I’m still not satisfied with how my two posts on doctrine and policy have wrapped up, so let me come back to that for one more minute. In those posts, I said that when members attempt to define doctrine, they essentially end up with “doctrine” meaning “things I agree with”.
My attempt to get around that was to define doctrine as broadly as possible — anything taught by church members counts as doctrine. Most of the responses said that my definition was too broad, and put limitations on it like:
if a general authority says something, we pray and ponder about, and the answer we get is that it is the doctrine of God
In order for church doctrine to be true it must be revelation. Revelation can be found in the standard works or the words of a sitting President of the church.
it does not become a doctrine of the church until it is affirmed and repeated by other leaders as religious precept or principle and reduced to written form in an official church publication. And then it only remains a doctrine of the church as long as the leaders of the church make a continued effort to keep teaching that precept or principle from year to year.
The problem is that none of these criteria are objective, and so I believe that a person who uses any of these to define doctrine will ultimately come to a place where “doctrine” means “things I agree with”.
So here’s my Saturday night challenge to you: if you believe that “doctrine” can be defined more narrowly than “anything taught by church members”, yet more broadly than just “things I agree with”, share in the comments an example of a teaching that you accept as a doctrine, but that you don’t agree with.