Completing and Publishing Scriptures

I’ve written a number of books. About 20% of the work is writing them. About 80% of the work is getting them laid out correctly, formatted, and ready for print. The scriptures project is now in that final labor-intensive stage before publication.

The hope was to have them in print before Christmas. Based on what I learned in a meeting last evening, that does not seem possible. Too much of the final process remains to be completed for them to be in print by the end of the year. When I learn that they are ready to print, I will announce that here.

Abuse of Authority

The presiding high priest in the LDS church at Guymon’s Mill in early 1838 was Aaron Lyon. Guymon’s Mill was about eight miles east of Far West. Aaron Lyon’s wife died and left him with young children to care for as a single parent.

In 1837, a young woman named Sarah Jackson moved there ahead of her husband who was then serving a mission. Her husband was expected to join her a few months later, but by early 1838 he had not come yet.

Sarah Jackson went to Aaron Lyon as the presiding high priest to ask if he would pray for a revelation to know the reason for her husband’s absence. Lyon complied with the request and said her husband would not be joining her because he was on a mission now preaching to the dead because he was dead. Lyon also told Sarah Jackson that he had learned by revelation that she was to be his (Lyon’s) wife, and that if she did not marry him, her life would turn out to be miserable.

Continue reading “Abuse of Authority”

New Paper-Update November 21st

I gave a talk on Reformation Sunday about the priesthood. A paper based on the talk is now available as a download. The document is titled The Holy Order and can be accessed either on the Downloads page or through this link:
The Holy Order

The paper has been updated to correct some typos and add some missing words. Also a new footnote 58 has been added to clarify that the example used involved Moses. The example illustrated ancient Israel’s tribal identity issues involving Moses, and was “patriarchal.” In most Native American cultures today clan identity is reckoned from the wife’s clan, and is “matriarchal.”

Reformation Sunday

October 29, 2017 is Reformation Sunday. It is the Sunday closest to the date Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Whittenburg Castle church. The document raised questions and propositions for debate. It was intended to lead to a meaningful discussion among Catholics, in the hope it would cause a reform to the institution.

The institution did not accept the invitation to meaningfully discuss the issues raised, and instead of reflecting on their own conduct, they condemned Martin Luther. Martin Luther was a devout Catholic. His questions were sincere. His loyalty to the institution was unaffected by the errors he saw in the scandalous selling of indulgences to finance projects in Rome.

Rome believed itself above criticism. They assumed their historic control was a right conferred by God. Therefore, the sincerity of Martin Luther and the legitimacy of his questions and propositions meant nothing to the institution. They branded Luther a heretic and threatened his life. This was the worst possible approach for Catholicism, and the best possible result for Christianity.

Continue reading “Reformation Sunday”

New Video

A new video has been posted on YouTube. The content has been taken from the first talk in LA, with video images added. The video and link are below:

A Message to All Christians

Throughout the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation we are reaching out to Christians to share the restored gospel. This year is a countdown to the 500th year of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Next year will be the 500th year. It is time for all who consider themselves “Christian” to consider carefully Christian history and the Christian message.




Dallas Talk

I will be speaking on Thursday, October 19th at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, Texas from 6-7:30 p.m. CST. This is the second in a series of talks about Christianity and the Reformation and will be followed by a third talk in Atlanta, Georgia in November.

If you live in the Dallas, Texas or Atlanta, Georgia areas, and are willing to help us with invitation and other needs for the lectures being delivered in those cities, please contact Vern or Whitney Horning:

Update and Correction

I announced the new website for the scriptures committee in my last post. I characterized it as a “Guide and Standard” website. That is the issue currently occupying a lot of attention, but the committee’s website has a larger purpose. The committee’s website is for reporting to the assembly of believers what the scripture committee is doing and how the final steps for publishing the scriptures are progressing. Providing a platform for those who don’t have a platform of their own is a secondary (and necessary) function. Submitted proposals might have personal opinion in them, but the committee does not see a need to curtail anything unless it is disrespectful.

I wanted to correct my earlier, limited description of the new website. The site provides its own explanation of the purpose and scope.

Guide and Standard Website

The original intent for the website was to house the scripture project and provide research tools. Because the Guide and Standard has now become the subject of extensive discussion, the topic needs to be moved onto a new discussion site. The Scripture Committee has developed a new website for discussion of the Guide and Standard and as a venue for announcements. The new site is titled Scriptures Project and can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Scriptures Project

This will allow the original site to remain dedicated to the original purpose of providing the various source materials for the scriptures as a reference and research site.

Sexual Fidelity

There are too many false, foolish and untrue things said about me for me to be able to denounce them all. I could accomplish nothing else if I were to spend my time denying all these falsehoods. So I leave them unaddressed and continue to move forward accomplishing such little good as I am able.

One recent false attack suggests that, contrary to the many talks, posts, books and teachings I have provided defending sexual purity before marriage and fidelity after marriage, that I am somehow involved in promoting something called “bonded marriage.” I may not have the name right. I do not fully understand the false idea.

Let me be clear, again, that I denounce polygamy, adultery, fornication and sexual impurity. Those who read what I write know there is really no reason for me to even make this denunciation. But almost all opinions about me are formed second-hand, and the tale-bearers speak their falsehoods with the enthusiasm that persuades many people of their lies.

A recent incident involving a man’s improper conduct was discussed in a private meeting a few weeks ago. I attended a portion of that meeting. The man involved was charged, in part, with spreading a false teaching. The facts turned out that he was not spreading the falsehood, but was the victim of the teaching. He, and a married woman together were taught the falsehood by a woman who believed in the idea. The woman who introduced it to them contacted me directly and confessed she was the source of the false teaching and regretted very much her involvement with the fiasco. To my surprise, two other women contacted me and admitted they had a role in teaching this false idea and were also aware of the harm that followed such erroneous beliefs.

To me the man stated that he realized his error, confessed his mistake, denounced the teaching, and sought to apologize many times to those involved with him before the private meeting I attended. He had also been rebaptized to repent of his error. I don’t defend his actions. I never said he was “innocent.” I did say he was penitent. His penitence before the meeting and while I was present at the meeting was apparent. He admitted his wrongdoing, despite the personal humiliation involved, and he wept over his failure.

As for the man’s involvement in the scriptures project, he had no effect on the final product by his preliminary work. He worked on the Book of Mormon, and everything he did was discarded a couple of months ago and the whole redone. It was redone because of a recently released publication that provided side-by-side comparisons for every single word of every version of the Book of Mormon in existence. These include, among others, the original, the printer’s manuscript, the 1830, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1840 London, 1920, 1981, and all the others. Every word from the beginning word to the last was detailed. The set was purchased and provided to those who were doing the work. The books were used by two teams; each having two members. All of them are in Utah. Both teams worked as pairs with one another to recheck every word and solve the word discrepancies, deferring to the original manuscript whenever it was available. Joseph’s 1840 version was deferred to secondly. Joseph made changes in 1837 and 1840 to conform back to the original translation.

What the man contributed most meaningfully was peace-making between members of the committee when discussions resulted in disputes. He helped make peace. The rule for the committee was that any question required unanimous agreement. He was part of the unanimity, and no one ever made a solo decision. His greatest contribution was to be the voice speaking for peace and harmony as difficult challenges were faced during the work.

Not only do I teach marital fidelity and sexual propriety, but the new scriptures will include Hyrum Smith’s general epistle to the church, published when he was the presiding authority in the church. His general epistle teaches marital fidelity, and counsels against breaking up marriages because of religious differences.

A man should have only one wife. And he should be faithful to her. Likewise wives should be faithful to their husbands. Everyone should act honorably and keep their marital vows, even when there are differences between spouses over religious ideas.

I alone am responsible for receiving from the Lord the content of the Prayer for Covenant, Answer to Prayer, and Covenant language. The Prayer for Covenant was provided by revelation from the Lord to me alone. It took me nearly 200,000 words in a book to say what the Lord, by inspiration, provided in the Prayer in less than 3,000 words. He is a great deal better at revealing the truth than am I.


Women who participated in the private meeting have now released a statement that is linked below:

Clarifying Light and Darkness

Covenant People

Man does not make covenants with God. God offers a covenant and people either accept or reject God’s offer. But until God offers, mankind can do nothing to create a covenant with or for God.

The preface to the Doctrine and Covenants was a revelation intended to introduce an accompanying volume.

the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord neither his servants neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles shall be cut off from among the people; for they have strayed from mine ordinances and have broken mine everlasting covenant. They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness but every man walketh in his own way and after the Image of his own God whose Image is in the likeness of the world and whose substance is that of an Idol which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon even Babylon the great which shall fall. (D&C 1, Emphasis added.)

The Lord cannot fulfill His promises, prophecies and covenants without a covenant people. There are always those who will stray and break His covenant. Among the problems the Lord has to overcome when He makes an effort to gather people together to become His, is the tendency of the proud and defiant to “walk in his own way” and to have an “Image of his own God” as the guide. The path to becoming God’s people does not lie in a solitary walk by those who claim they have their “own way” to follow. It is to be found by living the commandments of Christ among brothers and sisters who grow to have one heart and one mind.

Given the tendency of wicked men to exploit the weak, society has made it impossible to live the Sermon on the Mount or Sermon at Bountiful as a solitary individual. In a godly society where people ‘do unto others other than as they wish to have done to them,’ it is possible to live in peace. Those Sermons by the Lord are meant to change a culture. It is the blueprint for a community that can grow in understanding until they have one heart and one mind. The Lord’s teachings lead inevitably to having “no poor among them” because the society is able to learn to have peace with one another.