Gospel Principles Changes

15 Oct

I don’t normally post anything from an antagonist source, but I thought this was interesting enough, and devoid enough from anti-Mormon sentiment, to make it worth republishing here:

Note: The Gospel Principles manual will be the course of study for the LDS Church for the next two years.

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.

Chapter 1 – Our Heavenly Father

1997 to 2009

God is the one Supreme and Absolute Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things (see Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 18–23) “the Great Parent of the universe,” and He “looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 39)

Because we are made in His image (see Moses 2:26; 6:9), we know that God has a body that looks our bodies are like ours His body. His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). God’s body, however, is perfected and glorified, with a glory beyond all description.

God is perfect. He is a God of righteousness, with attributes such as love, mercy, charity, truth, power, faith, knowledge, and judgment. He has all power. He knows all things. He is full of goodness.

All good things come from God. Everything that He does is to help His children become like Him—a god. He has said, “Behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39)…

Joseph Smith—History 1:17 (Father and Son are separate beings)

Chapter 2 – Our Heavenly Family

1997 to 2009

Every person who was ever born on earth was is our spirit brother or sister in heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21), so he is literally our elder brother (see Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 26). Because we are the spiritual spirit children of our heavenly parents God, we have inherited the potential to develop their His divine qualities. If we choose to do so Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become perfect, just as they are like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy

We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were given sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. (See Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 51.) We can learn more about our talents and callings “eternal possibilities” when we receive our patriarchal blessings (see Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye Thomas S. Monson, in Holy Places, p. 117). Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66).

Even though we have forgotten, A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven remembers knows who we are and what we did before we came here (see Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 50)

Our heavenly parents provided us with a celestial home more glorious and beautiful than any place on earth. We were happy there. Yet they Heavenly Father knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left them Him for a time. They He wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that they have He has. To do this, we needed to leave our celestial premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. We needed to choose good over evil. Our spirits needed to be clothed with physical bodies. We would need to leave our physical bodies at death and reunite with them in the Resurrection. Then we would receive immortal bodies like those that of our heavenly parents Heavenly Father. If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our heavenly parents have Heavenly Father has received. (See D&C 93:30-34.)…

Since we could not progress further in heaven, Our Heavenly Father called a Grand Council to present His plan for our progression…

We learned that He would provide an earth for us where we would be tested prove ourselves (see Abraham 3:24-26). A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without being influenced by the memory of living with our Heavenly Father…

At the Grand Council we also learned the purpose for our progression: to have a fulness of joy. However, we also learned that not all of our Father’s children would want to receive a fulness of joy. Some of us some would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose their way…

At this council we also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin (see D&C 29:46-47). We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that if we placed our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be exalted and become like our heavenly parents Heavenly Father. We would receive a fulness of joy.

Chapter 3 – Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

1997 to 2009

We understood that we would have to leave our heavenly home for a time. We would not live in the presence of our heavenly parents Heavenly Father

Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27; see also Moses 4:1-4)…

Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honor for our salvation. Under his proposal, our purpose in coming to earth would have been frustrated (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 207)

Satan and his followers fought against Jesus Christ and His followers. The Savior’s followers “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11)

In our premortal life, we chose the right to follow Jesus Christ and accept God’s plan. We must continue to choose the right follow Jesus Christ here on earth. Only by following Him can we return to our heavenly home…

By following His teachings, we can return to live with him and our heavenly parents inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He was chosen to be our Savior when we all attended the great council with our heavenly parents. When he became our Savior, He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.

Chapter 4 – Freedom to Choose

1997 to 2009

Agency maybe have been was one of the first principal issues to arise in the premortal Council in Heaven. It was one of the main causes of the conflict between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan. Satan said he would bring said, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all of us back to our Father’s presence, but mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). In saying this, he would have taken away our agency. When his “rebelled against [God] and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). His offer was rejected, he rebelled and he was cast out of heaven with his followers (see D&C 29:36-37)…

We cannot choose righteousness unless the opposites of good and evil are placed before us…

The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Revelation 22:12). If we touch a hot flame, for example, we are burned.

Chapter 6 – The Fall of Adam and Eve

1997 to 2009

Adam and Eve were foreordained to become the parents of the human race our first parents

Although the scriptures do not tell us anything about Eve before she came to earth, she must have been a choice daughter of God. Eve was “the mother of all living” (Moses 4:26). She was given to Adam because God said God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage because “it was not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18; see also 1 Corinthians 11:11)…

They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God (see Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 268)

God commanded them to have children and to learn to control the earth

Because Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Lord sent them out of the Garden of Eden into the world as we now know it. Their physical condition changed as a result of their eating the forbidden fruit. As God had promised, they became mortal. They were able to have children

Because Satan had introduced evil into the world, Adam and Eve and their children were separated from God both physically and spiritually…

Chapter 7 – The Holy Ghost

1997 to 2009

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead (see 1 John 5:7; D&C 20:28). He is a spirit that has the form and likeness of a man “personage of Spirit” (D&C 130:22)

The Holy Ghost will witness to us that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer (see 3 Nephi 28:11; D&C 20:27; Hebrews 10:15).

Chapter 9 – Prophets of God

1997 to 2009

Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, sailed journeyed from Jerusalem to the American continent about six hundred Americas 600 years before the birth of Christ…

He holds “the keys of the kingdom,” meaning that he has the right authority to control direct the administration entire Church and kingdom of God on earth, including the administration of priesthood ordinances (see Matthew 16:19). No person except the chosen prophet and President can receive God’s will for the entire membership of the Church. The Lord said, “There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred” (D&C 132:7). The President of the Church is assisted by his counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, who are also prophets, seers, and revelatory

I say to Israel, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. God bless you.” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 212-13; see also Official Declaration 1 Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 199)…

A story from the life of Lorenzo Snow, the fifth president of the restored Church, shows how God rewards his people for their obedience. In those days the Church was suffering great financial trouble and had little money to pay its debts. Then more trouble came. A great drought afflicted many of the Saints. President Snow went to the Lord and prayed for relief. One day as the prophet was speaking in the St. George Tabernacle in Utah, the Holy Ghost inspiredhimto promise the Saints that they would receive rain if they would pay a full tithe. He quoted Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, . . . and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). The people obeyed their prophet, and the rains fell on the parched crops.

In order to stand, the true Church must be built upon the foundation of prophets “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Chapter 10

1997 to 2009

Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord has expanded our understanding of some passages in the Bible. The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph to restore truths to the Bible text that had been lost or changed since the original words were written. These inspired corrections are called the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. In the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible, selected passages from the Joseph Smith Translation are found on pages 797-813 and in many footnotes

The book of Moses contains an account of some of the visions and writings of Moses, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in June and December 1830

Their words come to us through conferences, Church publications, the Liahona or Ensign magazine, and instructions to local priesthood leaders…

Our standard works should be placed where our children will see them and We should read the standard works with our children so they will learn to love them and use them for the truths they contain.

Chapter 11

1997 to 2009

All of the prophets since Christ have testified that He did come. All of us need to study the life of the Savior and follow Him faithfully throughout our lives. We each need to have a personal relationship with him

By the time He was 12 years old, Jesus knew he had grown in His understanding that He had been sent to do the will of His Father. He went with His parents to Jerusalem. When His parents were returning home, they discovered that He was not with their group. They went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions and they were hearing him, and asking him questions” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 2:46)…

Joseph and Mary were relieved to find Him, but unhappy that he had treated them so “they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why bast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Jesus answered her gently, reminding her that Joseph was only a stepfather, saying, “Wist ye not that I must be about my [Heavenly] Father’s business?” (Luke 2:48-49)…

When Jesus was 30 years old, He came to his cousin John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River. John was reluctant to baptize Jesus because he knew that Jesus had never sinned was greater than he

Soon after Jesus was baptized, Satan came to him to tempt him. He wanted Jesus to fail his mission. If Satan could get him to commit just one sin, then Jesus would not be worthy to be our Savior, and the plan would fail. In this way Satan could make us as miserable as he is. We would never be able to return to our Heavenly Father. Satan’s temptations came after Jesus had been fasting for forty days. He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights to be with God. After that, Satan came to tempt Him. Jesus firmly resisted all of Satan’s temptations and then commanded Satan to leave. (See Matthew 4:1-11; see also Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1, 5-6, 8-9, 11.) Jesus Christ remained sinless, the one perfect being to ever walk the earth (see Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21-22)

After being tempted by His fast and His encounter with Satan, Jesus began His public ministry…

When his work of teaching and blessing the people was finished Near the end of His mortal ministry, Jesus prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of mankind…

In a modern revelation the Savior described how great His suffering was, saying it caused Him “to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:18). The awful anguish of taking upon himself every sin that any human being has ever committed went through the Savior’s body. He suffered “according to the flesh,” taking upon himself our pains, sicknesses, infirmities, and sins (see Alma 7:10-13)

After nine hours suffering on the cross, He cried out in agony, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). In Jesus’s bitterest hour, the Father had withdrawn his spirit from Him so Jesus could finish suffering the penalty for the sins of all mankind that Jesus might have complete victory over the forces of sin and death (see James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 660-61)

Some friends took the Savior’s body to a tomb, where it lay for three days until the third day

He willingly and humbly went through the sorrow in Gethsemane and the suffering on the cross. The Savior will have died in vain for our sins if we do not so we could receive all the blessings of the plan of salvation. To receive these blessings, we must come unto Him, repent of our sins, and love Him with all our hearts.

Chapter 13

1997 to 2009

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.  By his Through the priesthood power He created and governs the heavens and the earth were created

Our Heavenly Father shares delegates His priesthood power with to worthy male members of the Church…

Only those who hold the priesthood can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys for that ordination (see chapter 14 in this book)

He can baptize, confirm, and administer the sacrament when authorized by those who hold the keys for those ordinances

Men and women who hold positions in the Church as officers and teachers work under the direction of the priesthood priesthood leaders and under the guidance of the Holy Ghost

Chapter 14

1997 to 2009

Those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood have the power and authority to lead the Church and direct the preaching of the gospel in all parts of the world. They are in charge of administer all the spiritual work of the Church (see D&C 84:19-22; 107:8). They direct the work done in the temples; they preside over wards, branches, stakes, and missions; they heal the sick, bless babies, and give special blessings to Church members

They are usually ordained to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood and can soon be advanced ordained to higher other offices if as they are remain worthy…

To help fulfill this responsibility, they are usually called assigned to serve as home teachers…

Patriarchs are ordained by General Authorities, or by stake presidents when they are authorized by the Council of the Twelve, to give special patriarchal blessings to members of the Church…

An Apostle is a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world (see D&C 107:23)…

All organizations in the Church work under the direction of priesthoodleaders and help them carry out the work of the Lord. Forexample, the presidencies in a ward’s Relief Society, Young Women,Young Men, Primary, and Sunday School organizations serve underthe direction of the bishopric. These organizations are called auxiliariesto the priesthood.

Chapter 15

1997 to 2009

As members of the Church, we also covenant to obey the law of chastity, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and to be honest

He made a special covenant with Abraham and his descendants that blesses members of the Church and all nations of the earth and all nations of the earth today…

God made the same covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac and again with Isaac’s son Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Since that time, the descendants of Jacob, called Israelites, have been known as God’s covenant people

When we are baptized into the Church, we are adopted enter into Abraham’s family and have part in the covenant the Lord made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (see Galatians 3:26-29)…

We Worthy males have the right to hold the priesthood. Families can receive the blessings of the priesthood…

As the Lord’s covenant people, we must should keep His commandments…

How blessed we are to be God’s covenant people. To the faithful Saint, the Lord has promised, “All that my Father hath shall be given unto him” (D&C 84:38).

Chapter 16 – The Church of Jesus in Former Times

1997 to 2009

Through the persecution and martyrdom of Church leaders and the general wickedness of the people, the Church of Jesus Christ was taken from the earth. Today the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored and is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All of the offices and functions of the Church in the days of Jesus are present in the Church today

It was compared to a perfectly formed building that was “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20)…

The Apostles and other Church leaders visited and wrote letters to the leaders in the various branches…

Later, other Apostles died or were killed. Paul, Barnabas, and James, the brother of the Lord, were all ordained in their places

Everyone needed these saving ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost

Some members taught ideas from their old pagan or Jewish beliefs instead of the simple truths taught by Jesus. Some rebelled openly… One by one, the Apostles were killed or otherwise taken from the earth.

Because of wickedness and apostasy, the persecution, surviving Apostles could not meet to choose apostolic authority and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders keys were also taken from the only ones who had authority to direct the scattered branches of the Church earth. The perfect organization of the Church that Jesus Christ had established no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction dissolution of the Church was complete…

This church was very different from the church Jesus organized. Members of this church believed It taught that God was a being without form or substance…

The emperor chose his own leaders and sometimes called them by the same titles used by priesthood leaders in the true Church of Christ. Church officers were given honor and wealth. Bishops and archbishops fought among themselves to gain more power.

Chapter 17 – The Church of Jesus Christ Today

1997 to 2009

The Savior told him not to join any church because the true Church was not on the earth. He also said that the teachings creeds of present churches were “an abomination in his sight” ( Joseph Smith– History 1:19; see also verses 7-18, 20)…

When the Church was first organized, only the framework was set up. The organization was completed during the next several years would develop as the Church continued to grow

Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of the name of Jesus Christ, teach the gospel and regulate the affairs of the Church in all parts of the world…

1. Our Heavenly Father is a real person being with a tangible, perfected body of flesh and bones, and so is Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit

6. There are three degrees kingdoms of glory in the heavens, and through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, people will be rewarded according to their actions on earth and according to the desires of their hearts

8. The temple endowment and sealings Ordinances and covenants are required for salvation and are available for both the living and the dead.

Chapter 18

1997 to 2009

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. It is a spiritual gift, and it is necessary to our salvation… The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Faith is a principle of action and power that motivates our day-to-day activities…

There is no faith where there is no obedience. Likewise, there is true obedience only where there is faith

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When faith comes it brings . . . apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth; for these are the effects of faith. . . . And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent– whom to know is eternal life” (Lectures on Faith [19851, 83).

Chapter 47 – Exaltation

1985 to 1992

When we lived with our Heavenly Father, he explained a plan for progression to us, his spirit children our progression. We could become like him, an exalted being. The plan required that we be separated from him and come to earth. This separation was necessary to prove whether we would obey our Father’s commandments even though we were no longer in his presence. The plan provided that when earth life ended, we would be judged and rewarded according to the degree of our faith and obedience. We would then be assigned to the place for which we had earned for our eternal home prepared.

Jesus taught, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). From the scriptures we learn that there are three degrees or kingdoms of glory in heaven…

Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become Gods like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.

If we prove faithful and obedient to all the commandments of the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father. Exaltation is the highest reward greatest gift that our Heavenly Father can give his The Lord has said that exaltation is the greatest gift of all the gifts of God children (see D&C 14:7)…

Those who live the commandments of the Lord and receive eternal life (exaltation) exaltation in the celestial kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ will receive special blessings. The Lord has said: promised, “All things are theirs” (D&C 76:59). These are some of the special blessings given to exalted people…

List some of the blessings that will be given to those who earn exaltation. List some of the blessings that will be given to those who are exalted

There are specific ordinances we must have received to be exalted: To be exalted, we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey his commandments.

He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:

We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost…

In addition to receiving the required ordinances, there are also many laws we have to obey the Lord commands all of us to qualify for exaltation. We must

In other words, each person must endure in faithfulness, keeping all the Lord’s commandments until the end of his life on earth. Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow his direction in our individual lives

What happens when we have endured to the end and have been faithful? in faithful discipleship to Christ?

This is the way our Heavenly Father became a God…

Our Heavenly Father knows our trials, our weaknesses, and mistakes our sins.

1997 to 2009

We would then be assigned to the place for which we had prepared.

Jesus taught, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2)… If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father to live with our Heavenly Father in eternal families. Exaltation is the great­est gift that Heavenly Father can give His children (see D&C 14:7)…

Our Heavenly Father is perfect However, he is not jealous of his wisdom and perfection, and He glories in the fact that it is possible for His children to become like Him…

3. They will have be united eternally with their righteous family mem­bers with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family eternal increase

He commands us all to receive certain ordinances…

3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
4. We must receive the temple endowment.
5. We must be married for time and eternity, either in this life or in the next

In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord com­mands all of us to…

2. Keep the commandments
4. Live the law of chastity.
5. Pay honest tithes and offerings.
6. Be honest in our dealings with others and with the Lord.
7. Speak the truth always.
8. Obey the Word of Wisdom
10. Keep the Sabbath day holy
14. Honor our parents

Why are faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ necessary to become exalted?
What ordinances must we accept in order to become exalted?
What laws does the Lord give us that we must obey to become exalted?
How do ordinances and covenants prepare us for exaltation?
How does faith in Jesus Christ help us obey the commandments?

This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God. . . . He was once a man like us; . . . God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345-46).

Our Heavenly Father knows our trials, our weaknesses, and our sins. He has compassion and mercy on us. He wants us to succeed even as he did.

Imagine what joy each of us will have when we return to our Heavenly Father if we can say: “Father, I did what you wanted me to do I lived according to Thy will.

The original of this document is here

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Posted by on October 15, 2009 in History


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