Attention LDS Faithful: Your Doctrine has been Revised

January 10th, 2010
Micah McAllister

This year, LDS faithful will be returning to the basics, or core beliefs and doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints through studying the Gospel Principles manual. This instruction manual has been employed in the Gospel Principles Sunday school class that is primarily attended by new converts to review and teach all that the Gospel has to offer. For 2009, this manual has been revised and includes removing all references to apostle Bruce R. McConkie's book, "Mormon Doctrine". These have been replaced with references to "Teachings of Presidents of the Church" manuals used over the past decade in Relief Society and Priesthood classes. According to church spokeswoman Kim Farah, this is "because it is available in 28 languages, while Mormon Doctrine is only available in a few" (SLC Tribune, Dec. 31, 2009). Also omitted or replaced are references to deceased apostle John A. Widstoe's book, "Discourses of Brigham Young", a 743 page compilation of discourses taken from the "Journal of Discourses" which contained all available discourses of Brigham Young and other early General Authorities. Despite these changes, the revised edition is 90% the same, according to business analyst Matthew Witten (SLC Tribune, Dec. 31, 2009). Witten also says that "the changes are not a big deal."

Below you will find a comparative review of some of the more significant and potentially doctrine changing revisions to allow you to make your own deductions on whether the changes are a "big deal" or not. While reviewing this post, please pull out your 2009 edition of Gospel Principles and if available, the 1997 edition (or earlier), so as to see the changes with your own eyes and not rely on this post alone. You will first find a list of the gospel topics that were revised, followed by a comparative review of each. Differences between the two editions will be marked as either underlined text for additions, or strikethrough text for deletions. All comparisons are the 1997 to 2009 edition of Gospel Principles.

Gospel Topics potentially changed by this latest revision
--- The Plurality of Gods
--- Heavenly Parents (mother)
--- Eldest brother Jesus
--- Attributes of the Holy Ghost
--- Becoming a God

Comparative Review of Topics
--- The Plurality of Gods
Excerpts from Chapter 1: "Our Father In Heaven"
From pages 9 and 5 from the 1997 and 2009 editions respectively:
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)...
From pages 9 and 6 respectively:
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.
All good things come from God. Everything that He does is to help His children become like Him—a god.
---Heavenly Parents and Eldest brother Jesus
Excerpts from Chapter 2: "Our Heavenly Family"
From pages 11 and 9 respectively:
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...
From pages 13 and 10 respectively:
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).
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.)...
Excerpt from Chapter 3: "Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior"
From pages 17 and 13 respectively:
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)...
---Attributes of the Holy Ghost
Excerpts from Chapter 7: "The Holy Ghost"
From pages 37 and 32 respectively:
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)...
---Becoming a God
Excerpts from Chapter 47: Exaltation
From pages 301 and 275 respectively:
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)...
From pages 302 and 277 respectively:
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...
Make your Deductions
Before reading on, take a few moments to ponder on each of the revisions noted above. Do these look like changes that merely simplify doctrine so as to be more easily comprehended? Could these changes have deeper ramifications including the possibility of cleaning up embarrassing doctrines that are unpopular or less mainstream? What other questions do these changes bring up? Knowing that this is just the most recent revision of gospel principles, does it leave you wondering what previous revisions may have revised, cleaned up, or omitted? Is the deletion of references to "Mormon Doctrine" and "Discourses of Brigham Young" only to make referenced material more accessible, or is it to prevent members from finding unmentionable, little known and embarrassing doctrine that is no longer taught? Only you can decide what makes sense to you. All of the above changes can be personally verified by comparing these two official Gospel Principles manuals.

Final Thoughts
When ever any publication goes through a revision, it presents the opportunity for several types of changes including but not limited to the following: Spelling and grammatical errors are corrected; sentences that weren't very clear may be reworded; new information that was previously unknown, unprepared or unavailable may be added; and some points may be altered or removed all together. It is this last item that may bring up the most questions: "some points may be altered or removed all together". Reviewing the revisions above, these are the points modified or removed that are potentially significant to long held Gospel Principles:

-- Heavenly Father may now be the Supreme and Absolute God instead of "one" God among many (his siblings, parents and relatives who also reached God status).
-- The idea of a Heavenly Mother has been removed due to "heavenly parents" being replaced by either "Heavenly Father" or "God".
-- Jesus may no longer be regarded as our oldest brother or even our brother.
-- The Holy Ghost may no longer be a being that is in the form of a human man but is just a lesser defined "personage of Spirit".
-- You may no longer actually become a God, but just return to His presence with your worthy family members.

As is familiar to LDS missionaries and return missionaries, the gospel is generally taught in a "milk before meat" approach. Without first knowing and gaining a testimony of the rather benign first principles and ordinances of the gospel, it is highly unlikely that deeper gospel principles or ordinances will be believed or accepted. However, if long held "deep" doctrines or principles are continually removed from each revision of lesson manuals and/or are no longer taught, does that make them no longer accepted principles of the gospel? Does that relegate them to being gospel myths, deniable outright to the media and investigators? Is this revision practice a deceitful concealment of embarrassing or non mainstream "meat" principles? If you find these questions troubling, do as the General Authorities advise and allow yourself to seek answers, even if from unofficial or unapproved publications. Let the spirit help you recognize the answers from within. What you find through your own free inquiry, may surprise you. There are 3 things that can't long be hidden: The sun, the moon, and the truth. However, only an inquisitive and open mind is likely to recognize the latter.

Additional Resources:
You can find links to both editions here (HTML and PDF):
Additional revisions to these and other chapters are reviewed here but may not represent a complete list of all changes:
Discourses of Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses

Views: 5764

Comment by Jean Bodie on January 31, 2010 at 8:23pm
You need to correct the last entry from Gospel Principles. It says in the 2010 version:
3. They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase.

You said, leaving out the strike through words:
3. They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have eternal increase...
Comment by Jean Bodie on January 31, 2010 at 8:26pm
Everything else checked out though so I copied, pasted and printed. Then I cut up the strips of paper and put them into the appropriate pages of hubby's manual. I had already told him that these changes had been made and what my (your) suspicions for the motives were.

Thanks for the help. Keep going!!!
Comment by Enlightened on March 15, 2011 at 8:16am
This should be a facebook post - Excellent!
Comment by Enlightened on March 15, 2011 at 8:33am

I have just found a copy of a 1996 Book called "Our Heritage- A brief history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.....

and then a very interesting little booklet entitled "Truth Resotred" A short history of the C of JC of LDS by Gordon B Hinckley copyright 1979.

My Gospel Principles book on the bottom of 2nd page says Copyright 1978. 79, 81, 85, 86, 88 1992.... does that make it earlier than the 1997 one you mention?

Just curious....

Comment by MikeUtah on March 15, 2011 at 9:47am
That would be an earlier version than the 97 and 2010 versions.
Comment by Idaho Spud on March 19, 2011 at 1:21pm
Poor mom in heaven got deleted.  Sad.
Comment by Jean Bodie on July 2, 2011 at 7:23pm
Thanks for this Mike; I'll be sharing for sure. Amen to what Sue said; laughing at what Gilgal said and empathizing with Lori and Becky. You are both still young; please don't worry about what is in the past; you have your lives before you - go on and enjoy them. We all have those moments of sorrow over wasted time, so let's not waste anymore on them. This site of Mike's and all the others out there are to inform people of the truth so that they can move forward in their own beliefs. You don't need anyone telling you WHAT to believe - follow logic and reason. Magic is not real.
Comment by LeftLONGAgo on December 21, 2012 at 7:01pm

The "changing" of doctrine or "scripture" is one of the reasons I left. My (ex)husband and I invited missionaries over for a discussion (this was back in the mid 80s). We asked why it was that when the priesthood was given to all races that they did not become "white as snow" as it said in the BofM. Much to our surprise, the scripture had been changed to "pure as snow." Sorry - I can't remember the book and verse, this was way too long ago, but I do remember the words and our surprise when they did not match. Our BofM's were published in the mid 70s - the missionaries copy was from the 80's. There was no footnote of the change, and I didn't recall being told about a vision or any such thing that would cause a change to be made. Hmmmm...the "most perfect book" as Joseph Smith said. Also...hasn't anyone questioned why the pattern for garments changes with fashion? The pattern was supposedly given to JS directly from JC - this was part of an "eternal truth" so should never have changed. Like they say...never say never!

Comment by byron on February 4, 2013 at 7:12pm

as mind friend put it....spin......this is me, now, is the ball spinning left or right?....If you sail around the world east, and come full circle, you might end up west??????

two men looked out of the self same bars, one saw the mud the other the stars...

is the glass half empty, or full?????

The Basics, the Mormons prided, them selves about the most disputed doctrine, the

God head....

God Jesus Christ, and the Holy

Ghost, are three separate and distinct individuals, and not just different manifistations of the same being....

Mosiah 5 or 15, if theholy ghost recalls my memory...three in one oil.....the same God head as the Catholics believe.....

avenging angels

meadowmountain massacre

blood atonement

Mark Hoffman, and Hinckley fooled by the murderer, and fraud, decepter....

We claim the priveladge of worshipping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscientious, and allow men the same, let them worship , how , where or what they may....

I f you invite deep thought, of thought provoking discussion, you get shut up real quick, and shunned...

or the labeled, and canned phrases, pray about it.....

Cain slew able, and thats the reason the blacks were prohibited from having the priesthood...

Where or when were traces of Black blood discovered, people of dark skin , who did a dna sample,???????

Interracial  marriage, spencer kimball, did.....Mormon church opposed...

The Mormon church comprises of 2% in the United come...????

Jesus Christ was handsome, and from Jewish blood line...

The Church of Jc of lds saints, say , the same today and yesterday, and forever..

What about, the succession of the bloodline...where are the modern day prophets, that have jewish bloodline????

Where are the saints????

Where is the love????

what about the one sheep that went astray????

THat comment that scott made regarding abused women, sad and uncalled for, tasteless.....


Comment by Zman on February 7, 2013 at 11:57pm

Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever  ;)


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