The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets
While all the elements of the gospel as it is defined in the Book of Mormon occur in the New Testament, the formulaic relationship the Book of Mormon ascribes to them is not so obvious. Yet, once the Book of Mormon definition is understood, there is little difficulty accommodating New Testament usages to it.
The Lord has repeatedly stated that the Book of Mormon contains “the fulness of the gospel” (D&C 20:9; 27:5; 42:12). On three separate occasions reported in the Book of Mormon, the basic elements of the gospel are explained by either a prophet or Jesus himself. In each case six central elements are repeated several times in language that is varied to enrich their meaning (2 Ne. 31:2–32:6; 3 Ne. 11:31–41; 27:13–21). Each of these long passages is framed by affirmations that “this is my gospel” or “this is my doctrine.”These core texts present the gospel message as a six-point formula, which Joseph Smith abbreviated as the “first principle and ordinances of the Gospel” (History of the Church 4:541). The function of this formula is primarily explanatory and pedagogical, as it does not tell converts to Christ “all things what [they] should do” (2 Ne. 32:5). Rather, this is the function of the Holy Ghost, whose guidance the follower of Christ must constantly seek (2 Ne. 32:1–5).