Callister - Teach Principles, then enforce rules if they choose wrong

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I have a question
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Callister - Teach Principles, then enforce rules if they choose wrong

Post by I have a question »

I'm really not sure what is behind Tad's latest drivellous outpouring "Principles versus Rules". I'm not sure Tad is either. He concludes with:
President Russell M. Nelson gave this wise counsel: “Don’t answer a behavioral question with a behavioral answer. It is much better to give an answer based upon a principle, or even better, with a doctrinal answer, if you can.”

Principles are compatible with the higher law, rules with the lesser. Our constant focus should be to teach doctrinal principles. Why? Because principles have the greatest capacity to lift us to celestial heights, and in the end, principles — not rules — will govern in the celestial kingdom. ... ncy-189931

I know of no doctrinal basis for asserting the Celestial Kingdom will be a place of principle rather than rule. For instance, if the Celestial Kingdom is a place where the principle is for one man and one woman to be married does that mean people can choose to be married to one wife, no wives, multiple wives, or a same sex partner? In Mormonism principles are inextricably attached to rules and consequences. So much so they are indistinguishable from one another.
Joseph Smith taught: “I teach the people correct principles and they govern themselves.” That is a foundational truth of Church and home government: “And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom” (Doctrine and Covenants 105:5).

Why is it more effective to teach principles than rules? There are at least two key reasons: First, rules are often limited to one or perhaps a few specific situations, while principles generally have much broader application. Second, principles create an environment that maximizes agency while rules tend to minimize agency by restricting, sometimes even dictating our choices.
Okay Tad, what are the principles of the Celestial Kingdom? (Spoiler alert, he doesn't tell us).
These are the types of principles we can teach our children. For example, if our children ask if they can watch a certain movie or engage in certain activities on the Sabbath, we might appropriately review with them the principles enunciated by the Savior, and then ask: “Will that movie, that activity, help you keep the Sabbath day holy (meaning make you holy) — will it help you do good?” If instead, we always give yes or no answers to our childrens’ questions, we will have participated in shifting their agency and accountability from them to us. But, if we teach the correct principle and let them answer their own questions, then we give them a chance to exercise their own agency, and in the process to accelerate their spiritual growth. In addition, it will help them understand how to act with regards to future situations of a similar nature.

But what if a child does not make the right choice, and he or she chooses to watch an inappropriate movie? Then, like the Lord did with the law of consecration and law of tithing, we may need to step back and implement some rules until the time of spiritual maturity is attained. Perhaps the lesson to be learned is this: We use principles whenever we can so as to maximize the agency and growth of our children, but if they cannot “handle” principles, then we implement the fewest rules necessary until they arrive at that point.
Tad is basically saying that you should teach children principles, let them choose, then if you don't like their choice ignore the principle and enforce rules so they comply with choices you have determined you want them to make. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that Satan's plan?

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