Monday, January 2, 2012

Principles vs Resolutions

And just what are principles? We had the discussion today at Relief Society that a resolution, made at the beginning of each new year, is different from a principle based creed that can be lived a lifetime. I quit making resolutions at the New Year. I have made some life-changing resolutions, from time to time, but I have not waited until New Year's Day to do so.

So what is the difference in a resolution, a guiding principle, a creed? My thoughts were still unclear. Are there different types of principles that would guide us? Are some of them religious and some not?

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel--you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 348).


This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: "It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. . . . He was once a man like us; . . . God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did" (
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-46).


“That word principle in the revelation is a very important one. A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions. Generally principles are not spelled out in detail. That leaves you free to find your way with an enduring truth, a principle, as your anchor."
(The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises, President Boyd K. Packer April 1996 Conference)


"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Fourth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)


Definition of PRINCIPLE
1 a: a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption
b (1): a rule or code of conduct (2) : habitual devotion to right principles

c: the laws or facts of nature underlying the working of an artificial device
2: a primary source : origin
3 a: an underlying faculty or endowment
b: an ingredient (as a chemical) that exhibits or imparts a characteristic quality

Definition of RESOLUTION

1: the act or process of resolving: as
a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
b: the act of answering: solving
c: the act of determining
d: the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance
e: the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents
f (1): the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2): the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable
g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum
2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)
3 a: something that is resolved
b: firmness of resolve
4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5: the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out
6 a: the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
b: a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image

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