Condemnation Removed

Reflecting on the scriptures project, I have concluded nobody involved was as important to the outcome as the work itself. By September 1832, those involved early in the restoration provoked the Lord to condemn them. His rebuke stated,

“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 rests 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 remains a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion, for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land?” (T&C 82:20.)

The work was necessary to end “treating lightly” the “new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, and the former commandments which [the Lord] has given.” Until some group would “repent and remember,” the condemnation decreed in September 1832 continued to “rest upon the children of Zion, even all.”

It is impossible for any group of people to emerge from under that condemnation without repenting and remembering, as the Lord demanded.
As the labor proceeded, it attracted the notice of heaven. The Lord worked alongside the volunteers. His inspiration was evident to all of those involved.

If the effort to “repent and remember” had been undertaken in 1832, the recovery effort could have been more complete and more accurate. The first and subsequent generations neglected it, leaving it for the fourth generation to accomplish. We have only a remnant of the original material available to us.

Despite our present limitations, the scripture recovery effort was enough to remove the Lord’s condemnation. Once it was presented to the Lord, He not only removed the condemnation, but committed to working to complete the restoration process. He has spoken and committed:

“And I, the Lord your God, will be with you and will never forsake you, and I will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching. I will raise you up and protect you, abide with you, and gather you in due time, and this shall be a land of promise to you as your inheritance from me. The earth will yield its increase, and you will flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills, and the wicked will not come against you because the fear of the Lord will be with you. I will visit my house, which the remnant of my people shall build, and I will dwell therein, to be among you, and no one will need to say, Know ye the Lord, for you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. I will teach you things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world and your understanding will reach unto Heaven. And you shall be called the children of the Most High God, and I will preserve you against the harvest. And the angels sent to harvest the world will gather the wicked into bundles to be burned, but will pass over you as my peculiar treasure.” (T&C 158:12-18.)

The outcome of the labor is described by the Lord in these words: “These scriptures are sent forth to be my warning to the world, my comfort to the faithful, my counsel to the meek, my reproof to the proud, my rebuke to the contentious, and my condemnation of the wicked. They are my invitation to all mankind to flee from corruption, repent and be baptized in my name, and prepare for the coming judgment.” (T&C 177:3.)

The Lord’s favor can still be rejected and we can provoke our own condemnation. The rule for most dispensations is failure. But we have the opportunity to succeed and prophecy promises some generation will succeed at the end.