Gospel Topics Essays–Introduction and Links

In an attempt to deal with several vital historical issues propagated by the LDS Church throughout the years, the Mormon Church has been producing essays since late 2013 under its “Gospel Topics” section of its lds.org website, attempting to reconcile the facts with what had been taught by earlier leaders and church manuals. Seventy Marlin Jensen spoke at Utah State University on January 18, 2012. Elder Jensen has been a general authority of the church since 1989. When he was asked why people were leaving the Mormon Church in “droves,” he responded,

The fifteen men really do know, and they really care. And they realize that maybe since Kirtland, we never have had a period of, I’ll call it apostasy, like we’re having right now; largely over these issues. We do have another initiative that we have called, “Answers to Gospel Questions.” We are trying to figure out exactly what channels to deliver it in and exactly what format to put it in. But we want to have a place where people can go. We have hired someone that’s in charge of search engine optimization. We realize that people get their information basically from Google. They don’t come to LDS.org. If they get there, it’s through Google. So, we are trying to create an offering that will address these issues and be available for the public at large and to the church leaders, because many of them don’t have answers either. It can be very disappointing to church members. And, for people who are losing their faith, or who have lost it, we hope to regain to the church. All of the articles are unsigned and have no attribution.

They can be found on the lds.org website here by typing in “Gospel Topics” into the search engine. This will take you to an article originally written on November 20, 2013 by Camille West titled “New Gospel Topics Page Encourages Personal and Family Study.” West explains:

Recognizing that today so much information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be obtained from questionable and often inaccurate sources, officials of the Church began in 2013 to publish straightforward, in-depth essays on a number of topics. The purpose of these essays, which have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been to gather accurate information from many different sources and publications and place it in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org, where the material can more easily be accessed and studied by Church members and other interested parties.

Saying that these essays are approved by the “First Presidency and Quourm of the Twelve Apostles,” authority is given to these articles. See Are the Gospel Topics Essays Helping or Hurting LDS Membership?


Podcasts on the Gopsel Topics Essays

Links and Reviews of the Gospel Topics Essays

Are Mormons Christian? (originally posted 11/20/2013)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired in May 2014:

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9


Becoming Like God (originally posted 2/24/2014)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired in March 2016:

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5   Part 6   Part 7  Part 8   Part 9  Part 10


Book of Mormon Translation (originally posted 12/30/2013)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired in October 2015:

 Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8


Book of Mormon and DNA Studies (originally posted 1/31/2014)

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired February 11-14, 2014:

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

There is also an article and video available.


First Vision Accounts (originally posted 11/20/2013)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

 Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired June 2-13, 2014:

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10


Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women (originally posted 10/23/2015)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point


The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage (originally posted 12/23/2013)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.


Mother in Heaven (originally posted 10/23/2015)

MRM’ s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired November 16-18, 2015:

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3


Peace and Violence among 19th Century Latter-day Saints (originally posted 5/13/2014)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.


Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah (originally posted 12/16/2013)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired January 2014:

 Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4


Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo  (originally posted 10/22/2014)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast response that originally aired November 10-23, 2014:

 Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4 Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10  Part 11  Part 12


Race and the Priesthood (originally posted 12/6/2013)

Viewpoint on Mormonism’s podcast response that originally aired January 2014:

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5 

An excellent article that discusses the essay, point by point, can be found on IRR’s website here. Also, click the following for related articles:


Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham (originally posted 5/13/2014)

MRM’s written response to this article covering the essay point by point.

 Viewpoint on Mormonism’s podcast response that originally aired December 2014:

Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4    Part 5