I have studied the scriptures a lot in my life, but very intensely over the last 11 years. During a 5-year period, I read one of the standard works every month, Book of Mormon, then D&C-P of GP, then NT and start over again back to the Book of Mormon, and even the Old Testament 3-4 times mixed in. Then I found myself writing whole chapters out by hand, at one point I had a stack of legal pads a foot deep of those writings.
About 2012 I switched from reading, to studying, and quit keeping track of “the numbers” of times, and tried to get to know the Lord and the gospel He restored through Joseph Smith.
But, given all of that, I can’t quote a single scripture from memory, and would not call myself anything close to knowledgeable about them.
However, the teachings of the scriptures have become, me, they have been infused into my being, I have experienced a mighty change, I have no more desire to do evil, He has blessed me to see His hand at work once again on earth, and given me understanding, light and knowledge that has changed everything about my spirituality and religious beliefs.
I love the scriptures! And yes, I love the new “Restoration” scriptures!
But are they flawed? Did and or have those who provided us with these writings made errors and given “opinions”, perhaps even mistaken opinions? Probably, I have seen people point them out.
But, did those writings, are those writings, changing my way of living and interacting with God and the world? YES!
I now understand what the Lord is and has been trying to do since the beginning, to find a people who love Him enough to be His. People whom He can teach and abide with. People who can abide with each other. People who He can give a land and protect and dwell with. People whom He can show the path back to the Father, the real plan of salvation! A covenant people!
Were Nephi, Alma or Moses perfect? No! Can their writings help change you from a carnal being back to God? Yes!
Are there flaws in the “Restoration” scriptures that we will present to the Lord in September? Many, I’m sure, although I personally couldn’t point them out to you.
But I do not believe, for purposes of this covenant, the Lord cares about those flaws!
What He wants right now is our hearts! There is nothing in this world that can measure up to Gods perfection. He wants our hearts. He wants us to Love Him, and believe enough to follow Him on the path. He wants a people who want to commune and dwell with Him.
He is doing, and has been from the beginning, a work to offer immortality and eternal life. But that must include free agency, it requires us to give Him our hearts and choose His path with our own will.
11 Nephi 15
1 And then will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved, touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.
2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes.
I don’t believe the deference between the successes and failures of achieving Zion was based on who had the least number of flaws in their scripture!
I think it comes down to the hearts of those peaceable, humble followers of Christ putting aside the flaws of our neighbor and scripture.
Denver Snuffer in his paper “SCRIPTURE, PROPHECY AND COVENANT” (page 7)
“The Lord has led me by the hand through these years of effort. In the last few months the Lord has added content to the draft scriptures. He approves the proposal to present this to an assembly of gentiles in September for approval as a law and covenant.”
Probably this six months of opportunity to consider and accept what has been proposed is also an opportunity for Satan to have a shot at our prideful, vain and foolish tendencies.
Of course, we should ask questions and offer our recommendations and opinions, I have; but we had better make sure of the reason why we are! Pride and vanity? Or the love of Gods work in our day?
I can say now, that I accept the flaws of my neighbor, and the new restoration scriptures, and love them anyway. I know that within them we can find our way back to God!
Unlike the Pharisees of old, I seek to commit my heart and soul to God, and not bicker about things that in the end, matter not.
I wish to try as best I can, to give my “body” or selfish life here on earth, to my Father as Christ did to His.
Now I pray I can be found worthy of such a great opportunity in this great and marvelous work of God in our day!
Some may feel this post of mine suggests that I don’t think a re-work of the scriptures is “really” all that important.
So, I want to make myself clear, I believe it is very important to do everything we can to get the best “re-statement” of the Lords work and the restored truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what they re-establish regarding covenants to the fathers and His people in these last days.
However the greatest scripture re-statement the world has ever seen means nothing if the Lord doesn’t have a group people whose hearts are broken and spirits contrite. Who have God’s work as their priority and not a display of their own intellect. Who have forgiving hearts towards all men and any flaws that may be spotlighted by those who doubt.