Chapter 1: What is My Purpose as a Missionary?

By Eric Johnson Sections from the original from the LDS Church manual Preach My Gospel are boldfaced. My comments follow. The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith will bless their families, meet their spiritual needs, and help them fulfill their deepest desires. Although they may not know why, they need relief … Read more

A review of Preach My Gospel: A Manual used by LDS missionaries

By Eric Johnson Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service was published by the LDS Church in 2004. It is a manual that thousands of LDS missionaries study–both before and during their mission–so they can be successful on their missions. During 2016, MRM is reviewing each of the chapters of this manual. Selections from each chapter … Read more

“Understanding the Handbook”: A Review

By Eric Johnson The LDS Church has received a firestorm of criticism for adding a new section to its Handbook 1 (16.13) that prohibits children living in homes with homosexual parents from being able to participate in naming/blessing rites or baptism at the age of 8. For more on that and to better understand my comments … Read more

99 Quotable Quotes from the LDS Church manual Gospel Principles

Beginning February 2, 2015, Viewpoint on Mormonism will feature a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the 2009 LDS Church manual Gospel Principles. Included in this page are 99 of the best quotes from this 47-chapter manual, ordered by topics. In addition, we have compiled overviews of each chapter in this manual. Each chapter is summarized in about 50 words along with a “quotable quote” or two. This PDF file would be fun to check out during our two-month radio series on this manual, available for an electronic gift of any size during the months of February and March 2015. 

Two parables about the Atonement

Understanding the Atonement of Christ is vital if we are to understand exactly what salvation is all about. In 1977, Apostle Boyd K. Packer told a parable that talked about a creditor, debtor, and a third party who paid the debt. Then this friend turns the tables and says that he is the debtor’s new creditor. Is this really the way that salvation works? Let’s consider Packer’s story and then tell a story of our own that makes much more biblical sense.


Chapter 19: Temporal and Spiritual Blessings from the Word of Wisdom

Many Mormons—especially those who hold temple recommends—uphold the Word of Wisdom (including not drinking hot drinks such as coffee and tea and no alcohol or tobacco) with religious sincertiy and strictness. The question is, should this really be considered “counsel from the Lord”?

According to D&C 89:3, the Word of Wisdom is a “principle with [a] promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak.” However, this did not become a command for 18 years, until it was proposed in 1851 by President Brigham Young. It later became a requirement for temple recommend holders until later in the 20th century. If this was such an important teaching, it seems strange that it was not a command from God when this revelation was first given.

Changes to Gospel Principles

The following are some notable changes between editions of Gospel Principles. The editions published are as follows: 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1997, and 2009.

Underlined text marks something as new. Not all changes have been compiled, but only what seemed at least moderately notable. The most salient changes are marked in yellow. We recommend taking a special look at the changes made in 2009 to chapter 47.