A Review of a Few Basic Principles of the Gospel

“The most basic principles of the gospel are sometimes those least understood.” Theodore M. Burton

The following information was obtained by searching through numerous LDS books and choosing a few definitions that caught my eye. Please feel free to add to what I’ve provided.


1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most comprehensive subject that we can study…it embraces all truth, wherever found, in all the works of God and man that are visible or invisible to mortal eyes…revealed and…unrevealed, whether religious, political, scientific, or philosophical…[1]

2. Even though Latter-day Saints use the term “gospell” in several ways, including traditional Christian usages, the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures define it precisely as the way or means by which an individual can come to Christ.[2] Continue reading

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Drawing Nearer to God Through the Book of Mormon-Part 1

“Drawing nearer to God through the Book of Mormon”, is a three—part series.

I am writing with the hope my children, grandchildren, family, friends, and interested others will be persuaded not only to believe in Christ and the restoration of God’s church through the prophet Joseph Smith, but to use the Book of Mormon to draw nearer to God. 

I think drawing nearer to God means to communicate with Him like the writers of the Book of Mormon did. They learned to pray and receive guidance. The prophet-historian, Mormon, abridged a thousand years of records to produce the plates that would eventually become the Book of Mormon. 

I have been studying the Book of Mormon for many decades. But more important than that, I have experienced some of the same manifestations of the Spirit as the writers of the Book of Mormon did. That is the purpose of the Book of Mormon—to teach those who study from its pages how to experience the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

The prophet Joseph Smith taught: Continue reading

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What Was God? What Was Praying, She Asked

 This was published in the Deseret News Feb 7, 2018. Here

Jiyeon Song excitedly moves through a pile of 20 or so presents at her baby shower hosted by a friend from church. The 34-year-old expectant mother doesn’t just remove the wrapping, she tears through cardboard and plastic product packaging to reveal what’s inside. She removes an elephant-shaped humidifier from a large box, balanced carefully on her knees, and proudly holds it up for the crowd to see, eyes beaming behind round-rimmed glasses. Continue reading

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Satan’s Success:Diverting Attention from the Atonement to Far Lesser Concerns

My experience in the Bloggernacle in the last sixteen years has opened my eyes to the fact that there are many other concerns on the minds of church members than the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I don’t think the author intended the following quote to include Latter-day-Saints but unfortunately it applies and fits all to well when it comes to what is routinely discussed in the ‘nacle.

“For many, the beautiful and deep doctrine of the Atonement is summarily dismissed and placed on the back shelf with the facile response, ‘Just believe and be saved.’ Why such an approach? Perhaps Hugh Nibley best articulates the reason:

‘So cool has been the reception of the message [of the Atonement] that through the centuries, while heated controversy and debate have raged over evolution, atheism, the sacraments, the Trinity, authority, predestination, faith and works, and so on, there has been no argument or discussion at all about the meaning of the Atonement. Why were there no debates or pronouncements in the synods? People either do not care enough or do not know enough even to argue about it. For the doctrine of the Atonement is far too complicated to have the appeal of a world religion.’

Satan has been successful in diverting much of the Christian world’s attention from the one doctrine that can save us, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to the ancillary doctrines that have meaning only because they draw their sustenance from this redeeming event. Like a skilled magician, Satan’s every move is to divert our attention and dilute our focus from the primary object at hand, namely Christ’s atoning sacrifice, in hopes we will turn exclusively to doctrines of secondary and far lesser import. His diversionary tactics have been, and will be, of such global proportions that John tragically exclaimed, ‘Satan . . . deceiveth the whole world’ (Revelation 12:9; see also D&C 10:63). After all the sleight of hand ceases and the smoke clears, it is still Jesus Christ, his Atonement, and our obedience to him that saves us—nothing else can do it.” The Infinite Atonement, Tad R. Callister, Pages 15-16. Continue reading

Posted in Atonement, Precepts of Men | 5 Comments

How Long Before the Prophets Declare that the Sword of Justice Hangeth Over this People

I prefer to blog about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and receiving the Holy Ghost. The topic of this post is speculative. I don’t have any idea how long it will be before the prophets warn the Gentile nations that “destruction awaiteth this people” save they repent and have faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t have any idea when such a warning will be given, but I expect that one day the Lord will command the prophets to deliver a warning to the Gentiles: repent or suffer.

The Book of Mormon provides a benchmark, an indicator to help followers of Christ to assess the times they are living in. Mosiah taught:

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.  Mosiah 29:26 – 27 Continue reading

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You’ve Read the CES Letter. Now What?

LDS church members respond in a variety of was after reading the CES Letter. The question is: how are you going to respond?

Most deal with a rush of emotional pain after reading from the CES Letter. Some even say it takes your breath away like being on an amusement park ride, except it is not fun.

What you do next is important. There are basically only two choices for most, 1. Turn to Heavenly Father or 2. Turn to others. Your family, friends, church leaders, the internet, etc. Continue reading

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Is Your Testimony of the Book of Mormon Authentic or Borrowed?

In my opinion, there are many kinds of testimonies held by church members. But at some point church members need to acquire a testimony in the Lord’s way. This is done by calling on the Lord in prayer, even mighty prayer, to acquire a true and living testimony of the Book of Mormon as described in the following verses:

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Moroni 10:4-5

When a member of the church receives this kind of testimony it will survive all the challenges of mortality. Including all the challenges associated with church history. Continue reading

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My Experience of Coming Unto Christ and Experiencing Repentance (Applying the Atonement)

I haven’t always been a sincere follower of Christ. As a boy, holidays recognizing the Savior were just another holiday, like Halloween or Presidents day. The joy of being out of school, receiving gifts, and eating all the goodies at Christmas and Easter were at the top of my list. The significance of the holiday didn’t matter; a fun time with a lot of goodies was the important thing.

Later, as a worldly teenager, I still enjoyed holidays because of the “goodies”—however my definition of goodies had changed from food and candy to “partying.”

Nowadays, as a follower of Christ, I travel memory lane, thinking of the events that took me from a boyhood fascination with holiday goodies, to teenage keg parties, and lastly to an abiding appreciation of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. The transition from a worldly teenager to a follower of Christ was, and continues to be, an incredible journey. I’d like to share a few things I’ve leaned on this journey with the hope that it will help others who are making transitions in their lives.

A Startling Answer to Prayer Continue reading

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Hugh Nibley’s Faith Crisis Solved by Prayer

Hugh Nibley (1910-2005). There may be some reading this who don’t know much about Hugh Nibley. I got acquainted with him in the 1970’s, attended his class, lectures and had the opportunity to talk with him on a few occasions. For anyone interested in knowing more about him I suggest reading “Hugh Nibley A Consecrated Life” (The Wikipedia piece on Nibley just doesn’t give the reader even the slightest idea of who he was). Those who knew Nibley the best say that there will never be another Nibley. He was a unique personality and faithful follower of Christ.

When Nibley was 26 years old the depression was in full bloom and creating economic challenges for him. In addition he was having questions about the gospel, we might say it was a faith crisis. From his biography: Continue reading

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Satan Desireth to Have You, That He May Sift You as Wheat

The Savior warned His followers about the power and influence of Satan saying:

Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. 3 Nephi 18:18

Sifting wheat or winnowing is accomplished by throwing wheat into the air and allowing chaff to be blown away, leaving just the grain. From Satan’s perspective, he’d like the good, that is, the spiritual part of men winnowed out leaving just the evil, fallen part of us. That way he can have full power over the hearts of men and women.

The Book of Mormon tells of just such a time. A time when the Jaredites had become so wicked that Satan had full power over the hearts of the people. Continue reading

Posted in Book: Alive in Christ, Satan | Tagged | 2 Comments