Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rules VS Principles

Recently we were taught about the difference between rules and principles.  What I learned about the two I thought was very neat and an eye opener for myself.  So I want to share what I learned with you because it has benefited me in my life.

RULES:  What is a rule?  Well in the dictionary there are many different meanings for the word rule.  But the one Im going to is it says rule .  That does not sound like a good thing to me.  A rule is a very direct and easy to understand concept.  The law says don't speed.  That is a rule, and one that is easily understood.  It means don't speed.  It is defined, and if we do break it there is a consequence.  In this case you can get fined.  Rules are controlling, when we follow rules we are controlled and are given do's and don'ts, they chain us down.

PRINCIPLES: What is a principle? Principle: a fundamental, or primary law from which others are derived.   A principal is a very open ended concept, it requires exercising our agency and deciding for ourselves what it means.  to relate it to my first analogy.  The principle behind not speeding is to keep us safe.  So what if that was the law when driving?  stay safe.  That is the principle of the law and in theory if we were all smart and made wise decisions, "O be wise, what more can I say." Jacob 6:12, Then that is all we would need is this one simple principle which tells us to be safe.  If we follow principles we are free to make our own decisions and we wouldn't need rules to tell us all the do's and don'ts we would be satisfied to just stay safe!

We are human however, and we are prone to make mistakes.  We are given the principles, but we often don't understand them.  So we have to be given rules.  These rules however are not here to bind us down, but to help us understand the principle.  Our Heavenly  Father gives us a principle, Come to earth, be righteous and return to live with me, with a body.  That should be enough to tell us everything we need to know.  Is what I'm doing helping me to return to my father in Heaven or not?  Sadly we don't always make the right decisions, so our Heavenly Father gives us rules to follow so we can return to live with him.  I'd like to encourage everyone to try to understand the principle behind rules.   When you understand the principle you are made free, and you are using your own agency to make righteous decisions.

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I am currently a missionary in the Phoenix Arizona Mission.