Here’s the circle that represents everything taught by church members, from the uncontroversial (like faith and repentance) to the bizarre (“King Arthur lost the priesthood for not listening to Merlin”):
Now let’s add another circle for things taught by General Authorities. Every GA is a member of the church, so this circle is entirely encompassed by the first:
Now another circle for things taught in General Conference. Most conference talks are given by General Authorities, but some are not (e.g. talks given by auxiliary leaders):
Now let’s add one more circle for the words of the prophet (he’s always a General Authority, and some of his words are delivered in General Conference):
We could add many more circles — one for apostles, one for scriptural teachings, one for things taught recently, one for things taught repeatedly. But most importantly, we can add one more big circle to identify the parts of each which are true:
Some things taught by church members are true, some are not, and some truth is not taught by church members…and so on, through all of the circles.
So where is doctrine and where is policy? Is policy the orange circle, and doctrine the overlap of the purple and blue circles? Is doctrine the overlap of the orange and green circles? It depends on who you ask. For me, doctrine is the blue circle — everything taught by any member of the church.