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Why So Little Scripture Since Joseph?


Sargon

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Sometimes LDS members are troubled by the fact that very little scripture has been produced since Joseph. We only have a few instances after Joseph in which a section is added to the D&C or a manifesto is appended and those are few and far between.

Why is that?

Perhaps Jarom (yes, the guy who wrote only one chapter) from the Book of Mormon can provide us with a clue as to why.

Verse 2...but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.

Then, in the next book, Omni, more then 200 years pass by with hardly a thing written down! Sometimes there just isn't much to say. Sometimes all the important stuff has already been said.

Your thoughts?

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I get scriptures every month in the mail and new scriptures every six months.

Not to be snarky I know what you mean. I would like to see the large plates, unsealed portion, the other tribes writings etc. Its not on my timeline though so I cant help.

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And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

D&C 68:4

I think there is much more scripture than we realize, even to the blurring of the lines between doctrine and scripture; especially since there is no requirement for scripture to be "sustained" in General Conference.

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Please, let's not turn this into a debate about what "scripture" is. I'm talking about canonized scripture. The kind of stuff deemed worthy of including in the Standard Works.

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Sometimes LDS members are troubled by the fact that very little scripture has been produced since Joseph. We only have a few instances after Joseph in which a section is added to the D&C or a manifesto is appended and those are few and far between.

Why is that?

Perhaps Jarom (yes, the guy who wrote only one chapter) from the Book of Mormon can provide us with a clue as to why.

Then, in the next book, Omni, more then 200 years pass by with hardly a thing written down! Sometimes there just isn't much to say. Sometimes all the important stuff has already been said.

Your thoughts?

With the opening of the Vatican Library, I see all kinds of scripture for us to feast upon.

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I agree Sargon and I apologize for the bad start. I would like to see more. I know I have heard the we are not ready etc etc. But it would be fun to know some of the history too. Was it really in Mesoamerica (like I believe), more about the three Nephites...

I think the next canonization will be the Family Proclamation, just my opinion .

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http://www.sacred-texts.com/

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

[...]

For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written."

- 2 Nephi 29:7,11

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I agree Sargon and I apologize for the bad start. I would like to see more. I know I have heard the we are not ready etc etc. But it would be fun to know some of the history too. Was it really in Mesoamerica (like I believe), more about the three Nephites...

I think the next canonization will be the Family Proclamation, just my opinion .

I'll be interested to see if the Proclamation is added to the Standard Works in the (near?) future.

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I agree with Antley, and I think that would be great.... I am not bothered but I know some critics that are. I also think that the next bigger scripture will come forth from Russia, Tibet, China Nepal or aropund there, maybe Africa. Ofcourse I :P for Finland ;) to be the place where next scriptures will be found. There is a lot activcity also around mediterranian, but so much that it is difficult to know if what is found IS real scripture, right scripture.

There was a comparation of LDS and Buddhist... I think it was here a few weeks ago and I found that very interesting. I would find ti very interesting to compare eastern religious scriptures with B and BoM. today Tibets membership has grown explosively, maybe ther eis someone who will find something I just have a gut feeling about arond Tibet and cant understand why ... around Finland :fool:

But in generall Liahona is a good start and we already got the mainpoints in Bible, it is jut mainy manifestations of the old and a few new practices that are needed in the world we live in with a few histories of a few people.

It is interesting to know where Nefities really lived, but I dont consider that a scripture as a scripture is a history of a people who follow God... ops ... I was not supposed to write about waht I think the scripture is... sorry Sargon :crazy:

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Just read 1 Nephi 13

38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.

39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

All through the scriptures it is clear there are many records of scripture yet to come forth. Maybe when the saints are no longer under condemnation for taking lightly the Book of Mormon the Lord will see fit to bring forth more. At least thats what we have been told. As I see it there really has been little revealed since Joseph. Honestly I don't see general conference or the ensign being comparable to "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." Relatively little has been revealed since Joseph Smith and no new scripture or records have been brought forth by the hand of the Lord to the church as a whole. Someday, someday.

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Please, let's not turn this into a debate about what "scripture" is. I'm talking about canonized scripture. The kind of stuff deemed worthy of including in the Standard Works.

Lets not. But I submit that spoken is just as valid as written scripture. I think that is the problem with traditional Christianity and many within Mormonism, they seem to think that if it is not contained within the "canon" or Standard Works then it is somehow of lesser value. The following talk by Elder Holland (quickly becoming one of my favorite Apostles) addresses this issue:
(Jeffrey R. Holland,
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Well, the BOM didn't end after Jarom, did it?

Personally, this has always been an issue with me. In the beginning days of the church, apparently the Lord was concerned enough to give revelations about a ton of things we would consider minute details today. Where to send certain missionaries, how they were doing, what callings to give out etc. All revelations "thus saith the Lord". Then after Joseph dies, that is pretty much it with a few exceptions.

I've thought long and hard about the possible reasons. The standard answer "a BOM and a D&C, we have a BOM and a D&C, and need no more BOM and D&C" doesn't satisfy me. We tout and proclaim that the church is lead by Jesus Christ himself, yet our proof of this are general conference talks which are largely repetitive lectures on basic topics. There is nothing revealing in those talks. No new information. Wise counsel, maybe, but no revelation. So how can we say we are lead by revelation? Its more accurate to say we are lead by inspiration by committee.

How would it be to go to general conference and have the prophet stand up and say "I have had a revelation, and here is the text - ""Behold, listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your savior and redeemer.................."" Who wouldn't think that would be awesome? Who wouldn't consider that amazing, powerful, and clearly a high level of communication than a conference talk? Its clear to me, though I imagine many disagree.

I talked to my father in law about this once, who is a patriarch by the way (very righteous, humble man who I respect a lot) and he is sure that there is a book somewhere, that is frequently updated that records all the revelations by the prophets and the twelve, and that most decisions are backed up by these revelations. Bless his heart, but I think that is very unlikely and had to disagree with him.

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I talked to my father in law about this once, who is a patriarch by the way (very righteous, humble man who I respect a lot) and he is sure that there is a book somewhere, that is frequently updated that records all the revelations by the prophets and the twelve, and that most decisions are backed up by these revelations. Bless his heart, but I think that is very unlikely and had to disagree with him.

It seems common for members of the Church to invent stories like that (and things like "all the Apostles have physically seen Jesus Christ, but they just don't mention it"..) I suspect these stories serve to fill in the gaps between what they think the Church should be, and what the Church actually is.

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Then, in the next book, Omni, more then 200 years pass by with hardly a thing written down! Sometimes there just isn't much to say. Sometimes all the important stuff has already been said.

I agree, and I think it amusing that for non-Mo's and even ex-Mo's this seems to be a stumbling block. The emphasis on all prophets since has been on making sure we are living the principles already taught. How can we expect to get any real new scripture when we aren't abiding by what we have? We would just be held to greater accountability than we already are.

P.S. I think when we are talking about scripture we are referring to something different than revelation. I think of my scriptures as the standard works but I am well aware that revelation is received on a daily basis.

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I agree, and I think it amusing that for non-Mo's and even ex-Mo's this seems to be a stumbling block. The emphasis on all prophets since has been on making sure we are living the principles already taught. How can we expect to get any real new scripture when we aren't abiding by what we have? We would just be held to greater accountability than we already are.

P.S. I think when we are talking about scripture we are referring to something different than revelation. I think of my scriptures as the standard works but I am well aware that revelation is received on a daily basis.

Were the Saints that received the Book of Mormon already abiding all the scriptures they had? Were the Saints that received the Book of Abraham already abiding all the scripture they had? Were the Saints that received the Book of Moses already abiding all the scriptures that they had? Were the Saints that received the Book of Commandments/D&C and each canonized revelation already abiding all the scriptures they already had?

As far as I can tell, there has never been an instance in the history of the Church (or in the scriptures) when God waited for people to abide all the scripture they had before giving them more. If I've overlooked anything, please let me know.

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Please, let's not turn this into a debate about what "scripture" is. I'm talking about canonized scripture. The kind of stuff deemed worthy of including in the Standard Works.

Our timeline seems long but it has not been that long from the time of Joseph,

we have had a few good ones in the last century ( section 138 for one )

and I am sure the proclamation to the world on the family will be added

as was OD 2 at the end of the D&C kinda like this here shows:

http://www.yorgalily.org/~yorgasor/church/Scriptures/dc/c.htm

Now we are promised there will be more to come and I am sure at that time some of

what we have read from our leaders will be added to it including this.

D&C 107:56 And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation;

and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost,

predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.

57 These things were all written in the book of Enoch,

and are to be testified of in due time.

The question is do we read what we already have before us?

Have we read all of the JST and not just the first few chapters as seen in the PGP?

Have we read all of the Church History when all we have in the Canon is JSH 1?

once we do this I think we will be more ready.

The sealed portion of the BOM will also be ours IMO perhaps for the millennium.

To those who are ready God often sends angels with a book

that seems to have a sweet and bitter message to it.

We may not want to hear all he has to say to us.

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Sometimes LDS members are troubled by the fact that very little scripture has been produced since Joseph. We only have a few instances after Joseph in which a section is added to the D&C or a manifesto is appended and those are few and far between.

Why is that?

Perhaps Jarom (yes, the guy who wrote only one chapter) from the Book of Mormon can provide us with a clue as to why.

Then, in the next book, Omni, more then 200 years pass by with hardly a thing written down! Sometimes there just isn't much to say. Sometimes all the important stuff has already been said.

Your thoughts?

If one looks at what is considered scripture in the D&C, there is much of the same that is given today but it is not included. This makes perfect sense to me because the point of including it (among other things, seeing the direction of the Lord in the work of the Church) has already been accomplished. How many times does one need a mission call canonized? Certainly less often to my taste than a discussion on the plan of salvation. Scripture imo is about demonstrating how revelation takes place, not documenting all revelation that has taken place.

I think there is likely much for each individual to say when it comes to personal issues and how they spiritually deal with them, but when it is not about sharing one's personal life but rather creating a record of salvific principles for general use, it is hardly surprising that some prophets choose to rely on what came before for long term purposes even while adapting scriture and using personal revelation in teaching extensively in the here and now.

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If one looks at what is considered scripture in the D&C, there is much of the same that is given today but it is not included. This makes perfect sense to me because the point of including it (among other things, seeing the direction of the Lord in the work of the Church) has already been accomplished. How many times does one need a mission call canonized? Certainly less often to my taste than a discussion on the plan of salvation. Scripture imo is about demonstrating how revelation takes place, not documenting all revelation that has taken place.

I think there is likely much for each individual to say when it comes to personal issues and how they spiritually deal with them, but when it is not about sharing one's personal life but rather creating a record of salvific principles for general use, it is hardly surprising that some prophets choose to rely on what came before for long term purposes even while adapting scriture and using personal revelation in teaching extensively in the here and now.

I understand the issues you bring up and the relative comparison, but I honestly don't think the revelations that occurred in the Book of Commandments, be it as simple as mission calls to the revelation of the degrees of glory, are very similar or even comparable to the way the church has dealt with "revelation" since Joseph. There really has been little revelation since Joseph in the way that can be canonized. For example "thus sayeth the Lord" or "The Lord has revealed to me..." etc. etc.

I recall a fairly recent sunday school/priesthood aux class combination during the Prop 8 time frame that was specifically devoted to encouraging support for prop 8 etc. Toward the end someone got up and bore their testimony about prop 8 and then how they had a conversation with their BYU professor multiple times and were made privy to some information about additional scripture that has not been canonized nor made known publicly. It went something like this -----

1. The bretheren have been recieving revelations upon revelations and keeping a record of it all. Revelation is alive and well within the church and is only held back from our knowledge because the saints are not ready for it.

2. This professor has spoken with the brethren, and seen some of the revelations

3. This professor told this man

4. This man testifies to us

To be honest A lot of members of the church seem to hold this view that there are all these revelations and they are just kept from us because we are not prepared. Perhaps its an instinctive assumption for some because there has been little to no revelation patterened after the way Joseph recieved it, who knows :P

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Thanks for commenting on a subject that I explicitly asked that we avoid, Lightbearer.

Your welcome, in future I will try to avoid posting in your threads, although I do not really know why you ask for people's thoughts if you really don't care.

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Were the Saints that received the Book of Mormon already abiding all the scriptures they had?

The saints at the time the BOM was translated did not have the fullness of the gospel. They had what the traditions of their time had taught but Joseph revealed a great dealt that had been lost and/or was not understood. So you could say they were abiding by the scripture they had as it was understood at that time but without a fullness. We can't say the same today. We have a fullness of the gospel, at least what is necessary for salvation. We don't know all they mysteries and some of us would like the additional portion of the BOM, but it is unlikely any of these things would enlighten us further on the basics of what is needed for salvation and exaltation.

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The saints at the time the BOM was translated did not have the fullness of the gospel. They had what the traditions of their time had taught but Joseph revealed a great dealt that had been lost and/or was not understood. So you could say they were abiding by the scripture they had as it was understood at that time but without a fullness. We can't say the same today. We have a fullness of the gospel, at least what is necessary for salvation. We don't know all they mysteries and some of us would like the additional portion of the BOM, but it is unlikely any of these things would enlighten us further on the basics of what is needed for salvation and exaltation.

I agree to an extant, but I think its obvious more was given that does not fall under that assumed guideline. Just a few things come to mind off the top of my head, Some of the Book of commandments, Book of Abraham, Moses, JST and even some records that have not been translated, but would have if Joseph remained alive such as the Book of Joseph. Its fair for a critic to see a huge contrast of canonized scripture, revelation etc from the Life of Joseph to the present day Church. To be honest I find it odd that modern prophets have constantly made decelerations of how good the saints have been and how much better we are becoming and yet I hear statements that we are not ready for more scripture because no more has been revealed. A very odd contrast that is fair for critics to point out. I, of course, am making no judgements. I just observe it to be an odd spectacle and I find the reasoning that we are not ready for it to be lacking in some areas, but valid in others.

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Just a few things come to mind off the top of my head, Some of the Book of commandments, Book of Abraham, Moses, JST and even some records that have not been translated, but would have if Joseph remained alive such as the Book of Joseph.

But these works you cite were already in existence, maybe incomplete but in existence. Joseph was working on completing the JST but even without it we still have the Bible and enough to get some of the correct readings of scripture. Furthermore, we already had truths revealed which would put scriptures in correct context even without the clarity of the JST. The Book of Commandments was largely a gathering of the revelations at that time and except for some of the doctrinal revelations, ie on Priesthood, the New and Everlasting Covenant, and the church organizational structure, much of what is there is just additional enlightenment but not essential doctrine. Not only that, but many of our church scholars have had the opportunity to study the ancient languages and societies to give us a great deal more understanding and context for the Bible. We can read or hear their insights.

We do get this additional enlightenment and revelation today from the GA's, for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Look at the controversy those things bring up however, ie the Proclamation on the Family. These things may not be part of regular scripture study but they do give us additional guidance for living our lives.

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