Sunday, March 19, 2017

Restoration Scriptures

The following Announcement was prepared by the restoration scripture committee and read at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in St. George, Utah by Chris Hammill.

I have been asked to post it here:


RESTORATION SCRIPTURES ANNOUNCEMENT
March 18, 2017

Although what is to be announced may be viewed by most people as a modest achievement, I think history will eventually reflect this as one of the greatest steps forward after the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum.

What I’m about to announce will generate a considerable number of questions. To reasonably manage them, we’ve set up an email address where you can send your questions & suggestions. That address is: RESTORATIONSCRIPTURES2017@GMAIL.COM. Your questions will be reviewed this evening, and then tomorrow, a number of the major questions will be answered in front of this body. Any that aren’t answered immediately will be replied to after the conference ends.

One of the first ways a dispensation becomes corrupted is by compromising the scriptures used by believers in that dispensation. Therefore when a new dispensation begins, one of the first orders of business for believers is to adopt a new set of scriptures which restore, insofar as it is possible, a correct version of the material they regard as scripture.
Just like the saints of the New Testament adopted a new body of teachings, the Book of Mormon people preserved and added to sacred writings. And while Joseph Smith lived, there were both corrections to old scripture and new scripture was added. Likewise for us, there is a need to remove errors, correct texts, and add to the body of scripture to guide us. This assembly - that is, this worldwide body of believers - must also decide what we accept as scripture. It is our right and sacred responsibility to address this need.

     To that end, a new edition of the scriptures is proposed. They are divided into three volumes that have been produced through a unified effort by two independent bodies of volunteers, separately driven to approach the scriptures anew.
Initially the members of these two groups felt individually inspired to revisit the scriptures in an effort to prune away some of the uninspired alterations of man so that they might have a more correct version of scripture for their study. Over time, these individuals were led to one another, combining and harmonizing their efforts. What began as two wholly separate groups, each forming at the same time, both unknown to one another, resulted in separate projects that were completed at the same time, and what was learned from their independent efforts identified issues that needed to be addressed.
On the last day of 2016, less than 2 weeks after discovering each other, these two groups held a meeting, facilitated by Denver Snuffer, and determined to unify their efforts, each bringing to the table differing components for a greater outcome than either project possessed alone. On the first day of the new year, the two became one as work began, preparing what would become this Restoration Edition of the scriptures.

Moving forward, the united team has worked closely with each other, with the Lord, and with His servant, to produce a more accurate record that is true to the Lord’s intent and to the Restoration. We are on His errand, not our own.

In September 1832, the Saints were condemned by the Lord and commanded to “repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.”
We often see this as the Lord rebuking the Saints for failing to do according to that which He had written, yet assume that the Saints had been correctly saying what He had written. But the Saints did not say, and have failed to accurately preserve, what the revelations God provided to them said, because their texts became corrupted. This means that the first step towards emerging from condemnation is to try and do exactly what is being accomplished through this scriptural work now underway. While the full purpose of this project was initially unknown, it has begun a best effort to “repent and remember the new covenant.” If done right, we will at least accomplish the first step: recovering what the Lord provided so we can "say" what He has revealed. Then the challenges increase as we are called upon "to do according to that" which God has revealed.

A future conference must then be held with the intent of approving the final content of the Restoration Edition and sustaining that edition as canon for this assembly.

The following is a summary of what is contained in this Restoration Edition of the scriptures:

ALL THE SCRIPTURAL WORKS SHARE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:
      Verse numbers have been eliminated and the text has been formatted into paragraphs. This provides greater context for individual passages and removes the isolation of a statement that is caused by restricting it to a verse. The only exception to individual numbering is in Proverbs where each proverb has been numbered.
      The chapters have been regrouped based on contextual themes rather than staying as they have existed historically. Our team recognized that since chapters were originally organized by man and not by God, we were free to reorganize them. Some paragraphs in some of the books have been combined or divided as well, based on their context. However, in the Book of Mormon, chapters were designated by Joseph Smith himself and those have been preserved.
      Very minor standardization and spelling correction has taken place. Care was taken to respect the text.
      Punctuation can clarify, but it can also restrict. Therefore punctuation has been significantly reduced in all of the volumes in order to free up the text for greater possible interpretation.


INDIVIDUALLY

VOLUME 1 IS THE OLD TESTAMENT
      Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible (the JST) is the base text.
      The Song of Solomon had been removed since Joseph indicated that it is not an inspired text.
      Proverbs now includes Proverbs of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Proverbs of Denver Snuffer, Jr.

VOLUME 2 CONSISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
      In a letter to the “brethren in Zion” on 21 April, 1833, Joseph Smith stated, “...it is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new translation in the Star, but when it is published it will all go to the world together in a volume by itself, and the New Testament and The Book of Mormon will be printed together.”
      Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible is the base text for the New Testament.
    The 1840 edition of The Book of Mormon is used as the base text and was already formatted into paragraphs. This version was chosen because it contains corrections given by Joseph Smith to what was originally published in 1830 and 1837.

VOLUME 3 CONSISTS OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS & PEARLS OF GREAT PRICE
     The new D&C returns the Lectures on Faith to its original place, along with those sections and revelations identified as coming through Joseph Smith. These have been painstakingly compared to the manuscripts found in the Joseph Smith Papers Project:
      The order of the sections has been restored to thematic groupings rather than simply being presented chronologically. These groupings are: Restoration, Organization and Worship, and Revelations to Individuals.
      Several LDS sections have been removed for the following reasons:
      Sections 2 & 13 are extracts from JS-History and are therefore redundant.
      Section 20 was written by Oliver Cowdery and constitutes church articles and covenants used to begin to structure the early church organization. They no longer apply.
      Section 101 on Marriage, from the original 1835 Kirtland Edition, is not being reintroduced because it is not a product of either Joseph or Hyrum. However, pertinent points are included in another area.
      Section 110 is completely unverifiable as a true revelation/vision. The three individuals with some information about the section, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Warren Cowdery, left no statement or explanation about Section 110. Further, in listing those who visited with them in their respective testimonies, neither Joseph Smith nor Oliver Cowdery mention Elijah as having come. Finally throughout the Nauvoo time frame, including a month before his death, Joseph Smith spoke of Elijah’s return as a future and not a past event.
       Section 129 was a struggle. Initially it was revised by taking the shorthand notes from Joseph Smith’s journal and fleshing them out with bridge words and phrases to make them into comprehensible sentences. However, once attempted, that effort was abandoned and the section was completely removed for the following reasons:
1.     The shorthand is just sketchy enough that some of the bridge wording is clearly debatable.
2.     The instruction we have through the Book of Mormon is sufficient on its own to allow us to discern evil spirits.
3.     This section, if relied upon alone, is apparently not sufficient to defend against lying spirits.
       Section 134 is a declaration on laws & government written by either Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon, not Joseph Smith.
       Section 135 is simply the announcement of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum.
      Section 136 is from Brigham Young.
      Section 138, Joseph F. Smith’s vision of the dead, is restricted by copyright and cannot be used.
      Official Declarations 1 & 2 are declarations made by a different church.

      Several LDS sections have been revised for the following reasons:
      Section 107 was an amalgamation of content, with only one portion traceable to a revelation before the 1835 publication of the D&C. That portion has been preserved. The 1835 published version bears hallmarks of revisions by the hand of man. Therefore only a portion has been extracted, and then added to by revelation, to explain the establishment of dispensations and reflect the direction of this current dispensation. It is placed as the last section in the new D&C.
      Sections 121, 122 and123 came from a letter written from Liberty Jail and are presented within the context of the entire letter written by Joseph Smith.
      Section 132 on celestial marriage is now represented as it is posted by Denver Snuffer on his blog, containing the redactions suggested there to make the document internally consistent and reflect the earliest descriptions of the original.

      More than 40 new sections have been added for the following reasons:
      Nearly all of these new sections are verified revelations given through Joseph Smith that simply were never sustained as scripture.
      Restoration Edition Section 98 is President Hyrum Smith’s epistle to the church.

      The new D&C also includes an insert in the Appendix called A PROPHET’S PREROGATIVE, an example of an extremely valuable method of comparative study that can significantly help your understanding. The example used is Isaiah 29, and includes an introductory explanation.

      The Pearl of Great Price - has had its name changed to Pearls of Great Price, reflecting and implying further expansion, and the following portions have been removed, revised or added for the following reasons:
      (A Proposed Set of) Governing Principles is a rewritten statement of principles and practices - similar to LDS Section 20 - that reflects this assembly’s efforts to preserve the Restoration. This statement is not yet completed. It requires additional inspired input from you.
      The Articles of Faith have been replaced by The Wentworth Letter that they were copied from, in order to provide context to those articles.
      Joseph Smith - History has been slightly expanded to the same extent as it was originally published in the Times and Seasons.
      The Book of Moses and Joseph Smith - Matthew have been removed because they already exist in the New Translation of the Bible and are redundant.
      The Book of Abraham remains as is.
      The Revelation of the Testimony of St. John - as given through Denver Snuffer, Jr. - has been added. It will not replace the existing Testimony of St. John found in the New Testament, but will stand as it’s own book.
      Continuing Revelation - is a section which consists of visions and revelations given through Denver Snuffer, Jr. to be made public. This portion of the Pearls of Great Price is expected to be the place where new revelation will be added as it is received, which, you will see, has already happened.
      A Glossary of Fundamental Terms is at the end of the final volume. Currently it’s blank, except for a single sample definition. We encourage all of you to consider emailing us terms for the glossary using the following criteria:
1.     The definition must be scriptural, not your opinion.
2.     The terms need to be those that are critical to seeing things correctly. LDS and Christian culture have so skewed many religious terms as to render them not just wrong, but spiritually dangerous in that they point people in the wrong direction. This will not become a “bible dictionary,” but is an attempt to explain words as the Lord has intended, not “Gospel speak” or Mormonese.

Given that this body must declare to the Lord what records they intend to hold sacred, a Preview copy of these volumes of the Restoration Edition are available as of right now for download, in PDF, ebook and other requested formats, from www.scriptures.info, an online library that has been established for materials pertinent to the Restoration. There are a number of interesting tools and features that have been developed for this site, but now is not the time to go into them. However, I will say that scriptures.info is specifically built with tools to aid in comparative study. That’s why the Isaiah 29 example is at the back of the D&C - to kickstart you. So take a tour of that important site on your own. Those of you who may have content pertinent to the scriptures that you wish to contribute, those of you who are looking for research material or tools, and those of you who are just curious, be sure to visit the ABOUT page on that site for direction.

A hard copy of each volume is already available for purchase on Amazon.com and Amazon Europe. Search Restoration Scriptures Preview or the title of each work and you should find Vol. 1, 2 and 3. This copy is NOT formatted completely - it still has minor flaws in it. In fact, if you are happy to use the electronic copies that are available, you may want to wait until the scriptures have been sustained and scrubbed before buying a copy, as they may change. A final version will be produced that incorporates any changes sustained by this assembly and has been scrubbed of formatting errors.
Additionally, since Amazon won’t allow us to sell the copies at cost, the minimal royalties from the copies sold will be donated to the temple fund.

A quick side note: The reason the Creative Commons copyright for these scriptures is in my name is only because I am acting as the public face of this project. There are dozens of people that have contributed to it besides me.

A Research version of these scriptures is partially completed and available for download on www.scriptures.info as well. Unlike the printed scriptures, this Research version will remain in electronic form - at least for now - and will differ in the following ways from the print copies:
      Though retaining the new chapter groupings, all of the books have LDS chapter and verse numbers inserted to allow for easier research and for comparison with other versions of scripture.
      The JST and D&C include both strikethroughs and additions visible in their original manuscripts.
      The Book of Mormon footnotes all significant changes from the editions that were published during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Any editions after his death were not approved by him and therefore have been ignored.
      Items removed from the printed copy can be preserved in this copy for research purposes, including, for example, section 129.
      Items of historical or educational significance deemed helpful may be added to this version. Recognize that the Research version is intended to expand details of the sustained scriptures, not supplant them.

We do have plans for a fancier set of scriptures being produced with bible stock paper, leather or faux leather covers, and so forth. That process is already underway, but anyone familiar with the process is invited to email us and lend a hand. I’m not sure of a time frame other than we’d like to have those available by the end of the year. But we won’t print any until after the sustaining conference.
For those who honestly can’t afford around $40 to purchase a set of these scriptures and can’t use electronic copies for now, if you have a local fellowship you meet with, ask them if they can provide you with a set. If they can’t meet your need, please use the email address given to request a set. We have several free sets available for the truly needy that are here at the conference. If there are those in need who could not attend, but would like a copy, please place a request at that same email address and a copy can be sent to you or your local fellowship.

THE NEXT CONFERENCE, which has been mentioned during this announcement, will be held in Boise, ID, Labor Day weekend, September 2-3, with the intent of approving the final content for the Restoration Edition of the scriptures and sustaining that edition as canon for this assembly. Today is the “open to public view” step of the process. Our team simply got the ball rolling. You will now have approximately 6 months to digest, critique and react to what the Lord has offered.

Please carefully consider what is being offered to us. Zion is the Lord's work. So getting it will not depend on the goodness or desires of men and women, but on their submission to the Lord, who intends to accomplish it. WE can't force it, cause it, bring it, or hope it into existence. What we can do is submit to the Lord in a way that encourages Him to continue to use us for His purposes. There is no need for an immediate, knee-jerk reaction to this announcement. You will have time to consider all of it before making a decision.

No sustaining or debate of the scriptures will take place during this conference. But your input is necessary and required. An email address has been provided specifically for that purpose. Please use RESTORATIONSCRIPTURES2017@GMAIL.COM to send in questions you have about what has been announced and provided. There likely won’t be enough time tomorrow to answer all the questions that get sent in, but any that aren’t addressed during tomorrow’s Q&A session will be replied to. But there’s no rush. If you have an immediate, burning question, please send it in quickly so that we have time this evening to prepare responses for tomorrow. Also, this same email address will be used over the next 6 months for additional questions and ongoing feedback in preparation for a sustaining conference. So if you don’t have a question or suggestion until June, you can still submit it and it will be addressed. But please refrain from pointing out formatting issues unless it is alarming. We will be combing through the books again to find them all.

If there’s a particular issue in these scriptures that is critical, in your opinion, email your concern and your reasoning to support your argument. It will be posted for others to view and consider. If you think that there is something else that belongs in this edition, feel free to email that suggestion as well. For example you might feel inspired about a principle that needs to be added to the Governing Principles statement. However, realize that what this edition now contains has been under the Lord’s direction for the past year and a half and He has provided, at times, direct input. And there is a rigorous set of questions to assist you in determining whether you should submit new material.

The PRELIMINARY SUBMISSION & CRITIQUE PROCESS works like this:
1.     Questions, suggestions, criticism and requests get submitted to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com.
2.     From the end of the St. George conference until the 4th of July, a SUBMISSIONS list will be maintained on www.scriptures.info.
a.      The items on the list will come from emails submitted.
b.     That document will list the specific items that have been pointed out as concerns to be removed, modified or added to the Restoration Edition. The points made by the submitter will also be given. Please be aware that your reasoning will be significantly refined if you submit a long explanation, so keep things brief. And make sure that what you submit is scriptural, not simply personal opinion.
c.      If you have very strong feelings about any of the items on the list, email us and let us know. If you’re fine with what has been proposed today or if you don’t care one way or the other about the items on the list, don’t email us. Only those who are strongly opposed to an existing item or strongly in favor of adding or amending an item should email us during those first few months.
d.     The SUBMISSIONS document will be updated as needed.
3.     As of the 4th of July, a final SUBMISSIONS list will be posted which also includes the total number of emails for/against an item. We will then wipe the slate clean.
a.      From then on, no new items will be added to the list.
b.     People who are strongly advocating or opposing can again email their vote about the item(s).
4.     That new voting period runs from the 4th of July to the end of August.
a.      A final tally will then be taken.
b.     If there is no significant number of emails in opposition of an existing item or advocating a missing item or amendment, that item will be dropped.
c.      And if you email us 6 times, it still only counts as one vote for any item.

Benefits of this process are:
1.     We are using simple, easy to reach technology. Anyone can go online to do this - even if they have to go to a library or a friend to do so. And this can be done from anywhere in the world.
2.     By providing the reason why an item is listed, opposing voices get the chance to be heard and perhaps to persuade.
3.     Doing 2 rounds of voting gives everyone the chance to be persuaded over time and therefore find confidence of their final decision.
4.     Everyone gets an opportunity to be involved if they feel so inclined.


2 CRITICAL POINTS:
1.     Remember that what is important is the message, not the messenger, so focus on the content of this gift, not how it’s delivered.
2.     The most important lesson for our group was expressed in the course of our emailing back and forth. Someone said this: I would rather submit to the decision of the group than insist that my view be followed. For me harmony between brethren is more important than getting what I think best to be followed. I believe harmony can lead to much greater things than can merely enforcement of even a correct view. I know how difficult it is to have a correct view, because of how often I have been corrected by the Lord. Sometimes I am humiliated by my foolishness when the Lord reproves me. Humiliation can lead to humility, but my experience is that the humiliation is accompanied by shame, whereas humility can proceed with a clear conscience. My experience with others leads me to conclude that if we can have one heart first, eventually we can likewise come to have one mind. But if we insist on having one mind at the outset, we may never obtain one heart together.

So I make a request to all of you - from all of us: Kaai sent the team an email 3 weeks ago, just after we had submitted the final volume to our formatter. We had begun to consider this next step. So he wrote: One of the ways to hopefully mitigate the sheer volume of emails will be to encourage fellowships to meet together and come up with a consolidated list of questions/suggestions/ concerns/etc... If there are individuals not associated with a fellowship, then they'll follow the standard process [on their own]. If they make it a matter of prayer and forethought, first as individuals, then families, then fellowships, and submit in that manner, we may be able to keep the volume manageable. It will allow fellowships to meet together for a directed purpose and importune the Lord for revelation. It will draw them closer together in the bonds of love as indicated in the General Principles preamble and make them accountable to each other for the questions raised. I think it also reinforces the manner in which the Lord would want us to approach any challenge or issue presented.

Please consider these points as you consider what you choose to advocate in the scriptures.

Given the experiences many have had with organized religion, it’s only natural for some people to have an aversion to "official" scriptures. But these volumes are not set in stone; rather, they are presented to you in the appropriate manner, and with sufficient time for the group's collective review, critique, support, and, possible sustaining. The Lord deals with His people by covenant; accepting these scriptures as comprising the history, teachings, doctrine, and covenants of our faith represents another step in our collective journey towards having our hearts bound together. And this should remain a labor of love and devotion to God. Those involved in this work do not present these volumes with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced, and we hope and pray that this continued effort to preserve and honor the word of the Lord will be accepted by Him, and by you.

In closing, I’d like to read a journal entry from one of our team members from Feb 18th:

I checked the scripture email and saw that volume 2 had been formatted and is now ready to print. Upon opening the file and viewing the document I was filled with joy and with the Spirit and was given a prophecy by the spirit saying,

“These scriptures will go to all the world and teach every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, to bring in the children of Israel from the four corners of the earth.”


38 comments:

  1. I've already read some of the scriptures online and ordered a set from Amazon. I'll start reading them as soon as they arrive...I'm grateful for the opportunity to read them before the sustaining vote next Sep.

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  2. I am in awe of the dedication, inspiration and work by all involve.

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  3. I have a copy of the D and C. It is majestic. I have read all the new material and find it full of light and truth. I made one suggestion for deletion to the restorationscriptures2017gmail.com site. I wanted to allow people from your blog to see it and add any comments, corrections, or criticism. I believe section 167 of the Restoration Edition (126 in the LDS edition) is not inspired. It is purported to be a revelation through Joseph to Brigham Young basically allowing Brigham to stop being an apostle (working full-time outside of Zion as a missionary) and staying home. I do not believe the LORD would change the nature of true apostleship for one man. I do believe this revelation was never published in any edition of the D and C in Joseph's lifetime. Further, that it was used by Brigham and his cronies to bolster a corrupt administration based on lust, fear, murder, racism, and misogyny.
    I welcome any rebuttal to this.

    John Scott Peterson

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    1. Hi John! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me explain why I differ, although at the present I haven't had a chance to look over and follow the official commenting process.

      You mentioned that you don't believe the Lord would change the nature of true apostleship for one man. I agree. However, I'm not sure this section does so. Was Brigham Young a true apostle? Even if so, the text, read literally, doesn't say he won't be sent forth to bear witness of Christ's resurrection and that he has seen Christ anymore; it only states that he shouldn't leave his family. A family isn't necessarily a fixed structure like a building. Also, I don't think whether it was used for evil ends is relevant. The wicked have always wrested the scriptures; that doesn't mean the scriptures have no value or should be taken away.

      So, if the only reason not to keep it in is that we don't trust either Brigham Young or the LDS Church, I think the issue should be resolved in favor of keeping it in.

      There are a couple of additional reasons in favor of keeping it in. First, I don't find any objectionable content in it, but I find at least two worthwhile messages. The first is that family takes priority over church obligations (interpreting narrowly) or religious (interpreting broadly) obligations. I think this is a true principle; thus Hyrum discouraged the Saints in England from leaving their unbelieving spouses in order to gather, and even today a married man is asked to refrain from officiating in public ordinances unless he is sustained by his wife. Second, that an individual may be "[d]ear and well beloved" to the Lord, having offered an acceptable sacrifice to Him at one point, but can still later fall from grace.

      The other reason to keep it is that there's no substantial problem with the source, as far as I can tell. It was recorded with an entry date of December 17, 1841, in Willard Richard's handwriting. That was a few days after Willard Richard had become Joseph Smith's scribe. A year later he would become Joseph's personal secretary. Importantly, it doesn't appear to have been altered after the recording. (It could have been added later with a forged date, but I would refrain from making that serious accusation based only on it being so slightly out of order -- it would be a poor forgery anyway, to put an out of order date on it). So its provenance is a lot more reliable than, say, section 54 (LE section 132), but even that section appears to be at least partially legitimate (and valuable enough to keep certain portions).

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    2. Jeremiah,

      Family does not take precedence over God. I recall Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son, just as the MOST HIGH sacrificed His Son. Christ said he was not come to bring peace on this earth, but a sword, and set at variance families. The followers of CHRIST can expect to find enemies inside their own families. I have. We are saved as individuals, not families. The only family that is forever is the family of GOD.
      The fellowships can accept or reject this section, but a true apostle is never released from his calling, just look at John the Beloved. He has been away from his family for thousands of years.

      John Scott

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  4. Let another era of delusion begin.

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    1. Care to elaborate, Rob? What truths can you share? How can you enlighten us? Are you expressing a wish or a criticism? More information, please.

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  5. Indeed, Rob. This 'assembly' took seminary way too seriously. None of it is true, y'all. Don't be seduced by language and leatherbound (or golden) books...it's just history repeating itself in the internet age.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I think taking God's word seriously is much better than treating it lightly, which is what got the whole church under condemnation, where it has remained since 1832. (D&C 84:54-55)

      What history do you see repeating itself. I assume you are referring to some sort of bad historical outcome that is being paralleled by the current effort. Can you give more detail or an example?

      Because, there's some history that is worth repeating, and some language that is worth understanding:

      "And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him." (Moses 7:13)

      Your comment will be much more useful to everyone if you give some specifics.

      Delete
  6. These are worth considering. This was a letter to Rob Smith in response to a post on his blog, Upward Thought: http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2017/03/we-follow-man-whom-we-call-prophet.html

    Changes are in parentheses:

    There are some inconsistencies in your post, "We follow a man whom we call prophet". You struck from your original post somethings that are provable. For lack of time to cover all of them, re-consider two based on the following:

    1. Rob's words:

    You echo Denver Snuffer's claim that he did not form a church, and is not the leader of a new church. (Why do you insist on setting up what he himself will not, and making him what he himself has refused to be?) While I don't personally care whether or not someone starts a church, I find the claim inherently dishonest. While we can play Bill Clinton and redefine the word "church" to mean something other than what everyone considers it means, let's avoid the label and examine the facts.

    Denver's words:

    Transcribed from the talk by Denver Snuffer, Things to keep us awake at night. 13 minute mark. (punctuation and emphasis mine):

    "Joseph restored the Book of Mormon as his first assignment. But he was required also to revise the Bible. Joseph referred to the revision of the Bible using the term, "the fulness of the scriptures". The Book of Mormon he called "the Book of Mormon". The revision to the Bible he called, "the fullness of the scriptures". In the minutes of an 1831 conference Joseph made this statement: "God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the church. Said the Lord would cut his work short in righteousness and except the church receive the fulness of the scriptures, they would yet fall."

    "The fulness of the scriptures or the Bible he was then revising, has never been fully in print. Even the version that has been published by the RLDS church misses several of the revisions Joseph made. All of them and in addition, a handful of revisions that Joseph made orally during talks that he gave in the Nauvoo era, for the first time, are published in the new set of scriptures in the volume, the Old Testament and half the volume called the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

    The fulness of the scriptures, without which the church would fall, are for the first time now available."
    _________________________

    Contrast with Denver's words spoken in Lecture 8 Transcript – A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit (Given in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 25th, 2014), page 27:

    "I'm not going to start another church, and I don't intend to compete with the Latter-day Saints, and I don't intend to overthrow them. That is God’s work, and it will be up to Him to decide how useful the various Mormon churches are to His purposes. But it is clear to me we do not need another church. The only thing we need are penitent people. The only thing we need are people whose hearts are right. If someone is here from a Baptist church, then go attend your Baptist Church. Go attend your Mormon church. There's good in all churches, but study the doctrines of the Restoration and get to know God, and then go and do what He would have you do."

    Consider...

    Joseph said that "God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the church. Said the Lord would cut his work short in righteousness and except the church receive the fulness of the scriptures, they would yet fall."

    It is clear from Denver's words. He is calling this body of believers, and using scriptures to back his claim, a church.

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    1. What is wrong with calling this God's church? Denver only said he was not going to start another church. That doesn't stop God from calling a spiritual body of believers His church as he said He would in scripture.(3 Ne. 21:22) There is no institution which has been organized by Denver and no position of control or authority organized by him(or anyone for that matter). No law or organization would recognize this body as a "church".

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    2. The Lord defined his church in D&C 10:67-68. It is those who repent and come unto Him. Therefore, no man can "form" Christ's church. When Denver said he would not form a church, he was clearly referring to an organization, hierarchy, corporation, or the like to "compete" with the LDS church.

      His statement does not preclude the Lord from calling His gathered people His church.

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    3. Please give your source for the 1831 quote and link

      Thank you

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  7. Additionally:

    Joseph referred to the fulness of the scriptures as the Bible. Why has this scripture committee gone beyond the Bible and called it "the fulness of the scriptures"?

    2. Rob's words:

    Everything that has the trademarked logo has been approved by (this group) him.

    Denver's words:

    "An important step has been achieved. A new website titled “Born of Water” is now live. The website allows anyone located anywhere in the world who desires to be baptized to identify themselves. It is all confidential.

    The website also allows those with authority to baptize to identify themselves in a confidential submission. Those qualified to baptize can then determine if they are able to assist someone in need of baptism. If they are able and willing to help, the baptizers can send a contact through the site to the one wanting baptism. This way those in remote locations will be able to receive baptism.

    The logo on the site is shaped like two hands reaching upward, forming the image of a dove. The eye of the dove is a mark on the wrist of the right hand. The colors in the corners of the mark are the colors of the veil in the Tabernacle of Moses and Temple of Solomon. It is a trademarked, copyrighted and servicemarked registered image that is the property of Adrian Larsen. He alone can give or revoke permission to use the image that is his property."

    The logo will appear on three sites: Born of Water, Recorder’s Clearinghouse, and for a time on this site to acquaint people with the logo. The logo is a way to vouch for a site’s privacy and safety. If the logo is authorized for use, the public can be confident it will not take them to a site of a hostile group, commercial enterprise or specious origin. It is a way to identify authenticity.

    http://denversnuffer.com/2015/09/new-website-and-logo/

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    1. As was pointed out in St. George, nobody has yet published the fulness of what Joseph Smith provided in terms of revisions to the Bible. So the new scriptures project is the first time the Fulness of the Scriptures has been published on earth. The project also includes corrections and revisions to other scriptural volumes, new scriptures, and a return to more original versions, as noted.

      The committee is calling this the "Restoration Edition" of the scriptures. I don't see anywhere they are calling this project the Fulness of the Scriptures. Have I missed something? Or are you claiming something that simply isn't true?

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    2. Denver's words:

      Transcribed from the talk by Denver Snuffer, Things to keep us awake at night. 13 minute mark. (punctuation and emphasis mine):

      "Joseph restored the Book of Mormon as his first assignment. But he was required also to revise the Bible. Joseph referred to the revision of the Bible using the term, "the fulness of the scriptures". The Book of Mormon he called "the Book of Mormon". The revision to the Bible he called, "the fullness of the scriptures". In the minutes of an 1831 conference Joseph made this statement: "God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the church. Said the Lord would cut his work short in righteousness and except the church receive the fulness of the scriptures, they would yet fall."

      "The fulness of the scriptures or the Bible he was then revising, has never been fully in print. Even the version that has been published by the RLDS church misses several of the revisions Joseph made. All of them and in addition, a handful of revisions that Joseph made orally during talks that he gave in the Nauvoo era, for the first time, are published in the new set of scriptures in the volume, the Old Testament and half the volume called the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

      The fulness of the scriptures, without which the church would fall, are for the first time now available."

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    4. To me, at least, it's clear that Denver's usage of the name "fulness of the scriptures" refers specifically to the complete JST. He made a point of noting that the full body of Joseph's revisions to the bible has never been published before, as you quoted above. Therefore it is now available for the first time, as part of the Restoration Scriptures project.

      But the much more important point is that debating the name and usage of the name is really beside the point. The content is infinitely more important than the name of the project. We could go back and forth about the name of what is offered, and never receive any saving truth, or we can examine what is offered and feast on God's word.

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    5. In Denver's printed notes from the St. George talk, he clearly and specifically identifies the "Fulness of the Scriptures" as "every revision Joseph made to the Bible."

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  9. This is from Denver's post: Teaching (March 24th):

    Denver states:

    "The Book of Mormon is intended to be received as a covenant. The covenant MUST first be delivered to and accepted by the gentiles in order for the gentiles to be numbered among the remnant of God’s people. (3 Ne. 21:22.)"

    If the Book of Mormon is intended to be THE covenant, why does there need to be scripture project?

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    1. "And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written (D&C 84:57)

      I believe the part about BOTH the Book of Mormon AND the "former commandments which I have given them" requires us to value and accept ALL "which [the Lord has] written." If we want to throw off the condemnation and receive the covenant we must value and accept ALL of God's word. Why wouldn't we do that?

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  10. Adrian, There are plenty of your followers that do the same for their own reasons. I actually would prefer that your followers "come out" as well instead of pretending. They're as wolves in sheep's clothing.

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    1. I'm not aware that I have any "followers" or that I "lead" anyone of any species.

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  11. Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for posting these questions. I am on my second time listening to Denver's talk in St. George. After his post today I have a question and I am thinking you will be the best person to answer since I can't contact Denver directly.

    My question is about his post today (Teaching). He said that:
    The Book of Mormon is intended to be received as a covenant. The covenant MUST first be delivered to and accepted by the gentiles in order for the gentiles to be numbered among the remnant of God’s people. (3 Ne. 21:22.) The gentiles must have a covenant, or they cannot assist in any way to establish the New Jerusalem. (Id. v. 23.) It will be former gentiles who are called “Ephriam” once restored, to whom all other tribes must come to receive their part in the covenant. (D&C 133:30-34.) This will happen once the gentiles have been given the land as their land of promise, an inheritance from God given only to covenant people. (3 Ne. 21:22.) At present, the gentiles have been condemned and rejected by the Lord. Therefore, some few must repent and return.

    So my question is - is this one of the things we are voting for at the conference? I feel totally confused. Denver could have easily held a vote at the St. George conference and had it be unanimous. We ALL hold the Book of Mormon as foundational. I think this entire movement was founded on 3 Nephi 21 and our personal desire to accept the Book of Mormon. At least that's what I did when I read PTHG. I knelt and repented and accepted it. All those I associate with in this movement have done similarly. I'd even wager you personally have as well, no?

    Can you help me know EXACTLY what the vote is in September? If you had to write it in simple sentences with numbers, (1. 2. 3.) to make your point (I need things spelled out simply and written in total plainness to understand).

    Thanks for your time.

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    1. Hi Tana,

      I honestly don't know the full import of the covenant that will be offered. Based on the fact that it involves the scriptures, it will require, at a minimum, acceptance of God's word. Beyond that, I'm still learning and seeking further light and knowledge from God.

      I know there is a lot of excitement and debate, and many unanswered questions. I'm confident that between now and September, things will become much more clear. So I urge patience and study.

      When the Lord offers a covenant, it is incumbent upon Him to explain the terms He is asking us to accept. I believe that will happen in clarity, and we will have the opportunity to accept or reject what the Lord offers.

      Until then, we might to King Benjamin's covenant as a potential example.

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  12. Dear Adrian,

    We want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Please accept our apology for the anonymity. It is not out of cowardice but to protect some of those involved and if it weakens our points, it must remain.

    Please know with 100% assurance that we want to do right in the sight of the Lord. Since the scripture announcement the covenant has been on our minds, in our fasting, and in our continual prayers day and night. We don't take this lightly. Typing leaves out the expression of our voice and the feeling of our motives. Our desire is the Lord. Our intent is to make sure we don't become what many of us have left behind - the corporate LDS Church. And when we see things that remind us of that past life, familiar feelings return and we come to a screeching halt and question inconsistencies which may appear faithless to some.

    We can see that we have not yet been able to articulate our main issue. We have come up with an analogy that is incredibly poor but the very best we could illustrate with. Here it is:

    Let's say that the Lord tells you to go to McDonalds and place an order (covenant). Through the scriptures He tells you that one day you will need to order the hamburger with everything on it (the fullness of the scriptures aka the full revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith). You will also need to get a water (the covenant of the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 21).

    You go to McDonalds and a group of men who own the eatery (scripture committee) stand and your conversation goes like this:

    You: I'd like a hamburger with everything on it and a water please.

    The group of men: Sure - no problem. Here's your happy meal.

    You: The Lord told me that I needed a hamburger with everything on it and a water ONLY. I don't need the happy meal.

    The group of men: Yes, okay. This is how you have to take the hamburger and water. We have spent a long time working on the happy meal concept and the french fries, toy, and sliced apples complete the meal.

    You: Can you show me where the Lord directed that there should be a combo-happy meal? All I can see is He said "hamburger with everything on it and a water". I LOVE all this extra stuff. But it's not what the Lord is asking of me. You will lose my business if you force me to accept MORE than what the Lord counseled me to order.

    The group of men: You must take it all or face peril. It was from the Lord.

    You: Can you show me where the Lord declared I must have the Happy Meal for my salvation?

    The group of men: We obtained it. Go and pray about it and receive your own confirmation.

    You: Sure. Okay, can you show me BY the scriptures? All I can find is that He wanted 1. A Hamburger with everything on it, and 2. A water. If you can prove to me, using the scriptures, that the Lord wants me to order the Hamburger and Water WITH the combo-Happy Meal. I will do it.

    The group of men: .......

    As you can see, that example was very inadequate. But we are seeking to align all things with the scriptures. This is why we left the LDS church. Things don't align with scripture. PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: When the Happy Meal Combo aligns with scripture - You.Will.Have.Consensus. En masse. This issue SHOULD NOT be sifting people. What sifts people is when there is no foundation in the scriptures to support the command. WE WANT TO COVENANT. WE WANT TO BE THE LORD'S PEOPLE. Prove it with the scriptures. PLEASE.

    Sincerest thanks for your time.

    -a fellowship of believers

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    1. Fellowship:
      A potent thought came to my mind while reading your post, that I thought worth sharing: there is a tremendous power in the lack of a central organization, it also places the burden on us, because we cannot trust someone else to set errors aright.
      To quote you: "You go to McDonalds and a group of men who own the eatery (scripture committee) stand and your conversation goes like this:

      You: I'd like a hamburger with everything on it and a water please."

      I know it is a parallel, but here observe that you are already going to someone else with a preconceived notion already in mind with what you want! Why are you going to them in the first place if you already know what you want (or what you think the Lord wants)? Would it not be better to self-organize and create your own hamburger and water combo? Call a conference and sustain it, if you so desire. But recognize that the impetus is on us as individuals to take responsibility, not to rely upon others to do the work and then complain when they do it differently than we would have. It is silly to expect to do it the exact same as we would do.
      This other group has self organized and spent countless hours over the course of over a year and have created what they think is pleasing to the Lord. How grateful we should be for their efforts. Even if it is riddled with errors. Maybe the Lord's whole purpose behind the effort is to trigger YOU to rise up and get a calling to set the whole thing right! It will be a lot of work, and you will then be subject to ridicule, but go and do the work! Show us what you feel is right! Not through explaining how others are wrong but through what is right. There is no one stopping you from making your own set of scriptures. Make it so good we are persuaded. Go before the Lord and beg him until he gives YOU a revelation to act, then you can include it as part this new work. Every failing with the restoration edition can be fixed by a "fellowship hamburger-and-water-only edition", please go and do the work. We need all the help we can get.

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  13. Since this requires that we all study out the matter. Maybe it is a matter for any one of us to take these new scriptures and begin the process of sifting through, ponder, pray and fast continually. Are we really wanting this to be proven by scripture that it is of God before we actually pick these new scriptures up to study them out for ourselves and determine whether it is right? Or whether we should accept them in covenant? This is definitely no small task but it has been only a week. I dare say even 5 1/2 months may barely be sufficient time for any of us to search it out, understand it and have anything confirmed by the power of the Holy Ghost. Is it scripturally based? I can't answer that myself. But even as I began to read through the new scriptures something within myself began to stir unlike anything I have ever felt. It was literally like a fire was burning. Just my experience. The idea of making a covenant on this is actually frightening for me and I wondered if it's right.
    Since God is not trifling with us then I think it is up to us not to be asking man for proof of anything from the scriptures and asking the one source that can give the answers, from the scriptures. If you have prayed and fasted even in the past week and not received anything then it may require the next few months to seek that answer out.
    I read from PTR pg 335 in my testimony at the conference. Sometimes God offers up contradictions. If you think you are certain He will make you uncertain. If you are comfortable He will make you uncomfortable. Until you/we are finally broken enough to receive the answer and sometimes only just in time. What if this is one of those circumstances for all of us? God will not sift us out, we will do that ourselves. Zion is not going to be an easy thing to come to and this is only the beginning. We have to break ourselves before God so that He can make us His and into a Zion people. Yes this is a serious matter. Making a covenant is no small thing.
    Please know that these are only my thoughts.

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  14. Hi Adrian,

    Denver posted a rebuttal to his not starting a church in this post: http://denversnuffer.com/2017/03/vitality-of-ideas/

    I feel his comment settled the matter. Could you please remove the I posted with this account? Thank you for providing a place where people can give their perspective and gather how other people see things.

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    1. Hi Fellowship, I'll be glad to remove whatever you ask. Your request wasn't clear though; did you want me to remove a certain comment or all of them? Please let me know...

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    2. You can delete all that could be or have been interpreted as unhelpful to the cause. The one specifically meant was the comment about Denver starting a church. Thanks again.

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  15. "I'm confident that between now and September, things will become much more clear. So I urge patience and study."

    I second this.

    If truth can cut it's own way, then we should let it run it's course. In the mean time, one thing we can all agree on is that all volumes of scripture, no matter the version, teach patience and loving our neighbors. We should be primarily focused on that before advancing our views to others.

    Thanks for your blog.

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  16. There is a new download titled “Scripture, Prophecy and Covenant” available in the downloads section of Denver Snuffer's website. It is a brief exposition on accepting scripture as covenant.

    Here's a link to the paper:

    http://denversnuffer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Scripture-Prophecy-and-Covenant.pdf

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  17. These are not new scriptures ... it is a new compilation. Since you can get the bible with all of Joseph translations from another source, the new part is Denver's revelations being added which changes ancient text. Joseph did not do that ... he clarified but did not add to ancient text. Nor did Joseph remove Song of Solomon which is a very important book to those who are old testament scholars and understand Hebrew and Jewish culture. Joseph made a mistake because he is mortal. Do you not all remember that he was chastised by the Lord several times, do you not realize that he had false revelations? It happens to the best ... there is no INFALLIBLE mortal, not Joseph, not Denver, not me, not you.

    It is my understanding that the fullness of the gospel was contained in the JS translation of the bible and the Book of Mormon (doesn't mention D&C nor Pearl of Great Price)

    I cannot covenant to accept the new compilation with Denver's revelations for I do not believe they are scripture - they are his own personal revelations. To put Denver's revelations in you are covenanting that he has stewardship over you ... that he is a prophet ... and it is a serious matter.

    Denver never speaks of the lamanite prophet that arises and take his rightful position, nor does he speak of D&C 77:14 which identifies who restores all things and gathers Israel --- it not us gentiles, but the John the Beloved.

    May we all get rid of idolatry and only have in our hearts to worship the God of heaven and earth and no man. When we lay everything on the altar to know God, then he can reveal to us the higher things, the mysteries and show us the path we are to take.

    Continue in your pondering and prayers and let go of idolatry and you will all be led to do what God wants you to do.

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    1. Remnant of JosephApril 2, 2017 at 12:53 PM

      Anonymous-

      They'll all tell you that Denver is a "messenger" and not a prophet yet from the commentary and awe, it's apparent they view him this way.

      Your comment about a Lamanite prophet arising and taking his "rightful" position is an interpretation but I don't believe is correct either.

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  18. Hi Adrian,

    Thanks for taking questions. So in connection with the new scriptures I see this verse quoted a lot:

    57. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

    I see the phrase "the former commandments" used a lot, but no one ever explains what that means.

    Can you explain how you define "the former commandments"? In your opinion, what is it referring to?

    And do you know how Denver defines it? (Preferably give me his explanation and a reference to where he says it. I have looked but can't find anything.)

    Thank you.

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