The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology


The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology

Publication Type


Year of Publication



Roberts, B.H. (Primary)


Welch, John W. (Secondary)



Number of Pages



BYU Studies


Provo, UT

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Roberts, B.H. "The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology", Edited by Welch, John W. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 1996.


Less than ten years before his death in 1933, B. H. Roberts, one of the most influential Mormon writers of the twentieth century, began work on “the most important book that I have yet contributed to the [LDS] Church.” A prolific and respected Mormon apologist, Roberts wanted to consolidate his theological thought into a unified whole and to reconcile science with scripture. His final manuscript, “The Truth, the Way, the Life,” synthesized doctrine into three sections: the truth about the world and revelation, the way of salvation,and Jesus’ life in shaping Christian character. He submitted his completed work to the LDS First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, which, after a series of heated meetings,rejected it. Roberts’s views on evolution, the age of the earth, the pre-earth existence, and the eternal progression of God were deemed too controversial, so his “masterwork” went unpublished. With the support of the Roberts family, editor Stan Larson has corrected this sixty-year omission from the corpus of Mormon theology. According to Leonard J. Arrington, former LDS Church Historian,“B. H. Roberts considered ‘The Truth, The Way, The Life’ to be the most important work he had written. While people may differ with him on that judgement, this ambitious treatise . . . shows a great mind grappling with great issues.”

Table of Contents

68 Chapters

Introduction: The Right of Man to Know the Meaning of Life
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 15-17
Dissertation on Truth
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 18-28
Of Knowledge: What Man Knows
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 29-35
Of Knowledge: Definitions: Time, Space, Matter, Force, Mind
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 36-49
Of Knowledge: The Solar System
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 51-54
Of Knowledge: Sidereal System
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 55-58
Creation: The Reign of Law
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 59-67
Nature of the Universe—Eternal or Transient? Caused or Uncaused?
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 68-76
Intelligence or Mind and Minds
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 77-84
Nature of the Universe: Monistic or Pluralistic?
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 85-90
Of Knowledge: To the Point of Moral Certainty
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 91-101
From What We Know to Faith: The Possibility of Revelation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 102-110
Seekers after God: Revelation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 111-122
A Review of Ancient Religions I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 123-135
A Review of Ancient Religions II
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 136-142
A Review of Ancient Religions III
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 143-152
A Review of Ancient Religions IV—The Hebrew Religion I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 153-162
A Review of Ancient Religions IV—The Hebrew Religion II
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 163-170
The Mission Given to Israel
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 171-180
The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 181-187
Departure of the Church from the True Doctrine of God
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 188-202
Of Kindred Subjects to the Knowledge of God Which Men Have Misapprehended
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 203-211
Revelation: Our Revelation Local, Pertaining to Our Earth and Its Heavens
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 212-219
Revelation: Abrahamic Fragment
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 220-231
Creation: The Time and Manner of the Earth’s Creation I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 232-236
Creation: The Time and Manner of the Earth’s Creation II
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 237-245
Man: Preexistence of Spirits, Eternal Existence of Intelligences
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 246-257
Purpose of God in the Earth Life of Man
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 258-268
A Review of Part I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 269-273
The Way of Eternal Life—The Everlasting Gospel
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 275-288
The Earth Life of Man Opened
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 289-296
An Adamic Dispensation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 297-322
Life Status of Adam and Eve at Their Earth Advent
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 323-330
The Problem of Evil
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 331-339
The Affair in Eden—The “Fall” of Man
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 340-350
After the Fall: The First Dispensation of the Gospel
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 351-359
Further Development of the Gospel in the Adamic Dispensation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 360-366
The Gospel in the Patriarchal and Prophetic Ages
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 367-374
The Postdiluvian Dispensations
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 375-386
The Meridian Dispensation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 387-395
The Atonement I—The Revealed Fact of the Atonement
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 396-403
The Atonement II—In Harmony with a Reign of Law
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 404-412
The Atonement III—Its Relation to the Attributes of God
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 413-422
The Atonement IV—Could Other Means Than the Atonement Have Brought to Pass Man’s Salvation?
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 423-435
The Atonement V—The Atonement of Broader Scope Than Making Satisfaction for Adam’s Sin
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 436-447
The Atonement VI—The Efficacy of Vicarious Atonement
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 448-454
Departure from 'The Way'
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 455-464
Renewal of “The Way”
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 465-477
The Life: Manifested in the Christ
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 479-487
The Life: Under Commandments of God
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 488-497
The Life: Under The Sermon on the Mount I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 498-508
The Life: Under The Sermon on the Mount II
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 509-514
The Christian Character: The Teachings of the Apostles I
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 515-522
The Christian Character: The Teachings of the Apostles II
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 523-529
The Ethic of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 530-538
The Marriage Institution of the New Dispensation
Roberts, B.H. | pp. 539-559
A Masterwork of Mormon Theology?
Bitton, Davis | pp. 560-567
Hatch, Gary Layne | pp. 568-577
Attitudes and Beliefs Concerning Women
Dant, Doris R. | pp. 578-594
Philosophy (Chs. 1-3, 8, 26-27, 33)
Madsen, Truman G. | pp. 595-617
Theology (Chs. 6-7, 13, 20, 23, 42)
Paulsen, David L. | pp. 618-632
Science: The Universe, Creation, and Evolution (Chs. 3-5, 9-10, 12, 21, 23-25, 29-32)
Evenson, William E. | pp. 633-651
History of Religion (Chs. 11, 13-15, 20-22, 46)
Hamblin, William J. | pp. 652-653
The Bible and the Dispensations from Adam to Abraham (Chs. 16-18, 34-38)
Seely, David Rolph | pp. 654-662
The Atonement (Chs. 19. 39-45)
Skinner, Andrew C. | pp. 663-670
The Renewal of "the Way" (Ch. 47)
Roberts, Richard C. | pp. 671-676
Christ: The Life (Chs. 48-55)
Rhodes, Michael D. | pp. 677-679
The Story of The Truth, The Way, The Life
Allen, James B. | pp. 680-720

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