A new series of videos on the Protestant Reformation website and YouTube has been launched. The series will deal with Christian Restoration. The first video is available and seen here: Reform was not Enough.
All volumes of the scriptures are now complete and available for order on Amazon.
The first volume is titled the Old Covenants, and contains the Joseph Smith version of the Old Testament.
The second volume is titled the New Covenants, and contains both the Joseph Smith version of the New Testament and the most accurate version of the Joseph Smith corrected Book of Mormon. Joseph intended to publish the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume. This is the only project that has honored Joseph’s intentions.
The third volume is titled Teachings and Commandments. It contains the original, most accurate version of the revelations to Joseph Smith, the Lectures on Faith, several complete letters written by Joseph Smith (like the Wentworth letter and Liberty Jail letter), and an expanded Joseph Smith History as he originally published it while editor of the Times and Seasons. It also includes some modern material approved through conference and on-line voting as an act of common consent.
These three volumes will remain in print continually. After at least six months of review, a high quality, leather-bound version will be printed. During the review period, if there are print mistakes discovered, you can send comments to this email: email@example.com
We are hoping for public input to catch and correct those print errors before the high quality leather-bound version is printed.
Christ said a man is known by his “fruit.” Matthew 6:14 Christ explains how to measure “fruit.”
Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt, for the tree is known by the fruit. And Jesus said, O you children of vipers, How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil things. And again I say unto you that every idle word men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment: for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
Christ determined that the test for “fruit” is the words we speak. But how should “words” be measured? Anger, conflict, violence, war and division amongst families were just some of the the results of the words Christ spoke. If Christ’s words were measured by how people were affected by them, then Christ produced bad fruit. Therefore, the reaction people have to words cannot be an accurate measure of “fruit.” It must be the substance, the truth, or the independent value of the words–separate from how people respond to a man’s words.
Prophets and righteous individuals have been arousing anger, provoking violent reactions, and being called anything from foolish to vile because of their words, and that does nothing to diminish the goodness of their fruit.
When a new dispensation of Christ’s gospel occurs, re-baptism is required. The Jews were practicing baptism before John the Baptist. But first John, then Christ taught that re-baptism was necessary to accept God’s new work.
This is from the New Covenants, Matthew 4:10:
Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will you not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law? But Jesus said unto them, You keep not the law. If you had kept the law, you would have received me, for I am he that gave the law. I do not receive you with your baptism because it profits you nothing, for when that which is new has come, the old is about to be put away; for no man puts a piece of new cloth on an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish. But they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.
Joseph Smith’s edit of the passage makes it clear the topic that led to the new cloth-old garment, new wine-old bottles comparison by Christ was re-baptism.
Throughout the Book of Mormon, the phrase “cast his eyes,” or some derivative of those words are used to describe briefly looking in a direction. When Nephi looked for his family, he said that he “cast my eyes round about” trying to see where they were. (1 Ne. 8:13.) When Alma described healing that occurred by looking at the bronze serpent Moses fashioned, he asked if they wouldn’t “cast about their eyes” to be rescued. (Alma 33:21.) When Nephi and Lehi were liberated from prison by a great earthquake, and the Lamanites had fallen to the ground, they “cast their eyes about” to see what had happened and they saw Nephi and Lehi encircled by a pillar of fire. (Helman 5:43-44.) When God introduced His Son to the Nephites gathered in Bountiful with a still, small voice that the people could not understand, they “cast their eyes round about” to try to locate who was speaking. (3 Ne. 11:3.) When Christ had finished preaching to the group gathered in Bountiful, He “cast his eyes round about upon the multitude” and saw they had tear-filled eyes. (3 Ne. 17:5.)
I was struck with what the Lord said in this passage from the New Covenants, Matthew 3:35: “And again I say unto you, Go into the world and do not care for the world, for the world will hate you and will persecute you and will turn you out of their synagogues. Nevertheless, you shall go forth from house to house teaching the people, and I will go before you.”
When the Lord tells us to expect to be “turned out of their synagogues,” I pondered over who would do that casting out. It can only be done by those who own buildings, who control houses of worship, and who expect believers to come to their religious buildings to worship God. It can only be done by those who think they have the right to enforce their religious ideas by compulsion, demanding conformity and suppressing ideas they dislike.
The second volume of the new scriptures is now in final form and published. It combines the New Testament and Book of Mormon into a single volume. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be published together in a single volume.
The New Testament version used is the “Joseph Smith Translation” incorporates all changes he made, including punctuation changes. It is the first time all of the changes Joseph Smith made are in print.
I engage in a process that precedes what I consider having possession of any kind of reliable information. Speculation and casual comments I have made are not particularly reliable. Research I’ve done to try to understand a subject is not reliable. Conversations in emails about some topic may be nothing more than guess work or casual conversation. When information, light and truth come from God, I consider that reliable information worth writing about, talking about or teaching.
Years ago I was contemplating the subject of Christ’s original apostles. As I looked into the scriptures, the promise Christ made to the twelve was that in the resurrection they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas was among the twelve when the promise was made. Judas fell away, betrayed the Lord and committed suicide. Whatever promise Judas may have had would have required his continued faithfulness. He was not faithful. Therefore, his throne and position as a judge in the resurrection over a tribe of Israel was forfeited. This led to the question of who would fill that vacancy.
Latter-day Saints who go through temple rites covenant and promise before God, angels and witnesses to obey the law of chastity; which is that they will have no sexual intercourse except with their spouse to whom they are legally and lawfully married.
In Illinois during the entire 1840s it was illegal to be married to more than a single spouse. In the United States Territories it was likewise a crime to be married to more than one spouse. Because of open, unlawful cohabitation by members of the LDS church beginning in the early 1850s, Congress enacted harsher and harsher penalties to stop that unlawful conduct. Congress ultimately confiscated LDS church property to compel them to obey the law. Apparently the LDS church valued property more than their religion because they abandoned unlawful polygamous marriage as a tenet of their faith.
The new Podcast function is now live. You can listen to episodes by clicking on the Podcast button and then playing the episode.
The website has been changed and updated. This is done preliminary to adding podcasts to the site.
In the “Downloads” section there is a new recording of a talk given Sunday, January 14th. It is titled “That we might become one.”
For Joseph Smith, 1838 was a terrible year. Rumors of immorality, begun that year by Oliver Cowdery, were given credibility because Oliver was the scribe who recorded most of the Book of Mormon text. They are still believed by most Mormon sects, including the LDS church. Cowdery’s insinuations resulted in him being brought before a church court on April 12, 1838 by the Far West High Council. A total of nine charges were brought against Cowdery.
At the time, Cowdery was the Assistant President to the Church and respected as the “second elder” of the church. Cowdery had been one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon and was responsible for selecting and ordaining the first Twelve Apostles. Cowdery’s church trial was perhaps the most significant to be held in the history of the church.
Thomas Monson died last evening. I assume many people are aware of this but some people read this website from far distant places and may not yet know of his passing.
He was the last one of the general authorities who were serving in the LDS church when I was baptized in 1973. With his passing there are none of that original group left.
This makes the elderly Russell Nelson the new heir to the president’s position and the one who now possesses and controls all of the LDS church’s assets-or in church parlance the holder of all the keys.
Thomas Monson was a kindly man who projected an image of concern and care for members of his church. His passing leaves two vacancies in the church’s top leadership council which the new president will be entitled to fill.
There will be a general conference in Phoenix, Arizona on March 24 and 25. I have been invited and plan to speak. Below is a link to the conference site:
Details and updates will be made at that site. The plan is to broadcast it live on the internet for any who are unable to attend.
There will be three volumes of scripture: The Old Covenants, to be volume 1. The New Covenants, to be volume 2. Teachings and Commandments, to be volume 3.
The second volume of the new edition of the scriptures is now available to download from scripturesproject.blogspot.com.
It is now available in print through Amazon at this link: The New Covenants.
It contains the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume, titled The New Covenants. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be in a single book. Until now, however, Joseph’s hope was never realized.