The following document (‘Toward a Statement of Principles’) has been prepared in the same spirit and with similar purpose as the ‘Amalgamation of G&S Versions’ already submitted anonymously by someone else:
To be perfectly clear up front, it’s important to state what this document (linked immediately above) is NOT:
1) This document is NOT a proposed outline for the final Guide and Standard.
2) This document is NOT a proposal of content for the final Guide and Standard.
With that said, the linked document (above) may very well be useful for both of these. But it is not necessarily the purpose of the document.
So, what is the purpose of the document?
There is currently much debate on how we can come to agreement on a Guide and Standard. Some are advocating the August 5 document that was voted on and accepted. Some are advocating the new path forward proposed in a series of three posts on Adrian's blog. Still others are proposing other ideas.
In an effort to help unify the various groups, all of the content from the August 5 document, all principles that have been submitted in the comeserve.com forum (which is being used to facilitate the proposed new path forward), as well as a list of principles compiled in a Slack discussion forum on September 15 have been pulled together into one document to see if a common set of principles could be distilled from these three efforts.
The linked document at the top of this post is the result of this exercise. The only new contributions (beyond the content pulled from these three sources) are the following: (1) A list of 24 principles (each described in 10 or fewer words) that are present in one or more of the three sources mentioned and (2) the order and arrangement of the 24 principles into 5 broader headings (which includes one "Miscellaneous" heading containing 3 principles that might fit under one of the other four headings).
Under each of the 24 principles (and under some of the broader headings), all of the content from the three sources has been included. Note the following:
- Table headings in yellow indicate principles taken from the comeserve.com forum (words in ALL CAPS correspond to the titles of principles submitted to the forum).
- Table headings in blue indicate principles taken from the September 15 list of principles.
- Table headings in green indicate principles taken from the August 5 governing principles document that was voted on.
To reiterate, the purpose of this document is NOT to propose an outline or the content for a final Guide and Standard document. The only purpose for including the table of contents is to give a high-level view of the principles that were distilled out of the three sources so that you don’t have to dig down further into the document (think of it as a TL/DR).
Also, please note the following:
Inclusion of all content from the three mentioned sources should NOT be taken as a recommendation that all of this material be included in a final statement of principles. This would result in a document that is much too long. Rather, it is thought that this document, with its content and organization, could help us to:
1) Get a cohesive, big-picture view of what a final document might contain and how principles might connect together into a logical progression.
2) Identify where principles and ideas might be merged, distilled and pared down to succinct statements (presumably supplemented heavily with scripture references).
A great example of a statement of principle that is both comprehensive and succinct is the one on Faith in the comeserve.com forum.
Above all, it is hoped that the document linked above might help us see that reconciliation between the various groups can be achieved as we get a better view of the common threads running through the various efforts.
We are ultimately laboring for the same thing and we are inspired and animated by the same principles. We can be one in this effort.
For the TL/DR folks, the list of principles found in the table of contents of the linked document is reproduced below. Some benefit might especially be gained by considering this list of principles and the document linked at the start of this blog post in combination with other submissions such as Amalgamation of G&S Versions and Agency and Equality.
I. Path to Salvation; Plan of Redemption; Recovery from Fall
1. Nature of God
2. Faith: What it is and how it is obtained
3. Call upon the name of the Lord
4. Christ is the prototype; No other name given
5. Redemption from the Fall; Salvation
6. Power of godliness; Priesthood; Family of God; Covenants
II. The Preparatory Gospel
7. Doctrine of Christ
10. Holy Ghost; Baptism of Fire; Gifts of the Spirit
11. Light and Truth; Revelation
12. Revealed Word or Scripture; Commandments
III. The Gospel (Good News); Gathering; Fellowship
13. Declare the Gospel; Offer Baptism
14. Gather in fellowship
15. Partake of the sacrament
16. Priesthood administration
17. Persuasion Rather Than Compulsion
18. Alms; Tithing; Provide for the poor
IV. God’s Work in Bringing the Natural Fruit
20. One Body; Unity of Faith; Heart Knit Together; No Poor
21. Temple in Zion; New Jerusalem
V. Other Principles/Topics
22. Marriage Ordinance
23. Worship According to Conscience
24. Observe Laws of the Land