Sunday, September 16, 2018

Statement of Principles Announcement

Business:

Adoption and canonization of the Lots Statement of Principles.

The group that began a vote on a Statement of Principles six months ago at the Phoenix conference has been given 15 minutes by the upcoming Layton conference to conclude its business by conducting a sustaining vote for the adoption of the statement.

Background:

   In Phoenix the Lots Document received the most votes as the preferred Statement of Principles. (http://scripturesproject.blogspot.com/p/guide-and-standard-dpcs.html) 

   In part two of the voting process, many of those who preferred another Statement of Principles set aside their preference and agreed to not dispute the majority’s choice. This created a large majority of 90-95% who agreed to not dispute the choice of the Lots document.

   The third and last part of the vote was cancelled in Phoenix, out of a desire to avoid contention and we respect the right of those that made that decision.

   The Layton conference is the first opportunity to complete a sustaining vote that was interrupted then. The time slot for the vote in Layton will immediately follow the last talk of the conference on Sunday, September 30th.

Purpose:

The purpose of the vote will be to sustain the covenant body’s decision, made in Phoenix, and proceed to print the body’s chosen statement with the scriptures. This is not a vote on which document to adopt; that voting was done in Phoenix, and the Lots document received 90-95% majority. This vote is to complete the assignment with a sustaining vote prior to printing the scriptures.

After some brief remarks we will conduct the vote among covenant holders. This is not an opportunity for debate or consideration of other business outside the purpose of this vote.

Procedure:

First we will ask all those who choose to dispute the addition of the Lots Statement of Principles to the scriptures to silently stand and be recognized.

Next we will ask all those in favor of adoption of the Lots Statement of Principles to be added to the scriptures to silently stand and be recognized. This group includes those who choose to not dispute.

Three witnesses will be asked to oversee the proceedings and determine the outcome. If you are unable to attend the conference there will be an opportunity to vote online with details to follow next week.

We are, of course, hoping for unanimity; but if we reach an obvious majority in favor, it will indicate both that the Lots Statement of Principles is thereby adopted by this covenant people and that it is required to be added to the scriptures. We are assured that the requirement will be complied with.

http://scripturesproject.blogspot.com/2018/09/one-more-thing-on-scriptures.html?m=1

We ask your help in informing any who might be interested in participating in this conference business.

Your servants and friends,

Gordon Platt
McKay
and others


For more information please see these links:






Saturday, September 15, 2018

Clarifications 2

The process begun in Arizona involved an initial vote to choose a document. There was a second vote planned, but the process was called off before it took place. That second vote was intended to be a sustaining vote to adopt the chosen document as our guide and standard.

Numerous people have argued that the majority vote in favor of the Lots' statement indicates we sustained it. That is incorrect. The first voting - what took place on Saturday - was described in advance as a vote to choose a document from the many presented and any not presented. At no time was it stated or implied that it was a sustaining/adopting vote. It was explained that a vote to adopt the chosen document would take place on Sunday.

There was also a period of discussion, persuasion, reasoning, etc., required to take place after the first vote, both to make sure there was no Achilles heel to the document that might only be known among the opposing minority, and to allow persuasion to inform and change minds before our voting to adopt any statement as binding. Only then, after that work took place, could a sustaining vote be reasonably taken to adopt and canonize the chosen document.

It makes a difference. The attempted steps were not completed. It's like claiming you own a car in the dealership's lot because everyone at the dealership agrees it's yours. But until you sign the papers, you have no legal right to or responsibility for that car. And until we legally bind ourselves to a statement of principles by a sustaining vote, we cannot be held accountable, nor can we claim any rights or blessings resulting from obeying the Lord's command to produce such a statement and then add it with our scriptures. We have yet to sign on the dotted line.

There may be more to clarify, but I hope others can do that and I can be done. If I have to say more, it'll be soon. I don't want to drag things out.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Clarifications

I have a few clarifications to make, but only time to make one on this post - I will do another post by tomorrow.

I received an email from someone who was present when the Dancing with Wolves podcast was recorded and they asked for clarification from Denver on how the decision-making example applied. They said this was Denver's response, "The answer about problem solving was independently asked and answered and involved how a group of people, like a fellowship, could avoid conflict while attempting to reach a decision. It was in that context that the question was asked and answered. I'm not sure it could be possible to have a group of hundreds, or over a thousand, have any meaningful use of that method. Too many voices would be involved."

Again, more to follow...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

One more thing on the scriptures


Having made that progress report on behalf of those still involved in completing the scriptures project, I’m now going to address another issue regarding the scriptures. And this is coming from Chris Hamill, no one else. The rest of this post is my own opinion and perspective. I am not speaking on behalf of the former scriptures committee, or any group or individual other than myself. Also, what I’m about to say comes after many, many emails, conversations, texts, etc. with individuals, groups, and factions that all promote different agendas, but that often do not interact with each other. I am making my own observations and not giving directions or decisions.

NOTE: I need to apologize in advance – this is a helluva long post. But if we’re going to deal with something difficult or unpleasant to some of us, let’s get it all out at once and not drag out the discomfort.


One piece is still missing from the scriptures. We do not have an agreed statement of principles. There has been a long silence on the issue of a guide and standard, but recently some have started to bring up the topic again. From some of the things that are being blogged and emailed, it appears I owe everyone an apology. I’ve obviously not been clear about my involvement in the process. To be clear: I’M NOT IN CHARGE OF THE GUIDE AND STANDARD EFFORT; I’M NO AUTHORITY THAT MUST APPROVE SOMETHING; I’M NOT A REFEREE. I AM A SERVANT AND WILL ACT ON WHAT THE COVENANT PEOPLE (NOT ONE GROUP OR FACTION WITHIN THE LARGER BODY) DIRECTS ME TO DO. I DO NOT MAKE THE FINAL DECISION. In other words, I do not control what gets added to the scriptures, nor how it will be added. That is the responsibility of the covenant people to decide. The (disbanded) scripture committee is of the same mind, both in regards to my role and to their role. Again -- once a statement of principles is sustained by the people in a general conference, it will also be added with the scriptures.

Ever since the March conference in AZ ended, there has been mainly silence on the G&S matter. Everyone has been waiting for someone else to do or say something. And many have been pointing to the scriptures committee to be that party. The disbanding of the committee should have made it clear that the committee was never responsible for the G&S, only for seeing that it gets added according to the will of the people (more on that in a minute).

Within the past few weeks the matter of the G&S has reawakened. I’ve heard that some have no stomach to even deal with it. Others are leaving the movement because nothing has been accomplished. Some still believe that there is a secret hierarchy or strongmen in control. My explanation above ought to make it clear that the responsibility has always rested with this people as a whole. We’re too conditioned to want to place blame or responsibility on others. We need to look at ourselves. The scriptures committee never had any direction or permission from the people to act.

Some of us get a sick feeling in our stomachs just thinking about all the guide and standard mess. We don’t want more of it. But it’s like a bad tooth. We can’t ignore it because it will just get worse. The longer we put it off, the worse it will get and the harder it will be to remedy.

I’ve been asked, “What are the conditions the scripture committee is waiting on in order to ‘add them’ as we’ve been commanded?

When I was ready to come home off a mission, my mission president shared something with the departing group that I’ve never forgotten. He explained that there are 3 kinds of problems: direct control, indirect control, and no control problems. But there really is only one answer to all 3 problems – I have to change. Regardless of how you view the guide and standard assignment, the answer is the same – “I” have to change.

So, what are the conditions the scripture committee is waiting on in order to ‘add them’ as we’ve been commanded? The answer is, “You.” The scriptures committee has said it many times in posts and I stated it earlier – we are not in charge, and have no control or authority, etc. With no standing committee, and with attention pointed to me, I’ll state it from my stand-alone perspective: I have no right to choose a document and add it. I’m waiting for the people to agree on a statement (arguably this may have already happened), to accept it in a conference as a guide and standard (has yet to happen), and to then let me know their final decision (please help that happen). My ONLY possible reply to the people, once that happens, is, “As you wish.” In the meantime, “I” (check your mirror) have things to accomplish. Don’t look to Chris Hamill or to Denver or to Rob or to Log or to any individual or small group to solve the problem. It rests on each of us individually.

The Covenant asks us 4 questions. They begin: Do you believe ... Do you have faith ... Do you accept ... and only once, Do you covenant ...? That question asks: And do you covenant to seek to become of one heart with those who seek the Lord to establish His righteousness? This is the core issue. But notice that the bar is not set too high. There is no expectation that we be of one heart, only that we will seek to become so. The Lord expects us to have failures, to make mistakes, to get things wrong. Consider how often children have to be corrected. We should expect the same. And in the Covenant the Lord has promised to work with us, which gives me hope. Further, that expectation can be found in Denver’s explanation of how Zion will unfold: a small number will come together and will have to work out how they will be of one heart. Once that is worked out, another family joins and the process happens all over again. This continues over and over until all of Zion is filled.

We have been taught, “...the path to Zion is to be found only by following God’s immediate commands to us. That is how He will bring it. He will lead us there.” We have 2 immediate commands: “Be of one heart...” (T&C 157:53) and “I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people...When you have an agreed statement of principles, I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow.” (T&C 157:55). Given that the Lord does not expect our hearts to be in the finished condition, only the commitment to keep working on them, it’s reasonable to assume that the immediate command to obey is getting a statement adopted and added. In order to deal with any guide and standard effort correctly, there are some misunderstandings that need to be addressed:
  • Is it even necessary that we carry out the assignment of writing a Guide and Standard?You are not excused from writing a statement of principles…” This seems pretty clear.
  • Has the assignment already been completed? Have the people (not a group or faction within the larger body) agreed on a particular statement and formally adopted it? Has that statement been added with the scriptures?
  • There is only one document in heaven and someone needs to receive it by revelation in order for us to have it…Again, “You are not excused from writing a statement of principles…” indicates where the document originates.
  • Is a single G&S required movement-wide or would several G&Ss meet the requirement?You are not excused from writing a statement of principles…” Singular.
  • Does the G&S need to be printed as part of the scriptures or does “also add it” mean something as simple as inserting it in our copies of the scriptures, as many have already done. The original assignment given by the Lord to the scriptures committee at our first meeting was that the committee was to write a replacement for D&C Section 20 (see T&C 156:20). That assignment hasn’t been changed, other than the voice of the people requiring they approve it first, and then the Lord shifting the responsibility to the people as a whole in the Answer. It appears it belongs as a section in the T&C. I acknowledge the scriptures committee held this view at one point, but have since realized this was not sufficient to satisfy the Lord's requirements.
  • Has sufficient time passed to allow another go at completing the assignment? Were earlier attempts foolish attempts to rush too fast or “rush the pass”? Like a bad tooth, it will only get worse and harder to deal with the longer it gets put off. “Rushing the pass” from Denver’s vision refers to acting without the Lord’s direction. We have direction from the Lord on what to do.
  • Is an online effort acceptable or does this assignment require being physically together to accomplish it? Does the statement have to be adopted in a conference or will a simple vote suffice? All 3 steps proposed for the conference in Gilbert, AZ (choose a document, respectfully address dissent, adopt the document) are required by the Lord for the matter to be settled.
  • Should we refrain from telling others “the Lord told me...” or is God was giving individuals assignments on the G&S which the greater body should get behind?You are not excused from writing a statement of principles…” is a collective requirement. Why would He then start piecing out parts of what He already has assigned to all of us?
  • Should we start over and see just how many points we could agree on to produce a guide and standard and abandon for now the points we can’t agree on? This might be as basic as “love God, love your neighbor, and get baptized” if we can only agree on 3 points. How does that address the needs of “others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore…bless, benefit and inform them”?
  • Do we have to be of one heart for any document to be acceptable to the Lord. See the discussion above about the 4 questions in the Covenant.
I’m not the one to tell anyone what should be done to complete this assignment. So instead, let’s consider where we are as of the last conference. By March of this year, many proposed statements had been advanced by individuals and groups. An online vote, available to anyone in the world for many days, had been held, and the outcome of the approximately 500 participants was a 93% approval for what was called the “Lots’ document.” The pushback from the scriptures committee - at the time - was that 500 people out of 1500+ recorded baptisms indicated that the outcome only represented a majority of a minority and that it couldn’t reflect the voice of the people. Hindsight, however, has opened at least my own eyes to other factors that should have been considered: Many simply don’t want to participate (based on the availability of the vote); some may never know of our efforts; some who have been baptized won’t participate because they haven’t received the Covenant. These factors, and maybe others as well, make it more likely that the initial vote WAS fairly representative of the voice of the people. If so, I apologize for our shortsightedness.

After that initial vote, an attempt was made to address those opposed to the Lots’ document or who didn’t vote. Those involved with the Lots’ document effort talked with any not supporting the document for several months afterwards. They were very well received by most, but when conversations began to become a bit contentious, they determined that continued outreach would do more harm than good. Yet they spent hundreds of hours listening to and discussing the opposing views.

The conference in AZ included another vote for a document, looking for one to rise to the top. It was open to ALL potential documents. Again, the Lots’ document gained a significant majority of the votes. It was only when those who disagreed began to voice their opposition that things fell apart and the process was subsequently halted by the conference organizers (not the Lots group). Things then went silent until recently.


Looking forward, I have some concerns that I think are likely shared by others:

  • Do we trust the Lord, that He can, as a loving parent, see that things turn out as He desires, despite our own limitations and brokenness?
  • Does everyone have a voice/vote that wants a voice/vote? What can be done to provide for that?
  • Are factions competing or cooperating? If competing, what needs to happen for that to change? Do we need to start the process over or can we bring competing ideas together?
  • If more than one group has received approval from the Lord for their document, what is the bigger picture that allows this to happen?
  • If someone disputes the outcome and remains unpersuadable, what step(s) need to be taken to resolve the impasse?
  • Will we assume that we have become of one heart if we agree on a document, or will we realize we must continue to seek to become of one heart, as we covenanted? Will we continue to study to learn how to respect our brothers and sisters and to come together? Is there a way to take that on?
  • Will many meek people remain silent and allow a process to complete, even if they object to the process as well as a document, and then resent those who may have pushed it on them or who did not listen? Or will we do all we can to create a safe environment for discussion and respectful disagreement?
  • Are the failures and flaws experienced during this exercise part of the learning process? If so, what will make our shortcomings become acceptable/tolerable to the Lord?
  • Because the Lord requires us to choose a document, persuade opposition and formally adopt the document as a people – all 3 steps attempted in the conference in Gilbert, AZ – what remains to be done?
  • Are ~3 weeks (from now until the conference in Layton) sufficient time to alert people that a decision will be attempted? And if no decision is reached, what then?
  • If the Lord could accept the scriptures project in an incomplete state - enough to extend the Covenant - can a document be adopted with the understanding that some MINOR adjustments may still need to be made prior to publishing?
  • Is it possible to adopt one document in the scriptures and, if another one is also deemed important or useful, add that one to the Appendix (which is not considered scripture), perhaps as a tool?
How will we know we’ve completed the assignment? Who can determine that a decision has been made for the people? Perhaps a metaphor might shed some light: Imagine we’re at a train station to catch the train to Zion. Most of us have decided that train #7 is the right one. A few argue that it can’t be because they are convinced that the train has to be blue and #7 isn’t blue. No matter the discussion, some of them insist we all have to get on a blue train and no one can get on a train if we dispute. #7 powers up; the conductor yells, “All aboard!” If I’m convinced that a blue one is the train for me, I need to find that train, but I have not right to hold anyone hostage by my decision -- they should be free to choose what they want. If I’m convinced #7 is for me, I can’t leave the decision in the hands of someone else. It’s up to me to decide what I will do. If it so happens that the majority of the group thinks the same way and gets aboard #7, their individual decisions collectively demonstrate the group’s decision. No one has made a decision for anyone else, but the group has made a common decision to take #7, with a few freely choosing an alternative. The remaining few will have to decide whether they will wait for a blue train or want to join with those who are convinced #7 is the right choice. And perhaps the larger body could offer to paint #7 blue?

I can only hope that at the next conference, or one very soon, we can offer a prayer such as: Father, despite all of our offensive behavior, we have come together and adopted a statement of principles for a guide and standard for this people, as you have commanded. Please forgive us of our failures and shortcomings. We recognize that we are still not of one heart, but we remain committed to that objective. Please tell us if you accept our decisions and our statement, or correct us so that we can make them acceptable to you. We hope that what we present to you demonstrates our acceptance of the covenant you have offered us.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Important progress update


At the Gilbert, AZ conference in March, the scriptures committee stated that we thought the work on the scriptures was completed and that the next 6+ months would be used by everyone to read the scriptures with the intent of finding any typos or issues that needed to be addressed before preparing them for printing in a leather-bound, onionskin version. Many have emailed us issues that they’ve found and we thank everyone for the help. Several on the now disbanded committee have also proofed the Book of Mormon meticulously. We discovered a number of issues that we either had missed or hadn’t identified before. We also realized that by using many volunteers for the work, we created the problem of many styles and perspectives on grammar and punctuation. However, every issue has been addressed to the best of our ability. The finalized version of the Book of Mormon will shortly be uploaded to Amazon and will hopefully be included in Volume 2 by the end of the week. It is likewise being sent to www.scriptures.info and will be updated on that site prior to the conference in Layton at the end of September.

A similar review of the T&C and New Testament is underway. There is less involved with those works, so we hope those efforts will move more quickly. This will be followed by a review of the Old Covenants.

Many people have asked how soon we will be printing the leather-bound, onionskin scriptures. As soon as the New Testament is completed and Volume 2 is formatted for that set of scriptures, publishers who have been identified will be sent a proof of Volume 2 for bids to print sets of all 3 volumes. Because volumes 1 & 3 are larger/smaller than volume 2, a bid for 3 pieces that are the size of Volume 2 will get us a good ballpark cost. As soon as we have a couple of competitive bids we will announce it. That will also likely give us a timeframe for availability.

Once the leather-bound scriptures are well underway, we will make sure that all electronic versions are made available/u[dated, and that a very large print set is considered through Amazon.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A couple tough passages have been clarified

Thanks to the efforts of a few diligent souls, a couple of the passages in the Book of Mormon that many of us have struggled with have had their punctuation slightly reworked in a way to bring clarity to the confusion. Here are the passages, given first as in the LDS scriptures and then as they will be punctuated in ours (note the changes in red and in yellow highlighting):

Alma 36:9
And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.

Alma 17:2
And he said unto me, If thou wilt of thyself, be destroyed; seek no more to destroy the church of God.

Alma 36:11
...for when I heard the words  If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God 

Alma 17:3
... for when I heard the words — If thou wilt, be destroyed of thyself; seek no more to destroy the church of God



Ether 12: 7-9
7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Ether 5:2
For it was by faith that Christ shewed himself unto our fathers after he had risen from the dead, and he shewed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he shewed himself not unto the world but because of the faith of men. He has shewn himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen; wherefore, ye may also have hope and be partakers of the gift if ye will but have faith.


Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me, but behold, I say unto you that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (Alma 17:8)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Grammatical Conventions

Reviewing and standardizing grammatical conventions feels like starting the project all over again. There is a lot to correct. The conventions that we've identified and agreed upon have been added at the beginning of the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc. We're grateful to Denver for his input in the decision-making for these conventions so that we protect the integrity of the scriptures.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Updated PDFs

Volumes 1, 2, &3 have been updated. The same files will be updated on scriptures.info very soon.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Joseph Smith Scripture Correction Discovery

In Joseph Smith's last sermon on 16 June 1844, he explained the following:

Men say there is one God—the Far. Son & the H.G. are only 1 God—it is a strange God any how 3 in 1. & 1 in 3. it is a curious thing any how—Far. I pray not for the world but I pray for those that thou givest me &c &c [19] all are to be crammed into 1 God—it wod. make the biggest God in all the world—he is a wonderful big God—he would be a Giant I want to read the text to you myself—I am agreed with the Far. & the Far. is agreed with me & we are agreed as one [20]—the Greek shews that is shod. be agreed [21]—Far. I pray for them that thou hast given me out of the world &c &c [22] that they may be agreed & all come to dwell in unity & in all the Glory & Everlasting burngs of God & then we shall see as we are seen & be as God— From Thomas Bullock Report; see also TPJS 369-76.(Spelling and punctuation as in original)
19, 22 - John 17:9-11
20, 21 - 1 John 5:7-8

The Greek text always uses the primary number “one” in all of these cases (εἷς, heis)

Given this clarification by Joseph Smith, the following changes will be made to the scriptures:

John 9:
19 Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be agreed as one as we are...
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also whom shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be agreed as one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be agreed as one in us, that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be agreed as one even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in agreement as one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.


1 John 1:22 - ...And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth; for there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are agreed as one. And there are three that bear witness in earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Where is Skousen Coming From?

As more people take a critical look at the scriptures, some understanding is needed. Royal Skousen did a marvelous job of analyzing the variations in the different editions of the Book of Mormon and trying to understand how they came about. But he also had a particular agenda - to get to the most accurate copy of the Original Manuscript (OM). This is a different goal than ours - the most Joseph-accurate copy of the Book of Mormon.

Whenever Joseph made a change to the text that is found in the OM, Skousen set it aside. If it doesn't match the OM, he felt it shouldn't be there. Skousen has published his own version of the Book of Mormon that matches as closely as possible the OM.

The problem for us is that this ignores 2 things happening through Joseph. First, he recognized that a lot of mistakes were made, both in recording the OM, and then in the transcribing of the OM to the Printer's Manuscript, and then to subsequent published editions. Joseph spent time throughout his life seeking to correct those errors. As late as 1842 he noted in his journal that he was working to fix the errors. Second, Joseph was ever learning. And as his knowledge increased, so did his understanding of the meaning of scripture. For example, Denver has given a good explanation of how Joseph's perception of the First Vision evolved over time.

A more recent example that we can likely relate to is found in Nephi's discussion of his father's vision with an angel. At one point the angel says, "And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh." For most of us, we understand that the angel is referring to Mary, Christ's mother in the flesh. But read in the context of the talk Our Divine Parents that Denver gave in Phoenix in March, a second meaning appears - that Christ's Heavenly Mother may have condescended to be His mother in the flesh as well.

So not all of Skousen's recommendations were adopted. Please recognize that though we might find a few things that got missed, overall we won't be changing a lot. At times we had to make some tough decisions and many, many were discussed by all of the committee and decided by mutual agreement.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Let's get it right

Now that we have a working set of scriptures, the final goal is to have the reasonably best set we can have by cleaning up the problems we run across. Some of them have been created by software, some by human error, some intentionally by well-meaning volunteers who decided to make their own changes. We're just now seeing these as people submit what they consider problems with the text.

We will take as long as is necessary to make the reasonable updates in preparation for the fancy set of scriptures, at which point we expect updating will end (except for new material). The timeframe rests with all of us: as fixes keep coming in, we have to expect that there may be more. But you need to reference the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc to see if they have already been submitted. Once we have  a few months where few, if any, fixes are submitted, we will feel confident that we've made it to a publication point.

"Reasonable" was intentionally stated because some submitted fixes are very subjective and hard to justify. So please give solid evidence that a fix really does need to be made - do the research first. Links have been provided to all the material we've used.

Thank you to everyone that has helped and who are working through the scriptures. By the way, only one person had touched the Old Covenants to date...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A set of RE scriptures find their way to Africa

When he was a member of the Church of Christ, a brother in my local fellowship made the email acquaintance of a Nigerian man named Adefelu David Adebowale. David teaches at a little church school in IIe ife, Osun State, Nigeria, a day or two out past the middle of nowhere. There are 100 souls in their little fellowship of believers in Christ. Here's David with some of his students, dressed as they are, like wee angels. 


One day David asked my friend, Tony, if Joseph Smith has light brown hair. David described having seen Joseph Smith in dreams since he was five. His testimony to Tony: "Joseph is a very sacred prophet like Moses and Abraham". Years ago David came by a few photo-copied pages from 1 Nephi. The LDS missionaries that shared this with him never returned but he has taught what he had at his school. Eventually he got in touch with the Church of Christ and the Temple Lot group and requested a copy of the Book of Mormon from them. Six years on and still no Book of Mormon. 

David's faith and persistence found a friend in Tony. They email back and forth on a daily basis. Tony mentioned the request for scriptures on our fellowship forum, I requested a set of scriptures and we shipped them to Nigeria via UPS. Today was a box full of light and truth for David! Here he is with his own copy of one of the most profound books in print on this planet. Some joyful day we will meet David and his family and embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.


Monday, April 30, 2018

If you think you've found a typo, do some research first.

We get emails for potential typos almost daily. Yet the majority of them are not typos or errors, but are simply unusual text. Remember that the Lord rescinded permission to update the archaic language in the Book of Mormon. Also remember that Middle English was in use during Joseph Smith's day. And realize that the LDS scriptures are not a valid source of reference. The scripture project was undertaken to correct the errors introduced not only by scholars, but also by the LDS church.

If you discover something that you think is an error, please research it on your own first to confirm that it is an error. Yes, it might be faster for us to look into it since we've been doing this for a couple of years, but if it takes perhaps 5 minutes to resolve one submission, and you multiply that to include all of the emails we get, it puts an unfair burden on our time. We're still working on cleaning up the damage that software inflicts on text. And we've already sacrificed many thousands of hours on this project. We need to get to know our families again.

Here are the resources you might need to verify that you've found a problem. Obviously some typos are self-evident and don't need research, but most are not. Many are unusual, but not blatant. Anyway, here's where you can go to do your research:

VOLUME 1 - THE OLD COVENANTS
Joseph Smith's personal bible
Old Testament Manuscript 1
Old Testament Manuscript 2

VOLUME 2 - THE NEW COVENANTS (New Testament, Book of Mormon)
New Testament Manuscript 1
New Testament Manuscript 2

Printer's Manuscript
Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, 1st Edition
(We used the 2nd Edition, but it is not available online)

VOLUME 3 - TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS
Revelation Book 1
Revelation Book 2
Book of Abraham
1835 Doctrine and Covenants
D&C correlation to earliest documents



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Patience

No matter how hard you try, it's impossible to catch all the glitches, especially with all of the creative coding needed for the T&C. Please give the coders a couple weeks to clean things up before you start reporting problems with the online T&C at scriptures.info.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The T&C is LIVE!

The T&C is now up and working on www.scriptures.info for all to use.

Friday, April 20, 2018

KINDLE ISSUE

KINDLE appears to dislike SMALL CAPS. We’ve just discovered that Amazon’s software changes all small caps to lowercase. We now face the daunting task of changing each instance manually (400+) to regular caps so that they show up properly. This is important because most of the instances are in the OC and have LORD being changed to lord. Kindle is the only format affected by this. Once this is accomplished, we will make the Kindle versions available again and ask Kindle Direct Publishing to reissue the update to everyone who has purchased the Kindle versions of the scriptures. Cross your fingers they agree this is a serious enough problem that it needs such a step.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

WINDING DOWN

The T&C has now been sent to scriptures.info for posting. We understand it could take about 1-2 weeks to complete the coding for it to appear on the site. Volumes 1 (The Old Covenants) and 2 (The New Covenants) have been updated on Amazon with all of the fixes noted. They will be updated everywhere within the next week or so.

The text for the T&C on Amazon.com has been updated to include all of the corrections and issues raised to date (see the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc on scripturesproject.blogspot.com). The Kindle version of the volume is also now available. And several ebook formats (ePub, mobi, Lit, RTF - let us know if others are needed), as well as a PDF, will also be available for free on scriptures.info.


The Glossary is now downloadable as a stand-alone piece in several sizes. It's available on the scripture project blog and will also be posted on scriptures.info shortly.


The work on the scriptures is essentially complete, but there are still a few housekeeping things to wrap up. Here's what we anticipate now will finish the project:
  • Mike Hamill will oversee getting the completed work into ebook form.
  • Chris Hamill will continue to deal with the print-on-demand details as they arise, including reported corrections.
  • Kevin (our formatter) & Chris (and any others with experience with the printing industry - let us know if that's you) will be involved in spearheading getting the completed work into the higher-quality printed version. Volunteers have been crucial and will continue to be needed for that effort.
  • The high-quality version will require some pre-sales and/or contributions to help with the first printing.  As that time approaches there will be a request for pre-orders, etc. and those who want to assist with that effort can volunteer.
Once the high-quality version is published, no changes or corrections to the scriptures will be made without the Lord's direction. With the exception of the tasks listed above, there is no need for a scripture committee to remain in place. Therefore we are disbanding. If the need for some other scripture effort arises, a group can once again be gathered to accomplish it.

Other Projects
The other projects associated with this one are scriptures.info and the scripture apps. The following has been shared by the developers:

scriptures.info
http://scriptures.info/Home/Help

iPhone App
The next release will include all of the final scripture content, along with a few navigational changes necessary for the new structure of Teachings and Commandments. The app will also save your reading position in each chapter. A subsequent release later this year will add full-text search capability. 

Android App
The first version of the Android app will have the following features:
  • Ability to navigate to and read from the final text of all three volumes.
  • Ability to swipe to the next/previous chapter
  • Ability to set basic user preferences (font, font size, margins, line spacing, choosing between a light, dark, or sepia color scheme) that will persist on that device
  • When choosing chapters, ability to either view chapter intros (with the first 20 or so words of the chapter) or view as a grid of chapter numbers to choose from
  • The app should work correctly in both orientations (landscape and portrait)
  • The app should work well for both phones and tablets
  • Stretch goal: Keyword searching with similar functionality as on scriptures.info
  • Later versions may include additional features such as adding tags or notes, bookmarking, highlighting, etc., as time permits.



In Closing
The members of the scripture committee and all the volunteers who have help make this possible are grateful for the opportunity, happy that it's ending, and are looking forward to what may lie ahead of us.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Glossary

People have asked for a copy of the Glossary as a stand-alone item. Kevin has created 4 sizes of PDFs that can be downloaded and printed, including one that can be easily made into a booklet. (That one is in "Printer's Format", meaning the arrangement and numbering allow for simple duplex (front and back) printing and then stacking and folding the pages in half.

See the PFDs and INFO box to the right.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Looks like we're going to hell...

All of our good intentions are failing us and have put us on that road. We had hoped to have the T&C put up on scriptures.info by now. But when we tried to publish the RE scriptures on Kindle, it made a mess of the formatting. So we turned to an ebook format (.mobi) to solve the problem. But that only pointed out some structural problems we hadn't noticed before, so we've been working to fix them. That has taken a lot more time than anticipated. And we don't want to put something out that will then need another major fix down the road.

Our plan at this point is to make the T&C available on Kindle, in ebook format (.mobi to start), and on scriptures.info all at the same time, since they all have to sync, as well as updating the text in the printed books. That could be a couple more weeks. We will then do the same for the other two volumes (on scriptures.info that would involve updating the text to include all of the fixes to date).

By the way, thank you to everyone for submitting questionable text and typos. We are keeping the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc current so tat you can update your own texts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PDFs UPDATED

The newest versions of the scriptures PDFs - they include all the fixes received and reviewed up until the Phoenix Conference - are now available using the available download links in the SCRIPTURES box to the right.

From now on the PDFs will be dates to you can know how recent your version is.

CONFERENCE NOTES - Phoenix 2018

Delivered by Chris Hamill

Someone brought up the question this morning, "Who are the scriptures committee?" I've not wanted to share this, but I want to now tell you an experience that happened last year at the conference in St. George that will tell you about the scripture committee:
I was waiting to announce the scripture project. As I sat in the hall next to the auditorium, I asked the Lord, "Why me? Why am I announcing this? I'm nobody important. Why am I doing this?" He responded, "Because you're nobody important."
That's how we on the committee view ourselves. We don't consider ourselves in any way important.

Fixing the scriptures was carefully limited. Once the Lord gave the Answer to Prayer for Covenant, wherein He said to just do what we had currently planned, we determined not to go further. Also, we need to keep in mind that the Bible was a mess to begin with and we could only take it from very broken to less broken. At some point in the future the Lord intends to replace our current Old Testament and maintaining the significant differences between the brokenness of the current Bible and what we may receive in the future seems the most prudent. We've done the best we could with our time and manpower constraints. We had to get something out without taking 5 years to do so. There are still fixes to be completed and we apologize that the list isn't short.

JS struck through a lot of words in the JST, but did not get back to replacing most of them (or he did and we have no record of it), so Vol. 1-2 are simply our best effort to make the remaining text work. Some of it may seem awkward, but we’ll just have to live with it until something changes. Also, we had to leave some strike-throughs in place or some of the changed sentences wouldn’t make sense. Though we understand the words that were not removed were noted as incorrect by Joseph Smith, we chose to leave those words rather than to freelance.

Reminder: we were NOT given permission to update the archaic language in the Book of Mormon.

There is a Google doc called TYPOS AND ISSUES that tracks all of the fixes that people find and submit; it does it in real time. There is a link to it on the scriptures project blog in the SCRIPTURES box on the right. If you find what you think is an error in one of the volumes PLEASE check that document first to see if the problem has already been reported before emailing us. We update the document, then we update the text, and periodically we update the files, both on Amazon and scriptures.info. We have already made many of the fixes, and the books sold on Amazon today have those fixes incorporated. The second benefit of the tracking document is that you can make the fixes in your own copies right away.

Notifying us of any errors in the scriptures, including the scriptures found on scriptures.info, needs to happen by sending an email to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com. That's because scriptures.info gets copies of the text that we correct. They use the same text we publish and update. They don't simply change their coding. This keeps the printed volumes and the website in sync.

Regarding changing any punctuation, we will only change punctuation if you can clearly demonstrate that the existing punctuation harms the meaning of the text or is a glaring grammatical problem. If you just don't like a comma there, that's probably a personal preference and you can use whiteout to kill it. If you want a comma added, you have a pen. But we have had a few instances, for example, where removing a comma improved the text noticeably and we implemented the change. I'm just saying that we are only changing what has to change.

Also, some issues get raised due to the funky language that is found in the volumes, particularly in the Book of Mormon. I’ve typically been the one researching those and if the funkiness is there because of Joseph and not an error on our part, we leave it alone, but add an explanation to the TYPOS AND ISSUES document so you can understand why it’s there and not report it again.

We will use a minimum of six months to find and implement all the fixes that this body can find and report so that the fancier, leather-bound edition of scriptures - in fact every published version - will be as good as it gets. And our hope is to get a fancy set produced by the end of the year.

Cover art - make of it what you will. The artist offers no explanations.

Glossary - not written by the committee. It was compiled using all of Denver’s written materials and then edited and added to by him during his review. If you want another term added to the glossary, be sure to follow the same guidelines that were used in compiling the original - the explanation must be composed of material from Denver Snuffer, Joseph Smith and the scriptures, and will be reviewed and edited by Denver.

Literary devices were used in the T&C - Wisdom, Eternal, etc. This was intentional. It was discussed with Denver and others prior to being implemented.

Revelations printed in JSH - if different from Sections, they are noted as [See Section X].

The reference "LE", meaning LDS Edition, can go away. [The error in this statement is that it may be needed when comparing other versions of the Book of Mormon to ours, for example.]

Online Research Versions will likely be the next project, followed by the publication of the committee’s emails.

Scriptures.info - almost all of the scriptures have been updated. As stated earlier, if you find an error in the text on scriptures.info, you need send an email to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com. This site will become a great resource. I've already been contacted about adding things to the site, but it's not up to me or this committee what will be added or the guidelines for changes and additions. That is up to those who are designing and building the site. They set the guidelines. If you have ideas or suggestions or submissions, visit the scriptures.info CONTACT form.

Apps - The Android app is under active development. The iOS app is no longer available in the App Store in order to update the files. The problem is that the apps are dependent on the files handed to them by scriptures.info, which is dependent on the files we send them. Please be patient. Both apps will be called "RE Scriptures".

The T&C will hopefully be ready and available on scriptures.info by next weekend.

In closing, I'd like to note that it is very easy to second guess everything we've done with the scriptures. Given the thousands of emails, the literally years of combined man-hours, the dozens of conference calls and meetings, and the active participation of Denver whenever an issue or suggestion came up, you can know that all of our decisions were deliberate and intended to offer ALL of us the very best WORD possible, given our amateur limitations. We didn't know what we were getting into, what would be required, how it would evolve with new scripture, new resources and a new covenant, but it has been a treat to serve. Our committee thanks all of you for your help, your support, your patience and your prayers.

Amen.