Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord instructed members of His church to “teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:12). This echoes the instruction given by Alma to the newly ordained priests when he organized the church at the waters of Mormon:
They should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.
Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.Mosiah 18:19-20
Elder David A. Bednar defined a principle as “a doctrinally based guideline for the righteous exercise of moral agency.” He explained that “principles derive from broader gospel truths and provide direction and standards as we press forward on the covenant path.” As an example, he pointed out that the first three Articles of Faith identify key doctrines of the gospel, while the fourth identifies two principles: faith and repentance (“The Principles of My Gospel,” General Conference, April 2021).
Here are some principles I have learned from the Book of Mormon:
- When we serve others, we are serving God (Mosiah 2:17).
- If we diligently seek for revelation, we will receive it (1 Nephi 10:19).
- If we repent, the Savior will heal us (3 Nephi 9:13).
- We must endure to the end to be saved (2 Nephi 31:15).
- Acquiring spiritual knowledge requires faith, patience, and diligence (Alma 32:42-43).
Today, I will strive to make decisions in accordance with true principles. I will teach true principles to my children, believing that they will be able to apply those principles to a variety of situations.