Starting Sunday, adult Latter-day Saints will shelve their study of past Mormon prophets and return to fundamentals of their faith as spelled out in a 30-year-old book called Gospel Principles .

Twice a month, Mormon men in their priesthood meetings and women in their Relief Society sessions will consider a different chapter in the book, originally published in 1978, which discusses everything from the nature of God and Christ's atoning sacrifice to the need for baptism and temple rituals.

Until now, the book largely has been used as a primer for new converts to the 13.5 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


One intriguing change, Witten says, is that all references to late apostle Bruce R. McConkie's quasi-authoritative book, Mormon Doctrine , have been excised.

"Quotes were updated to reference materials that are more accessible to members of the LDS Church worldwide," church spokeswoman Kim Farah explains. "For example, the series, Teachings of Presidents of the Church , is referenced because it is available in 28 languages, while Mormon Doctrine is only available in a few."


"While the prophets we've studied have been great, there are several more I'd like to hear from."

On top of that, Evans doesn't see the revised Gospel Principles manual as "a cure for the problem of boredom, but maybe no manual can cure that."