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FOREWORD TO THE NEW COVENANTS
Joseph Smith warned in 1831 that “except the church receive the fullness of the Scriptures that they would yet fall.” The “fullness” was defined as the Book of Mormon, the revelations, and the new, inspired Bible revisions (seeTeachings and Commandments 105:13–14). Less than one year later, in September 1832, the saints of God 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 (T&C 82:20). This is often interpreted as the Lord rebuking the saints for failing to do according to that which He had written, while the assumption is made that the saints had been correctly saying what He had written. But the saints did not say; they failed to accurately preserve the revelations that God provided to them, and their texts became corrupted.
This volume of scripture is one of three that together constitute a unified effort to recover what the scriptures originally said and to prune away the uninspired alterations of man. This endeavor began with individuals who were separately directed by God to begin this work and were then inspired to find one another. Eventually two groups were formed, each unknown to the other. As they faced the completion of their respective projects in mid-December of 2016, they became aware of one another, and on December 31, 2016, Denver Snuffer Jr. facilitated a meeting between the two groups, in which they determined to unify their efforts. Each group brought different components to the endeavor that provided for a greater outcome than either project had possessed alone. Moving forward, the united team worked closely with one another, with the Lord, and with the Lord’s servant, and produced a record that is more accurate and more true to the Lord’s intent and to the Restoration.
These scriptures are a sign foretold by Christ to stand as a witness of His gospel to all the world and that the moment has arrived when the things that have been prophesied of in scripture will now occur within a single generation. Mankind doesn’t have to accept the witness; they don’t even have to notice the witness; it’s only required that God send the witness. If He sends the witness, God has done His part. These scriptures are a new witness of Him and a sign of His invitation to renew communication with mankind.
Joseph Smith Jr. always intended to publish the New Testament and the Book of Mormon in a single volume, and that has been accomplished, for the first time, within this Restoration Edition. Joseph stated: “It is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new Translation in the [Evening and Morning] 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” (JS Letter 21 April 1833; see also 1 Nephi 3:24). And again, “At no very distant period, we shall print the book of Mormon and the Testament, and bind them in one volume” (July 1833, Evening and Morning Star).
The name of this volume, which includes both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, is The New Covenants; it reflects the covenants that were established by Jesus Christ at Jerusalem, as well as in the New World at Bountiful, and it came forth through Joseph Smith as the covenant at the beginning of the modern-day Restoration.
The hand of the Lord has been present in the process of preparing these scriptures. May His Spirit guide you and testify to you as you receive them.