Study doctrine and change behavior

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Havefaith
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Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Havefaith » 18 Aug 2019, 10:16

So there is a quote that is mentioned in the chuch quite a bit. I heard it today over the pulpit from the bishop and remember hearing it through out my life as a member of the church.
Boy that was very triggery today. Its the quote that says that the study of the doctrine will change behavior quicker than the study of behavior will change behavior by Boyd K Packer.
I was thinking about that and how I believed that very literally for quite some time. I guess for a while i wasnt quite sure what was doctrine and what wasn't. Im not sure about that now but do realize alot of things i did believe arent doctrine.
This quote i took as doctrine in the past and tried to follow other things i learned in the chuch because of this quote. Ive since learned that understanding my beliefs and behavior and other peoples behaviors is what i need to do in order to change them. I think that understanding a behavior is exactly what needs to happen. Not to just blindly believe. Im not sure if im getting my point across but would love to hear what others think about that quote. Therapists study behavior all the time to help people. Thats why people go to therapy to learn what they need to do to change their thinking and/or behavior. So is he saying thats wrong? I hope not. What do you guys think?

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SilentDawning
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by SilentDawning » 18 Aug 2019, 14:29

As someone who has studied and taught human behavior my whole life, I can't disagree more. To me, that statement is a symptom of the anti-intellectualism that began during Joseph Smith's time. It continues with statements like "the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture", or the BoM statement "when they are learned they think they are wise".

I believe that back in JS day, there was a lot of angst that most people couldn't go to school. You had to teach yourself, like Ben Franklin did. So there was a lot of anti-professor thought going around. It wouldn't surprise me if well educated people also treated the less educated classes poorly, which may have contributed to it.

Over and over again, I see perfectly good industry practices, secular research and knowledge from non-ecclesiastical or non-scriptural sources flatly rejected in the church.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 21 Aug 2019, 22:22, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Aug 2019, 16:15

I think studying anything has the potential to change behavior, and doctrine is no different. I also think studying behavior does not change behavior in many situations and with many people. However, I think studying behavior has the potential to change behavior more than studying doctrine, especially for people who already have studied doctrine in the past and actually would be solidified in their behavior by continuing to study the same doctrine.

Studying doctrine one already believes perpetuates and strengthens current behavior - which is why ALL religions and successful organizations insist on members reviewing things they see as important (doctrine, rules, mission statements, training, policies and procedures, etc.).
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DarkJedi
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Aug 2019, 17:36

Havefaith wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 10:16
I guess for a while i wasnt quite sure what was doctrine and what wasn't. Im not sure about that now but do realize alot of things i did believe arent doctrine.
Me, too! I do believe a few things are doctrine (love your neighbor, for example) but otherwise I don't think much of it is. One of the reasons I like some of Pres. Nelson's changes is that some things people thought were doctrine aren't - and that becomes very obvious. Ordaining 11-year-olds is an example.

I'm not a therapist but I work in a therapeutic setting and I see the therapists work all the time. They definitely study behavior and definitely change behavior.

There is also something to be said for studying and understanding doctrine though. As in the aforementioned love your neighbor, if we did that we would also change behavior - at least ours if not that of others.

I kind of see this as another of those things that is presented as "or" when it can really be "and."
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Havefaith
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Havefaith » 18 Aug 2019, 18:21

So this is what ive been thinking. Maybe during sacrament meeting when the bisop said that it made me think of all the times i followed what i thought of as doctrine. Looking back on my life seeing over the years i see how it didnt fix my problems.
As i have mentioned before i went on my missiion and changed. I went from being a shy person to a leader. When i came home and was married a few years later i found myself not able to be the person i came to be on my mission.
So i guess what i am saying is the things my missiion president said and taught changed me while on my mission but in my mariage it didnt work. I had deep rooted believes from my childhood that needed to be work through..
For example i thought my parents' marriage disnt work out because my mom didnt marry a return missiionary. I really thought that. So i married a return missiinary. I couldnt figiure out why my marriage wasnt the marriage i was taught it would be after marrying a retern missionary Years later i realized i could do all the church things and it still wouldnt change mine or my husbands behavior.
Yea so being kind to your neighbor can make you a kind person. I think that can be true if the persons heart is in the right place. But just by marrying a return missionary doesnt nessasarily mean your marriage will work out and the behaviiors of each are good.

Roy
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Roy » 19 Aug 2019, 08:07

Havefaith wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 10:16
the study of the doctrine will change behavior quicker than the study of behavior will change behavior by Boyd K Packer.
I think that this quote is perfectly positioned for the church. 1) They want everyone to read the doctrine and indoctrinate themselves. 2) They present the gospel and the doctrine as the panacea or cure-all. 3) They now have the ability to dismiss any other field of study because "the doctrine" trumps science or social studies. (Can you imagine how many times this quote and quotes like it have been used to suggest to gay youth that they can "study the doctrine" until they will no longer be gay?)

I do believe that belief in the restoration, living the gospel standards, and inclusion and integration into one's ward family CAN have extremely positive influences on some quality of life metrics for an individual. An overarching life purpose and meaning? Loving heavenly parents that are rooting for you? A community that supports and strengthens you? A focus on family that can tend towards two parent households and mutual support? These factor can be huge for building a stable and meaningful quality of life.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Havefaith
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Havefaith » 19 Aug 2019, 15:59

Ibremember reading the scriptues as a fanily lfor ong time hoping that would solve problems in my marriage. It didnt. I remember being told to have meals together and thought rhat would solve them. Boy neither of those solved a thing. And i can understand how reading the sciiptues cant turn some into not being gay. I still believe the acceptance idea of people who are not a part of the church for any reason is the christ like thing to do.

Havefaith
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Havefaith » 19 Aug 2019, 16:31

Im not sure yet what God thinks should happen to gay people but i do feel strongly that he loves them and sees the good in them. He has to and wants to. No person is bad.
How people treat others and our selves i think God cares about.
Just wanted to add that on.

Roy
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by Roy » 21 Aug 2019, 09:10

It might be helpful to think of the church as an organization with a lifestyle program. There are many for whom the program "works wonderfully". Those are the ones the tend to rise to the top and become leaders. From their perspective and life experiences everyone would benefit if only they would adopt this lifestyle (or adopt it more rigidly). There is confirmation and survivorship bias at play.


Our goal at StayLDS is to facilitate continued connection to the church when things are not wonderful and your needs are not being met. For me that becomes an exercise in sustainability and boundaries. Put simply, If I feel that my costs are significantly more than my benefits over a long period of time I will likely become resentful and burnt out and potentially react in emotional ways rather than thoughtful, reasoned, and measured ways. I try to even out the costs and benefits by volunteering to do things that feel like comfortable contributions to me and set boundaries around less comfortable contributions. I will not "give till it hurts." I also feel that I have some personality traits that help me to keep things in balance more successfully than others. Some people may benefit from this approach - others less so. Our only goal is to reach those that are struggling and really could use some pointers on getting their faith journey back in balance.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: Study doctrine and change behavior

Post by SilentDawning » 21 Aug 2019, 22:29

I think the immersion of the Spirit changes behavior. I hate to compare it to anything else and elevate it above other behaving changing stimuli, but I have seen people make sweeping changes to their lives on the strength of a spiritual experience I enjoyed with them. This was often accompanied with doctrine, but it wasn't the doctrine -- it was the Spirit that did it.

The study of doctrine, with the Spirit absent, doesn't change much.

Here is what has changed my behavior, in some cases after literally years of struggling with these issues IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF.

1. I read a book on exercise and started a daily habit.
2. A doctor's visit fueled massive changes to my diet.
3. Evidence in my home relationships caused me to seek external help, which changed how I interact with people in my family about 15%.
4. Being invited to take a new and expanding role in my work improved my work habits and effectiveness as an employee.
5. I read several books on Narcissism and it changed my interaction with people who have those tendencies.

What didn't change it.
1. Prayer
2. Church attendance
3. Scripture study
4. Talks and videos from church leaders.

I believe these churchy things above point you in a certain direction, but they are like theory. Theory is of no practical use without application. Application comes from practitioners who understand theory. Theory alone isn't enough for most people.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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