Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Role of the Scriptures Committee in the G&S

The scriptures committee has been firmly of the position that the committee cannot produce or choose a Guide &Standard for inclusion in the scriptures - that is the requirement of “all the people”. Despite the request by the Lots group to the scriptures committee to have their G&S added to the scriptures, it is our position that there is/are other document(s) that cannot be discarded by mere executive action on our part, as they meet all of the requirements given for a qualified G&S. Those requirements are given here from the Lord’s words in the Answer:
  • You are not excused from writing a statement of principles that I have required at your hands. (“You” is defined at the beginning of the revelation: "...I answer you on behalf of all the people, and not as to any individual."
  • But I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people, for if you cannot do so you will be unable to accomplish other works that I will require at your hands.
    • Definition of "mutual agreement": As between one another, you choose to not dispute.
  • 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.
  • Remember, there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them — so I command you to be wise in word and kind in deed as you write what I require of you.

A number of covenant holders believe that other documents qualify despite the limited involvement of the assembly in their development and writing.


We as the scripture committee have no right, power, or place to assert authority to govern the people, nor do we have the right to push our interpretation of which documents meet the Lord’s criterion onto anyone. We do not intend to tell the people how they can or cannot govern themselves in the making of all their decisions as a people. As a people we need to mutually agree which document we choose to append to our scriptures without dispute.


If you believe that documents other than the Lotsters' should be considered for the G&S, or if you have a recommendation that will enable the assembly to settle the matter, we invite you to email a presentation to be posted in this blog. The guidelines for posting will be:
  • One post per person/document/process. Discussion of the presentation's arguments will take place in the comments area below the post.
  • If a G&S document is proposed, be sure to specifically address how the document meets all of the criteria given by the Lord.
  • If a process for resolving the G&S matter is proposed, please be as detailed as possible about both the steps of the process and the rationale behind it.
A direct effort will be made at the conference in Phoenix in March to resolve the matter. This committee has considered several approaches, but so far each has come up short.

16 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. 1. Does this represent a reversal of the Scripture Committee's original position here?

    2. Since we must be mutually agreed or else no G&S shall be adopted as per the Lord's requirements in the A&C, what exactly is the nature of the "direct effort" the Scripture Committee is making "to resolve this matter" in Phoenix?

    3. Since we must move only by mutual agreement, why is the Scripture Committee pressing for action in Phoenix? What's the rush?

    Jared Livesey

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    Replies
    1. Do you agree with (or support) the definition of mutual agreement as posted above?

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    2. It says "a direct effort". That doesn't necessarily mean that it is the scripture committee that will be making the effort.

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  4. To All (Part 1 of 3)

    I see wisdom in this approach by the scripture committee, removing themselves as executors, permitting mutual agreement to win out. I am working with a few people regarding the direction of King Follet Discourse mindset, that I will propose to this blog, but the work is in process and currently incomplete. I apologize for the slow progression up until this point.

    I refuse to rush the instructions out of the Lord, and instead wait until He see's fit to communicate with me directly, ...so that when I finally establish my position, I will stay put, no matter what "the movement" does as a whole. I cannot base my work on the assignment of a man, so I did not get involved in the first fellowship meeting until just before because a Polynesian family decided to be baptized based on the truths we shared in the BOM, knowing nothing of the Doctrine introduced by Denver. After attending the first meeting, I received instructions from the voice of the Lord to write. That did not supersede anyone else right to be involved, but required me to exchange ideas with others until further instruction was given. The only meeting we did not attend was the Aug 5th meeting. We chose not to attend because Jeff Savage claimed it was his assignment alone, and those attending were only to attend to assist him. I was never asked by Jeff to assist, and had been the source of stomach acid in his mouth in the past, so my wife and I stayed out because no one likes to eat their own vomit. After the event of 100% approval of those voting, I politely asked if we could continue the work because what was produced was not mutually agreeable to me. Since then, I have seemed to cause vomit in many of your mouths, and for that, "...Ma Baaad!"

    I felt that more light was added at Steve VanLeer's house, when he recognized that we all mutually agreed on the covenant in Boise. But, from that meeting Steve and the Lotsters went towards casting lots. When the idea came up to cast lots at Steve's house, I stated that I would not trade the voice of the Lord I received at the beginning of the meetings, to depend on the answer from the Lord through a casting of lots. I felt that if casting lots was a way to develop faith, it would have been included in the lectures on faith. It was my opinion that the lots were simply to produce the impression of equality, but being couched as an expression of faith, I could not participate.

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  5. (Part 2 of 3)

    Since then, I have been led toward the King Follet Discourse. Joseph Smith struggled with the early saints because they would fly to pieces like glass when they were being taught something that questioned their traditions. In his last conference talk (April 1844) and days before being killed, it was King Follet Discourse that he tried to teach. He claimed in that talk that the saints never knew him, they never knew his heart, …and they have since rejected that lecture. In an interview with Mike Wallace, the ideas in King Follet were denied by the president of the church, when Joseph’s ministry peaked with those principles. It was the principles of King Follet, of eternal progression, of calling and election, being kings and priests, looking into the darkest abyss, and the highest exaltation, and communing with God that has been the fire ignited by Denver’s first book pulling at all of our heart strings. Nothing but that message had anything to do with our being here. It wasn’t Denver, not opinions, not votes, and not lots that brought me to this point. It was the voice of the Lord alone, in the words delivered by a servant.

    Now that the servant among us today has been removed from the effort, it has created a wonderful opportunity for a people to rise up, having received the message pointing to the heavens, and get their instructions from the heavens, and no other way. As God has given a commandment, He has provided a way, before the task began, for us to accomplish the commandment He has given. Before the work can move forward to the work of Elijah, the work of Elias must be complete. In all successful Zion’s the father of that dispensation preached repentance, and the people repented. In Joseph’s day, he preached repentance, but the people did not repent.

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  6. (Part 3 of 3)

    Since God is the same, this is not the first time God’s family was asked to write Governing Principles. If Zion is to be established today, it will be by the same requirements that Zion has always been established. But we are required to do it in much less time. So, it is upon us to be careful to make every step in fear and trembling before God, meaning: constantly questioning if our position is truth, or simply our opinion of truth. Your honesty will be your only only advantage. If it is truth, then bet your life on it. However, if it is an opinion, then I wouldn’t stand so hard and fast on it, because it might shift from under you. Thus you must do it in fear and trembling before God, depending on your communication line with God alone, and not the opinions of the greater whole.

    A Telestial mentality is one in which man governs. And what man governs, man must enforce. However, a Terrestrial mentality is dependent upon truth to govern. However, those belonging in New Jerusalem will be required to govern themselves, not depending upon another man, but depending upon the acquisition of truth alone. When only truth governs, it is the individuals responsibility to discern between truth and opinions, allowing truth to remain, and searching for further truth to displace the opinions or solidify them as truths. If the Governing Principles effort is to fulfill the requirement of Elias, and I believe it is, it is incumbent upon us all to set opinions aside for truth to win the day.

    I respect the statement of the Scripture Committee.

    Mahalo,
    Rob & Q Adolpho

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  7. We appreciate the SC approaching this issue so carefully and thoughtfully, considering the mind and views of all covenant holders in accomplishing this important task. So that the body can more fully understand the issues at hand, could the SC please provide some elaboration as to what exactly are the shortcomings of the previous efforts, specifically the LOTS process and document, which have caused them to "fall short" and not be included in the scriptures? As the committee tasked with publication of the RE scriptures, what specific reservations remain that need to be addressed?

    Jim O'Rullian
    James Fargo

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  8. The reference to "falling short" is to our own efforts to find a way to resolve the matter, not to any other effort. The post explains the rest.

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  9. (1 of2)
    The assignment to resolve the G&S matter was placed squarely on the shoulders of the main body to persuade one another, not the scripture committee, regarding which statement of principles to include in the RE. In a state of confusion regarding what the term “mutual agreement” meant, the Lord responded that it was to not dispute, come what may. Since then, most of us have tried to conform to that requirement while simultaneously trying to ascertain the voice of the people so that we can move forward.

    So, I would just politely ask the scripture committee to reconsider the very obvious conclusions that have been reached via voting and surveys several times now. The conclusions I am referring to have less to do with which document is preferred by the main body and more to do with being content, finding peace, and moving on which is what this people are screaming out loud and clear. There appears to be a fixation of some sort to ascertain which documents qualify, which are preferred and whose voices have not been heard. This attention to detail is admirable and applauded but it can certainly be overkilled to the point where nobody wants to participate and further. I suppose another vote between documents is possible, but how will this improve upon what has already been revealed about the voice of the people thus far? If it can be argued that another round of voting will bring further unification, then of course we should all be interested, but I think that is a hard argument to make and should most likely be abandoned.

    Does the scripture committee not realize that when they continue to make statements that it is not their responsibility to decide the matter, they are asserting themselves as the ones to decide the matter? It has been explained that the task of the scripture committee in regards to this portion of the RE is to publish what he main body of believers generally unites around without disputations. That will necessarily involve some few who will not vote in favor of the majority, however, their dissention is respected, considered and noted. But how many few are acceptable? 50? 20? 10? 1? And who decides this if the scripture committee is truly determined not to make that call? I raise these questions not in accusation but to demonstrate that at this point, it is nigh impossible to find a solution to this issue that will be completely satisfying for anyone, including the scripture committee as they finish the publication of the RE. But personal satisfaction is not the goal here….and if it is then we ought to re-assess that goal if we are really trying to establish Zion.

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  10. (2 of 2)
    SOLUTION? Simply put, this movement has as its voting base around 500 souls. Those 500 have now participated in several voting opportunities. At this moment, roughly 94% of those voters are unified around a single statement of principles that was composed not by any one group or individual but rather it was abridged from among ALL of the G&S documents that have been produced this past year by seven randomly selected covenant holders in response to the Lord’s directive to finish this assignment “AS A PEOPLE.” While not diminishing anything that was written prior this effort, to my knowledge the movement-wide lots process and resulting document stands alone in this regard as it was conceived, carried out, and concluded selflessly with goal of giving respect and deference to the work of the whole. Moreover, it has been the only post-covenantal work that has been representative of the whole.

    For these reasons, I think it would be a safe assumption that no further voting is necessary. However, if any additional voting is to be held, make it a simple up/down adoptive vote of what the main body of believers is most united around at this time at the next general conference in Phoenix just as we did with the RE scriptures in Boise last September. Working together in person has always been much more effective than through an isolated keyboard.

    Respectfully,

    Jim O’Rullian

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  11. From the King Follett Sermon, given April 7, 1844 by Joseph Smith:

    "If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong we *may* go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right."

    Also: "There is strength here, and I verily believe that your prayers will be heard."

    I love this sermon from Joseph. I can feel myself filling with light every time I read it, much like I experience when reading the things Denver Snuffer has written or listening to his talks.

    I have wondered why I have not experienced the same when reading the various proposals and ideas. With the exception of a proposal based upon 3 Nephi 11+ and Matthew 5-7, nothing has moved me, inspired me, and enlarged me in the same way.

    Might it be because we (collectively? individually?) are not filled with that same Spirit which animates Denver and animated Joseph? If that is so, ought we to seek earnestly for that in order to fulfill this commandment of Christ?

    I am not criticizing anyone or any effort. I just felt to share an observation I have had recently. I am still struggling to understand why this is so difficult for us.
    Lori

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  12. "The scriptures committee has been firmly of the position that the committee cannot produce or choose A GUIDE & STANDARD FOR INCLUSION IN THE SCRIPTURES - that IS THE REQUIREMENT OF "ALL THE PEOPLE". DESPITE THE REQUEST BY THE LOTS GROUP to the scriptures committee TO HAVE THEIR G&S ADDED TO THE SCRIPTURES, IT IS OUR POSITION THAT THERE IS/ARE OTHER DOCUMENT(S) THAT CANNOT BE DISCARDED by mere executive action on our part, as THEY MEET ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS given for a qualified G&S."

    Will someone on the committee please explain this to me? What is meant by "all the people?" Does that mean a majority vote is not sufficient, even if the majority say it is acceptable? I am just wondering the precise reasoning behind the committee's decision to not honour the request of the lots group and supporters by publishing that version. I am not stating an opinion on the decision either. I just seek understanding of what it is the rest of us are being told we need to do at this point.

    Thanks,
    Lori

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  13. I posted this on the voting proposal thread, but I thought I’d put it here, too.

    I am VERY grateful to and sincerely appreciate the scripture committee and all those who have worked endlessly to bring us the gift of the scriptures. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    That being said, the scripture committee gave the assignement to resolve the GS issue to “the people.” The people rose up and were invited to participate, and voted to proceed, in every step of the process. The document created is in the Lord’s words and is a summation of what we ALL ALREADY have mutually agreed upon. It was taken to the Lord, who approved of it and said we already have mutual agreement.

    Here is what the Lord said when the lots group presented the document to Him on behalf of all the people:

    “This document that you’ve presented is sufficient for my needs. You have filled the measure in which I have called you. Your work has been valiant. You are correct in saying that there are many ways in which it could have come about, and there are many ways that it did come about. And I am grateful for all of them. At this point, you have a unity with the body. They agree with these words, and this document will suffice. Heed the words contained in them, heed the words contained and referenced in the footnotes. All of those words were mine.”

    Do we not believe this to be the Lord’s voice? The Lord made His hand known through the entire Lots process, and I believe He has spoken here. I also believe that if this be His voice, we ignore it at our peril.

    And perhaps we are now in peril, because His voice is being ignored.

    The Lord required the document be written by “MY PEOPLE.” The Lord’s command to the people for this didn’t come until the covenant. Prior to that, he didn’t have a (His) people. The Lot’s document is the ONLY one that qualifies as having been written by the Lord’s people, with every covenant holder having equal voice and opportunity in the matter, and it is written entirely in the Lord’s words. I don’t understand why the SC won’t honor that, especially when it is supported by 93-96% of the people!

    I believe the reason this is now such a mess is because the scripture committee, while saying they will not make a decision on behalf of the people, thereby giving the assignment to the people, has actually CHOSEN to make the decision NOT to accept the voice of the people after the fact, and I believe, are ignoring the voice of the Lord. The buck stops there!

    Had the SC just accepted what the people vastly support and the Lord approved, at THEIR request, this mess would have been resolved long ago! They wouldn’t be struggling to come to a resolution now.

    People are tired. Those who care to have their voice heard in this process have already been heard. Numerous times, and over many months. Every vote seems to dwindle in participation. Further voting, especially at a conference where many won’t be able to attend, will only further dilute the votes and the outcome. And I already know many who refuse to participate in another vote at all. We could ultimately end up being forced to adopt a document that gets 25% of the vote of those in attendance, based upon this proposal. This will disenfranchise the whole movement, and is surely to frustrate the Lord!

    I respectfully request that the SC simply do what the people and the Lord have ALREADY ACCEPTED. The people completed the task. The Lord spoke. The SC needs to honor that and publish the end result.

    I would likewise support a single vote at the conference (and online for those who aren’t in attendance) regarding adopting the Lots document into the scriptures. It’s simple and honors what the people already support, and the Lord publicly accepted. Those who oppose can make it known, just as this proposal suggests.

    Please, let’s heed the people’s voice, the Lord’s voice, and move on.

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  14. An Open Letter to the Scripture Committee

    As you have asked for proposals to come to mutual agreement on the Guide and Standard, I feel it appropriate to note that there is a quick and decisive test for determining the reliability of any such proposal.

    The quick and decisive test of any of these proposals is to ask "can this proposal result in the adoption of a document whose adoption is known to be disputed?" If the answer to this question is yes, then the proposal cannot be relied upon to fulfill the Lord's requirement. We know such proposals are wrong because their outcome cannot be known to fulfill the Lord's requirement. There is no need to consider the rationales of their proponents, as they don't matter; only the outcomes do.

    The proposal by Gordon Platt, Jeanene Custer, Donald and Christy Danner, Paul Durham, and Others fails this test, as it explicitly proposes to adopt even documents whose adoption is disputed after all is said and done. Therefore, this proposal is wrong. There is no need to consider their rationales, as they don't matter.

    The proposal by Adrian Larsen fails this test, as all that needs to happen for a disputed document to be adopted despite its adoption being known to be disputed is for those who dispute the adoption of that document to not show up to one of the mandated voting / mandated arbitration meetings at the conferences. This can occur, as not everyone has the means to attend the conferences. Therefore, this proposal is wrong. There is no need to consider Adrian's rationales, as they don't matter

    Jared Livesey

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