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This button is a resource to link those desiring baptism with those having authority to baptize. More information can be found here.

 

The Lord’s People Israel

When the people with Moses continually balked at receiving the gifts offered to them by the Lord, the Lord tired of their murmuring and considered rejecting them and making of Moses alone His covenant people:

And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. (Numbers 14:11-32, emphasis added.)

The first offering to the gentiles in Joseph’s day was hardly offered before the Lord sadly reflected:

For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin. And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. 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— That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay. (D&C 84:51-59, emphasis added.)

These early gentiles did not repent. The people Joseph taught, like those Moses taught, their carcasses also fell in the wilderness. They were even told by the Lord of what had happened in the time of Moses, to help them avoid the same fate:

And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; (D&C 84:21-25, emphasis added.)

How oft might a people have been the Lord’s and they simply would not.

For what doth 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 unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. (D&C 88:33, emphasis added.)

Can you not feel the Lord’s exasperation with us today when we murmur and dispute among ourselves? Can you not feel greater light whenever you accept and seek to understand His words rather than when you fear and complain against them?

Those who have ears will hear this, and those who do not cannot.

Covenant

The Book of Mormon IS a covenant. In it we have examples of covenant making provided to us so we can understand the process. The covenant offered through the Book of Mormon has never been received by any people. When the 1835 conference adopted scriptures, they adopted only the D&C and not the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon as an offered covenant to the gentiles is an essential step required for the gentiles to become numbered with the remnant and obtain the right to inherit the promised land. If it is not received as a covenant by the gentiles, they have no right to be here on this land, or on any other land of promise.
Individuals can and do obtain hope in Christ. Individuals have been “saved” by the Lord on an individual basis from the time of Adam until the present. That will continue till the end of time.
But there is a profound difference between saved individuals and a covenant people. The covenant promises to restore Israel and its remnants contained in the Book of Mormon is not fulfilled merely by individuals, but requires a covenant people who have united to receive the covenant people status.
Zion and the New Jerusalem are a place, occupied by covenant people, and not something an individual can be or become. People who gather there will all need to be individually redeemed, individually penitent, individually connected to God, but will only belong to the community if they belong to the covenant and are of one heart and one mind and have all things in common between and among them.
If you think becoming one with God, whom you have not seen, is challenging, then how much more difficult will it be to become one with your fellow man whom you have seen. (To paraphrase James.)
The failures of the past are examples to learn from so we can do better. They can also inform our fears and blind us to what the Lord has spelled out in the Book of Mormon. The book gives a blueprint of the necessary steps for the gentiles to take for them to become numbered with the remnant and entitled to possession of the promised land as their inheritance.
The Book of Mormon has likewise assured the gentiles that the covenant will include “other books” which are required for the gentiles to receive that will testify of Christ and restore lost knowledge. They will confirm the truth of the earlier testimonies of Christ. These are required for the gentiles to be restored as His people. If we reject anything offered to us by the Lord then we fail, again, to obtain what might have been offered.
We face the same test as the ancients. In Moses’ day they accepted the lesser law after they rejected the higher law. The higher law would have been received by covenant had they not rejected it first. Had they been worthy, ancient Israel would have been required to receive the higher law by covenant as well.
Everyone is entirely free to reject anything offered by the Lord. There is no compulsion. If you are unpersuaded to take the step, then don’t take it. Any reservation will only lead to difficulties later. Everyone should come to peace about the matter before individually deciding to accept the covenant. We are all allowed to pursue a relationship with God apart from others. There will be those who are willing to accept a covenant and become numbered with the remnant. In the end, it is better if only a very few receive covenant status who are united in mind and heart than to have a larger body that includes the fearful, the doubtful and the skeptical.
The Lord asked the saints, Of what value is it for God to offer a gift if men refuse to receive the gift? On the other hand, if this is not from God, then there is nothing to trouble. If it is of man, by all means, refuse it.
Taking this offered step will not immediately change anything other than the identity of those gentiles who receive it. It will be years before the process of sweeping away those who are not entitled to the land will begin in earnest.
For those who receive the covenant, the Lord will expect them to keep it. WE are free throughout this process to reject, or to break the covenant after receiving it. Eventually a few faithful people will be gathered. The Lord knows whose heart is right before Him and whose is not; who can be of one heart and mind with others, and those who cannot. Zion will be His work, not man’s.

Full Time Job

If I were to try and deny every false rumor spread about me, it would quickly turn into a full time job. A stake president’s summary description has been posted on Mormonleaks. It contains a number of bizarre things that are going on in his stake, and my name is mentioned in the letter. (Stake President Reports Apostasy.)

This got picked up by John Dehlin on his Facebook page where he assumes it is a peak into the “Denver Snuffer movement” –whatever he may think that is.

I state clearly and publicly what I think, believe and teach. I have repeatedly stated that no one speaks for me or acts as my representative. If someone is representing something comes from me, but it cannot be found in  anything I have publicly published, then it is unreliable and untrue.

It is easier, clearer and takes far less time to state publicly and affirmatively what I think or believe than to always deny all the foolish nonsense that gets attributed to me by weak-minded and overwrought people in their secretive gatherings. I have no hidden message. It is transparent and public.

I know nothing about this poor stake president’s members who are apparently doing odd things. I have not and do not encourage what he describes in his now public letter.

Given the ease with which this stuff becomes public, leadership should be careful about how information is discussed. This “private” correspondence is perilously close to slander.

Inquiry and Response

An email asked about where the covenant will be read (which I have previously answered because it has been provided in writing beforehand to be viewed for six months). I was also asked who would mediate the covenant and what the governing law of the covenant would be. I responded with an email answer which I cut and paste below:

_________________________________

You are anticipating things that are beyond where we find ourselves at present.

We are obligated to repent and return. We may not have created the problem, but we cannot expect God to accomplish the work of what He commanded for man to be do before. Others may have neglected it, but we cannot.
The first step in repenting is to gather the original covenant we were offered in the precise terms in which they were offered. That is a very difficult task that many people have been working to accomplish for over a year. There are lively efforts underway to research and find the right language.
Repentance requires us to first learn the actual language in the terms God provided when His restoration began. Our condemnation in 1832 was provoked by the failure to both “say” and to “do” what was expected of us when He spoke again and commenced the restoration.
You want the language the Lord will provide when we have successfully repented and recovered the covenant language. What if we fail? What if we present nothing He will confirm is His covenant offered to us to restore us and remove the condemnation? Do you want the language to use it for something He will not approve?
I have no intention to ask Him to provide anything further until we (and I) have shown the respect and penitence of laboring to recover what was lost. I fear if I should ask Him without having the best recovered covenant language to present to Him that it would be an offense. It is tantamount to asking God to do work that we, in humility and contrition, ought to accomplish on our own. The hallmark of repentance is the labor to return. That is underway, but not completed.
I have a different point of view than most, including even those who are taking the restoration process seriously. I want to be clear about this, and therefore I may post this email response on my website.
Although dispensations have been differently organized throughout time, I believe there is only one pattern that will bring Zion.
Adam organized the faithful into a family, because it was the natural law of his day, reflected the order of heaven itself, and he was the father, grandfather, or great-grandfather (etc.) of all his posterity. Therefore there was in fact a family as the natural state of man in his dispensation.
I bypass Enoch, until later in this discussion.
Noah likewise had a patriarchal position and his dispensation was naturally a reflection of what went before. But his descendants fell into apostasy and only one generation survived the transfer of faith.
Melchizedek labored among people who were apostate, and I will discuss him with Enoch later.
When Abraham recovered the covenant, the world was apostate and the faithful of his day were of his loins or his household. Therefore in Abraham’s dispensation he established anew a patriarchy with himself as the head. Following him the son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob in turn were the patriarchal heads just as at the beginning.
Moses inherited a disorganized people, and after liberating them from slavery he established one tribe, Levi, to bear the priesthood and receive tithes and offerings. The Levites were deprived of land, and received priesthood as their sole inheritance. All other tribes received land inheritances.
When Christ established His dispensation He mirrored, or imitated the family of Abraham. The people He ministered to were primarily descendants of Abraham, and so imitating Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Peter, James and John) and the twelve sons of Jacob (twelve apostles) and seventy descendants of Jacob who entered Egypt (Exo. 1:5) with the seventy he ordained and sent out, was a familiar pattern to His audience.
When Joseph Smith mimicked or imitated the pattern of the Lord in establishing a New Testament organization, it was intended to show respect to the Lord. We see that Joseph imitated Christ, who in turn had imitated Abraham’s day.
But always remember: Adam did not bring Zion. Noah did not bring Zion. Moses did not, nor did Christ, nor Joseph Smith. Of these I think no one would doubt that Christ possessed the power and authority, the light and truth, and the capacity to bring Zion. But He did not. As yourself why that would be the case?
The only examples we have of Zion are the two I have by-passed. Those two, Enoch and Melchizedek, did not follow the pattern of the others. They did one thing which escapes most people’s notice. They took disorganized people and assembled them into a unified body that was equal, of one mind, of one heart, and without any poor among them. There is no mention anywhere in scripture of a structure or hierarchy among either of these people. It is clear these two were both ranked among history’s most towering spiritual figures. But they led two communities of equals. They assumed no authority other than that of a teacher and preacher of repentance.
When Enoch and Melchizedek’s successes are considered, the pattern of their dispensations stands in contrast to what all others did. Perhaps the Lord’s organization of the church in Palestine and the Nephites was done wittingly to prevent prematurely the third Zion foretold in the promises given from the time of Adam. Meaning the institution of a community of equals who are possessing one heart and one mind was not the objective Christ intended for those of His day.  An hierarchy always presents inequality.
If you want me to claim the right to mediate as judge I decline. I have rebuffed two serious attempts to have myself “sustained” as a leader. I will not regard myself as above my fellow man, nor will I assume I am any less in need of repenting and returning to the Lord. Even if the Lord has required some things of me, I do not claim that distinguishes me above my fellow man. I confine myself to teaching and trying to persuade others.  I hope to always allow them to govern themselves. I believe I have the same obligation as any other man: preach, teach, persuade, use longsuffering and love, exhibit pure knowledge and allow others to determine for themselves, free of constraint, if what is offered is light and truth, or darkness and error.
I am content to be the least in Zion, but would very much hope to be permitted to be there, if the Lord will permit it.
-Denver

Scripture, Prophecy and Covenant

There is a new download titled “Scripture, Prophecy and Covenant” available in the downloads section. It is a brief exposition on accepting scripture as covenant.

The quotes are taken from the Restoration Edition of the scriptures.

Vitality of Ideas

As I have explained, there is no need to organize a formal church. We can believe without compulsion, and regard one another as brother and sister, father and mother, people of one heart, without a Pope or president. Below is a quote from Preserving the Restoration, based on a talk I gave years ago:

 

If Mormonism is to achieve its prophesied success, that future must come through a return to pure ideals. Holy people must practice the religion. To practice within a hostile legal, cultural and social environment requires the religion to assume a non-corporate form. It must become only a shared idea, privately practiced. Ideas cannot be taxed, controlled, organized or compromised by changing leadership. Ideas can stand apart from all commerce and law. The only thing an idea requires for vitality is for someone to give it a voice. Governments and business interests are powerless to seize an idea and corrupt it. Ideas can be opposed, denounced and argued, but ideas remain free from all control. All that is needed for an idea to live is for it to be remembered.

Teaching

While I claim no right to control, manage or command any other person, I do claim the right to teach. Like any other person who believes in something greater than themselves, we all have the right to teach what is important to us and have others consider.

In the history of mankind, there are only two documented successes of establishing a city of peace that was visited by God. In the first, Enoch preached and taught. He assumed only the role of a teacher. People listened, repented, and were able to live in peace with one another. They had one heart and one mind. There were no poor among them. (Moses 7:18-19.)

Melchizedek also preached and taught. His message was for the people to repent. (Alma 13:17-18.) Although called a “prince of peace” and the “king of Salem,” Joseph Smith explained these terms were not because he had kingly rule over any group. But it “signifies king of peace or righteousness and not any country or nation.” (WJS, p. 246.)

When God reveals His mind to me, I have every right to teach and preach repentance and urge people to return to God. There are no active covenant people who can fulfill the prophecies on earth today. There is nothing special about any people yet. But the potential to lay claim on blessings and establish a covenant exists.

In 1832, the incipient restoration movement Joseph Smith was laboring to establish was condemned by the Lord. The nascent Mormonite movement (as it was then called) was rebuked by the Lord. He told them their minds were darkened because they treated lightly what had been given to them. They were plagued with unbelief. He condemned them and warned they would remain under His condemnation until they repented, and not only said but did what the Book of Mormon and other commandments directed them to do. (D&C 84:54-57.) Among other things, they were required to “bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom.” (Id. v. 58.)

By 1841, the earlier condemnation had not been cured. The Lord threatened them again, warning they would be “rejected as a church, with your dead.” (D&C 124:32.) He gave a sign to them: If they repented, He would come to their planned but unbuilt temple and restore the fulness which they had lost. (Id. v. 28.) He would not let anyone move them out of that place. (Id. v. 45.) But if they would not obey Him, then they would, “by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation and judgments” upon themselves. (Id. v. 48.) They failed to do as He commanded. They were moved out of their place. They failed to receive the fulness from Him. They suffered wintertime expulsion, hunger, famine, pestilence and the judgments of God upon them.

They did not receive the covenant because they were unwilling to accept what was offered by the Lord. He was willing to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings for protection, but they were not interested.

When the Lord determined to renew His work and allow another people the opportunity to receive a covenant from Him, He spoke to me from heaven and provided instruction. Faithful to those instructions, I have labored for years to prepare the minds and hearts any who wish to receive what is offered by a kind and loving God.

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.

In making an offer to establish a covenant, no one is obligated to accept His offer. The presumption is that gentiles will refuse, as they have done for many generations. Any gentile who does not want to obtain the covenant merely needs to refrain from accepting the offer, and they remain exactly as they are now. They do not need to rejoice in the offered gift, nor to even receive it. (D&C 88:33.)

But if even a tiny few gentiles are willing to accept the covenant, God will receive them and accomplish His work through them. It was always the Lord’s expectation that “few” would receive it and walk in a straight and narrow path. Almost all others will reject it and walk in a broad enough path to accommodate every other false religious idea, false promise, incomplete and damning path that competes with the Lord’s invitation to come to Him.

The work of getting an accurate restatement of what the Lord once offered, and what He now offers and instructs, has been underway for more than a year and a half. It has resulted in a preliminary draft of new scriptures now available for anyone to review and comment on as a draft. When the wise input has been gathered, and the text completed to the best of our present ability, it will be prayerfully submitted to the Lord for His approval. He has taken an active role in the project already, providing several additions of importance to Him. They have been added. Whatever man may think of the project, before it is proposed for acceptance as a covenant it will need to be approved and accepted by the Lord. I expect He will do so, because He has already accompanied the work thus far undertaken.

When a conference in Boise takes place this coming September, the completed project will be offered for acceptance. There will be many who will not want it. They needn’t do anything. But if even a few will accept it, those who do will become at that time part of the covenant people of God, numbered with the remnant, and entitled to inherit this as their land. In turn, God will protect them. If they abide the covenant, He will establish a New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge. His glory and terror will be there, and the wicked will not come unto it. To it will be gathered from every one of the tribes of Israel, and they will be the only people who are not at war with one another as the final chapter of the world unfolds. (D&C 45:65-71.) The Spirit of God will watch over His covenant people while it withdraws from the rest of the world. In the coming darkness, they will become progressively more warlike and violent, until the earth is filled with bloodshed.

If there are any others who are willing to do so, I intend to join them in accepting the covenant in September. That will allow me to address Christian audiences in California, Texas and Atlanta as a covenant holder offering to them the benefit of accepting what the Lord offers to everyone freely.  Any others who accept the covenant can do likewise.

No one is required to accept the Lord’s invitation. But if accepted, the covenant needs to be kept. No one other than the Lord will enforce the covenant. But He has at His disposal lightning, pestilence, famine and earthquakes. (D&C 43:25.) He has warned of a coming time when there is burning, desolation and lamentation. (D&C 112:24.) He has always planned to have covenant people survive that with His protection.

Anyone who objects to this is free to continue on without accepting God’s offer. They are free to attempt to persuade others to also reject the covenant and remain alone without God’s protection in the coming difficulties. But their opposition cannot prevent it from happening for others who choose to accept the Lord’s offer to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks.

Restoration Scriptures

The following Announcement was read at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in St. George, Utah. 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 completedat 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 thisRestoration 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 theRestoration 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 onwww.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 torestorationscriptures2017@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.”

John Calvin Video

A new video about John Calvin has been put onto YouTube and can be viewed below: