This blog space is intended to serve as a place for the group compiling the Restoration Edition scriptures to communicate with the greater body. It replaces the Updates as found on scriptures.info, and will also serve other related purposes as needed. All the work related to the Guide and Standard can be found on guideandstandard.blogspot.com.
A PLEA TO THE SCRIPTURES COMMITTEE (submitted to us on the 16th)
Dear Friends in Christ,
Sometimes I wonder what happens at night in the spiritual realm, because I really woke up this morning with a “bee in my bonnet” about getting the new set of scriptures. Before sharing a few thoughts I feel constrained to relate, please know if you read this note and go, “Who does he think he is? This isn’t his stewardship!” I would totally agree with you.
I only offer this plea in a spirit of gratitude - for all that you have done for each of us, and in a spirit of hunger for the Word of the Lord.
You see, there are many like me who desperately want to grab that red pencil and jump into an onion-skinned or better yet, “lamb-skinned” set, and start learning the scriptures with the words reclaimed in final “mental position.” (Sure we can read online and in rough draft form - but as far as preparing for a real ministry among the people, holding and using the physical set cannot be replaced.)
Many in the movement have waited months and months to begin the real scripture transition - even as you folks diligently sacrificed for us and for the Lord!
At this time, please let me suggest the repentance we as a people so desperately need, (which will be heightened with having scriptures in physical form) is SO MUCH GREATER than saving a few dollars on a more affordable set.
Please let me witness that the TIME we have to prepare and repent is dwindling quickly, and that the TIME we need to change is far more precious than any other factor. But our common enemy uses money (and real reasons) to manipulate, limit, control and delay.
Whether the new scriptures are 25 cents, $79 or $300. How much is the word of the Lord worth? Could anything be more important? And if it is, then that is the core of the problem, not the final cost of the scriptures. This final printing is a values issue, and for those who truly cannot afford the scriptures, it becomes a fellowship-tithing-sacrifice issue to acquire them for them. I am not a wealthy man, but I will sell or acquire whatever is needed to obtain the Word of the Lord. The time lost in saving a few bucks is the real tragedy.
I am not alone when I say I desperately need these scriptures. Please let the Word come out now. Please help folks like me get into the most correct version on the entire Earth! Please don’t let money and fear of people being upset or ungrateful delay what is so deeply need at this key time.
I know you have been falsely accused and unappreciated about many things. I write this as your friend in Christ, not by way of complaint. Please forgive me for “butting in.” For truly, I am truly a flawed and impatient man of great sorrow. I wish I was so much more for the Lord-and I know only in His Word can He make me more.
No matter what happens in the years ahead, thank you for your unseen sacrifice. Thank you for helping people like me change.
HOW WE SEE THINGS
We're as anxious as everyone else to have scriptures to work with. The production of a working set of scriptures has weighed us down and practically worn us out. It's hard to go days and weeks without any visible signs of progress. But I can assure you that a day doesn't pass without work and progress. The rounds of review and correction only ended last night for the Old Covenants and New Covenants. The Teachings and Commandments should be locked down in the next couple of days. Getting things just right isn't a quick thing. So many cats need herding that it takes........................
"25 cents, $79 or $300" is important to many. If it weren't a concern, we would be further along in getting the leather scriptures. We got a lot of feedback from people that $300 scriptures would be elitist, putting the leather scriptures out of reach of many, including large families. And as soon as you move to thinking about the people outside of North America, and further, to Third World countries, price becomes an even greater segregating obstacle. Yes, we should all be willing to sacrifice to obtain the word of God, but when your life leaves nothing to sacrifice, how fair is it to set a price that is high to Americans as the price for everyone around the world? That's why, when we found a printer that appeared to be able to rival the finest Bible printer at only half the price, we determined we needed to take the time to consider what they could offer. We received samples from that printer, but the original specs we gave him were regrettably below what we wanted, so we've had to refine the requirements and are waiting for a final sample in a couple of weeks. If that printer measures up, we will have GENERATIONAL books that are expected to last hundreds of years, at a cost that the finest bible printer can't even consider. And the pricing will be far more reasonable (below $100 for an entire set, whereas the bible alone from the finest bible printer sells for $200) and less discriminatory price. Also, some commented that everyone has scriptures available online, even if printed scriptures aren't readily available. If that argument presented a suitable solution to the problem, you wouldn't have sent me your plea.
The excitement about finally having scriptures that are acceptable to the Lord is palpable. I hear about it almost daily - PLEASE give us SOMETHING! Well, we do have the scriptures online and in an app. We have "nearly there" scriptures in print, though no longer for sale, but those books are falling apart fast. But repentance isn't dependent on physical scriptures. There are underground Christian churches in China that only have one page of the Bible to work with and it doesn't slow them down. There are testimonies online of Muslims in prison who have never read the Bible, but who have had the Lord appear to them and they converted to Christianity. The father of king Lamoni only needed a conversation with a believer to return to his Lord. We suggest that we look to the light, not the book, and be patient. The books will come.
Regarding the poor quality of books so far, that, too, is something that has weighed on us. The cost of the leather scriptures project is over $100,000, so we aren't going to jump into it without making sure we've dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts. The cost of soft and hard cover sets is less, but what we've seen from Amazon is disappointing and the promise of better hasn't been found thus far. The challenge is that no one will do print-on-demand (POD) books in paper that is much thinner than what Amazon does (55# / 55 pound). But the only bindings offered are the same, so we risk having bindings break. The only way to get paper that is much thinner is to order books in batches, which is expensive compared to POD. If anyone has an alternative that we haven't seen or that knows a printer that can do POD with paper below 45#/68gsm (Amazon is 55#/81gsm), let us know ASAP.
We'd also like to ask everyone to continue praying for the Lord's help that all mistakes are discovered in time and that final stumbling blocks and challenges are quickly overcome so that the time it takes to get all the versions of the scriptures available is kept to a minimum.
A final note on printed versions of the scriptures. Here are the anticipated versions through the various printers we are talking with:
Leather scripture sets
Soft and hard cover sets, maybe through POD
Large Print soft cover sets
Compact soft and hard cover sets
Stand-alone soft cover Glossary and Book of Mormon
The original Section 101 "On Marriage" was determined to be left out of the T&C. Going into the recent conference held at Grand Junction, a group of individuals expressed concern about the possibility of polygamy rearing its head again. They believed that adding Section 101 to the T&C by a vote would give the strong statement they felt was needed against polygamy. Because the possibility was raised in the week running up to the conference, there was not enough time for people to prepare for such a vote; there was also the concern that the scriptures project would be done soon after and no opportunity would be available to vote on the matter.
After discussions with the group, the most acceptable solution for all concerned was to add the section as a historical document to the Appendix in Volume 3. However...
There has been an unexpected amount of push-back over the inclusion of the section in the appendix. Numerous emails have laid out some very good reasons why the section is not necessary in order to address the issue of polygamy:
The Answer to Prayer for Covenant & Jacob 2 are overtly more anti-polygamy than Section 101.
The Answer to Prayer for Covenant includes this: “ I commanded that there shall not any man have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none.”; whereas Section 101 is less straightforward, capable of being circumvented by careful wordsmithing. “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." Polygamy per se is not condemned in Section 101. God’s will is not stated, only what “we believe”, whereas the Answer to Prayer for Covenant & Jacob 2 give God’s will on multiple wives.
Adding Section 101 to the T&C adds little doctrinally & includes some requirements for marriage that apparently don’t come from God:
To allow for all possible roles to act as the authority to marry, we would have to institute the office of Bishop within fellowships.
Private marriages would no longer be allowed; public ceremonies only.
Every fellowship would have to select a clerk for recording marriages.
Anyone marrying outside the movement would be considered "weak in the faith."
All children would be bound by law to obey their parents.
In T&C 157 the Lord tells us, "And now I will accept what you have produced and you need not labor further to recover my words, but to complete your labors as you have agreed." In T&C 177 He says, "The work that has been done is acceptable and sufficient for the labor now underway." Removing D&C 132 and giving us a replacement in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant are more than enough to turn aside a true seeker from continuing polygamy.
The original concern was having a strong statement against polygamy. That is already found in our current scriptures. So there doesn't appear to be a need to include the original Section 101 in the Appendix or T&C. It was originally left out of the T&C because it was not a product of either Joseph or Hyrum. We will therefore leave it out.