Gospel Topic Essays

Are you Elders familiar with the Gospel Topics Essays produced by the LDS Church?

 

Elder Smith

Of course, they are found on lds.org.

 

Chris

Have you read them?

 

Elder Young

Honestly, I haven’t read any of them yet.

 

Elder Smith

I’ve read a couple.

 

Chris

It would seem important for you as missionaries to know what each of those essays had to say on the various gospel topics.

 

Elder Young

What specific topics do they cover?

 

Chris

Let’s look at them on the Church’s website:  lds.org > search > Gospel Topics Essays.  There are eleven of them.  And they are listed in alphabetical order: maybe zoom in on the phone and do a screen capture of Chris’ phone.

https://www.lds.org/topics/essays

Are Mormons Christian?

Becoming like God

Book of Mormon and DNA Studies

Book of Mormon Translation

First Vision Accounts

Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women

Mother in Heaven

Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

Race and the Priesthood

Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

 

Elder Young

When did the Church produce these essays?

 

 

Elder Smith

Didn’t they begin publishing them in 2013 and through 2015.   It was in response to what members were finding on the internet about the history, doctrine, and practices of the Church.

Because the First Presidency was concerned that much of the information was coming from questionable and unreliable sources, they commissioned these essays to be written and made available on the Church’s own official website.

 

Elder Young

So, did our Prophet or Apostles write them?

 

Elder Smith

I highly doubt it!  Probably written by LDS scholars.  Perhaps from the Religion Department at Brigham Young University.

 

Chris

I think the reason the church came out with the essays at that time was because convert rates in the LDS Church had been declining greatly while a steady stream of members are leaving the faith.

I’m not sure these essays are designed to restore people’s faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections.

With so much information readily available on the internet, the church can no longer hide its history and hopes to do damage control by reconciling the facts with what has been taught by church leaders in the past.

 

Elder Smith

So Chris obviously you have been reading these essays?

 

Chris

I have, and I would like to review some of them with you.  Perhaps next time we could discuss the essay titled – Mother in Heaven.

Cause if I have a mother in heaven, I should probably know something about her.  Don’t you think?

 

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has produced 11 Essays covering the following topics:

 

  • Are Mormons Christian?
  • Becoming like God
  • Book of Mormon and DNA Studies
  • Book of Mormon Translation
  • First Vision Accounts
  • Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women
  • Mother in Heaven
  • Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints
  • Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Race and the Priesthood
  • Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

 

Link to LDS.org

 

These documents were published between 2013 and through 2015.   It was in response to what members were finding on the internet about the history, doctrine, and practices of the Church.

Because the First Presidency was concerned that much of the information was coming from questionable and unreliable sources, they commissioned these essays to be written and made available on the Church’s own official website.

 

So, did the "Prophet" or "Apostles" write them?

 

I highly doubt it!  Probably written by LDS scholars.  Perhaps from the Religion Department at Brigham Young University.

 

I think the reason the church came out with the essays at that time was because convert rates in the LDS Church had been declining greatly while a steady stream of members are leaving the faith.

 

I’m not sure these essays are designed to restore people’s faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections.

With so much information readily available on the internet, the church can no longer hide its history and hopes to do damage control by reconciling the facts with what has been taught by church leaders in the past.

 

I would like to review some of these essays.  Perhaps next time we could discuss the essay titled – Mother in Heaven.

Cause if I have a mother in heaven, I should probably know something about her.  Don’t you think?