As you know, we PA saints have a General Conference Book Club that meets weekly. Lately, although we received some really amazing counsel during the last installation of Conference, I felt that in our discussions we tended to get bogged down in the challenges that face each one of us.
I was praying for advice on how best to strengthen our group and organize our discussions so that we could get the most spiritual understanding out of them, when I cracked open this new book by Richard G. Scott called 21 Principles: Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit.
I didn't have to go very far to get exactly the guidance that I needed. In the introduction to his book, Elder Scott says:
"As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. 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 challenging circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle."
This true principle about seeking out true principles is so amazing to me. True principles make decisions clear...even under the most confusing and challenging of circumstances. From experience, I know that this principle is true. But what a valuable principle to know, understand, and put into practice! (And maybe even memorize since Elder Scott is so big on that as well!)
I could really stop right there, but the rest of the book is also packed full of true principles, stated simply, that can really point us toward living successfully by the spirit and gaining spiritual knowledge to help us in our personal lives.
He talks about things that block our ability to receive spiritual promptings, such as exaggeration, conceit, haughtiness, pride, not having good health practices or becoming offended, and other things that do, such as practicing faith in Jesus Christ, and understanding why recognizing answers to prayers can be difficult.
He explains so much more in his book. In some ways this seems like a book you might give to a graduating senior...maybe a spiritually mature one! I certainly would have loved to have some of this advice, spelled out so concisely, when I was younger!
Elder Scott's formula for collecting true principles can also be applied to secular knowledge or courses of study. As we scour books of various topics (as I happen to be doing right now!) it is so important to seek out true principles and to organize those truths into simple statements that we can come back to as we study and compare them with the words of the prophets.