New English LDS Scriptures

The digital version is out now, with printed editions being ready later this year.

The changes in the new edition are nothing compared to the 1981 edition but more minor tweaks.

The 2013 edition includes revisions to study aids, new photos, updated maps, and adjustments to chapter and section headings. . .

Eight years ago Church leaders requested that an updated edition of the English scriptures be produced. The intent was to make helpful adjustments such as updating some archaic spellings, correcting mistakes in the study helps, and incorporating recent historic findings into the section headings of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Still interesting and exciting. Even more, our current editions will still work (!) and will be “compatible” with the newer printed editions.

The Church plans to release printed copies of the new edition beginning in August 2013. Because the new edition maintains the pagination and font style of the earlier edition, most members will notice little if any difference. For example, all the verses found on page 47 of the 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon will be found on page 47 of the new edition. This consistency allows members to continue using the 1981 edition.

I am kicking myself for not blogging on this earlier as I was getting suspicious with the supply of scriptures being quite limited recently and then I saw the following at my local Distribution Center.

New LDS Scriptures

I didn’t want to be a rumor monger as the sign only mentions new styles of scriptures were coming later this year. But between the revised introduction to the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith Papers project, it seemed a new edition was coming sooner rather than later.

(via By Common Consent, which has further posts on some of the changes, as does the Joseph Smith Papers site)

LDS leaders ask members to learn Family History policies

LDS leaders ask members to learn Family History policies

Church leaders are asking Latter-day Saints to learn and better understand the Church’s family history policies on submitting names for temple ordinances.

The conditions of use for the website were set in place “for reasons of common sense, reasons of doctrine and reasons of respect,” said Dennis C. Brimhall, managing director of the Church’s Family History Department.

Church leaders are reminding members that searching out their family and preparing names for work to be done in the temple is a privilege that could be restricted if policies are not followed.
The conditions are simple and straightforward. “Users should not submit the names of nonrelated persons for vicarious temple ordinances, including names of celebrities or famous people, or those gathered from unapproved extraction projects,” according to the terms all users must accept every time they log onto the site.

The Mormon moment is bigger than one man

Nate Oman in the Deseret News repudiates speculative theology on the priesthood ban.

The Mormon moment has focused on Mitt Romney. As it happens, however, he is not the only Mormon running for president. He may not even be the Mormon most likely to win in the general election. That prize could go to Yeah Samake, the successful mayor of Ouéléssébougou in Mali, who is running for president of that country. Like Romney, he is a graduate of BYU. Like Romney, he holds the priesthood within Mormonism’s lay clergy. Unlike Romney, he is black.

The Mormon Church and race

The Church and Race: “All Are Alike Unto God”

The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church. In 2006, then Church president Gordon B. Hinckley declared that “no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children.”

Sadly, it will be necessary to refer to this page often for the rest of the year.

President Gordon B. Hinckley – Parental Duties

Parental Duties
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Salt Lake University Third Stake conference
3 Nov. 1996

Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. Now, love them, take care of them. Fathers, control your tempers, now and in all the years to come. Mothers, control your voices; keep them down. Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried. Never forget that.

President Spencer W. Kimball – “A Deep Commitment to the Principles of Welfare Service”

A Deep Commitment to the Principles of Welfare Service
President Spencer W. Kimball
April 1980

May I remind all of us that if we will live the gospel and follow the counsel of the leaders of the Church, we will be blessed to avoid many of the problems that plague the world. The Lord knows the challenges we face. If we keep his commandments, we will be entitled to the wisdom and blessings of heaven in solving them.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell – “Out of Obscurity”

Out of Obscurity
Neal A. Maxwell
October 1984

Thus, as members of the Church, if we can see the life of discipleship, whether for ourselves or for the prophets, as a combination of proving, reproving, and improving, we will be much better off. . .

“Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.” (Mosiah 23:21.)

Why those two particular trials?

Also, why not give us a lengthier Book of Mormon?

“Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.” (3 Ne. 26:11.)

Again we must wait for our full answer.

So the process of proving, reproving, and improving unfolds; it should neither offend us nor surprise us. Meanwhile, unevenness in the spiritual development of people means untidiness in the history of people, and we should not make an individual “an offender for a word.” (Isa. 29:21; 2 Ne. 27:32), as if a single communication could set aside all else an individual may have communicated or stood for!

We didn’t start the fire

Although he doesn’t mention today’s ruling in Proposition 8, Jonah Goldberg’s well-timed column helpfully reminds us who’s behind the culture wars:

If you’re not with us, you’re against us. President Bush popularized this expression after 9/11 to describe his foreign policy doctrine: Countries couldn’t support or indulge terrorists and be our friends at the same time. But his detractors quickly turned it into a fairly paranoid vision of domestic political life, as if Bush had been talking about domestic opponents and dissenters.

The irony is that few worldviews better describe the general liberal orientation to public policy and the culture war. The left often complains about the culture war as if it’s a war they don’t want to fight. They insist they just want to follow “sound science” or “what works” when it comes to public policy, but those crazy knuckle-dragging right-wingers constantly want to talk about gays and abortion and other hot-button issues.

It’s all a farce. Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war (and not always for the worse, as the civil rights movement demonstrates). What they object to isn’t so much the government imposing its values on people — heck, they love that. They see nothing wrong with imposing their views about diet, exercise, sex, race and the environment on Americans. What outrages them is resistance, or even non-compliance with their agenda. “Why are you making such a scene?” progressives complain. “Just do what we want and there will be no fuss.”

Considering today’s decision, it’s amazing that it was just 12 years ago when Vermont was the first state to grant civil unions. I seem to recall the argument back then was that civil unions were a reasonable accommodation and that same-sex marriage wasn’t necessary. That didn’t last long of course, but in that short time you are now a “bigot” to not allow a handful of judges to redefine the institution of marriage. While the mere suggestion of a constitutional amendment is dismissed as reckless tampering, new “rights” are miraculously discovered in a document centuries old.

Josh Powell was not Mormon

Josh Powell was not Mormon. Or better said, he apparently left the LDS Church some time ago. Not that it matters much, but in between all the breathless reporting of the emerging and horrific details of that monster, there was a blog post from the usually quite good Peggy Fletcher Stack that asked: “Under Mormon doctrine, will Josh Powell be in hell?” In the post, Stack claims:

The Powells were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that church has a unique view of heaven and hell.

Forgive this pedantry, but from reports Powell: (1) stopped attending Church with his wife by the time they moved to Utah, (2) formally announced he was leaving the LDS Church soon after she disappeared, and (3) sent an email to his pastor this weekend. My point certainly isn’t to associate another church with yesterday’s abominable acts but to clarify that he had not considered himself a Mormon for some time.

I’m not sure how useful Stack’s question is anyway, but it’s not helpful to leave the impression that Josh Powell considered himself Mormon.

Eric Metaxas Putting Politics and the Gospel in Their Place

This week of politics has been wearying. The primaries are starting to take their toll and this week’s eruption of the culture wars featuring abortion was quite depressing. But Thursday was the National Prayer Breakfast, and while the President’s speech was quite disappointing and hard to square with his administration’s recent moves against religion, Eric Metaxas’ speech was quite moving.

The author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy [iTunes] was the epitome of humility, humor (okay, he’s a little bit of a ham), and charm. Mere feet from the President, Metaxas spoke to of the importance of defending the Culture of Life and Marriage despite being demonized. And even more importantly, on not responding in kind. His words placed politics in proper perspective with living the Gospel.

Watching his talk helped me end the week on a high note and prepare for my daughter’s baptism today. His segment is almost a half an hour but is very worthwhile.

President Gordon B. Hinckley – This Is the Work of the Master

This Is the Work of the Master
President Gordon B. Hinckley
April 1995

This church does not belong to its President. Its head is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name each of us has taken upon ourselves. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory, “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence. All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others. To each of us in our respective responsibilities the Lord has said: “Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell – The Great Plan of the Eternal God

The Great Plan of the Eternal God
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
April 1984

Hence, in submitting knowingly and meekly to this plan, we cannot say to the Lord that we are willing to surrender but only on our terms. There are no conditions in unconditional surrender!

Even with all of its interior consistency, however, the plan cannot bring true happiness to anyone whose life is grossly inconsistent with its standards. It cannot fully enfold him who is too worried about being taken in. It has no place of honor for one too concerned with losing his place in the secular synagogue. (See John 12:42–43.) . .

Truly, of all the errors mortals could make, God’s plan of salvation is the wrong thing to be wrong about!

Elder Neal A. Maxwell – Joseph, the Seer

Joseph, the Seer
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
October 1983

Throughout the expanse of human history, no prophet has been scrutinized in such a sustained way, on as wide a scale, or for so long a period of time as Joseph Smith, Jr. The communication capacity of this age and the global impact of his work have so ensured.

Young Joseph was told that his name would be “both good and evil spoken of” throughout the world. (JS—H 1:33.) Except from a divine source, how audacious a statement! Yet his contemporary religious leaders, then much better known than Joseph, have faded into the footnotes of history, while the work of Joseph Smith grows constantly and globally.