Scriptures Updated

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Keeping With Tradition

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has posted March 1, 2013, the new edition of its version of the Scriptures, which include The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. This 2013 Edition of the scripture library is said by the church to clear up historical errors, punctuation, and scriptural references. The church reveals that the new edition of scriptures is available digitally after nearly eight years of work and that hard copies of the scriptures will be first available in August of 2013. "Online and mobile versions of the new edition are available now at scriptures.lds.org. Annotations that readers have made in their Gospel Library accounts will automatically transfer to the new digital scriptures" (LDS.org, para. 4).

LDS Christians believe in continuing revelation. The church teaches that God continues to choose prophets with whom he speaks giving direction to the church and world. One of the Articles of Faith, not to be misconstrued as a comprehensive listing of church teachings but a basic introduction, states

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Article # 13

Having a basic tenet that God continues to speak to an authorized prophet makes it normal among this group of Christians to accept changes to scripture, even if only in punctuation, because of a culture of change that exists when it comes to what God expects depending on the needs of the times.

Most Christians adhere to the idea that God has revealed all in The Holy Bible, and will not reveal any more authorized texts. LDS Christianity is founded on the principle of new holy texts being revealed. The first president and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Jr., introduced The Book of Mormon as a companion volume of scripture to The Holy Bible in 1830. Since introducing that volume of scriptures to the world, The Church of Jesus Christ has continued to revise and update its version of the scriptures as the need for clarification arises. It is an old process among the Christians of the Church of Jesus Christ from their very genesis.

Quote from Race and the Priesthood

...the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.

Application to Controversy

The updated scriptures offer an acknowledgment by the church organization officially of past racists teachings and disavowals of the origin of institutionalized racism practiced by the church sometime after its organization to 1978. After the church moved into the Great Basin in Utah, a policy was instituted that disallowed members of African ancestry from being conferred the authority referred to as the priesthood. Black members of the church received ordinations to this authority during Joseph Smith, Jr.'s presidency, but were banned during Brigham Young's leadership.

The leaders of the church, regardless of social pressure from the outside, would not stop this practice among its members without a direct revelation from God they received in June of 1978. The church acknowledges that it is unaware of any doctrine upon which the ban was founded and so noted in the new edition of scriptures in the introduction to Official Declaration 2.

In part, the heading reads

The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood. (see Official Declaration 2)

This clarification comes some forty years following the revelation and under criticism that the church should further acknowledge that the practice of banning those of Black African descent was racist and not of divine origin. Whether the church will one day do so is not forthcoming.

By providing no explanation for the practice, the unsupported ideas and traditional explanations behind the practice still have fodder among members of the church though many notions have been repudiated by the very same leaders of the church who provided them, namely Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a deceased apostle of the church. McConkie unofficially provided detailed explanations about a variety of topics in his 1958 work entitled Mormon Doctrine, which helped to educate almost two generations of LDS Christians before it was put out of print in 2010.

What do You think?

Did you know that LDS Christians believed in continuing revelation from God?

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With the new clarification and acknowledgement, the scriptural updates provide, the church now has more tools to move forward with its thousands of new missionaries sharing its teachings across the globe.

Jesus Christ taught the value of the scriptures to his disciples. He said that “whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.” Joseph Smith was inspired by the Holy Bible to turn to his Father in prayer, leading to the opening of the heavens and the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days...

...We can be part of this heritage by making sacrifices to study the word of God and share what we learn with others. As we do this, we honor those who sacrificed to bring us the scriptures. (Heritage, Study, and Blessings).

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What do You Think? 11 comments

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

A minor fix from this Hub: Did you now that LDS Christians believed in continuing revelation from God?


care4reader4life profile image

care4reader4life 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Thanks for pointing that out Perspycacious. The data will be erased from the users, but at least the question will make sense. God Bless.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

More power to you and to Him who has all [power, though He expects us to do our part. Perhaps my contribution of 2012 could be a link here to reinforce your points?


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Persycacious, thanks for the comment again. I put a link to the church website where it disavows racist views and teachings that crept into the church unofficially over the years.

Are you speaking of specific points that were made by Bruce R Mckonie and others? I am thinking that those could be included also just to give some teeth to the claims.


celafoe profile image

celafoe 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

yes again changes to the mormon doctrines and beliefs from their newer "profits'. Mormon bible and other non Christian documents keep changing even though the Real God says HE NEVER chsnges


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

As Charles just said, the gospel doesn't change, but man's interpretations of it have gone through some very varied interpretations of it over the past 2,000 years, to the point at which it went through the Inquisition and the Dark Ages, the fracturing of the churches, and so forth. Is it any wonder then that the original church of Jesus Christ needed to be restored? Charles has made his complete distaste for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quite clear in the past, but I for one am still praying for him.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Brother Charles, we believe in Jesus Christ and his salvation. In the end, the book that we read from will not be what Jesus asks us about, but how we live our lives trying to be like Him. I firmly believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon as the word of God. I also know that Jesus is the salvation of us all. What has happened in your life that makes it so hard for you to accept any other scripture than what scribes put together and called the Bible.?


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Perspycacious I agree with you about our dear Brother and am yet praying for him and people like him. He makes it intriguing to be on Hubpages I must admit. The restoration is true and shrouded with mystery that only can be discerned by a seeking spirit. I am still finding out things about the restoration after 13 years of study, intense study!

I love the changes made to the scriptures. I don't have a problem with modern prophets editing or interpreting scripture at all. It was all written from a man's perspective and can due with clarification in some parts. I am reading the Old Testament right now and there are some place where there is no topical guide or index reference. I have to actually look up things myself! Ha ha.

I love the Bible. It has come alive to me this year. After reading Deuteronomy, my love for Moses has grown so much because of his detailed recounting of the history of Israel before the entered the Promised Land. He was so clear about the requirements of the people and they never, I mean never met them!

I am sure he wanted to build a society like Enoch. It would have been great for them to become so righteous that their nation was taken to heaven; but it was not to be so.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Some lessons we learn from David's transgression are missing in some versions of holy scripture studied by those who also revere Moses. It is hard to accept that having passed through the hands of so many over the past 2,000+ years that there are today those who believe any such writings could be inerrant. Nonetheless those who speak up in defense of truth must speak from their own knowledge and testimony, for how could it be otherwise? Doing so prayerfully and with respect for all of God's children seems appropriate.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 24 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

I just finished First Chronicles. I am deeply sadden how Saul finally died of suicide and how he went to a medium because he was too wicked to approach God directly. I am sure that David felt the same as we see throughout Chronicles that he consults the Urim Ephod, the prophets and direct communication for news from God what to do about situations from saving his life for Saul to going to battle.

I can see now why some children of Abraham revere David so much. He was the closest son of God of the Kings in the Old Testament that resembled Christ. His mistake with Urriah's wife damages his image.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 24 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Rodric29 - Another sadness, and it applies today as church attendance in England and France, even in Italy, drop off, just as it did in the days of Isaiah, that God through his prophets (Isaiah being a wonderful case in point) tried to prepare His people for the coming of their Christ, yet they ignored the pleadings of the prophets and ignored the promise they could have prepared for. Isaiah compared them to an ox that knew his master, and an ass that only knew where to go to feed, and called Israel of his day a people who could not even consider what they themselves had become.

Today there are many who don't know who their master is, and only know pleasure that can satisfy only for today, rather than the bread of life eternal.

I testify there is so much more to life here and now, if we know who our master is, where to go to be fed from the gospel, and where our real strength and lasting happiness come from.

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