Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Important Changes in the New Scripture Edition Out Today

March 01st, 2013 by G.

See here.

The Church is making the complete list of textual changes available. Very savvy.

I’ll miss the old-fashioned spelling of “lunatick” and “havock.”

Changes of any arguable doctrinal significance include

Alma 12:31—”becoming as Gods” to “becoming as gods” (lowercased gods)

The reference is to man in our post-Edenic state, not in our exalted state, so its a good change.

D&C 134:6—”all men show respect” to “all men owe respect” (changed show to owe)

“Owe” makes much more sense, but changes the sentence from a statement of fact to a declaration of duty.

There are a number of added and changed Joseph Smith Translation excerpts which should be fun to explore.

Then there is this nod to apologetic scholarship:

Intro., par. 1, sent. 2—Changed “a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants
of the Americas” to “a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the
Americas,” deleting the in “with the ancient inhabitants” to provide clarity and greater

Intro., par. 2, last sentence—Changed the phrase “they are the principal ancestors” to
“they are among the ancestors,” providing clarity and greater accuracy, so that the
statement reads: “. . . all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among
the ancestors of the American Indians.”

If I understand correctly, the Introduction to the Book of Mormon no longer claims that the Bible contains the fulness of the Gospel:

Intro., par. 1, sent. 2—Deleted the phrase “as does the Bible” to provide clarity and accuracy
so that the last clause reads: “. . . and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.”

The Church is as high on the Bible as ever, if not more so. My guess is that they removed the statement because it sounded defensive, just a little like a pre-emptive cringe before critics.

The Church has added an introduction to Official Declaration 1. It asserts definitively that OD 1 is the result of revelation and takes a firm stand that monogamy is the default or norm:

OD 1—Added the following introduction and historical background to Official
Declaration 1, and placed it in an italic typeface to indicate that it is a study help:
The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise (see 2 Samuel 12:7–8 and Jacob 2:27, 30). Following a revelation to Joseph Smith, the practice of plural marriage was instituted among Church members in the early 1840s (see section 132). From the 1860s to the 1880s, the United States government passed laws to make this religious practice illegal. These laws were eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. After receiving revelation, President Wilford Woodruff issued the following Manifesto, which was accepted by the Church as authoritative and binding on October 6, 1890. This led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church.

That last sentence is just a little coy.

The new introduction to Official Declaration 2 is also great:

OD 2—Added the following introduction and historical background to Official
Declaration 2, and placed it in italics to indicate that it is a study help:
The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. 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.

This change also has interesting implications for apologists:

Introduction, paragraph 4, item 2—Changed “A translation from some Egyptian papyri
that came into the hands of Joseph Smith in 1835, containing writings of the patriarch
Abraham” to “An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham. Joseph Smith began
the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri.”

Comments (15)
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March 01st, 2013 09:17:46

Bryce Haymond
March 1, 2013

These are some interesting changes to the Bible Dictionary entry on the Fall of Adam.

Fall of Adam and Eve. The process by which mankind became mortal on this earth. The event is recorded in Gen. 2, 3, 4 (now 2-4); and Moses 3, 4 (now 3-4). The fall (now Fall) of Adam and Eve is one of the most important occurrences in the history of man. Before the fall (now Fall), Adam and Eve had physical bodies but no blood. There (there) was (were) no sin, no death, and no children among any of the earthly creations. With the eating of the “forbidden fruit,” Adam and Eve became mortal, sin entered, blood formed in their bodies, and death became a part of life. Adam became the “first flesh” upon the earth (Moses 3:7), meaning that he and Eve were the first to become mortal. After Adam fell, the whole creation fell and became mortal. Adam’s fall (now Fall) brought both physical and spiritual death into the world upon all mankind (Hel. 14:16-17).

The fall (now Fall) was no surprise to the Lord. It was a necessary step in the progress of man, and provisions for a Savior had been made even before the fall (now Fall) had occurred. Jesus Christ came to atone for the fall (now Fall) of Adam and also for man’s individual sins.

Latter-day revelation supports the biblical account of the fall (now Fall), showing that it was a historical event that literally occurred in the history of man. Many points in latter-day revelation are also clarified that are not discernible from the Bible. Among other things it makes clear that the fall (now Fall) is a blessing, and that Adam and Eve should be honored in their station as the first parents of the earth. Significant references are 2 Ne. 2:15-26; 9: 6-21; Mosiah 3:11-16; Alma 22:12-14; 42:2-15; D&C 29:34-44; Moses 5:9-13. See also Flesh.

J. Max Wilson
March 1, 2013

The new introductions added to the Official Declarations in the Doctrine and Covenants are very interesting.

The first affirms that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage unless he declares otherwise. The second states plainly that in Joseph Smith’s time a few black men were given the priesthood, that church records give no clear insight into why they stopped conferring it on them except that leaders believed that it could not change without a revelation.

Also Alma 11 heading says “Monetary System” instead of “Coinage”.

J. Max Wilson
March 1, 2013

Another significant change is in sections related to the United Order which have been changed in the headings to say United Firm and clarified that it was originally a for-profit firm to fund Zion. Joseph later changed the word to Order and clarified its mission to aid the poor.

Adam G.
March 1, 2013

J. Max,
using the heading to show change and development fits with the new introduction to the whole D&C, which emphasizes that revelation was ongoing and subject to revision.
Viewing the Restoration as a work in progress instead of a completed body like Protestants view the Bible or Jews the Old Testament helps quite a bit.

Adam G.
March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013

Flaming liberal that I am, I could have done with even more extensive changes to the description of the Fall.

The changes all seem highly salubrious to me.

“This led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church” is perfectly accurate, even if more could perhaps be said on the subject.

“Viewing the Restoration as a work in progress instead of a completed body like Protestants view the Bible or Jews the Old Testament helps quite a bit.”

Not to mention being a correct picture of how the Kingdom of God now and always has functioned.

Adam G.
March 1, 2013

From our past discussions on the Fall, I gather we’re flaming liberals in the same way on this.

Yes. Being helpful is great, being helpful and, you know, *true*, is almost too much to ask for.

March 1, 2013

It is interesting that notwithstanding the change in the intro to the PGP, the intro to the Book of Abraham is still the same. I don’t know if this is due to the thought that the intro to the BOA was written by Joseph Smith himself, and is therefore more like a piece of the original source than an editorial intro that can be easily changed, or what.

Bryce Haymond
March 1, 2013

Note, a couple edits to the Fall above are inaccurate. The phrase “among any of the earthly creations” was also deleted from the new edition.

J. Max Wilson
March 1, 2013

Viewing the Restoration as a work in progress instead of a completed body like Protestants view the Bible or Jews the Old Testament helps quite a bit.

I agree Adam.

These changes also help dispel the notion that the church is “hiding the ball” as it were regarding the ordination of black men to the priesthood by Joseph Smith and the lack of records to explain how the restriction came into being in the first place. That information is now provided right in the explanatory header in the scriptures.

Many critics inside and outside of the church like to play “gotcha”. Back in 2011, Elder Jensen had mentioned that the church was working on a “large number” of ways to help members who come across internet gotachas, and I imagine this is one of them.

J. max Wilson
March 1, 2013

Correction. Elder Jensen said ” a number ” of things the church was working on, not a “large number”.

John Mansfield
March 1, 2013

The format of the new edition is interesting, digital files, with printed, bound pages due out before seminary starts next fall. With the Come, Follow Me curriculum, we have only one printed copy of the manuals for the whole ward and can’t order more. It’s become an iPad world, it would seem.

March 10, 2013

Where’s a good online discussion about the changes? Specifically, where to report errors? The new heading for D&C 42 appears to have a mistake. It says the section was received in two parts, with the division between verses 72 and 73. However, in Grant Underwood’s article “‘The Laws of the Church of Christ’ (D&C 42): A Textual and Historical Analysis” (search “73”), he shows multiple manuscripts listing the division as between verses 73 and 74. That makes far more sense, since verse 73 shares subject matter and phrases with verse 72.

Anyone know if these kinds of things will be corrected before the print edition comes out in August?

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