23) DOCTRINE ON BEHAVIOR: How does teaching true doctrine and true principles influence behavior?

Prophetic Statements

Ezra Taft Benson

As individuals and society depart more and more from the laws of God, we will need to regulate the affairs of the Church, teaching persuasively the laws of God and His pattern for happiness. Alma bore testimony to this fact when he said, “And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just-yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them-therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5). 1

Supporting Statements

Boyd K. Packer

True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel. 2


  1. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 313-314; Salt Lake City, Utah, 6 June 1980
  2. Boyd K. Packer, LDS General Conference, October 1986; Ensign, November 1986

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