Saturday, June 8, 2019

Section 101 Resolution

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After discussions with the group, the most acceptable solution for all concerned was to add the section as a historical document to the Appendix in Volume 3.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.

Friday, May 31, 2019

What we're up to...

We received a genuine inquiry about why we would want to produce expensive leather-bound scriptures.

To be clear, our goal is to produce the finest books possible while at the same time making them available at as affordable a cost as possible. We want the quality of the volumes to be superior so they will endure. We want the cost to be as low as possible.

Here is the email and the responses we provided:

While pondering the logistical/financial details explained by Denver in Grand Junction, CO pertaining to the ordering of the leather bound scriptures, I had some impressions that left me feeling I needed to reach out.

In the "Response from the Lord on Acceptance of Scriptures" the 3rd paragraph down reads
"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."

I trust the Lord and know with Him all things are possible. If these are truly His words and His response, He will surely provide a way. However, with the extremely limited printing situation, how long will it take us to spread them far enough to warn the world and to get them to whoever needs them for any of the following; to be comforted, counseled, reproved, rebuked, or condemned. 

I'm sure it's been considered how to print an affordable version that could be given out (or sold an affordable price, at any given moment they come across it and want to order) to those seeking something like this from the scriptures. I wouldn't want to just hand them out to anyone who will make eye contact, leading a lot to go in the trash, the way Books of Mormon are in LDS missions. But this achievement and blessing is very precious and valuable, having the scriptures restored and formatted like this is clearly an essential work to the Lord!

I do not want/need the edges of my scriptures to have gold edges. Why was that decision made, did it cost extra? Thin-skinned paper with durable cover is a great and wonderful blessing of God! I want to offer them to many people (technically everyone I know, including non-believers because how much the difference affects the readability), but with the one-time ordering of what could be $100 scriptures that of course isn't practical. The PDF being available isn't the same, because I know I am not the only one who doesn't want to always read from a screen. If it made no difference to read PDF or a book this wouldn't be so exciting for people in the movement and you wouldn't be ordering something around 1,400 volumes. (Sorry, I don't remember the number exactly)

I greatly appreciate all the work that has already been done, and in no way am I wanting to diminish that. And also, I hope the acknowledgement is clear that if the answers to my questions (which I am sure are not unique) were so simple of course you guys would have already thought of it and done it that way. It's clear to me there is a lot of information I don't have that would help explain why you are going about it this way. So, please don't take this as any accusation or anything, just seeking to understand and also hopefully aid in God's work in all things. 

I wonder, how low will their discount go per how many we have to buy? Is there a durable, eco-friendly, way that's cheaper than leather way to bind a book that still will hold the thin paper? Are there cheaper "onion skin" materials like hemp paper perhaps? Would it be worthwhile to invest in a printing press of our own to cut out profit margins? I'd much much rather have cheaper materials and have many people have access to this precious, delicious gift, than have my very own elite special never-printed-again-for-the-foreseeable-future gold edged first edition super scriptures.

I hope this comes off with the love I intend it! I get anxious easily, and don't want my writing to offend. Again, I acknowledge great work and sacrifice has gone into these efforts. Time from family, and I'm sure fielding a lot of emails with people like me trying to each put in their two cents. I am not intending this to be that way, nosing into a work I didn't help complete. Simply that the way I see it, is for these scriptures to be a "warning to the world" they need to reach much further than those who can afford them in this exact timing, while currently being aware of them, and while most likely involved and connected with the Remnant movement. I think these being available to faithful, deceived LDS members could make a huge difference in them finally actually having their eyes opened to the Word of the Lord without the mis-colorings of modern apostasy. 


OUR RESPONSE:
This is just an assumption, but from your approach, it sounds like you believe that we will only have leather scriptures available, other than PDFs and scriptures.info. Please rest assured that we are mindful of the many that either don't know about the scriptures or that are in places where leather scriptures will either be difficult or impossible to obtain, due to cost or distribution limitations. We are taking steps to make sure that the scriptures are available in many forms:
  • Online at scriptures.info
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • ebooks
  • Mobile phone apps
  • Leather-bound volumes
  • Paperback books
  • Hard cover books
We're changing printers for the paperback and hard cover books so that we can use a distribution system that can reach worldwide. We also may be able to get the printing costs of paperbacks and hard cover books down to less than half of the current Amazon cost.

One other point. There is a very good reason for gilding page edges - it prevents insects that feed on paper, such as silverfish, from getting past the metallic edge. The point of making more expensive leather-bound copies of scriptures is so that they will last for generations. A time will come when printing isn't available any longer. We are doing everything in our power to have the finest books made so that some will endure.

I hope this addresses what you seem to be getting at - making the scriptures available to as many people as possible and why we would produce expensive copies of scripture.

--Chris


THEN:

Chris has touched on the value of gilding edges, but there are more reasons than one.  The determination to put metal on the edges of books was a discovery made in the Middle Ages that dramatically extended the life of a book.  Not only does it preserve the page from insects, but it also forms a barrier against rot, mold and water.  Gilding uses gold because it is so malleable, easy to apply, and wears well.  It is not a matter of just style, but a matter of book protection, defense and durability.

Most of the world no longer buys books.  They use electronic versions.  Throughout Latin America, for example, it is rare to have a book in a printed form, even for avid readers.  The world has migrated onto the hand-held electronic versions for price and convenience.  Therefore no matter what we do to reduce printing and make low-cost distribution available world-wide, the world's largest body of readers will use the electronic version.

As to costs for the printing, every cost lowering idea has been explored, including tracking cover materials back through the distribution chain to the first source of the material to make a direct, bulk purchase option for cost-lowering.  And printers worldwide have been consulted, not just American or European printers.  Work on the printing has consumed many days of labor to put a comprehensive specification list, and then have printers acknowledge and bid on the basis of that comprehensive specification list.  We have been fortunate to have an actual qualified maker of books, who restores valuable but damaged texts professionally as a consultant.  He has refurbished or repaired many of the original copies of the Book of Mormon printed in EB Grandin's shop.  He has worked with many of the materials we have reviewed, and made valuable contributions to the specifications, including lower-cost and more durable leather treatment.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2 Adjustments

In response to questions posed by observant folks, we have learned some things that affect our scriptures:

In his talk given at the 2016 Sunstone Symposium, titled Was There An Original?, Denver recounted Joseph Smith's last dream, had the night before he died. It was pointed out that Denver had removed the three references to "the church". In footnote 210 of the transcript Denver wrote: TPJS pp. 393-394, edited to remove insertions about the church that do not belong in the account.

When asked, And is this verifiable or simply something you happen to know?, he responded: It is something I know, but I've never seen in any historical document--because it was recounted and recorded postmortem.
Given his understanding of the matter, it has been determined that his more correct version should be used in the T&C, so the three references to "the church" will be removed.


During the development of the Timeline of the Fathers it was pointed out that while we have the age of each father noted as to when he was ordained to the Holy Order, there was no such age given for Melchizedek. The matter was brought up again yesterday and the question was posed to Denver whether he knew what that age was. He replied:

There is no age given for his ordination. He exhibited great faith "when a child" and qualified because of his great works to be ordained as a result. (His father having been ordained at the age of 10). The record states, immediately after defining this as "when a child" that Melchizedek "thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained a high priest after the Order of the covenant."  That does not necessarily mean he was ordained as a child, but that he was approved of God for ordination because of his great faith exhibited while he was still a child.

That having been said, there would be little reason to mention he had this great faith to qualify "when a child" unless the immediately following reference to ordination to the Holy Order were not likewise a childhood event.  In the absence of direct proof to the contrary, I would conclude he was ordained at the same age as his father, when 10 years of age. I would make that "perhaps 10" rather than a definitive "10".

The notation "~10" will be added to Melchizedek's timeline.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Section 174 Vote Results

Here are the results of the vote on Section 174:

338 in favor and 17 against formally adopting the Section within our scriptures.
324 in favor and 21 against adding a second paragraph of material to the section.

Section 174, with the additional material, will be included in the T&C.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Mystery of the Running Headers

There have been enough volunteers during the final text review of the scriptures who have been baffled by how the running headers are arranged at the top of the pages that they should likely be explained.

Most scriptures use running headers that give the starting and ending verses on a given page. We have simplified that by indicating the starting new paragraph number at the top of the left-hand page and the last new paragraph number at to of the right-hand page:

Here is a link to a sample.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Section 174 Vote

To participate in a vote to formally add what has bee Section 174 to our scriptures and to separately vote on expanding that section, click on the following:


This vote will continue through this coming Sat, May 11th.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Oops

Somewhere along the way an important item was missed. The Lord's explanation to us of what He meant by "mutual agreement" was added as a section to the T&C, but no record of a vote to do so can be found. Perhaps it was assumed that something from the Lord would undoubtedly be added. Not sure, but we need to formally rectify the problem, so an online vote to adopt His explanation as scripture and to add it to the T&C as Section 174 will be held next week. In the meantime, please spread the word that the vote will be coming. A post about it will be made here and on Scriptures.info.

There has also been a proposal to add to the same section some information Denver gave about it. Here is how the additional vote will be worded:


An expansion to 174 has been proposed. In his talk That We Might Become One (Jan 14, 2018) Denver explained:

"When the definition was given, it was accompanied by the realization the Lord could have disputed every day of His life with someone. He deliberately chose to not contend. He was not an argumentative personality."

The reasons for the addition/expansion were given as follows:
  1. It gives greater understanding of the Lord and the Lord’s personality not found anywhere else. 
  2. It assists people in understanding how to go about solving disagreements in the way the Lord did.  It's directly related to us and our current desire for Zion, and is focused on the Lord.
  3. It directly relates to the answer about mutual agreement, as Denver stated it “accompanied” the revelation. Therefore it seems like it should also accompany the answer as part of 174. It sheds light on the Lord’s ministry and choices.

It is proposed that Denver's remarks be added as a second paragraph to the proposed Section 174.