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This volume is one of three, which together constitute 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, that they might have a more correct version of scripture to aid their study. These individuals were led to one another and agreed to combine and harmonize their efforts. What began as two wholly separate groups, each forming at the same time, both unknown to one another, resulted in two separate projects that 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 two 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 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.
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 has written, yet assume that the saints have been correctly saying what He has written. But the saints did not say, and have failed to accurately preserve, what the revelations God provided to them said, because even their texts were 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 was initially unknown, this project 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 revealed. Then the challenges increase as we are called upon “to do according to that” which God has revealed.
Great effort has been put into honoring the work of Joseph Smith in this collection. This includes the use of his New Translation as the text for the Bible, and stripping away most alterations to his revelations which were made by others. We believe his work is to be honored above any who would claim to be his successors.
Punctuation has been heavily reduced, as its presence can directly influence the interpretation of scriptural statements. The removal of such punctuation allows for a freer text with greater possibilities for interpretation and understanding, as guided by the Lord.
Traditional versing has been entirely removed from this collection, and chaptering and paragraphing have been reduced and revised. The purpose of this is to offset the divorcing of statements from their greater context, which often occurs when a scriptural text is poorly divided into smaller chapters and verses.
Additional, work-specific changes, if any, can be found in the introductions to each work.
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.