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. 

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 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
  • 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 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.