Deadline for baptisms

TIMES UP FOR 2016 BAPTISMS

It is time to see to it that all baptisms or re-baptisms first performed according to the Doctrine of Christ for the calendar year of 2016 are sent to us. As of July 9, 2017 the names we have received for 2016 will be hand-written in the archival temple book. The requirement upon us is that the names be entered into this book in alphabetical order, meaning that any names sent after this above date will not be entered into the main body of the alphabetically listed names, but will be put in an addendum established to record names which have been sent in late.

Please keep in mind this is a handwritten record done in non-erasable archival ink on archival paper. The ink and the paper bond. It is necessary for us to establish a deadline for inclusion in order for us to then collate according to the alphabet, and begin the handwriting process.

Please also remember we only record your name once. If you have sent us your name for a baptism done in a previous year do not re-send it to us. However, if you are not sure it has been sent, please, by all means, send it to us.

Keith Henderson
Central Recorder

Governing what?

It’s pretty clear that most of those concerned with the new scripture development don’t want the “Governing Principles” left in the scriptures under the title they are currently called, or in the format they are currently couched in, or under the name of the person who currently said he wrote them, or at all?

I seem to remember an incidence when the Lord returned in resurrected form to the Nephites at Bountiful and commanded them to bring forth the records they had kept. As He perused their content He noticed an omission. Christ spoke the omission which was a prophecy He had commanded Samuel the Lamanite to give to the Nephites, and asked, was it not so? His disciples answered, Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled. And Jesus said unto them; How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them? And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.

Now, of course, we don’t know if they just forgot to write this particular thing, or whether there had been a great debate about putting a stranger’s sayings into their precious book, and the dissenters won. But evidently the Lord intended all along that this prophecy of Samuel’s should be in their records.

These thoughts have set me to wondering if maybe the Lord wants this particular item of Governing Principles in this particular edition of the scriptures. It’s furthermore set me to wondering why I haven’t asked the Lord if He does. To this point all I have done is exercise the offer I have from the Scripture Committee to criticize, and have done it according to my best thoughts and desire. I’m going to re-evaluate this. It should be simple enough to find out what the Lord wants. I will re-read Jeff’s stated motivation in writing the Governing Principles, and ask the Lord if He concurred. If you’d like to join me in this I’m including what Jeff has said about it here.

Question: Have you gone to the Lord to verify that which you received is from Him?
Answer: Yes. And since it was in response to an assignment, I have gone to my wife, the Scripture Committee, and (now) to many others.

Question: Have you asked the Lord if what you have written is correct?
Answer: Yes. Though I readily admit there are flaws, as is always the case when a mortal attempts to communicate a heavenly message.

Question: Have you asked the Lord if what you have written is intended for you/your family only or is it for a wider audience? Who is that audience?
Answer: Yes. This material is intended for individuals, families, fellowships and groups who hope to prepare to build Zion. But it is important to note that nothing was written in a “volunteer” fashion. I was given an assignment by Denver, confirmed it with the Lord, then proceeded. I believed that was unnecessary to explain, because who would decide something they wrote on their own time could be considered scripture without an assignment, but I have been persuaded that it makes sense to explain it.

Question: Have you asked the Lord if you should submit this to be added to the scriptures?
Answer: Yes. I was instructed to do so by Him. I did not volunteer.

This criteria for inclusion contains some other questions, but I feel for me, Jeff’s (and the Lord’s) answer to the ones I have listed will be sufficient to convince me. If the Lord concurs to me that He has given this instruction to Jeff, that will be all I need to change my mind, and my vote. The answer to the last question above is actually all I need to be fully satisfied.

BUT

I am aware that other versions of the Governing Principles have been written and submitted to the Scripture Committee. One of these was written by a woman I know. I actually think her’s was the better version. I do not think any of the Lord’s answers to Jeff as I have listed above, preclude Jeff from fulfilling his assignment to provide a set of Governing Principles, by selecting a better written set than his own, and, in the doing of that even giving the credit for the writing to that other. I think it would be a wonderful thing that a woman be given credit for a part in our Latter-day scriptures, for I know now, even as she knows, that which was given her was given by the Lord to her.

REGARDLESS

I am now satisfied for myself that the Lord desires a set of Governing Principles (or whatever they end up being called) included in His scriptures.

Keith

Looking Ahead

LOOKING AHEAD

If an individual makes a covenant before the Lord to keep and be judged by the law contained in these scriptures (picture in your mind the last iteration of the scriptures being held up for our consent in September); this will be something completely different than a request for us to accept these scriptures as binding upon us. The difference being, to accept the scriptures as binding requires us to accept everything in the scriptures as worthy of this binding. Accepting the scriptures as containing the law by which we will be judged promotes the idea that even though the scriptures might contain errors made by men, which include conjecture, or just history, or without value in increasing our knowledge of Jesus Christ or keeping His commandments, yet, the law by which we will be judged can be found within the covers of these scriptures.

A parallel concept seems to be that a person can already be living a higher law than is currently seen or understood by most in the scriptures. But when the time comes for the hand raising, or verbal assent in September, this person can in all honesty, and in full confidence raise his/her hand or speak “Yea” to sustain these scriptures as presently constituted, along with all the rest who may not consider themselves at such a high level. The analogy given is that if a person is required to run 50 yards to meet a requirement, but is currently running 10 miles per day in training for an olympic marathon, will, like all the rest of us trying to meet the requirement, be able to commit without any reservation to the obligatory 50 yards. The questions such a person should ask and answer for themselves are: Does the Old Covenant contain a fullness of scripture, and Does the New Covenant contain the idea of the fullness of the Gospel and live up to being the most correct book on earth?

Other scripture will undoubtedly be given in the future. In fact new scripture accompanies these editions. But more and greater scripture divulging higher doctrine and ordinance will not be given beyond that contained in these editions until these are accepted, and it is proven by our faith and works that we are ready for more.

It seems to me that anyone thinking they live a higher law than their fellows should be able to find allusion to what they think they have in the Old and New Covenants and the D&C and the Pearls of Great Price. And anyone thinking they haven’t as yet attained to things as high as they might like will find encouragement in keeping on. In other words, something for everyone at their own level of understanding.

In that vein of thought as expressed in the last paragraph, this anticipated Covenant may be substantially more complete for some than for others. For some it may be as simple as an adoption which makes them numbered among a particular house of Israel. For others it may provide a deed of land onto which they might move and accept the peace and security it will offer. And for even others it may mean that their covenant with the Lord will become as complete as it can be in this life, because they will, because of a land covenant, not rest until they have attained the rites of the Temple and Zion itself, and the promise of Eternal Life, or in other words the presence of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and of His Father. For some this will be the case. For others, they will stop short.

“The gathering to the New Jerusalem develops in time to the status of being “Zion” where God will visit. The growth is through refinement of the residents of the New Jerusalem.” (Was There An Original?: Paper by, Denver C. Snuffer Jr. P. 35.)

“It will be a physical and spiritual enterprise to be accomplished by the hard effort of those interested in welcoming the Lord’s return.” (Same paper as quoted above. P. 36)
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COMMON CONSENT

Common consent is a hot topic these days. I don’t think it means what most assume it means.

It seems to me that common consent can be well explained by using the example of Alma. Alma had a unique experience in being impacted by the Spirit of the Lord while hearing the message delivered in King Noah’s court by the prophet Abinadi. He believed it! This belief required him to run for his life. While hiding out from the king’s soldiers he was enabled by the Spirit to write all the words spoken by Abinadi. Abinadi said he was commanded by God to speak the message to the king and his priests. In the process of delivering it, one believed – Alma – coming into a “common” mind with Abinadi (and God) on these particular issues, and “consenting” with/to the message which had originated with God. At this point it didn’t matter that neither the king nor his priests believed, nor were they granted a vote before Alma could believe, Common consent by Alma’s belief is now a reality, and not a single other person raised his hand to agree with him or confirm his choice.

The fruit of the matter then grows as Helam (he being one of the first) hears the same message from God, now authorized to be taught by Alma in a thicket, in hiding. Others then become of the same mind through the teaching of the message. No one voted. No one raised his hand to join in a vote of unanimous consent as to whether or not Alma taught truth. They Listened and they believed.

Common consent does not require a unanimous vote by a crowd or congregation, but can be as few as one Joining minds with an authorized teacher delivering God’s message.

I used to love it when I was presented in the temple, a portion of the covenant, and was then instructed by God’s representative at the altar to bow my head and say yes. I would reverently bow my head, and speaking to my God – not his representative – vocally say very clearly with those around me who were of a common consent,”Yes.”

I am indebted to John and Jennifer Willis and the blog post they put up last week at “A Little Peace In Paradise” web site for expanding my thinking on this matter. In it they used the example of Enoch and Mahijah (Whether in reality Mahijah ever believed Enoch’s message or not, Elder Neil Maxwell seemed to promote the idea that he did) coming into common consent with each other over a message given to Enoch by God.

Keith Henderson

What about some criteria for inclusion or exclusion?

John Taylor, the third President of the Church, once overheard a member of the Illinois legislature who was visiting Nauvoo speaking to the Prophet Joseph Smith.The gentleman asked the Prophet Joseph how he was “enabled to govern so many people and to preserve such perfect order, remarking at the same time it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else.”“Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 284).

“Correct principles;” Now there’s a novel idea. For our purposes here, however, I am going to call it “design criteria.” What we don’t have in this effort to obtain a set of scriptures suitable to the Lord, at this point, are a set of criteria designed to make a selection of what should stay in and what should be taken out, easy and consistent. So far, it seems our criteria is, “is it right or wrong, or do I like it, or not?” I would ask, according to who (or is that to whom)? With these items as the only things we try to use as our reasoning for sending suggestions to the scripture committee, I doubt we will ever be in agreement.

If, however, we could come up with a set of Design Criteria which a scripture could be judged against, by asking and answering “yes” or “no” questions about it, then consensus would likely become a relatively easy thing to achieve.

This post from this point will be the result of a small group of people putting their heads together and petitioning the Lord for guidance and revelation about what He wants that design criteria to be.

First of all, I will add that this effort should only be applied to the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearls of Great Price. The Old Testament (or should we call it the Old Covenant?) and the New Testament and the Book of Mormon (or should we call it the New Covenant?) shouldn’t be subject to this kind of editing, because they are other peoples’ writings according to revelations they received and compiled according to instructions given them of the Lord, and edited as far as the Lord felt necessary by Joseph Smith. The Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearls of Great Price, however, were assembled by this dispensation and should be relevant to any covenant the Lord should expect from us.

DESIGN CRITERIA

1. Does the intended inclusion emphasize a hierarchal or institutional structure rather than an equality among individuals? If the answer is yes, cast it out.

Equality of all in Zion. No strongman.

“…I am Messiah,the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven,which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy.” (Le Moses 7: 53.)

“But, verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your King and watch over you.” (Le D&C 38: 21.)

“For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things.” (Le D&C 78: 6.)

2. Is the intended inclusion to or about an individual without any other relevance to the body of the church as a whole? If the answer is yes, cast it out.

“Therefore, what I say unto one I say unto all; (Le D&C 82: 5.)

3. Is the intended inclusion revelatory or doctrinal in such a way that advances the reader’s knowledge of Jesus Christ, and his desire to keep His commandments? If the answer is yes, keep it in.

“And in that day no man will say know ye the Lord, for knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the water covereth the seas.” (?)

“Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength. And they shall also be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few, and with revelations in their time—they that are faithful and diligent before me.” (Le D&C 59: 3-4.)

4. Is the intended inclusion historical without revelatory or doctrinal content? If the answer is yes, cast it out.

“…History of [our] people should be engraven upon other plates…And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that [we] should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.” (Le Jacob 4: 3-4.)

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren, to believe in Christ and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do.” (Le 2 Nephi 25: 23.)

5. Does the intended inclusion teach Terrestrial and Celestial principles, practices and doctrines? If the answer is yes, keep it in. We need all this we can get.

“And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles and the law of the Celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” (Le D&C 105: 5.)

“That the kingdoms of this world may be constrained to acknowledge that the kingdom of Zion is in very deed the kingdom of our God and his Christ, let us become subject unto her laws.” (Le D&C 105: 38.)

6. Does the intended inclusion contain anything pertaining to a covenant land for development of the New Jerusalem? If the answer is yes, keep it in.

“Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy (Lehi) seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God.” Le 2 Nephi 10: 19.)

“[The New Jerusalem to be built after it is revealed] That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.” (Le D&C 42: 36 (34-36).)

7. Does the intended inclusion develop understanding of the Patriarchal Order? If the answer is yes, keep it in because that which was in the beginning concerning government and priesthood will also be part of this covenant.

Denver has said much about Patriarchal linage, family of God, Government, and Priesthood. (See Plural Marriage talk – last half, and Why a Temple, among many blog posts.)

8. Does the intended inclusion develop a more complete understanding of the ordinances of Baptism, Sacrament, Marriage, and Priesthood Ordination? If the answer is yes, keep it in. If it adds nothing to that which is already written in all the scriptures which makes it more applicable to our day, cast it out.

Baptism and the administration of the Sacrament as indicated in the current scriptures should not be added to, detracted from, or otherwise changed. Marriages must be performed (see current Governing principle on marriage for principle and practice). Sealing of marriages are currently done according to worthiness of couple and ratification of the Holy Spirit of Promise. It is anticipated that a practice in the temple in Zion will include a sealing ordinance of the couple. Priesthood Ordination is currently covered by instruction in print written by Denver Snuffer. My recommend would be that the heads of this instruction be written for inclusion in the scripture body.

With this criteria applied to the D&C and the P’sofGP perhaps we can whittle down a mass of inappropriate gobble-de-gook to a manageable assortment of information which supports a Covenant with the Lord. Keep the history in the history books, Denver’s principles for running fellowships in Preserving the Restoration, and put all personal revelation which has no applicability across the board in your own journals, or in an archive somewhere. I think here, for us, at this time, in regards to a promised Covenant, less amounts to more.

Keith Henderson

Inclinations About a Covenant

I have considered this, I have considered that. I have felt changes, additions, and deletions needed to be made to this book or that section. I have questioned logic used to put one thing in this order or that, and why that same logic wasn’t used consistently on another thing of the same type. I have felt to question grammar, spelling, capitalization or lack thereof, and tense. I have questioned the deleting of certain early prominent names and things they wrote, which my whole life I’ve considered to be revelatory, and again questioned the addition of individual’s names I barely know from among us and stuff they supposedly had revealed to them. I have worried about this and I have worried about that. All this now in the short space of about three weeks.

I have found or have had pointed out to me obviously incorrect teachings by Paul in the New Testament regarding Marriage and Circumcision which in the view of many must be eliminated, and “opinion” in the Book of Mormon offered by Alma on the topic of resurrection which certainly can’t be left to stand, because it’s only his opinion. These things are considered by many, at their worst, to negate those books as being worthy to stand in any revised set of Restoration Scriptures, and at least many think these inconsistencies should be corrected before those books can be considered as part of a covenant.

But, you know what – I’ve had a revelation for myself to myself that there is a completely different way of judging the worthiness of any of the four books and their parts, and whether in the final voting I will be voting for or against any proposed changes. The criteria I will be using is:

Will this or that change negate this book as a book containing a fullness of scripture, or that book as containing a fullness of the gospel. or this other book as being explanatory of the covenant I am making, or that other book giving me knowledge of how God covenanted with others? For me, this is somewhat like the Temple Endowment Joseph left as part of his legacy to the Gentiles. No man to this point has been able to batter it so badly that it stops the seeking person from learning how to find God. In the matter of what you do to the peripheries around the the four books constituting the covenant, you probably won’t be able to butcher it badly enough that it won’t still contain a recognizable Covenant by God to me.

That’s it for me! Only one criteria.

If I were to list another criteria it would be something on the order of whether eliminating or sustaining a suggestion might cause more or less jarrings or contentions. But then I don’t really think I will list this, because we all know that those things would be anathema to the whole prospect of a covenant.

So just as I probably won’t spend a lot of time in the Book of Mormon reading the report of Omni who tells us he was a wicked man who had not kept the statutes and commandments of the Lord as he ought, or Paul’s treatise on circumcision and marriage; I will spend much effort on the changes Joseph Smith made to the Bible which inspired him to call it a “fullness of scripture,” and on the Book of Mormon which has always been intended as “The Covenant” God desires to make with the Gentiles, and which by using the 1840 edition brings us closer than before or since to the real intent and meaning of that covenant. I will spend a great deal of time with the “Doctrine” and Covenants because the Lectures on Faith give me a a better view of the path to becoming more like Jesus Christ and getting into His presence than any other scripture I know. And the arrangement of the “Commandments” gives more order and sense to me than previously, of why and when Joseph received those revelations.

I will read the Pearls of Great Price with relish, because regardless of what else may have been inserted there by others it can’t dim my enthusiasm for the Joseph Smith History, Book of Abraham or the Lord’s brilliant illumination by revelation of the Book of John through Denver. After all, what I am seeking is a Covenant to myself from God, and am not particularly interested in whether you all think this or that or your pet should be brought to shine forth as an opportune moment for yourself.

Now I don’t imagine this all will catch on very much because after all we are Gentiles. Our views are important, and the louder we shout the more we think we are heard. After all It’s important to us that we be heard. But…….

These are my current inclinations.

Keith

Restoration Scriptures Announcement

March 18, 2017

Although what is to be announced may be viewed by most people as a modest achievement, I think history will eventually reflect this as one of the greatest steps forward after the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum.

What I’m about to announce will generate a considerable number of questions. To reasonably manage them, we’ve set up an email address where you can send your questions & suggestions. That address is: RESTORATIONSCRIPTURES2017@GMAIL.COM. Your questions will be reviewed this evening, and then tomorrow, a number of the major questions will be answered in front of this body. Any that aren’t answered immediately will be replied to after the conference ends.

One of the first ways a dispensation becomes corrupted is by compromising the scriptures used by believers in that dispensation. Therefore when a new dispensation begins, one of the first orders of business for believers is to adopt a new set of scriptures which restore, insofar as it is possible, a correct version of the material they regard as scripture.
Just like the saints of the New Testament adopted a new body of teachings, the Book of Mormon people preserved and added to sacred writings. And while Joseph Smith lived, there were both corrections to old scripture and new scripture was added. Likewise for us, there is a need to remove errors, correct texts, and add to the body of scripture to guide us. This assembly – that is, this worldwide body of believers – must also decide what we accept as scripture. It is our right and sacred responsibility to address this need.

To that end, a new edition of the scriptures is proposed. They are divided into three volumes that have been produced through a unified effort by two independent bodies of volunteers, separately driven to approach the scriptures anew.
Initially the members of these two groups felt individually inspired to revisit the scriptures in an effort to prune away some of the uninspired alterations of man so that they might have a more correct version of scripture for their study. Over time, these individuals were led to one another, combining and harmonizing their efforts. What began as two wholly separate groups, each forming at the same time, both unknown to one another, resulted in separate projects that were completed at the same time, and what was learned from their independent efforts identified issues that needed to be addressed.
On the last day of 2016, less than 2 weeks after discovering each other, these two groups held a meeting, facilitated by Denver Snuffer, and determined to unify their efforts, each bringing to the table differing components for a greater outcome than either project possessed alone. On the first day of the new year, the two became one as work began, preparing what would become this Restoration Edition of the scriptures.

Moving forward, the united team has worked closely with each other, with the Lord, and with His servant, to produce a more accurate record that is true to the Lord’s intent and to the Restoration. We are on His errand, not our own.

In September 1832, the Saints were condemned by the Lord and commanded to “repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.”
We often see this as the Lord rebuking the Saints for failing to do according to that which He had written, yet assume that the Saints had been correctly saying what He had written. But the Saints did not say, and have failed to accurately preserve, what the revelations God provided to them said, because their texts became corrupted. This means that the first step towards emerging from condemnation is to try and do exactly what is being accomplished through this scriptural work now underway. While the full purpose of this project was initially unknown, it has begun a best effort to “repent and remember the new covenant.” If done right, we will at least accomplish the first step: recovering what the Lord provided so we can “say” what He has revealed. Then the challenges increase as we are called upon “to do according to that” which God has revealed.

A future conference must then be held with the intent of approving the final content of the Restoration Edition and sustaining that edition as canon for this assembly.

The following is a summary of what is contained in this Restoration Edition of the scriptures:

ALL THE SCRIPTURAL WORKS SHARE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:
Verse numbers have been eliminated and the text has been formatted into paragraphs. This provides greater context for individual passages and removes the isolation of a statement that is caused by restricting it to a verse. The only exception to individual numbering is in Proverbs where each proverb has been numbered.
The chapters have been regrouped based on contextual themes rather than staying as they have existed historically. Our team recognized that since chapters were originally organized by man and not by God, we were free to reorganize them. Some paragraphs in some of the books have been combined or divided as well, based on their context. However, in the Book of Mormon, chapters were designated by Joseph Smith himself and those have been preserved.
Very minor standardization and spelling correction has taken place. Care was taken to respect the text.
Punctuation can clarify, but it can also restrict. Therefore punctuation has been significantly reduced in all of the volumes in order to free up the text for greater possible interpretation.

INDIVIDUALLY

VOLUME 1 IS THE OLD TESTAMENT
Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible (the JST) is the base text.
The Song of Solomon had been removed since Joseph indicated that it is not an inspired text.
Proverbs now includes Proverbs of Joseph Smith, Jr. and Proverbs of Denver Snuffer, Jr.

VOLUME 2 CONSISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
In a letter to the “brethren in Zion” on 21 April, 1833, Joseph Smith stated, “…it is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new translation in the Star, but when it is published it will all go to the world together in a volume by itself, and the New Testament and The Book of Mormon will be printed together.”
Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible is the base text for the New Testament.
The 1840 edition of The Book of Mormon is used as the base text and was already formatted into paragraphs. This version was chosen because it contains corrections given by Joseph Smith to what was originally published in 1830 and 1837.

VOLUME 3 CONSISTS OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS & PEARLS OF GREAT PRICE
The new D&C returns the Lectures on Faith to its original place, along with those sections and revelations identified as coming through Joseph Smith. These have been painstakingly compared to the manuscripts found in the Joseph Smith Papers Project:
The order of the sections has been restored to thematic groupings rather than simply being presented chronologically. These groupings are: Restoration, Organization and Worship, and Revelations to Individuals.
Several LDS sections have been removed for the following reasons:
Sections 2 & 13 are extracts from JS-History and are therefore redundant.
Section 20 was written by Oliver Cowdery and constitutes church articles and covenants used to begin to structure the early church organization. They no longer apply.
Section 101 on Marriage, from the original 1835 Kirtland Edition, is not being reintroduced because it is not a product of either Joseph or Hyrum. However, pertinent points are included in another area.
Section 110 is completely unverifiable as a true revelation/vision. The three individuals with some information about the section, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Warren Cowdery, left no statement or explanation about Section 110. Further, in listing those who visited with them in their respective testimonies, neither Joseph Smith nor Oliver Cowdery mention Elijah as having come. Finally throughout the Nauvoo time frame, including a month before his death, Joseph Smith spoke of Elijah’s return as a future and not a past event.
Section 129 was a struggle. Initially it was revised by taking the shorthand notes from Joseph Smith’s journal and fleshing them out with bridge words and phrases to make them into comprehensible sentences. However, once attempted, that effort was abandoned and the section was completely removed for the following reasons:
The shorthand is just sketchy enough that some of the bridge wording is clearly debatable.
The instruction we have through the Book of Mormon is sufficient on its own to allow us to discern evil spirits.
This section, if relied upon alone, is apparently not sufficient to defend against lying spirits.
Section 134 is a declaration on laws & government written by either Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon, not Joseph Smith.
Section 135 is simply the announcement of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum.
Section 136 is from Brigham Young.
Section 138, Joseph F. Smith’s vision of the dead, is restricted by copyright and cannot be used.
Official Declarations 1 & 2 are declarations made by a different church.

Several LDS sections have been revised for the following reasons:
Section 107 was an amalgamation of content, with only one portion traceable to a revelation before the 1835 publication of the D&C. That portion has been preserved. The 1835 published version bears hallmarks of revisions by the hand of man. Therefore only a portion has been extracted, and then added to by revelation, to explain the establishment of dispensations and reflect the direction of this current dispensation. It is placed as the last section in the new D&C.
Sections 121, 122 and123 came from a letter written from Liberty Jail and are presented within the context of the entire letter written by Joseph Smith.
Section 132 on celestial marriage is now represented as it is posted by Denver Snuffer on his blog, containing the redactions suggested there to make the document internally consistent and reflect the earliest descriptions of the original.

More than 40 new sections have been added for the following reasons:
Nearly all of these new sections are verified revelations given through Joseph Smith that simply were never sustained as scripture.
Restoration Edition Section 98 is President Hyrum Smith’s epistle to the church.

The new D&C also includes an insert in the Appendix called A PROPHET’S PREROGATIVE, an example of an extremely valuable method of comparative study that can significantly help your understanding. The example used is Isaiah 29, and includes an introductory explanation.

The Pearl of Great Price – has had its name changed to Pearls of Great Price, reflecting and implying further expansion, and the following portions have been removed, revised or added for the following reasons:
(A Proposed Set of) Governing Principles is a rewritten statement of principles and practices – similar to LDS Section 20 – that reflects this assembly’s efforts to preserve the Restoration. This statement is not yet completed. It requires additional inspired input from you.
The Articles of Faith have been replaced by The Wentworth Letter that they were copied from, in order to provide context to those articles.
Joseph Smith – History has been slightly expanded to the same extent as it was originally published in the Times and Seasons.
The Book of Moses and Joseph Smith – Matthew have been removed because they already exist in the New Translation of the Bible and are redundant.
The Book of Abraham remains as is.
The Revelation of the Testimony of St. John – as given through Denver Snuffer, Jr. – has been added. It will not replace the existing Testimony of St. John found in the New Testament, but will stand as it’s own book.
Continuing Revelation – is a section which consists of visions and revelations given through Denver Snuffer, Jr. to be made public. This portion of the Pearls of Great Price is expected to be the place where new revelation will be added as it is received, which, you will see, has already happened.
A Glossary of Fundamental Terms is at the end of the final volume. Currently it’s blank, except for a single sample definition. We encourage all of you to consider emailing us terms for the glossary using the following criteria:
The definition must be scriptural, not your opinion.
The terms need to be those that are critical to seeing things correctly. LDS and Christian culture have so skewed many religious terms as to render them not just wrong, but spiritually dangerous in that they point people in the wrong direction. This will not become a “bible dictionary,” but is an attempt to explain words as the Lord has intended, not “Gospel speak” or Mormonese.

Given that this body must declare to the Lord what records they intend to hold sacred, a Preview copy of these volumes of the Restoration Edition are available as of right now for download, in PDF, ebook and other requested formats, from www.scriptures.info, an online library that has been established for materials pertinent to the Restoration. There are a number of interesting tools and features that have been developed for this site, but now is not the time to go into them. However, I will say that scriptures.info is specifically built with tools to aid in comparative study. That’s why the Isaiah 29 example is at the back of the D&C – to kickstart you. So take a tour of that important site on your own. Those of you who may have content pertinent to the scriptures that you wish to contribute, those of you who are looking for research material or tools, and those of you who are just curious, be sure to visit the ABOUT page on that site for direction.

A hard copy of each volume is already available for purchase on Amazon.com and Amazon Europe. Search Restoration Scriptures Preview or the title of each work and you should find Vol. 1, 2 and 3. This copy is NOT formatted completely – it still has minor flaws in it. In fact, if you are happy to use the electronic copies that are available, you may want to wait until the scriptures have been sustained and scrubbed before buying a copy, as they may change. A final version will be produced that incorporates any changes sustained by this assembly and has been scrubbed of formatting errors.
Additionally, since Amazon won’t allow us to sell the copies at cost, the minimal royalties from the copies sold will be donated to the temple fund.

A quick side note: The reason the Creative Commons copyright for these scriptures is in my name is only because I am acting as the public face of this project. There are dozens of people that have contributed to it besides me.

A Research version of these scriptures is partially completed and available for download on www.scriptures.info as well. Unlike the printed scriptures, this Research version will remain in electronic form – at least for now – and will differ in the following ways from the print copies:
Though retaining the new chapter groupings, all of the books have LDS chapter and verse numbers inserted to allow for easier research and for comparison with other versions of scripture.
The JST and D&C include both strikethroughs and additions visible in their original manuscripts.
The Book of Mormon footnotes all significant changes from the editions that were published during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Any editions after his death were not approved by him and therefore have been ignored.
Items removed from the printed copy can be preserved in this copy for research purposes, including, for example, section 129.
Items of historical or educational significance deemed helpful may be added to this version. Recognize that the Research version is intended to expand details of the sustained scriptures, not supplant them.

We do have plans for a fancier set of scriptures being produced with bible stock paper, leather or faux leather covers, and so forth. That process is already underway, but anyone familiar with the process is invited to email us and lend a hand. I’m not sure of a time frame other than we’d like to have those available by the end of the year. But we won’t print any until after the sustaining conference.
For those who honestly can’t afford around $40 to purchase a set of these scriptures and can’t use electronic copies for now, if you have a local fellowship you meet with, ask them if they can provide you with a set. If they can’t meet your need, please use the email address given to request a set. We have several free sets available for the truly needy that are here at the conference. If there are those in need who could not attend, but would like a copy, please place a request at that same email address and a copy can be sent to you or your local fellowship.

THE NEXT CONFERENCE, which has been mentioned during this announcement, will be held in Boise, ID, Labor Day weekend, September 2-3, with the intent of approving the final content for the Restoration Edition of the scriptures and sustaining that edition as canon for this assembly. Today is the “open to public view” step of the process. Our team simply got the ball rolling. You will now have approximately 6 months to digest, critique and react to what the Lord has offered.

Please carefully consider what is being offered to us. Zion is the Lord’s work. So getting it will not depend on the goodness or desires of men and women, but on their submission to the Lord, who intends to accomplish it. WE can’t force it, cause it, bring it, or hope it into existence. What we can do is submit to the Lord in a way that encourages Him to continue to use us for His purposes. There is no need for an immediate, knee-jerk reaction to this announcement. You will have time to consider all of it before making a decision.

No sustaining or debate of the scriptures will take place during this conference. But your input is necessary and required. An email address has been provided specifically for that purpose. Please use RESTORATIONSCRIPTURES2017@GMAIL.COM to send in questions you have about what has been announced and provided. There likely won’t be enough time tomorrow to answer all the questions that get sent in, but any that aren’t addressed during tomorrow’s Q&A session will be replied to. But there’s no rush. If you have an immediate, burning question, please send it in quickly so that we have time this evening to prepare responses for tomorrow. Also, this same email address will be used over the next 6 months for additional questions and ongoing feedback in preparation for a sustaining conference. So if you don’t have a question or suggestion until June, you can still submit it and it will be addressed. But please refrain from pointing out formatting issues unless it is alarming. We will be combing through the books again to find them all.

If there’s a particular issue in these scriptures that is critical, in your opinion, email your concern and your reasoning to support your argument. It will be posted for others to view and consider. If you think that there is something else that belongs in this edition, feel free to email that suggestion as well. For example you might feel inspired about a principle that needs to be added to the Governing Principles statement. However, realize that what this edition now contains has been under the Lord’s direction for the past year and a half and He has provided, at times, direct input. And there is a rigorous set of questions to assist you in determining whether you should submit new material.

The PRELIMINARY SUBMISSION & CRITIQUE PROCESS works like this:
Questions, suggestions, criticism and requests get submitted to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com.
From the end of the St. George conference until the 4th of July, a SUBMISSIONS list will be maintained on www.scriptures.info.
The items on the list will come from emails submitted.
That document will list the specific items that have been pointed out as concerns to be removed, modified or added to the Restoration Edition. The points made by the submitter will also be given. Please be aware that your reasoning will be significantly refined if you submit a long explanation, so keep things brief. And make sure that what you submit is scriptural, not simply personal opinion.
If you have very strong feelings about any of the items on the list, email us and let us know. If you’re fine with what has been proposed today or if you don’t care one way or the other about the items on the list, don’t email us. Only those who are strongly opposed to an existing item or strongly in favor of adding or amending an item should email us during those first few months.
The SUBMISSIONS document will be updated as needed.
As of the 4th of July, a final SUBMISSIONS list will be posted which also includes the total number of emails for/against an item. We will then wipe the slate clean.
From then on, no new items will be added to the list.
People who are strongly advocating or opposing can again email their vote about the item(s).
That new voting period runs from the 4th of July to the end of August.
A final tally will then be taken.
If there is no significant number of emails in opposition of an existing item or advocating a missing item or amendment, that item will be dropped.
And if you email us 6 times, it still only counts as one vote for any item.

Benefits of this process are:
We are using simple, easy to reach technology. Anyone can go online to do this – even if they have to go to a library or a friend to do so. And this can be done from anywhere in the world.
By providing the reason why an item is listed, opposing voices get the chance to be heard and perhaps to persuade.
Doing 2 rounds of voting gives everyone the chance to be persuaded over time and therefore find confidence of their final decision.
Everyone gets an opportunity to be involved if they feel so inclined.

2 CRITICAL POINTS:
Remember that what is important is the message, not the messenger, so focus on the content of this gift, not how it’s delivered.
The most important lesson for our group was expressed in the course of our emailing back and forth. Someone said this: I would rather submit to the decision of the group than insist that my view be followed. For me harmony between brethren is more important than getting what I think best to be followed. I believe harmony can lead to much greater things than can merely enforcement of even a correct view. I know how difficult it is to have a correct view, because of how often I have been corrected by the Lord. Sometimes I am humiliated by my foolishness when the Lord reproves me. Humiliation can lead to humility, but my experience is that the humiliation is accompanied by shame, whereas humility can proceed with a clear conscience. My experience with others leads me to conclude that if we can have one heart first, eventually we can likewise come to have one mind. But if we insist on having one mind at the outset, we may never obtain one heart together.

So I make a request to all of you – from all of us: Kaai sent the team an email 3 weeks ago, just after we had submitted the final volume to our formatter. We had begun to consider this next step. So he wrote: One of the ways to hopefully mitigate the sheer volume of emails will be to encourage fellowships to meet together and come up with a consolidated list of questions/suggestions/ concerns/etc… If there are individuals not associated with a fellowship, then they’ll follow the standard process [on their own]. If they make it a matter of prayer and forethought, first as individuals, then families, then fellowships, and submit in that manner, we may be able to keep the volume manageable. It will allow fellowships to meet together for a directed purpose and importune the Lord for revelation. It will draw them closer together in the bonds of love as indicated in the General Principles preamble and make them accountable to each other for the questions raised. I think it also reinforces the manner in which the Lord would want us to approach any challenge or issue presented.

Please consider these points as you consider what you choose to advocate in the scriptures.

Given the experiences many have had with organized religion, it’s only natural for some people to have an aversion to “official” scriptures. But these volumes are not set in stone; rather, they are presented to you in the appropriate manner, and with sufficient time for the group’s collective review, critique, support, and, possible sustaining. The Lord deals with His people by covenant; accepting these scriptures as comprising the history, teachings, doctrine, and covenants of our faith represents another step in our collective journey towards having our hearts bound together. And this should remain a labor of love and devotion to God. Those involved in this work do not present these volumes with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced, and we hope and pray that this continued effort to preserve and honor the word of the Lord will be accepted by Him, and by you.

In closing, I’d like to read a journal entry from one of our team members from Feb 18th:

I checked the scripture email and saw that volume 2 had been formatted and is now ready to print. Upon opening the file and viewing the document I was filled with joy and with the Spirit and was given a prophecy by the spirit saying,

“These scriptures will go to all the world and teach every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, to bring in the children of Israel from the four corners of the earth.”

Announcement

A small group of individuals have spent most of the year going through the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, reaching back to the original manuscripts to get as true a version of what Joseph offered us as possible and showing what changes have happened since his death. We are getting bids to have a triple combination volume printed in the coming months. For the moment we want to make people aware of this effort. Electronic versions of the scriptures are free for download at www.anoffenderforaword.blogspot.com in Word, PDF and some ebook formats. There are also instructions for using a Kindle reader or app with the PDFs as an ebook. The PDFs give a clear representation of how the volume will look.

We will notify everyone when orders can be placed for your own copies. We are trying to keep the cost to around $20 per copy. These will be printed on biblestock paper and will have large margins for easy note taking. An effort to produce a complete JST bible is also underway. A complete Kindle JST KJV is available by Ken Lutes on Amazon. He is the one working on a complete print version. When that work is ready to order we will let you know. He is not a part of this movement.

This volume of scripture is not “official” to the Remnant Movement in any sense, and we hope they may be of interest to Mormons of all types. While many of us felt inspired during the process, we offer this volume as a gift to our Lord and to our friends and families. Feel free to take this work and improve on it.

Keith Henderson 

An Altar Experience

In an old dusty attic, searching through effects, which had been kept in a box for years, I came across a, still like new journal, containing the following: Penned in the neat hand of what I am assuming is my long dead ancestor, great great grandfather, Henry James Talbot:

“Building an altar after the order of the ancients.”

I found this experience to be a very personalized process, because the altar’s great lesson is in the doing of it.  Anyone coming onto, and contemplating doing this should see in this process the making of ourselves, and then the remaking of ourselves, and then again, the remolding of the lump as the Lord demonstrates His graciousness through His long suffering, patience, and the fact that long ago we were not cast off.  This effort and this process is the story of God’s own labors, our need to be gathered, and the recognition of those who are to be included, framing together the disparate and individual lives to build a single, unified sacred place or people.

After having done this work, one should know there is, through me, and perhaps you, again on the earth a return of an ancient and hallowed practice of altar building which began at the first, and now appears again at the last.

I began the effort with mighty prayer unto God. This dedicating of the whole process was like coming into an awareness that something different needed to be done in one’s life, and dedicating, and consecrating one’s time, talents, and every available moment and resource to the accomplishment of this new found life one is entering into. In a very real way it was leaving old thoughts and traditions behind, and seeing for the first time a path centered on God; desiring Him to be at the center of everything that followed. No longer were the old ways enough. The teaching elements of preparing for the journey and then making it; fraught with danger, and being subject to every adverse wind that might blow one off course, even kill him spiritually or physically on the journey; Choosing a site of land that would become a holy place unto the Lord, almost as though it were a promised land; Choosing a raised site on that land that would cause a ritual ascent as I approached my intended place of worship; These all have been the driving thoughts of my mind for many months.

BUILDING THE ALTAR:
First, you build an altar again and again in your mind. The days preceding the beginning of the actual construction were days of “acting as if;” days of anticipation; days of internal measurement, “can I really do this?” “Can I receive revelation that will enable a successful conclusion?” “What do I really expect to happen?” “What are its measurements to be?” What should be its orientation?” “How big should the rocks be?”

The gathering begins with prayer; then searching for and discovering the pre-determined number of stones; then prayer to know if the one you think is right, is. Over and over again. Sometimes with great clarity. Sometimes not being completely sure. Sometimes with a darkness or even foreboding. Slowly, ever so painstaking slow, and one by one the rocks are gathered in. Each is individually picked. It is turned over and examined for its peculiar properties, brushed clean of the dirt and grime that may obscure some particularly beautiful facet or in the brushing may reveal a hidden flaw. Sometimes in the gathering process ideas form that indicate what will work with what. Perhaps the most exciting is realizing that you have selected that one precious stone that will be Christ, the Chief Corner Stone of the whole, upon which the whole will be anchored. In the process of this gathering you come to realize that you are like many of these rocks. You are flawed, dirty, or sometimes even with a particularly becoming trait that should be demonstrated prominently and make the whole more beautiful or functional.

Construction actually begins with the laying out of the rocks. You see to some extent what will work with what; to which tier this or that rock belongs; and like I said, that all important Southeast Corner Stone that represents Jesus Christ. Amazingly, this all important stone will be buried the deepest within the whole when it is completed. It will be mostly out of sight and one coming upon your altar without knowledge of what it is would not recognize the importance of the prime anchoring characteristics of this all important rock. Construction, like gathering, takes place at an agonizingly slow pace. A particular stone just does not seem to work anyplace. You can often see that the altar is leaning precariously because of the placement of some of the rocks. You realize a teardown is in order and refashioning needs to take place. I saw myself in this process really quite close to the first. Initially it surprised me and even frightened me a little as I saw that the building of me was a lot like my altar. I also saw that, at the point I recognized myself in the construction, I still had a lot of rocks to lay and if it continued like it started, “would I ever be a finished product?” In fact would the Lord cast me off as I might cast off this altar, because it just seems impossible to make it work? It also provided a driving thought, that even as the Lord had not cast me off, but through His mercy and grace and diligence in working with me, had saved me; so I could salvage this altar I was attempting to construct, and even though it might be hard, it was do-able. You see miracles happen that cause it to be possible. Sometimes whole sections slide out that indicate a hidden flaw in construction. Sometimes a rock is rejected and replaced by another which at first glance seems impossible to obtain. Sometimes you see in amazing clarity that if the location of this rock is changed with that one, everything will lock together. Sometimes you just keep going with faith that somehow it will work. This is all symbolic, but it is also real in the project in which you are engaged.

Actually the symbolism in the building of this altar doesn’t seem to end. Even as I write this I see many other things that the actual doing of building the altar could represent, or did represent. Some of it is symbolism of me. Some of it of the Church. Some of it of the Gospel. Particularly that defining central theme of the Gospel; the Atonement of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The altar and His atonement have become one in my mind. And because of that, the symbolism based in the realism of this will continue to show itself for the rest of my life!

THE DEDICATION AND THE OFFERING:
When the table of the altar was placed upon the top as the final stone, I walked around the altar at a distance and looked at it from every angle. I could see that it even looked like an altar, and that barring a physical act of man or beast would likely stand looking that same way until the earth at some time in the future convulses and scatters the carefully laid stones. But I know that even if that should happen, the ground upon which it is built will remain hallowed. I declared that it was the best I could do, and further declared to myself it was completed. It was now recognizable as an altar to me rather than just a pile of rocks and I declared it “an altar.” It felt to me to be a “whole.”

The next step in the process was to consecrate the Pure olive oil which I brought and then pour it in its consecrated state upon the top of the altar, with the pouring of it on a part being the pouring of it upon the whole, because of what it had now become. Opening the bottle, I held it up to God and said that by the power of the holy word which had been given me wherein I was declared a son of the Almighty God, I now dedicate and consecrate this oil to represent the blood of the Lord, Jesus Christ, which He has shed for all mankind and that upon its pouring, it will represent the blood offering required to dedicate and sanctify this completed altar. I then poured its contents upon the top of my altar. Using a particular sign, I then offered up prayers to my Father, petitioning Him to accept of my meager offering, and of myself. I covenanted that my life, and my will, and all that I have or ever will have is His. The altar had now served its purpose. It was complete. I was complete. And both are acceptable to the Lord. It was palpable and clear.

Grandma and I will probably visit it only one more time, that we may pray together, and covenant together and with our God. I will then sell the boat which will represent a moving on in our trek through this wilderness. I don’t know but that I may or may not do this again. I feel that one could become really proficient at this, but I don’t know if one really has to. I feel this was really important for me to do, and I feel that having done it there are future ramifications that will happen to my family because of it. For all I know right now, maybe you who might be reading this are a product in a small way of me having done this. This has not been made clear to me at this point.

I know I have not answered all questions. I’m not sure it’s my place here to just give my answers. If at a future time you decide upon this, I think you will receive your own answers to any questions you will ask. I feel like to the best of my limited ability I have laid out what this experience meant to me.

One more parting shot. I do know that what was at the first must return and be part of the last. In this, I have participated.

As copied by
Keith Henderson

A Dream

In a dream I had in the early morning I was a worker of some kind in the Temple. I don’t know which Temple, but in some respects it was very old and in others, or at least in some sections of the Temple it was brand new.

I received a requirement from the President of the Temple, or Prophet, or President of the Church, I’m not exactly sure which, but it seemed to be President Hinckley, or some kind of facsimile of him; anyway, I received a requirement from him to increase the luminosity of the lighting in the Temple and its surrounding outdoor and parking areas at least double, and in some areas, which, I can’t remember, by five times.

The purpose of this lighting was to make it appear that the Lord was in the Temple.

I consulted with a man in some department of the Temple who showed me a little canister light with some kind of screwy light bulb who said he thought this would do the job. I began to think it was going to take much more than this and began to think that I needed to involve the Temple lighting designer, and then further thought I would probably need the electrician because wire sizes, control boxes, service outlets, and much more would need re-working.

I then began to think about cost and reported to someone below the one who originally gave me the assignment, that I thought it would cost millions and millions of dollars to do what was requested. He said he would deliver my message. The word came back that money didn’t matter, but the people need to think the Lord is in the Temple.

This went on for some time, with me wandering in and out of the Temple thinking about how to accomplish all this, when suddenly a stroke of genius occurred;

Why don’t we just ask the Lord to come and be with us? Isn’t that what all this is about anyway? Whereupon I awoke.

____________________________________________

Now we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation. We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer. We discuss it as a First Presidency, and as a Council of the Twelve Apostles. We pray about it and then comes the whisperings of a still small voice. And we know the direction we should take and we proceed accordingly. (San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday interview of President Gordon B. Hinckley, April 3, 1997 by Don Lattin.)

Journal Entry For October 16, 2022

“The gathering to the New Jerusalem develops in time to the status of being “Zion” where God will visit. The growth is through refinement of the residents of the New Jerusalem.” (Was There An Original?: Paper by, Denver C. Snuffer Jr. P. 35.)

This statement poses to my mind the following:

. There is to be a future gathering.
. This gathering to a place where Christ is not immediately present means that it is primarily a self- selecting process. People will come of their own volition because they desire Zion, and have become sure this is it, or need a place of refuge.
. There will be such a place, determined by the Savior, and designated by Him as the New Jerusalem. When or where is yet to be announced by Him.
. “It will be a physical and spiritual enterprise to be accomplished by the hard effort of those interested in welcoming the Lord’s return.” (Same paper as quoted above. P. 36)
. The effort to transform the initial New Jerusalem into Zion develops in time and not immediately to the status of being Zion, where God will visit. From Enoch’s city to the status of “Zion” took approximately 365 years. ( Moses 7: 19-21 & 68.) How long for us?
. If the New Jerusalem is designated and begins accepting residents, it will become Zion if the criteria of desire, and hard effort are met.
. If it arrives at the point where it can be called “Zion,” God will visit it.

A possible senario

As we packed the truck, preparing to leave our beloved home for perhaps the last time, I spread the map again on the kitchen table so Carma could finish her note taking. It would be these notes which we would use to navigate what we anticipated would be the ten hour drive to our destination.

Yesterday at our Sabbath fellowship meeting we had a special visitor who confirmed many of the rumors, which had been floating out there for over a month about a new temple which had recently been completed. We had followed the news closely to see if the LDS church had built a new temple and heard nothing about it there. The odd thing was that the rumors said this temple had been built on a knoll jutting out from an almost sheer unscalable mountain wall behind it. The pine forested slopes leading to the base of the knoll were said to be interspersed with broad meadows each having a spring or stream which watered its lush vegetation. Emil, the one in our fellowship who many looked to as being most in the know about things happening outside our fellowship, said he had heard all this was situated on a fifteen thousand acre parcel which butted against National Forest land all around it. We realized this couldn’t be an LDS temple. It had to be the one we had all been talking about and waiting for these past four years, since that series of talks had been given.

The most surprising rumor, which as of last night became fact, was that a call had been sent out on the Denver Snuffer web site, for all who could or would to come as you can, and take up residence on a property to be divulged in our next fellowship meetings. Then, last night to an overflow crowd, specific directions were given to the site, and instructions about which logging roads to take after turning off the main road were written down furiously by Carma, as Joanna talked. Joanna, our special guest at the fellowship meeting, explained that at several points before arriving at the destination we would be required to go through gates where we would then follow a guide vehicle to the next gate, and so on through several, until we finally arrived. She explained that it was such a maze of twists and turns and gates and criss-crossing side roads that without the guide we would never find the location.

Other instructions were to arrive at the first gate after dark. Otherwise we would have to wait until dark for an escort. I think this was a security precaution so we couldn’t see where we would be going. And we could only bring one truck or car with an open trailer behind it, if we had one. We were to pack warm clothes and a tent and food.

We found later that a request to turn in all cell phones and other electronics at the first gate before continuing on caused many to turn around and not proceed because the idea of cutting themselves off from the outside world seemed just too much to bear.

The long drive was uneventful for the caravan we joined, which consisted of two other fellowship families, and our son who followed us with the part of his family, that would come, in his truck, towing his boat which met the requirement as an open trailer. The trip itself was uneventful as I say, but the length of it gave plenty of time to think and worry and cry at who and what we were leaving behind.

Joanna had called our destination the New Jerusalem. By that, she said, she wanted to indicate that this was an interim step. This would not, at least for now, be the “Zion” most of us had a mental picture of. This would be a refuge from the escalating destructions taking place in the world and would be a place of intense preparation if we desired. It would also be a place which we could leave if we found it not compatible to our needs and desires without any recriminations from heaven or man. It was also a place we could be expelled from if that became necessary and voted on by common consent. She also said the population would grow over time as many outside found it not in their character to fight against their neighbors, as local law broke down, but would rather flee.

This is my recollection of many things at the very beginning when we became aware of and decided to move to the New Jerusalem.. We have been here now for just a little over two years so I will complete this journal from the perspective of what I have seen during that time, and what at this point I can anticipate now that I have this background.

I haven’t kept count but would suppose that many less than half of all those who came here have remained. The reasons are varied but would include:

. Society has not broken down or become chaotic as fast as many supposed it would. This has broken the faith of many that it actually will.
. The poignancy and melancholy of being without family who refuse to come.
. The deprivation many felt existed here over the comforts they had experienced at home.
. Refusal and or lack of ability to get along with others.
. The relative lack of meat and especially refined foods in the diet that is available here. Many just could not seem to adapt.
. A need for more control over others. I have found the people who come here to be very independent, and when that is coupled with a desire to do all they can for themselves, and then help others who are weaker or slower or less adept, without reward or even recognition from the others they serve, things run very smoothly, and all people become better and more capable, and happy. But there have been some who simply feel they have to direct others, and have to be noticed for their efforts by those others. At this point most of those have left and things for the past year or so have really run quite smoothly, because those who require this power, as they suppose, are gone.
. And perhaps the final reason I will list here as to why many have left is that what goes on here, and what it looked like when they came just couldn’t be reconciled with the mental image most people have of what Zion should be when they come to it.

Otherwise,

There have been many exciting things happen since our arrival. Six months ago a large group of about a thousand showed up at the first gate. This more than doubled the number in the village, and was quite a scramble providing them shelter and food. They were led by a man whom they called their prophet, and all I have learned about them so far is that they came from a long way off. Their “prophet,” I have to say, doesn’t look much like the prophet of most people’s mental image. For sure, there is no suit coat pocket hanky. This one is usually dressed in course work clothes and looks a little worse for wear than those who continually surround him, and he’s very thin, and actually looks quite young. I have found out it’s because he is continually giving away his own clothing, and many times his own food to those he thinks are worse off than himself. It is also said, he fasts a lot. I have been amazed at the love and respect his people seem to have for him. Actually I think he is much older than he looks, because of what I have heard him say the few times I have been privy to his conversations. I don’t know that I would be so inclined to refer to him as a prophet as I would that he seems to be more a teacher, and perhaps even a protector. There are rumors of what he has done by power to save his people in many circumstances. Their great desire of us was that we pronounce great blessings on them through ordinances in the temple. That has now been accomplished and the group left about as they came; after dark, and with very little fanfare. I just thought of something that will seem odd. I have just realized I have no idea how they came or by what conveyance they left.

Another thing which caused quite a buzz just a little while before that group came was during an evening after the sun had gone down, but it didn’t seem to get any darker. I had been reading and didn’t pay any attention to the time or the light. Carma came in from the outside and said something was going on outside and I needed to come and see. The object of everyone’s attention was the temple. It appeared to be glowing or on fire, and also seemed to be the source of light that kept the evening from darkening. At first I was quite alarmed because I thought “fire,” and seemed to see people in the windows and on the roof who I first thought were trying to put out the blaze. But then, somehow I just knew by a process I can’t adequately describe, that it was our Lord and angels in the temple, and that He was the source of the light. This has remained the condition of the temple ever since. It shines during the night. Now, not so bright as that first night, but to look upon the glow is to fill my soul with peace and joy and contentment. It’s physical effect has been to make the harsh darkness of the nights in this very remote place much less frightening, as it now seems there is a very soft glow emanating from the trees, plants and even the earth itself, clear to the borders of the property. The stars and planets are as bright overhead as ever, but the earth seems to be basking in a glow of her own.

The day after that first night of the temple being ablaze, classes were announced and established throughout the community, which are taught by holy men that are now among us. it is primarily a preparation for those who would like to enter into that holy place which has always been on the knoll and receive what now has become available there. But I have now been made aware that there are also advanced classes for those who have been in the temple. The most common piece of equipment in those classes seems to be a rather large telescope. Somehow I always knew this would happen, and hoped to live long enough to see it, and now it’s here. Carma and I a few days ago received our invitation to go inside. I am left without words, and also under covenant not to describe what took place there, as all are to receive it for themselves from the Source, which is not me.

Carma and I, shortly thereafter, received an invitation from one of the gates keeper’s to be the guides in their place to the new comers. So now at the announcement of new arrivals, she and I put on our back packs and climb onto our 4 wheeler and head off with snacks and information and directions for our weary arrivals.

I have left out much about the infrastructure of the New Jerusalem and what takes place on a daily basis here, but let it be known that we are busier and happier than we have ever been in our lives, and when you arrive here, and make the decision in yourself to stay, you also will come to know.

Love to all our family and friends. Mama and Papa hope you all join us soon, and especially before situations in the world, and here make it impossible for you to come.

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Now, in the person of my own self I must declare that I am not invested in any detail of the above scenario, only as it proves to be true.

Keith Henderson