Attending a Latter-day Saint testimony meeting, or listening to testimonies at the ends of talks, you will hear a pattern. We talk in shorthand, about how we know the truth of “the Gospel” or “this Gospel” or even “the Church”, and we assume everyone else knows what that means. Those terms function as bundles of many different ideas, and we use them as shorthand to avoid having name their contents. Sometimes we may use them to avoid having to think about the ideas in detail.¬†What do these bundles contain? Some common bundles of ideas Mormons may include in “the Gospel” are:

  • Current doctrine and practice of the LDS Church
  • Past but currently unpopular doctrine of the LDS Church
  • Doctrine and widely accepted culture of the LDS Church
  • All teachings of all Church leaders since the founding of the Church.
  • All teachings pronounced by the united voice of the current First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
  • The scriptures and the doctrines explained and taught by Joseph Smith
  • Messages delivered by all true messengers, regardless of Church leadership or even membership status
  • Truth learned by personal revelation, by observation, and by reason

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