A rational theology is a theology based on fundamental principles that harmonize with knowledge and reason. It derives its laws, ordinances, and authority from accepted fundamental principles, and it finds expression and use in everyday life. In short, a rational theology is derived from the invariable laws of the universe and exists for the good of humanity.
The author writes, “The principles of the Gospel, as held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are stated, briefly, simply and without comment, to show the coherence, reasonableness and universality of the gospel philosophy. . . . Those who are led to study this rational theology in the light of the best knowledge and soundest thought, will enter a fertile field, and will find a surprising harmony between the Gospel and all discovered truth.”
John Andreas Widtsoe was born in Dalöe, Norway in 1872, emigrating to Utah in 1883. He graduated from Brigham Young College in 1891, and from Harvard (with high honors) in 1894. In 1899 he was awarded a Ph.D. with high honors from the University of Göttingen, Germany. He served as president of Utah State Agricultural College and the University of Utah. He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1921 until his death in 1952.