211 PREFACE

211 PREFACE - PREFACE Since coming to Brigham Young...

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PREFACE Since coming to Brigham Young University a few years ago, I have noticed a peculiar and unexpected thing. New freshmen arrive at BYU from wards and branches all over the Church. The majority have been in the Church for a relatively long time, even, I suspect, most of their lives, and they are generally well trained in the peripherals of the gospel. They know a surprising amount about tithing, the Word of Wisdom, genealogy, LDS dating, food storage, and so forth. Of course all of these are important principles for the Latter-day Saints and make up part of the fullness of the gospel in the latter days. But these are not the central doctrines of the gospel as taught in all dispensations from the beginning of the world to its end. 9What I noticed about my students was that, as we moved in class from peripheral doctrines and practices of the Church to the central doctrines of the gospel, many of them became less and less sure of themselves—they were soft in the middle. Some were even more comfortable defining themselves in terms of what they didn't believe (predestination, original sin, and so forth) than in terms of what they did believe. A significant minority did not understand scriptural doctrines such as salvation by grace, justification through faith in Christ, sanctification, atonement, and the meaning and terms of the gospel covenant. They were well taught in the peripherals but not in the vitals of the restored gospel. 10I am sure most of this is a function of age and maturity rather than of intelligence and
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211 PREFACE - PREFACE Since coming to Brigham Young...

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