#4. Spend more time considering areas of agreement than disagreement. The doctrines you share with other true believers are the foundational doctrines; the ones you do not share are necessarily less central to the faith. Acknowledging that you and those with whom you disagree will spend eternity together should encourage you to not allow peripheral doctrines to separate you here on earth.
Those who would be employed in propagating the Gospel should be familiar with the doctrines he is to combat and the doctrines he is to teach, and acquire a complete knowledge both of the Sacred Scriptures and of these philosophical and mythological dogmas which form the souls of the Buddhist and Hindu Systems.
Today we often think that before we start living a religious life we have first to accept the creedal doctrines and that before one can have any comprehension of the loyalty and trust of faith, one must first force one's mind to accept a host of incomprehensible doctrines. But this is to put the cart before the horse.
The pathfinders of modern thought did not derive what is good from the law. ... Their role in history was not that of adapting their words and actions to the text of old documents or generally accepted doctrines: they themselves created the documents and brought about the acceptance of their doctrines.
All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems - problems that are quite above the average citizen's reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best.
I went to law school which is a 3-year program in the US that is focused primarily on memorizing certain doctrines and taking exams that test whether you can apply those doctrines to help prepare for the bar exam. If you are lucky, you get a few classes where you are encouraged to think more critically and read critical texts rather than just casebooks, and perhaps write a paper that is not a legal memo or brief.
It is an absurd fiction that the churches are useful. They are nothing more than propaganda centers for superstitious faiths and doctrines. Church members have a right to believe in and propagate their various doctrines. But they should pay every item of the cost, of this propaganda, including fair taxation for all church property.
We do not wish incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity under the sanction of great names, to be received and valued by future generations as authentic and reliable, ... Errors in history and doctrine, if left uncorrected by us who are conversant with the events, and who are in a position to judge of the truth or falsity of the doctrines, would go to our children as though we had sanctioned and endorsed them.
As a matter of law the states recognized no constraints on their legislative scope other than those that were self-imposed. Even where particular state constitutions paid ideological lip service to constraints deriving from religious or natural law doctrines, they reserved to some constitutionally-defined body or person the right to interpret these doctrines.
I believe certain doctrines because God says they are true; and the only authority I have for their truth is the Word of God. I receive such and such doctrines, not because I can prove them to be compatible with reason, not because my judgment accepts them, but because God says they are true. Now this is one of the best services we can render to God,-to submit ourselves to him in our belief of what he has revealed, and ask him to fix his truths in our hearts, and make us obey them.
Theology is like a map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and less exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God--experiences compared with which many thrills of pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further you must use the map.
C. S. Lewis
For I choose to follow not men or men's doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians
Nature hates vacuum. Once a society is depleted of moral values, it creates a vacuum that will be filled by doctrines that hold to such values, even though those values are draconian and oppressive. In fact the more a society is devoid of morality, the more promising prudish and unpermissive doctrines look. Licentious societies create a spiritual vacuum that legalistic religions such as Islam fill.
If you know that everything comes from the mind, don't become attached. Once attached, you're unaware. But once you see your own nature, the entire Canon becomes so much prose. It's thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind. Understanding comes in midsentence. What good are doctrines? The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions. . . . Don't cling to appearances, and you'll break through all barriers. . . .
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel.
Boyd K. Packer