sure that it's doctrine, and if you're not able to find the passage immediately, at least know the passage well enough to know by what terms to search. Bottom line: Know the doctrine before you teach the doctrine. (Wait.... that rings a bell... Yup, D&C 11:21.)
My mission pres once told the entire mission: "The Holy Ghost will only testify of truth. So if it isn't true, don't testify of it." (That's also quite blatantly stated in Jacob 4:13) He also often taught the mantra, "We Teach Pure Doctrine".
Anyway.... Sorry to rant. I just believe this concept to such an extent that not writing this down would probably be sinful (okay, not really... that's not doctrine. that's just my opinion) :) Nothing in particular brought this on today, either. Maybe it's just because I've been studying the scriptures again and I'm glad we have em' to rely on for "pure doctrine".