I've been reading David Bednar's book, Increase in Learning. Fabulous book! I love it!
Chapter Four is called "Doctrines, Principles, and Applications: A Framework for Gospel Learning.
Here's my attempt to apply that framework to my study of Happiness this morning.
Principles = What
Application = How
The doctrine is the plan of happiness.
A few of the principles of happiness are:
- We are happiest when we have the Holy Ghost with us.
- "Wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10)
- Knowing what you need to do is not enough, to be happy you actually have to DO what you need to do.
- "Happy is he that condemneth not himself." (Romans 14:22) Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect.
FLYlady is a great example of the application of these principles.
David Bednar explains that "Doctrines and principles do not change, applications appropriately can vary according to needs and circumstances" (p.156).
Only studying applications without seeking true principles and doctrines will not lead to success. For example, many people say "FLYlady just doesn't work for me." This is an example of only studying the applications without understanding the doctrine and/or the principles. When Marla Ciley started doing her routines, the principle she had in mind was to Finally Love Yourself (FLY). Her routines help her to DO what she needs to do to be happy. They keep her from beating up herself for not being perfect. And they help her create an atmosphere in her home and in her heart where she can get what she calls "God Breezes." Understanding the principles that she was following help me to create my own applications that work for my family. A person who only studies the application sees the huge list of everything Flylady does in her daily routines and will likely give up before they even get a chance to understand the blessings that following the principles will bring.