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An Updated D&C and Pearl of Great Price


David T

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If there were to be a revision and expansion of the Triple, as was last done in 1981, what new material would you like to see canonized? David Bokovoy has said he has in his posession an early print proof of the Triple that contained a very different pearl of great price than eventually came to be published. I think it's quite within reason that a new update could come at any time.

With the Pearl of Great Price consisting of, as the Title Page sets out, "A SELECTION FROM THE REVELATIONS, TRANSLATIONS, AND NARRATIONS OF JOSEPH SMITH", Here's my thoughts, and why:

Expand Joseph Smith - History into three sections:

  • JS-H:1- The short 1832 Journal History of Joseph Smith, most of which is written in his own hand. It contains some very significant and personal details of the First Vision. It has been re-printed in Church Publications, including much of it in the recent Joseph Smith Priesthood manual.
  • JS-H:2 - The Standard excerpted 1838 History currently in the PoGP
  • JS-H:3 - The Wentworth Letter (again, contains additional historical information and details of the First Vision, and also contains the hyper-cool Standard of Truth - the Articles of Faith would be follow this as they stand. Recently presented in its entirety in the JS manual.

Apart from being enlightening in doctrine, it would also be a smack against critics who claim the Church hides this fact. Apart from the fact that they've been reprinted clearly in Church publication, to have them all together in the canon would be a delight.
The Doctrine and Covenants
There's a lot of inspired material that have stood the test of time, and are still very relevant, that could be presented here. I tried to keep it limited to messages either by a sitting President (or presidency) of the Church, or a document established under their direction and approval. Here's some of my thoughts:
  • The Lectures on Faith (revised, condensed, and updated - remove the repetitive genealogical information and scriptural excerpts in Lecture 2, as well as the catechisms) - I understand Talmage at one time revised the Lectures (such as the information concerning the nature of the Godhead) before it was decided to drop them completely. It still stands as a powerful and still-referenced resource on the nature and doctrine of Faith. None has yet surpassed it. It's also the initial source for the term 'Doctrine' in 'Doctrine and Covenants'. It would be great to see authoritative Doctrinal Expositions back in the D&C.
  • The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and Twelve (1916) - The definitive statement concerning modern usage and understanding of the roles and titles of the Godhead. Also, we'll finally get 'Elohim' in the canonized English scriptures :P
  • Excerpts from the General Epistle of the First Presidency of October 1942 under Heber J Grant (explicit statements concerning modern application of the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Parenthood, Unity, War, Welfare)
  • Ezra Taft Benson, "Beware of Pride" - One of the most important Prophetic discourses of the modern age.
  • The Family: A Proclamation to the World (established the Doctrine of the Eternal Family in an explicit way not otherwise presented in the scriptures)

What are your thoughts?

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I'd like to see a reVISION of the King Follet Discourse as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It would be a new and specific revelation on the subject of our becoming Gods, the eternal nature of man, and eternal progression. Probably more restricted in scope, but more specific in detail.

Lehi

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...

If we're going to include conf. talks, then I think we ought to add "Purifying power of Gethsemane." It is a fundamental treatise on a few foundational gospel doctrines.

I also wonder if adding something by the Brethren that serves a purpose similar to Approaching Mormon Doctrine would be helpful. I think something concrete in that area could be great.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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I'd like to see a reVISION of the King Follet Discourse as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It would be a new and specific revelation on the subject of our becoming Gods, the eternal nature of man, and eternal progression. Probably more restricted in scope, but more specific in detail.

Lehi

:P

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With the recent scholarship, we now have texts closer to how Joseph dictated them. I would expect a revision to the texts of all the modern revelations may occur. They may consider some of the revelations of Joseph Smith that were redescovered. I think it would be even better if we could have color photos of the facsimiles. I wouldn't be surprised if the proclomation to the world was canonized some day as well as other official proclamations and declarations.

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In addition to those mentioned in the OP I think the following would be great to add to the canon:

1) The King Follet Discourse (with appropriate editing for errors that may have existed in reporting)

2) The Origin of Man by the First Presidency (From Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 75

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I'd like to see a reVISION of the King Follet Discourse as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It would be a new and specific revelation on the subject of our becoming Gods, the eternal nature of man, and eternal progression. Probably more restricted in scope, but more specific in detail.

Lehi

Ditto but in how JS spoke it. Not revised.

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Ditto but in how JS spoke it. Not revised.

I think that the King Follet Discourse is inspired but the problem is that it is a sermon and the few people that recorded it all recorded it differently. We do not know Joseph's exact words, but we do have is probably more accurate rendition of the original than the Old Testament.

I've noticed that the online version of the scriptures has a study help called "Guide to the Scriptures". Maybe that will eventually be inserted to our book versions? There is also a "Church History Timeline" that goes up to 1998.

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-The Family: A Proclamation to the World

-President Kimball's written 1978 revelation on Priesthood.

-Footnotes indicating where the text of the revelations has been altered and/or revised from the original versions.

-Also, if they were to revise the BoM as well, I would like to see footnotes indicating textual changes in that text as well (I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere that Royal Skousen had given the Church permission to use his research for such a footnote system in a possible future edition of the BoM... but I've certainly been wrong before).

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Lots of interesting suggestions. I would think the most likely addition would be "The Family: A Proclamation to the World".

It would also be interesting for the King Follett Discourse to get "correlated" and canonized.

[*]JS-H:3 - The Wentworth Letter (again, contains additional historical information and details of the First Vision, and also contains the hyper-cool Standard of Truth - the Articles of Faith would be follow this as they stand. Recently presented in its entirety in the JS manual.

The Wentworth Letter was edited for the Joseph Smith Manual.

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I'd like to see a reVISION of the King Follet Discourse as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It would be a new and specific revelation on the subject of our becoming Gods, the eternal nature of man, and eternal progression. Probably more restricted in scope, but more specific in detail.

Ditto but in how JS spoke it. Not revised.

Please note the capitalization.

What I (obviously without clarity) meant was that President Monson receive a vision that covers the same material, recorded precisely. This new vision (a reVISION) would probably not cover the entire scope of the original (which was not well structured as most notes of the event show), it would not need, for instance, the preface talking about brother Follet and his well. It might also be divided into three or four separate sections (not mandatory, mind), each giving more detail about the individual topic.

I am not calling for a revision of the King Follet Dsicourse. I am suggesting that the doctrine it contains are important enough that, I hope, Father will see fit to give us the greater light and knowledge we might be ready for.

This last is important, though. While I would like this, I'd be willing to bet that Father is more attuned to the needs of His children in His Church. It might even be said, with much support, that while I'd like it, I am not ready for it, not having fully implemented the revelations I have available

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I've noticed that the online version of the scriptures has a study help called "Guide to the Scriptures". Maybe that will eventually be inserted to our book versions? There is also a "Church History Timeline" that goes up to 1998.

All the published editions of the triple now do contain the Church History Timeline. As for the Guide, it is a condensed version of material in the Topic Guide and Bible Dictionary developed for International translations of the scriptures. It is included in their triple, and contains much information about the Bible that is able to be presented in editions of the Bible in other languages.

-Footnotes indicating where the text of the revelations has been altered and/or revised from the original versions.

I'd love this. It wouldn't be practical to list all of the changes (many of them are grammatical), but there are some significant changes and versions. I just saw the other day in the original version of D&C 84 (in Revelation Book 1), John the Baptist was stated as having been baptized "in the womb", and not "in his childhood". Pretty cool, methinks.

Also, if they were to revise the BoM as well, I would like to see footnotes indicating textual changes in that text as well (I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere that Royal Skousen had given the Church permission to use his research for such a footnote system in a possible future edition of the BoM... but I've certainly been wrong before).

Yeah - I'd love to see some of Skousen's revisions implemented. They won't (rightly so) revert it back to the original grammar, but there are some significant meaning-changing restorations to the original dictated manuscript that he uncovered. I would, however, like to see some changes to differentiate some of Joseph's 1840 revision/commentary from the text (such as setting off the phrase "or, in the waters of Baptism" as a footnote from the text proper of 1 Nephi 20:1, etc)

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I can tell you what it would not include. It would not include anything that would cause more people to leave/not join the Church than those who would stay/join the Church. This is what they mean by, "we're not ready yet." The antecedent of we is really, "Everyone in the world who could conceivably join the Mormon Church." As far as new truths and uravelling the mysteries of God, I think we're far better off relying on our own experience and personal revelation.

Any updated version of the official LDS scriptures seems much more likely to have previous revealed truths cut out and the focus shifted to even more basic and general principles. After all, the world has spoken. After flooding the earth with the light of the restored gospel, the vast majority of the world has chosen not to accept it, and hence from the prophets' perspective, aren't ready for it. I could see losing the Book of Abraham in my lifetime.

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-President Kimball's written 1978 revelation on Priesthood.

???

I knew I should have double checked about that before posting it. I could have sworn President Faust had said something about President Kimball reading a handwritten revelation to the Twelve and Presidents of Seventy.

Evidently, I imagined the whole thing. :P

But, if such a thing does exist, I would love to read it.

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Elder McConkie wanted the Lectures on Faith to go back into the D&C in the 1981 edition, but obviously it didn't happen.

I think there is much good in them, and would love to see them presented, but they would need some pruning and updating. I think Lecture 2 needs the most editing, mainly for readability. Its focus is to show the importance of a knowledge of the existence of God in developing Faith, and how there from the beginning there was a personal lineal testimony in transmitting the knowledge of the existence of God from the eyewitness of the First Man. To prove this point, it goes heavily into the Genesis genealogical information to show how information was transmitted from Adam to Noah, and then from Noah to Abraham without a New Revelation being necessary. I think the point of the importance of those with a personal Testimony transmitting that knowledge to assist in sparking faith in others is important, and plays a key point in the development of the point of the Lectures in their entirety - but I feel the way it's presented would not be as useful or beneficial now as it was then. I'd suggest at that point summarizing that information without the use of the geneologies as 'proof'.

Apart for additional editing for readability, the only key revisions I think are necessary in content would be in Lecture Five, where the nature of the Godhead is famously presented with its 1835 understanding. I'd suggest editing it something like as follows, the red being my insertions:

We shall in this lecture speak of the Godhead; we mean the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There are two three personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things - by whom all things were created and made that are created and made, whether visible or invisible;whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space.

They are the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory glorified flesh and bone, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness.

The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, also a personage of glorified tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man - or rather, man was formed after his likeness and in his image.He is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father, possessing all the fullness of the Father, or the same fullness with the Father, being begotten of him;and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name;

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The Proclamation on the Family will never make it into cannon, though it may perhaps get slipped in like the Bible Dictionary. Too many Latter-day Saints oppose it's outdated attempts to define gender roles.

I would like that put to a sustaining vote. Some even said that about OD-2! And for that matter OD-1. I could easily imagine it becoming OD-3 probably because of the reasons you give, instead of in spite of them.
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The Proclamation on the Family will never make it into cannon, though it may perhaps get slipped in like the Bible Dictionary. Too many Latter-day Saints oppose it's outdated attempts to define gender roles.

That may be a good argument for its canonization (assuming its definition of gender roles is a reflection of God's feelings on the subject).

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