“True to the Faith: Simple Insights to Gospel Principles A to Z,” Ensign, Oct. 2008, 74–75
When Robert Lund, a bishop in Kaysville, Utah, USA, encounters any gospel-related question or concern, he often turns to True to the Faith.
“If someone comes to me with a question, I’ll say, ‘Let’s see what True to the Faith says,’” said Bishop Lund, speaking of the gospel reference guide released in 2004.
True to the Faith takes a topic-by-topic approach in its simple explanations of gospel subjects. While the reference was designed to be especially mindful of youth, young single adults, and new converts, its underlying purpose is to help all readers strengthen their efforts “to draw near to the Savior and follow His example,” according to the First Presidency introduction.
Bishop Lund is not alone in his enthusiasm for the book. Members across the world are using True to the Faith to enhance their personal gospel study, build stronger foundations of gospel knowledge, apply gospel principles in their lives, and prepare to share or teach the gospel.
Donna Heßling, from the Münster Branch, Dortmund Germany Stake, uses True to the Faith to gain a broader understanding of the restored Church and its teachings.
“The entries are clear and intense, and each topic has enlarged and substantiated my testimony of the truthfulness of the Church,” Sister Heßling said.
True to the Faith contains approximately 170 entries on topics listed alphabetically from Aaronic Priesthood to Zion. In addition to teaching gospel principles in a simple yet inspiring way, each entry also contains scriptural references for further study of any topic.
Mark Ellison and his family, from Saratoga Springs, Utah, USA, often use True to the Faith to focus on a topic while studying the gospel at home.
“Sometimes we pick a topic and ask each member of our family to state one thing they know about that topic,” Brother Ellison said. “Then we go to True to the Faith and see what we may have overlooked.”
His children’s ages span from 7 to 18, yet Brother Ellison said True to the Faith provides information that meets the interest and levels of gospel knowledge for each member of his family.
Throughout 2007, 17-year-old Jake McKell in the Grandview 21st Ward, Provo Utah Grandview Stake (USA), along with his peers and leaders, participated in a challenge issued by their bishop to read True to the Faith from cover to cover.
“It has been a wonderful blessing to read the doctrine taught in such a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner,” said David Tueller, the ward Young Men president. “Throughout the ward there is a greater awareness of the power and use of that book for talks, personal scripture study, and helping to share the gospel with others.”
In the Allentown Branch, Reading Pennsylvania Stake (USA), Tracy Norton, the Young Women president, and the young women in her ward used True to the Faith and the Articles of Faith to gain confidence to share the gospel by understanding the Church’s beliefs better. Sister Norton also tries to use the book in her lessons.
“True to the Faith covers many topics relating to the struggles the youth face,” Sister Norton said.
“Using True to the Faith helped increase my understanding of the gospel and helped me have a stronger testimony,” said 14-year-old Genesis Felix, a member of the Allentown Branch. “I keep the book with my scriptures now and often use it to look up topics I don’t completely understand.”
Reading, learning, and then living the gospel has become a familiar process for Daniel Jauslin of the Pratteln Ward, Bern Switzerland Stake, who said True to the Faith is one of his favorite books.
“You read it, you gain or strengthen a testimony of what it says, and you get something out of it,” said Brother Jauslin. “This really is a guide on how to live the gospel.”
Brother Jauslin cites the section on the scriptures as an example. “I know reading the scriptures every day might be tough for a lot of members, but … True to the Faith tells us we need to do it daily, we need to make a plan, and we need to continue finding meaning in what we read,” he said.
Legrand Laing, a seminary teacher in Springville, Utah, USA, said he has seen True to the Faith play a valuable role in helping his students apply the gospel in their lives.
“True to the Faith offers thoughts and encouragement on real-life application of the doctrines and principles being taught,” Brother Laing said. “Certainly this can be found in many other resources provided by the Church, but True to the Faith provides these things readily, easily, and clearly—all in one place.”
In 2004 True to the Faith became an official part of the missionary library, along with Preach My Gospel.
“During the development of Preach My Gospel, it was determined that the missionary library should be simplified and updated,” said Greg Droubay from the Church’s Missionary Department. “True to the Faith was chosen as a simple, short, easy-to-use reference that would assist a missionary in his or her gospel study.”
“On my mission I often used True to the Faith to study for talks or lessons,” said Paul Epperson from Woodbridge, Virginia, USA, who served in the Belgium Brussels/Netherlands mission.
True to the Faith has also found its place in student manuals used for institute and religion classes, according to Brian Garner, manager of college curriculum for the Church.
“Almost everyone has access to True to the Faith,” he said. “People can see the reference in the manual, turn to True to the Faith, and read the information. It’s accessible and it’s reliable.”
True to the Faith is published in 46 languages. Copies are available through Church distribution, at LDScatalog.com, or through local priesthood leaders. An English version is also available for download as a PDF or for handheld devices at LDS.org in the Gospel Library.
As members use True to the Faith to enhance their personal study and prepare to teach the gospel, they will find their knowledge of the gospel increasing and understand how to apply it in their lives.
In the introduction, the First Presidency states: “As you learn gospel truths, you will increase in your understanding of Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. With this understanding as a foundation for your life, you will be able to make wise choices, live in harmony with God’s will, and find joy in living. Your testimony will grow stronger. You will remain true to the faith.”