We are pleased to report that the seven chosen by lot have finished their preliminary Guide and Standard. Below is the letter they wrote about their efforts, and links to what they have produced. One of the seven asked us to post these things here.
We have read their proposed Guide and Standard, and we like it very much. We applaud and appreciate their excellent work, and pray we will all unite in support of this document.
—Tausha and Adrian Larsen
A Plea to Covenant People and Believers Everywhere
Dear brothers and sisters,
The Lord said: He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:39)
As the group of individuals chosen by lot, we want to be clear that we desire peace, with no recognition for the fruits of the hard work contributed by many. After our assignment is complete, we hope to assign the credit to the body as a whole, and not to any individual.
We wish we had not been tasked with this responsibility. We wish you could be in our place. We wish we could support and accept your efforts to compile exactly what would please you; that would be our preference, but we trust in the Lord to work with weak things. Many of you may have greater insight, input, skills, understanding, or inspiration. We have felt sincere heartache trying to please many, and mend some of the hurt the process has caused.
The Lord said: Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity, and come unto me and through me he can with patience overcome the world. (A&C)
Some in our group have participated in the other efforts and labors in producing a Guide and Standard dating back to the start. As a group we had already been willing to accept the documents presented previously, and willing to take those to the Lord. We would accept a document drafted by you as acceptable to present, but literally the lot fell to us to be in this difficult position. We will view you with charity as the Lord requests, please see it in your heart to do the same for us.
If you have been hurt, or find yourself rejecting how all of this came about, you are not alone. We are all marred from head to toe with how the world has treated us. No matter the reason for the hurt, come back and labor with us! The time is short and the Lord comes quickly, please come with charity for your brother, forgiveness in your heart, and let us work together. Let us meekly present a statement to the Lord so that He can give us His part. Please don’t turn away in anger or frustration, but please, let us all labor together. If we lose ourselves for a brother or sister, we will find ourselves in Christ. Let us make our hearts right, making this, and future labors a light burden to bear as we lift with love, and refuse to accuse.
We have completed our initial assignment. We were charged, through the drawing of lots proposal (see here and here) as well as the United Proposal, to use the words of the Lord and His authorized servant in our day in the creation of this product. This was our path forward.
Our methodology was to review all of the documents already created (as well as the Answer and Covenant) to select the best scriptures and quotes that as accurately, clearly, and succinctly summarized a few of the principles spoken of in the Answer and Covenant. To those who wrote in their own words: we thank you for your beautiful language and hope the scriptures we chose most accurately reflect what you were saying.
To see an “inside” look explaining our approach and methodology, here is a very brief video clip from our first call together. This starts immediately after the opening prayer. As a quick background, we had been discussing together via Slack what path to take going forward, and Jeff Reber had written to us all what I have summarized above.
You can see that within minutes we were unanimously agreed on how to proceed. Our work was simply to use your work. You were the researchers, writers, compilers, editors. You spent months fasting, praying, meeting together, reasoning together. You wrote again, changed items, updated, and labored. All we have done is woven together everything you already did into a short document. Let all the credit go to you, and the glory to our God. Our names will not appear on the document, or even any hint of a reference to us, or “seven lots” or anything of the kind.
We then spent three days and three nights beginning to end until this initial task was complete. Due to the time zones in which we live (from the west coast of the USA all the way to the United Kingdom), we were working 24 hours a day to completion.
Our end goal was to create a product broad enough to teach simple principles and let the people govern themselves. We know there are many strong opinions out there and we want all to be free to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. We expect and desire the Lord to ultimately edit and change our work according to His will. This is a living, breathing document, as greater light continues to be given we expect the document will be added upon. For now, we simply wanted to present a document mutually agreeable to us according to His commandment and for His consideration.
What now commences is three days and three nights of your feedback. Every single sentence of our document is a quote. If you see errors or mistakes please tell us. We expect only small adjustments to the content as needed. Although there are seemingly endless scriptures and quotes that could be added, brevity is favored. The document itself can be read in less than twenty minutes.
If you want to talk to us, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please click here to view the Preliminary Guide and Standard
Please click here to download the PDF of the Preliminary Guide and Standard
As a side note, one of our original members, Doug Larson, began to suffer from a significant medical condition and voluntarily excused himself from participating further. This was a difficult decision for him, and he provided us his thoughts before leaving the group, to be replaced by Kirk Strong. We kept in touch with him throughout our time working, and publicly express our love for him and thank him for his contributions to us. We have shared with him, before anyone else, our completed work. He responded: “I have read it and it looks good. You have faithfully gone through and shown that each of the principles listed are indeed spoken by the Lord and His servants.”
At the end of his correspondence, Doug says, “I stand with you seven. Let’s see what the people think and then what the Lord has to say about it.” We couldn’t have said it any better.
Jack Hinkle, St. George, Utah
Jason Carlson, Dallas, Texas
John Webster, Cedar City, Utah
Jeff Reber, Beaver Creek, Oregon
Jonathan Dippold, Bury St. Edmunds, England
Shalyce Woodard, Clinton, Utah
Kirk Strong, Orem, Utah