Proposal for Process of Adding New Scripture


FIRST: 3 Nephi 4:2 states: And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm… This is referring to the storm at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, who was killed on Passover. A Jewish man contacted Adrian Larsen and asked him why that dating of the Passover was wrong in the Book of Mormon? Passover always falls on the 15th day of the first month on the Jewish calendar. Note that the 15th starts at sundown on the 14th, not the 4th. Adrian emailed Denver and me about this and asked if we had dealt with this issue. Because the scriptures committee was tasked with updating the text, not correcting discrepancies, this had never been looked at. On Wednesday, March 3rd, as I was sitting at my computer, a reply to that email came in from Denver. It read:

We don’t have the original manuscript for this part of the text. The Printer’s Manuscript has this word at the end of a line and it is somewhat garbled. The typewritten version renders it: “fo[r\u]rth”

This was all that the scripture committee had to work with. Skousen provides no help.

I have the impression it is a copying error. And therefore will inquire about this to see if we can make the change.

Oh, never mind. We can make the change.

The Lord has approved another fix to the Book of Mormon text that Joseph was unable to give us. (Please make that change in your copy in case you run into a Jew who wants to debate the matter.)

SECONDLY: A significant number of corrections in the JST were discovered in January and have been made to the online scriptures. Nearly all the corrections were found in Genesis and Matthew by someone doing a personal research project and are mostly minor adjustments. A list of those fixes can be found on under the tab Tools and Tips, and is titled Tracking Changes to the Text. A PDF of the changes can also be downloaded. This does not represent an ongoing effort to continue the scriptures project, but rather a discovery that fits the agreed upon purpose of the scriptures project – to provide the most Joseph-accurate rendering of our canonized scriptures.

AND FINALLY: I’m here to speak about a proposal that was first put forward 6 months ago. However, due to time constraints this morning, I only have a couple minutes, so I will be explaining the proposal in detail at 10:30 in a breakout session. But there is a more pressing matter that must be addressed first. Some have insisted that we must have a formal process for adding to our canonized texts. That opinion is hasty. It rushes past a more fundamental question that no one has yet put to you, this body of believers, which is this: Do we even want a formal process, or should we continue to present and vote on additions as we have up to now? Because the Apostle Paul suggested to the Hebrews:“… we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip,” (Heb. 1:3) so I’ll remind you of a comment made in the talk The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered, given more than 8 years ago: “I will tell you how to ruin Zion, how to keep it from coming – pass a zoning law. Let’s police the neighborhood. Let’s get some restrictive covenants. The instant you start to regulate Zion, it’s gone. It’s slipped right between your fingers.”

Obviously a vote will need to be taken to make clear what we want to do, and then, if we want formal guidelines, they will need to be presented, discussed, and voted on. At this time, those of us who have signed the proposal (which can be found on cannot present it for formal consideration by a conference because this body hasn’t formally dealt with the question of how to adopt scripture. Until that is handled, it seems wisest to simply suspend our proposal. There are many who have been patiently waiting for this revelation to be added to our scriptures, so I suggest we work it out together and come to a decision soon.

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