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Gospel Principles and the Bible: An Introduction

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Gospel Principles and the Bible: An Introduction

Robert M. Bowman Jr.

The primary doctrinal curriculum manual of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is entitled Gospel Principles. Continuously in print since 1978, a new edition of Gospel Principles was released in 2009 and studied by Mormons throughout 2010 and 2011. Although the manual is not viewed as scripture, it provides the best overview of LDS doctrine and values and is arguably the religion’s most important and enduring curriculum publication. All citations from Gospel Principles refer to this 2009 edition except as otherwise noted.

Gospel Principles and the Bible: A Study Guide to Mormon Doctrine offers a biblically-based analysis and response to LDS beliefs following the outline and contents of Gospel Principles. This study guide presents the first comprehensive response to the LDS belief system from an evangelical Christian perspective. Its purpose is not merely to find fault or to criticize; evangelicals and Mormons share many conservative ethical beliefs and values in common, and also agree on some important doctrinal truths, most notably the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Where we find such agreement, we are quick to make note of it and to commend the LDS Church for its stand. At the same time, where LDS teachings differ from those of the Bible, we seek to give an accurate, fair-minded, and biblically sound response to the doctrine summarized in Gospel Principles. To get an understanding of the perspective from which we approach the subjects of this study guide, you might want to read first the article “Love, Honesty, and the Defense of the Faith,” which reflects on the contents of chapters 30 and 31 of Gospel Principles.

Gospel Principles and the Bible is divided into 58 articles, arranged to follow the plan of Gospel Principles from beginning to end through all 47 chapters. In a few cases an article corresponds to two or three chapters from Gospel Principles; more often, from two to four articles cover the material in one chapter on different topics.

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Robert M. Bowman Jr.
Institute for Religious Research


To start reading now:

Gospel Principles and the Bible: A Study Guide to Mormon Doctrine
Complete list of all articles in this study guide

Knowing Heavenly Father: Scripture as Our Guide
Response to the first chapter of Gospel Principles