“Learning Experience 8: Understanding, Feeling, and Applying Doctrine and Principles,” New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook (2016)
“Learning Experience 8,” New-Teacher Training Resource
This learning experience covers the following concepts:
Getting the gospel into our hearts
Understanding doctrine and principles
Feeling the truth and importance of doctrine and principles
Applying doctrine and principles
The learning pattern provides fundamentals that help instill the gospel in our minds and hearts. In this learning experience, we will address understanding, feeling the truth and importance of, and applying doctrine and principles.
The purpose of this learning experience is to provide a brief introduction to aspects of the learning pattern. As you serve as a seminary or institute teacher, you will have many more opportunities to learn about and practice these skills.
The parable of the gems is a metaphor for studying the scriptures. The following three elements help us understand what we can do in our study after we have identified important gospel truths.
Understand doctrine and principles
The young woman studied each gem she discovered, carefully exploring its shapes and facets.
As we discover gems of truth in the form of doctrine and principles, we can carefully study each one to better understand its meaning and significance.
Feel the truth and importance of doctrine and principles
The young woman felt an appreciation for each gem grow within her.
As we gain a deeper understanding of the truths we discover, we feel their importance, relevance, and urgency.
Apply Doctrine and Principles
The young woman’s father invited her to consider what she might do with the gems she had discovered.
Having gained a testimony of and appreciation for a doctrine or principle, we should consider specific ways we can apply it in our own lives.
Latter-day prophets and apostles have emphasized the importance of getting the gospel deep into our hearts. Understanding the context and content of the scriptures in order to identify important gospel doctrine and principles is a good start to gaining knowledge of the truths of the gospel. But to help what we know in our minds sink deep into our hearts, there is often more we must do. We must seek to:
Understand the doctrine and principles we have identified.
Feel of their truth and importance.
Apply them in our lives.
These three elements of the learning pattern work together to invite the Holy Ghost, who helps us get the gospel deep into our hearts.
The aim of gospel learning is to invite the Holy Ghost to help us get the doctrine and principles of the gospel from our minds into our hearts.
Understanding a doctrine or principle includes knowing not only what it means but also how it can affect our lives.
A clear understanding of a doctrine or principle prepares us to feel of its truth and importance.
Feeling the truth and importance of a doctrine or principle increases our desire to apply it in our lives.
Application takes place when we speak, think, and live according to what we have learned.
“A true teacher, once he has taught the facts [of the gospel], … takes [the students] a step further to gain the spiritual witness and the understanding in their hearts that brings about the action and the doing” (Robert D. Hales, “Teaching by Faith” [evening with a General Authority, Feb. 1, 2002], 5).
To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.