Nineteen years and 5 million printed copies later, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is releasing a second, updated edition of “Preach My Gospel,” a guide for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Thursday announcement was made first in a prerecorded video from President Russell M. Nelson to the 138 couples participating in the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, followed by a late-morning briefing to local media gathered at the MTC and a noon public release on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
“This new edition comes at a time when the world is rapidly changing and reflects the sensitivity to many of those changes,” said President Nelson in the video introduction. “It contains some of the best instruction I’ve ever seen, to help people accept the Lord’s invitation to come unto Him.”
“Preach My Gospel” was originally published in 2004 and introduced that June at a similar seminar for new mission leaders.
A key change in the new edition is in the manual’s subtitle found on the cover. The original edition was titled “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Work,” and the second edition’s is “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The hope is that “Preach My Gospel” is seen — and used — by church members as a resource for them and not just a guide for missionaries.
As of this month, the church has 68,000 young teaching and service missionaries and senior missionaries serving across the globe, up from 56,000 at the end of 2021. Missionaries currently serve in 150 countries and teach in 60 languages.
The update, the church says, addresses the ever-changing needs and circumstances of many throughout the world by applying the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.
The guide not only helps missionaries in finding and teaching, including the use of technology such as teaching online and through social media, but it also encourages local members in their work in sharing the gospel with others, working with missionaries and strengthening new converts.
The updated second edition of “Preach My Gospel” is available online in the Gospel Library app in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, with additional languages to be available after the first of 2024. Also, printed manuals in the first four languages are expected to be available to the public by the end of the year.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, the church’s full-time missionaries used one of several versions of standardized discussions, followed by a publication called “Missionary Guide: Training for Missionaries,” signaling a more uniform system for teaching the gospel.
Similar to the timing between the first and second editions of “Preach My Gospel,” the “Missionary Guide” was used for two decades until the 2004 introduction of “Preach My Gospel.”