My research article on Gospel Principles now online at UTLM.
I put a lot of work into it (comparing a bunch of Gospel Principles editions took forever, and my wife is glad it’s over!), and I hope it’s helpful to others. To get your started:
“Outsiders learning Mormon theology afresh are better suited starting with Gospel Principles than with Mormon scriptures (KJV Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) or literature authored by BYU religion professors. It functions not only as a concise guide to Mormon theology but also as an example of how Mormonism approaches its own canon. The existence and perpetuation of the book in Mormon culture is a corrective to suggestions that the religion is unconcerned with a holistic, coherent theological worldview. It begins with the nature of God and our pre-mortal existence (chapters 1 and 2) and then ends with final judgment and exaltation (chapters 46 and 47). It explains practical living in the context of a roughly systematic Mormon theology, and gives Mormons a sweeping worldview meta-narrative to understand ultimate reality and their grand purpose in life.”