Work on a new book is taking a great deal of my time. It is the most labor intensive book I’ve written. Below is a draft of the Preface to the book (which is likely to be changed before it is finalized), but which explains why so much time is being required. The “footnotes” appear as endnotes below:
In 1832 the Lord posed this question: “For what doeth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given him, neither in him who is the giver of the gift.” From the moment Joseph Smith died those who believed he was a prophet began to lose memory of what God revealed through him. Recently the pace of forgetting is accelerating.
This book begins discussing Joseph Smith’s 1838 history, followed by the topics of faith, repentance, covenants, priesthood, Zion, Christ, King Benjamin’s example, prayer, coming to Christ, marriage, family, the cultural and legal forces that have eroded the institutional church, and concludes with a discussion of how to preserve the religion. Our obligation to respect Joseph’s revelations is very clear from the Lord’s declaration, “no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses.” Upon his death, the church wanted a replacement strong figure. When Joseph was unavailable, an imitation served.
In the initial decision made August 8, 1844 the quorum of the twelve were voted to lead. By December 1847 Brigham Young no longer wanted to share power with eleven others, and against Wilford Woodruff’s recommendation and the active opposition of John Taylor and Parley Pratt, Young successfully won a vote at Winter Quarters making him the church’s second president. From Young till David O. McKay in the 1950’s, when the word-title “the Prophet” was used it still meant only Joseph Smith. But rhetoric matters, and the word-title began to be used to first secure acquiescence, then to compel compliance by LDS Church leaders.
Elevating the church’s presidents to claim they too, could communicate “commandments and revelations… even as Moses” began the process of accelerating forgetfulness of Joseph’s words. He became less important as successors claimed equality. Who cannot see the logic in preferring a “living” prophet to a deceased one? Ignoring Joseph means forgetting. Through forgetfulness we have refused the gift God offered. Our first obligation now is to remember. Until we remember what was given before, there is no reason for God to give more.
The primary repository of Joseph Smith’s work has been The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are others, of course, who retained valuable parts of Joseph’s work. Emma Smith kept the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, something Joseph explained was necessary for the church to have or it “would yet fall.” The translation became the property of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was not until the 1980 edition of the LDS Bible that the Joseph Smith Translation was first used by the LDS Church, but only in footnotes and an appendix.
As soon as Joseph Smith died, a spirited competition developed to control both documents and access to information. As one writer described the conflict:
“The official History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was published in book form under the direction of the First Presidency in 1902. The introductory assurance that ‘no historical or doctrinal statement has been changed’ is demonstrably wrong. Overshadowed by editorial censorship, hundreds of deletions, additions, and alterations, these seven volumes are not always reliable. …The nineteenth-century propaganda mill was so adroit that few outside Brigham Young’s inner circle were aware of the behind-the-scenes alterations so seamlessly stitched into church history. Charles Wesley Wandell, an assistant church historian, was aghast at these emendations. Commenting on the many changes made in the historical work as it was being serialized in the Deseret News, Wandell noted in his diary: ‘I notice the interpolations because having been employed in the Historian’s office at Navuoo by Doctor Richards, and employed, too, in 1845, in compiling this very autobiography, I know that after Joseph’s death his memoir was ‘doctored’ to suit the new order of things, and this, too, by the direct order of Brigham Young to Doctor Richards and systematically by Richards.” The Quorum of the Twelve, under Brigham Young’s leadership, began altering the historical record shortly after Smith’s death. Contrary to the introduction’s claim, Smith did not author the History of the Church. At the time of his 1844 death, the narrative had been written up to 5 August 1838.'”
Today the challenge is two-fold: First, finding the truth through the deliberate efforts to conceal and modify the record. Second, once found, whether we will accept in gratitude what God offered by repenting and returning to His path. We fail these tests when we ignore, oppose, dismiss, reject and allow our fear to control us. As Christ put it on the day of His resurrection: “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Nothing has changed. Our challenge is identical to that faced by all believers since Adam.
As a public act of remembrance I spent a year, beginning September 10, 2013 giving a series of ten lectures reiterating the faith’s foundation. These lectures ended 365 days later on September 9, 2014. The lectures marked 40 years as a faithful, believing Mormon. At the conclusion of 40 years of faithful membership in the LDS Church, I was sent by the Lord to preach the restoration so others would also remember.
This book was written using transcriptions of those lectures as a starting point to prepare this reference work on the restoration. This book is a separate project. The lectures were given entirely within the Mormon Corridor, and addressed only to the residents there. This is written for a different audience living outside the Mormon Corridor as a reference work on the foundation God provided through Joseph Smith.
The lecture transcripts are insufficient, both as a reference work and as something intended for a different audience. The talks were not written in advance, but given spontaneously using only a scripture citation outline. Therefore many redundancies and asides in the lectures needed to be eliminated to focus on the essential content in a readable book. Editorial refinement and many additional footnotes have been added to support and clarify core content. The recordings and transcriptions will always remain available and can stand on their own. This book is not a repetition of the lectures in a third format. It is more, and addresses all who are interested in the restoration through Joseph Smith. The lecture material has been expanded to include more about the various topics, while eliminating unimportant personal information. Time constraints for lectures do not exist for a book. Therefore additional explanations have been added. Asides, humorous recollections, and personal stories distract more than they contribute for this format. Therefore they have been eliminated to focus only on the restoration.
The order of the discussion has been changed where appropriate. Subject matter has been consolidated, moving some of the material originally delivered in one lecture into a chapter based on another lecture.
During the same year I wrote a series of blog posts about King Benjamin’s sermon between the 4th lecture in Orem, Utah (Priesthood) and the 5th in Grand Junction, Colorado (Zion). Those posts have been added as the 5th chapter in this book.
Finally, a paper delivered at the 2014 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium after the 9th lecture in St. George, Utah (Marriage) has also been edited and added as a chapter. With the addition of the King Benjamin and Sunstone materials, there are 12 chapters.
The restoration is not the property of an institution. Although dozens of churches claim the role of succeeding to Joseph Smith’s ‘true and living’ church, the restoration belongs to us all. Whether you belong to some denomination claiming Joseph as a founder, or you are a traditional Christian, the things restored through Joseph Smith came from God as a gift to us all. Because of this, we all have the responsibility to remember and respect the inspired work of Joseph Smith.
The restoration is God’s call to action and offer to renew His direct contact with mankind. The response during Joseph’s day was less than adequate. The restoration was founded on revelation, but when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred no one suggested revelation could solve the succession crisis. Instead the crowd in Nauvoo voted, the quorum of the twelve received the majority of the votes, and the most successful version of the restoration, LDS Mormonism, has perpetuated itself by voting to install leadership continuously ever since.
LDS Mormonism leadership have increasingly ignored and replaced the commandments and revelations given through Joseph with a new model in which church leaders claim the right to issue commandments and direction, followers fall in line, and the various denominations morph into increasingly altered forms varying from the original. Gordon B. Hinckley institutionalized a public relations oriented management style for LDS Mormonism. The opinion polling and focus group testing for decisions and campaigns has increasingly taken hold until now, LDS Mormonism is changing at a stunning pace reflecting the shifting opinions of the society around it. The LDS Mormon tradition now repudiates its history, curtails its curriculum, and discards essential elements of its earlier belief system to be more acceptable to others.
If the restoration is to have any chance to be remembered, then the time to do so has come. If we do not soon awaken and arise there will be far less chance to keep ahold of the restoration with each passing decade. The potential of Mormonism has never been realized. Until the restoration is remembered, it cannot continue to its completion.
This work is more than a tribute to the Mormon faith. It is an effort to restate the religion and recover its original potential. The destiny of the Mormon religion has become imperiled by neglect, deliberate alteration, and increasing forgetfulness. Mormonism was never intended to merely be another Christian denomination. Instead it is destined to reunite the all mankind into one great whole. Truth is Mormonism. All truth, wherever located and in whatever form it is presently practiced, belongs to the Mormon religion.
Mormonism requires study and contemplation. Social change, educational disintegration, and the lack of critical thinking have made modern Mormonism a shallow relic unworthy of the original. Across the board, society has surrendered to the “sound-bite mentality” in which quick and quotable phrases substitute for deep understanding. The restoration cannot be understood that way. It requires contemplation, thought and study.
I was converted to the Mormon faith through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For forty years I belonged to that church and served in it faithfully. The day I drove to Boise, Idaho to give the first lecture in the Forty Years in Mormonism series, I learned I was excommunicated. My stake president called as my wife and I were driving to Boise and we heard the sad news together.
I hold no animosity toward the LDS Church. Instead I am grateful to it for introducing me to Joseph Smith and Mormonism, which remains my religion, though now I practice it independent of institutional control.
There are many churches claiming Joseph Smith as their founder. None of them adequately practice the original faith. This book is written to persuade all to believe in the restoration, and remind all who already believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, of the original greatness this revolutionary religion. Mormonism should once again become revolutionary.
It is time for the Mormon faith to begin a new phase. One in which all are equal before God, and believers are free once again to worship Him according to the dictates of their own conscience. Priesthood should not rule over any man, but should serve. “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood.” In the LDS version of Mormonism, that limitation has been reversed. LDS Mormonism today has been reduced to nothing other than “priesthood” dominion and control through the “correlation” process. It is unscriptural, indeed anti-scriptural.
Mormonism in its purest form can only attempt to persuade you, gently, to believe its precepts. This book will attempt to persuade you to believe once again in a dynamic, truth-filled, confident and powerful religion. Mormonism should free your soul, and reunite you with heaven itself.
In this book, unlike all those I previously wrote, there are many scriptures only cited in footnotes, and the full text is not included. This deliberate departure from my earlier books is because the LDS church has deemphasized the scriptures in their curriculum. I feel compelled to invite readers to use their scriptures to check scripture references in this book. Hopefully the footnotes will inspire you to review all of the verses cited.
Mormonism must become alive again. It belongs to all of us. We should all believe in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s status as a prophet sent by God, and become willing to approach God directly. In the final analysis, the entire restoration is nothing more than a modern affirmation of the New Testament promise found in James 1:5.
 D&C 88:33.
 D&C 28:2. The revelation allows for the possibility for someone else to be later appointed “in his stead.” (28:7.) It would be through Joseph, however, the power was given “to appoint another in his stead.” (D&C 43:4.) That appointment came in January 1841 when Hyrum Smith was appointed. (D&C 124:91-96.) Hyrum, however, was slain moments before Joseph, and therefore no one else has been appointed to amend, supplement, disregard, alter or reject commandments and revelations given through Joseph Smith.
 Technically he was the third, but no one counts Hyrum Smith despite his actual appointment and service.
 Forgetting includes re-interpreting the language by divorcing it from context, supplying new meaning not originally intended, and improperly using Joseph to vindicate later improper innovations.
 The minutes of a conference on October 25, 1831 meeting tell of Joseph Smith’s need for assistance while he worked on “the fulness of the Scriptures.” This reference to scriptures is defined by the LDS Church Historian as “JS’s Bible revision.” (JS Papers , Documents Vol. 2: July 1831-January 1833, p. 85, footnote 76. The minutes include this statement by Joseph Smith: “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 that they would yet fall.” Id., p. 85, as in original.
 Often referred to as the “Documentary History of the Church” or the “DHC.”
 Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess, Signature Books (Salt Lake City, 1994), p. 322.
 Luke 24:25.
 Satan’s original and continuing urging remains the same: “Believe it not.” (Moses 5:13.)
 I learned I had been excommunicated from the LDS church because of a book I had written about Mormon history as I was driving with my wife to Boise to give the first lecture. The excommunication and lecture were exactly 40 years to the day of my baptism.
 The yearlong ministry was not my idea, nor the locations, or the subjects. I was sent by the Lord and told what to discuss. The talks were the first step addressed to the first audience.
 Meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquartered in Salt Lake City. They are referred to throughout this book as “LDS Mormonism.”
 “One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” Discourses of Joseph Smith, p. 199, Kindle Book, (Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 2009).
 I put the word “priesthood” in quotes because it is the LDS Church’s claim, and therefore I use their word. However, as this book will clarify, the claim is not the reality.
 See, Peggy Fletcher Stack, New Mormon Curriculum Divides Scholars, Salt Lake Tribune, October 28, 2014.