Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Process update

On Feb 9th we proposed a vote to the Scriptures Committee (SC) and asked them to publish whichever Guide and Standard (G&S) was chosen using a voting process which we outlined.  On March 3rd the SC agreed to our request. Now, however, the SC has had second thoughts, and has declined any further involvement with the G&S. Because of this our proposal cannot go forward as planned and no online vote will be carried out as has been announced. 

However, there will still be an effort to achieve mutual agreement among those attending the conference.  It will follow this outline.
  1. A voice vote choosing between the various G&Ss will take place during the Saturday meeting. 
  2. If the majority’s preference can be clearly determined, the minority will be asked if they will agree to not dispute the majority’s choice.
  3. If nearly all the minority agrees to not dispute, and only a few remain in opposition, then those who remain opposed will be invited to meet with a delegate of our group who will listen to their concerns and inquire again if they are willing to accept the majority’s choice.
  4. At the Sunday meeting, the conference will be told the number of those that remain opposed.  And another voice vote will occur, in which those at the conference will be asked if they would like to proceed and adopt the chosen guide and standard.  
  5. If unity is achieved (but not unanimity) a suggestion will be offered as to how we can each proceed individually to fulfill the Lord's command to add a G&S to our scriptures.
  6. No online participation is provided for in his vote. The vote is designed primarily to promote/show unity among those at the conference.  But anyone viewing from home can of course choose whether or not to accept the majority's choice.  And the suggestion offered in step 5 will be open to everyone.
 We believe there is a real opportunity to make progress towards, or to find, mutual agreement at the conference.  And we believe that there is a legitimate way for each of us to individually obey the Lord's command regarding a G&S if those at the conference can achieve unity.

Jeanene Custer
Donald and Christy Danner
Gordon Platt
Rebecca Wolford

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Dear Everyone:

We are fast approaching the end of our goal to publish a new set of scriptures. At this point it seems very likely that the scriptures will be published before we are all in agreement regarding the assignment given to the assembly to produce and agree on a Guide and Standard.
For a year or so the scriptures committee has had the view that a single document would need to be mutually agreed upon and then published in the scriptures. With each rendition of the G&S, the lack of mutual agreement has kept us from feeling at liberty to publish them in the scriptures. Our initial, direct responsibility for a replacement for D&C Section 20 shaped our perspective and it has taken us this long to relinquish that view. We apologize that it took us so long. Looking back, this should have happened when the assembly determined that any G&S had to be put through a submissions process and approved by them. Though belatedly, we wish to entirely off-load every and all responsibility for the G&S to the assembly - where it rightly belongs. 
We now have a new view on the Lord's requirements that allows us to finally step aside. The Lord's words are, When you have an agreed statement of principles I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow. A statement of principles could be added in many ways:

  • handwritten in the blank notes section of the forthcoming scriptures.
  • typed on a sticky note and added.
  • glued in or just stuck in like a bookmark.
  • posted as a PDF for download, trimming and inserting in our scriptures.
We also choose to no longer limit our previously myopic view of the Lord’s requirement and to include this view of what it might mean to “add.” Up to now, the idea of being required to "publish" a G&S has kept this committee bound to the process.

This more expanded view has many practical advantages:

  • It eliminates the argument that anyone is writing scripture, since the statement can be added as an insert just like seminary notes.
  • It eliminates the tension for those who feel the scripture committee is ignoring the voice of the people and exercising control.
  • It does not limit in any way those who seek 100% unanimity around any single document.
  • It provides an opportunity for every individual to demonstrate personal accountability for the adoption of a mutually agreed upon G&S when they add it on their own to their scriptures.
  • If, as a people, through prayer and humility, we ever arrive at the point where everyone wants to reprint the scriptures with a G&S as a permanent addendum, that could still be done.
With regards to the current discussions of how to resolve the G&S situation, there are several unique proposals currently advanced. The responsibility to execute these proposals can’t be transferred to the scriptures committee. Anyone making a proposal must either execute it, getting others involved, or it will fizzle. Nor do we have any reason to choose one over another. We have posted the proposals and let go at that moment of any involvement. If others are advanced, we will simply post them. That's pretty much all we can or will do.

So far, we have only seen one of the proposals to resolve the G&S situation take any steps beyond posting an explanation. It rests with all those proposing different resolutions to coordinate efforts among themselves. This committee has no desire to act as referee, arbiter or event planner.

On February 9th a vote was proposed which showed potential to bring resolution to the G&S dilemma, and on March 3rd the committee agreed to publish whichever statement garnered the most support in that vote.  However, we have had second thoughts.  We now believe that the best course of action is, as we have said, to divest ourselves entirely of any involvement in the selection or publishing of a G&S. We apologize to any who have been inconvenienced by our ambivalence.  We understand that although the vote may not go forward as originally planned, the group making the proposal for that vote will make one more effort in Phoenix to see if the conference can agree upon a G&S.

The scripture committee

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Daily Update

As of today we have these G&S proposals on the ballot. Voting under the proposed process by the Platts begins Thursday March 24th:

The Rock of Jesus Christ (submitted by Jared Livesey.)

The Guide and Standard Chosen by Lots (submitted by Jeff Reber.)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

An additional G&S Proposal

This proposal is from Fawn Livesly. Because of it's length, it is too long to post directly, so the PDF can be downloaded from this link.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some Thoughts on Our Assignment

Some thoughts on our assignment

By: Edwin Wilde

Our assignment is to write -and then adopt- a statement of principles and then add it as a guide and standard.
The verb 'to add' conveys the idea that this statement is not THE guide and standard.  I believe this notion is supported by the prefix 'A' used instead of using 'THE' to preface the idea of what this statement of principles will be. (ie., 'A' guide and standard.)

In other words, this statement of principles is to be added to something else.  The only thing, to which it can be possibly added, is the body of scripture that has just been finished. 

Would it make sense that the body of scripture that we have just completed is THE guide and standard?  Would that justify the use of the prefix 'A' describing the required statement of principles as A guide and standard, instead of describing it as The Guide and Standard?  (i.e., we at times refer to 'the Law;' but when a bill gets ratified it is a law of the land, and not the Law of the land.)  To me this makes sense because we are going to add the statement of principles to the recently completed body of scriptures.

Wouldn't that mean that we have already agreed to be guided by the full content of the scriptures that we recently completed and received them as our standard?  (see the second promise in the A&C, wherein the Lord asks whether we will receive the scriptures as our standard by which we will govern ourselves and guide our words, thoughts and deeds.)

Would that mean that we have already accepted to receive as a standard and guide, the full content of what Jared Livesey has proposed as the statement of principles required by the Lord to be written and adopted? 

I believe this to be the case. 

Would the Lord require something to be adopted, that had already been adopted, and that by covenant?  To me that defies logic and reason, but above all, as I have taken this matter in consultation with the Lord, I am consistently persuaded that Jared is acting without knowledge.   That doesn’t mean that I think he is wrong or evil, but just that he isn’t any more informed than am I, regarding what the Lord intended to be the statement of principles.

However, Jared also brings up a good point that as of yet I have not heard to be satisfactorily resolved: if mutual agreement means that we choose not to dispute with one another; what happens when one person insists on their right to dispute?

So far I have heard people insist that the Lord couldn’t have meant unanimity when He used the term mutual agreement.  But that’s not the point.  What do we do when the Lord requires that as between one another, we choose not to dispute; and there are those among us who insist and refuse to desist from their right to dispute?  Do we really just kick them out? 

Who is going to play the part of referee to eject them?  Nobody was given the right to record the names of those who partook of the covenant, so does anyone have the right to kick another out of the covenant?  If not, does anyone have the right to tell another that they are heterodox because they do not submit to the orthodox? 

In this case, what is the orthodox?  Whatever the majority decides?  What happens when in the future a majority decides against the orthodox position of today?  Does that then become heterodox?  Or is it fundamental orthodoxy that cannot be moved?

It really seems to me that we are all acting without knowledge here.  When Joseph and Hyrum were taken, the saints were faced with having to act.  They voted without knowledge in which the result was that they received dear brother Brigham and his accompanying ‘ascent’ out of the lush green valley of Nauvoo into the barren, desolate mountain land of the Great Basin. 

It has been pointed out that of all the arguments that were advanced in trying to decide how best to act, nobody submitted the idea that their situation must only be resolved by revelation from God. 

I wonder if those who decided that Brother Brigham and his band of apostles were the guys to follow -after hearing the various arguments- had asked the Lord if He would accept that decision, what would have been the reply?  (Honestly I don’t doubt that there were those among that group who did just that.)  I believe that the Lord would have responded that such a decision was sufficient for His purposes.

You see, we’re not going to frustrate, impede or derail the Lord’s plans.  We are all very eager (myself included) to fulfill the purposes of the Lord in our lives.  However, mans plans generally get frustrated when we are impatient and decide that we need to act without knowledge. 

Now surely Nephi moved forward taking the spirit as his guide, without knowing beforehand what he was to do.  However, in doing so, Nephi was not acting against another commandment that the Lord had specifically given to him in that situation.

The LDS temple ceremony recounts how Adam and Eve acted because to them it seemed that there just was no other way to keep the commands of God.

Because of their relative chronological proximity to Enoch and Melchisedek, the Israelites just knew that there had to be a king, and therefore figured that if they could just get God to give them a king –based on the pattern of the neighboring nations- that they could then solve their problems.

Time after time, what we see in scripture are people who act without knowledge; and the results that follow are never positive.  They break one commandment that the Lord had given them in order to attempt to abide another commandment that they prioritized higher.  Yet the people never get closer to having Zion other than by crossing off another mistake not to commit from the list, for future generations hopefully to learn from. 

Some have suggested that we go to the Lord and concede failure.  I would rather see us go to Him as He suggests in the A&C, and concede that we don’t have enough knowledge to know how to proceed while also keeping all of the commandments that He has assigned to us.  Perhaps that’s the same thing, but the used car-salesmen in me, says that the second one sounds better and will hopefully inspire greater pity from the Lord than just going to Him, and saying, “we failed.”

Instead of forcing a vote -where we already know that there are those who dispute- would it be possible to come together in Phoenix in sackcloth, ashes, fasting, prayer and explain to the Lord that we don’t know how to proceed.  Let’s ask Him to help us understand what the way forward is when someone chooses to dispute and by this break the mutual agreement that otherwise might exist. 

Perhaps He has a revelation in the midst of all this that He wants us to receive.  Perhaps like the revelation that become the introduction to the Book of Commandments, what He intended all along was for us was to humble ourselves as low as the dust so that we would approach Him together –as He instructed in the A&C- and ask for His part. 

He has promised that if we would do this with contrition and sincerity of heart, that He would fulfill His part of the bargain.  Can we study how to come together with respect, reason and persuasion?  Can we meekly present this dispute to Him in humility and being contrite?  If so, can we have hope that from the time of Adam, down until the time that we solicit this answer from Him, He has always been willing to answer the honest seeker of Truth? 

God I hope so, because otherwise I just don’t know what to do anymore with regards to this thing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Proposed Voting Timetable


After considering our request for a few weeks, the scriptures committee has agreed to the February 9th proposal and has promised to publish whichever document the majority selects through this process.  A number of people who will not be in attendance at the conference have requested the opportunity to participate on line on the second vote, the vote to accept the majority choice.  Therefore, there will be an opportunity beginning March 22-23 for them to do so.  If there are those who prefer to vote by proxy, that will also be possible. The vote will follow the timetable below.

Timetable for Proposal 

Now until Thursday, March 15
Receive Guide and Standard submissions for later vote
March 15-March 22nd
Online- Link to be provided
Online ranking of documents

🔹7 pm

🔹7 pm March 22 - 7 pm March 23
🔹Results of Vote announced and a
🔹 24 hour period begins- 7 pm,  in which those who will not attend the conference can vote on-line to accept or reject the majority’s choice.
Friday, March 23 7 pm

Online voting ends to accept or reject the majority choice for those NOT attending the conference
Saturday, March 24 at the conference in Phoenix
Voice vote to support the majority or dissent (for those WHO ARE attending the conference)
Saturday, March 24 after the conference
Delegates meet with those still in opposition to the majority to listen and ask them to join with the majority
Sunday, March 25 at the conference in Phoenix
Announce the number of those still in opposition to the majority’s choice and ask the conference if they are willing to proceed with the adoption of the G&S despite the opposition.

Please post this on discussion groups, Facebook or blogs as you are able. 

Gordon Platt
Jeanene Custer
Donald and Christy Danner
Paul Durham
Rebecca Wolford 
and others

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mutual Agreement and Being Divided

By Sam Vaughn

I believe the reason we have not been able to achieve mutual agreement in writing a statement of principles is because of our being divided as a people. In the A&C the Lord pleads:
Let not your hearts remain divided from one another and divided from me. p7
It is true that the answer to your inquiry “will always be Yes’” (Be of Good Cheer, p17). As Alma put it:
I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know   that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. (Alma 15:12)

So, as each individual or sub-group has asked for inspiration and revelation, it has been granted according to their desire and intent. And since each individual and sub-group believes that their answer has come from the Lord (and they may be right), they stand their ground, steadfast and immovable. The Lord does not contradict Himself, but he does give us what we desire, even when we contradict or are at odds with each other.

As long as we are divided in seeking our answers, we will be divided as a people. We need to come together and be united in what we ask the Lord. In a situation where the Lord requires unity, if we come to him individually or in sub-groups instead of in unity, does it not constitute scheming? Our schemes cause us to backbite, contend, and accuse. All of this is forsaking His words to do them.

Can we at this point at least do as the Lord instructed if we have a dispute?
Pray TOGETHER in humility and TOGETHER meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me I will tell you my part. (A&C p8)
Standing steadfast and immovable AGAINST our covenant brothers and sisters is not humble, nor contrite, nor charitable. We cannot be on our own errands and hope to come to mutual agreement.

Recently Denver gave us this hint:

         Truth must be the only goal. Truth, however, belongs to God. Our desires, appetites and passions are prone to make us stray well beyond the boundaries set by God.

         -Therefore, when our pride is gratified, we should question if what we are advancing is truth.

         -When our ambition is served, we should question if we are in the Lords employ or our own.

         -When we insist upon control, we should question if we are like our Lord or instead like His adversary.

         -When we use any means for compelling others, we should wonder if we are mocking God who makes the sun to shine and rain to fall on all His fallen children without compulsion.

         -When we display unrighteous dominion, we should question whether we are worthy of any dominion at all.” - That We Might Become One, p.6

Let us all be humble, patient, and easily persuaded, and drive our proud, quarrelsome tendencies far from us - even if it means we give up every document created so far, since they were all created out of division and not unity.

My plea is that we each humble ourselves to the dust, even consider ourselves as less than the dust, as king Benjamins people did when they became united.

Can we come together at the general conference in a few weeks with a new heart and seek the Lord’s part?

Even if we all tookthe covenant, the Lord will not establish” it until we as a people repent and bring forth fruit showing repentance.” “Remember, that without the fruit of repentance, and a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you cannot keep my covenant; for I, your Lord, am meek and lowly of heart. Be like me.
If you take upon you my covenant, you must abide it AS A PEOPLE to gain what I promise.
Unless we move AS A PEOPLE, we cannot obtain mutual agreement.

What say ye?