The Biblical definition of the word gospel is: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. This is also known as the Good News. The definition is found in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
The LDS definition of the word gospel is: The doctrines, commandments, laws, ordinances, etc. of the LDS church. The true gospel of Jesus Christ was lost until Joseph Smith restored it in 1830.
3rd Article of Faith
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4th Article of Faith
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.
If the Book of Mormon is the fullness of the gospel as their prophet Joseph Smith stated, I do not understand why it does not include Pre-existence, Celestial Marriage, Baptism for the Dead, temple work, and many other doctrines of the church.
Many LDS hymns include verses about the gospel being restored. I have included the words to two children's hymns and one regular hymn. There are others, these are just a few I specifically remember singing often.
Children's Hymn 148
I want to live the gospel, To know that its teachings are true, To follow the plan of my Savior And live as he wants me to do. I will try in all I do and say To live the gospel more each day. I will try in all I do and say To live the gospel more each day.
I want to live the gospel, To know I am heard when I pray, To know that I will be happy Because I have learned to obey. I will try in all I do and say To live the gospel more each day. I will try in all I do and say To live the gospel more each day.
Children's Hymn 168
I want to be a missionary now. I don't want to wait until I'm grown. I want to share the gospel while I'm young. For I have a testimony of my own.
I want to tell my friends about our church And the happiness it brings to me. I'll tell them how the gospel was restored, Tell them how the Book of Mormon came to be.
Then I can be a missionary now. I don't have to wait until I'm grown. I'll live each day the best that I know how, And they'll see I have a testimony of my own, A testimony of my very own.
We thank the, O God, for a prophet To guide us in these latter days. We thank thee for sending the gospel To lighten our minds with its rays. We thank thee for every blessing Bestowed by thy bounteous hand. We feel it a pleasure to serve thee And love to obey thy command.
When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us And threaten our peace to destroy, There is hope smiling brightly before us, And we know that deliver'rance is nigh. We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness. We've proved him in days that are past. The wicked who fight against Zion Will surely be smitten at last.
We'll sing of his goodness and mercy. We'll praise him by day and by night, Rejoice in his glorious gospel, And bask in its life-giving light. Thus on to eternal perfection The honest and faithful will go, While they who reject his glad message Shall never such happiness know.
I have many, many disagreements with this hymn, and I sang it over and over while a member and never questioned a word of it.
The LDS teaching of the word gospel is extremely offensive to me. The gospel is not the laws and ordinances of anything; the gospel is Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Since it is impossible for the gospel to fall away from the earth, I never understood why the gospel would need to be restored. According to the Bible, it never left and there is certainly no need for a restored gospel. Ever! HE is always with us.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The LDS meaning of the word gospel is very different than the Biblical meaning of the word gospel. The Bible has a very clear warning about any other teaching of the word gospel. We are warned of Another Jesus, Another Gospel, Another Spirit, and of False Apostles.
Biblical Gospel = Christ's death, burial, and resurrection as atonement for our sins. Any other is cursed. I don't understand why anyone would even claim to have restored the Gospel. You cannot restore Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
He is unchanging and therefore, would have no reason to remove the gospel from the earth. That would be changing, and God does not change.
It is clear that Salvation by Grace through faith was taught, and Paul taught this very same concept. He did not put up with any other teaching; I will not put up with any other teaching. Law has always been a completely separate concern. Human efforts have no part of salvation.
Christ + Nothing = Salvation
Grace + Anything = Different Gospel
Therefore, Grace + Law = Different Gospel
"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Paul entrusted all to God and the word of His Grace, not to other human leaders or successors of apostles.
beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."
This means Apostles were men who saw Christ in Resurrection, and I am pretty sure Joseph Smith, or any modern day prophet, did not see Christ in Resurrection. Therefore, I cannot claim any of them to be a true prophet of God.
Since we are sinners, we are incapable of removing the guilt of our sinfulness through our own efforts. Gal. 2:21 says, "...if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." The Law is the do's and don'ts of moral behavior. In other words, we can't become righteous by what we do. Why? Because we are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:3).
This means that since we cannot remove our own sins, God must do it.
A few videos from ldsvideo.org (#15, 18, 30)
A couple of great articles from carm.org
I disagree with the LDS teaching that God would allow the gospel to be available in the latter days but not allow it to be available before Joseph Smith had his vision. I disagree with the teaching that the LDS church is the one true church with the fullness of the gospel. Christ is the gospel, not a church.
My unanswered question was:
Why would the gospel ever need restoration?
I was initially devastated when I received this answer that the gospel never needed restoration - and will never need restoration, - yet overjoyed to find the truth that the True Gospel is Christ's death, burial, and resurrection!