Monday, May 5, 2014

Doctrine of 70? Use Good Judgement AND Spirit

I sang in the stake choir in our conference Sunday. It was actually a really great conference--a lot of great messages of compassion (and great music.) :)

But one of my favorite insights was shared with me before the conference began. After the choir was done rehearsing I struck up a conversation with the San Antonio mission president and his wife, who sat directly in front of me on the stand.

I showed them a picture on my phone I had taken of a Disciples of Christ church sign I drove by some time ago in Dallas that read "CRITICAL THINKING EXPECTED AND ENCOURAGED" and then shared with them something I had been pondering that morning. I told them that one of the things I love about Mormonism is the teaching that we came to earth to experience exercising our own moral judgement. I lamented, though, that at times it seems that some of the leaders that teach this don't appear to want us to actually use our own moral judgement.

The mission president smiled and then took out his scriptures and shared with me a verse I've never really paid attention to--the 8th verse in the 62nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

"These things remain with you to do according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit." (D&C 62:8)

Immediately I saw the ideal balance, and told him I loved the instruction of using good judgement/reason AND following the Spirit/our inner moral compass. I also appreciated that he'd take the time to share it with me right before the start of the meeting.

He told me he teaches his missionaries this--that the Lord doesn't just let us decide for ourselves but He WANTS us to choose for ourselves and to use good judgment and the Spirit. I was impressed; teaching this and trusting the missionaries is far more empowering than simply teaching mindless obedience to rules.

And as if that wasn't enough he also shared the simple way he teaches the missionaries to remember the scripture reference. He calls this the "Doctrine of the 70" (62+8=70) because ideally the Quorums of the Seventy use good judgement AND the Spirit.

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