Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Richard G. Scott on the principles behind acquiring spiritual knowledge

Elder Richard G. Scott (1928-2015) served as a Seventy from 1977-1988, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He passed away in September 2015 at the age of 86.
"As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. 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 compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle. I have tried to do that with gaining spiritual knowledge. The result is now shared in hope that it will be a beginning place for your study. That statement of principle is:
"To acquire spiritual knowledge and to obey it with wisdom, one must:
  • In humility, seek divine light.
  • Exercise faith in Jesus Christ. 
  • Hearken to His counsel. 
  • Keep His commandments.
"As spiritual knowledge unfolds, it must be understood, valued, obeyed, remembered, and expanded."
- Richard G. Scott, "Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge," Ensign, November 1993, p. 86
Click here to read the full article

There are two interesting aspects to this excerpt. The first is the challenge—identify principles that lie behind knowledge; separate them from details used to explain. The description of principles as "concentrated truth" should make them vitally important to us; understanding them enables us to make decisions quickly and easily.

Elder Scott then demonstrated his instruction by sharing his formation of the principle of how to acquire spiritual knowledge, encouraging us to consider its application. His principle provides a good summary of steps that can lead to the gift of knowledge. But obtaining knowledge is only the start; then the knowledge needs to be "understood, valued, obeyed, remembered, and expanded" in order to bring full benefits. That's a description that merits further pondering!

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