I am so excited for the new Gospel Principles manual! I have always felt strongly about focusing on the basic principles of the gospel. Elder Nelson expressed the same in the January Ensign: "All Church members will benefit by a return to the basics. A careful study of core doctrines . . . will help members strengthen their understanding of the fundamental teachings of the gospel."
As time goes by, we often forget the simple aspects of the gospel and tend to only study deeper doctrine. But our understanding of deeper doctrine will increase when we understand the foundational principles upon which the deeper doctrine is built. To bake a cake, every little ingredient is important in producing the delicious dessert. So it is with developing knowledge and a testimony: every little principle is important in producing a strong understanding of the gospel.
Some members may fear there will be some redundancy. Elder Nelson said, "Of course there will! Isn't it wonderful that we can gain the added benefit of repetition. Even the Savior taught the same doctrine multiple times to reinforce concepts. . . . the Lord repeats many concepts so that we do not miss them." Talented musicians understand this benefit: the better they play and understand the basics of music, the better they will play and understand difficult music.
For those, like me, who are unable to attend the lessons, we can study the manual at home. We do not want to miss out on the blessings Elder Nelson promised: "Brothers and sisters, by reinforcing your study of the core doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ, your testimony will grow, your happiness will increase, and you will find a greater abundance of the blessings of the Lord in your life."
Discussion: How will the new manual help the threefold mission of the Church (proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, redeem the dead)?