A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Book of Mormon Project Needs Your Help

Most of us want an accurate version of the Book of Mormon, and there has been a lot of discussion on how to accomplish this work. We are using the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon in this project because it was the last edition Joseph revised. On the title page of the 1840 edition it says, “CAREFULLY REVISED BY THE TRANSLATOR”. This version is the foundation for this project. The facsimiles or images of an original 1840 Book of Mormon can be found on the Joseph Smith Papers Project. A transcription has not yet been prepared by the LDS church, so it needs to be created. We think it would be helpful to have an accurate digital copy of the book in addition to the facsimiles.

A project is underway to accomplish this. We are taking a digital version of the 1840 Book of Mormon that has very few errors and checking it against pictures of the original. A group of 16 volunteers are currently working to prepare this. We have divided the book up into 8 sections, and each section has been assigned to two people. We are using a computer program to compare the documents of two different proofers. Any changes will be highlighted and rechecked against the facsimiles. The likelihood of one person making a mistake is high, the likelihood of two people making the same mistake is low. Through this process, it is our desire to create a accurate digital version of the 1840 Book of Mormon. If there is ever a question, the digital version will be checked against the facsimiles. (Note: We are not including “-” at the end of a line when a word is broken at a syllable and continued onto the next line. Everything is being done in 12 point font. Original page numbers and the fancy scroll marks at the beginning of each chapter are not included.) Other than that, every punctuation mark, paragraph break, misspelled word, and printer error should be in the digital document exactly as it appears in the original 1840 Book of Mormon. When this document is complete, it will be available for all to use.

I am very hesitant to edit the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon. But the question was asked, if Joseph had a word processor, paper, and time; would he have cleaned up the document? I think he would have. But we will only make edits if the work honors what was given us through Joseph. We don't want to make scrambled eggs out of anyone's scriptures.

This is a big job, and many hands make light work; so if you have desires to serve, you are called to the work.

We are compiling of list of possible edits. This list will be available for all to see, and each of you can choose which edits you will accept and which ones you will reject. The 1840 edition is the base text of this project, and from there, you can create your own version of the Book of Mormon. The edits you choose to accept or reject may be different than the ones I choose. By doing this, we honor everyone's agency. We can be united in this project and not have the same opinions.

If you would like to make a submission, it needs to be carefully documented and have sound reasoning. The original should be written exactly as it is found in the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon, found here in the Joseph Smith Papers. Your edits can be submitted as a comment to this blog, by private messaging me on Facebook, or emailing me.

Please submit your edits in this format:

Chapter Number (page number and location on page of 1840 edition of The Book of Mormon)
Original: This needs to be written as it is written in the facsimiles. If the original is not written correctly, it will not go on the list.
Correction: Highlight the correction in red
Reason: Some reasons are simple and some will need more explanation. Please provide documentation if it is needed. Then sign and date your submission

The list will be updated at least once a week. If you have made a submission and don't see it on the list within a week, please resend your submission. Here are some submissions that are already on the list.

The List 

1 Nephi 3 (top of page 32 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father, that his seed should have, for the land of their inheritance, will not utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren; neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren;
Correction: which is choice above all other lands, which is the land which [that] the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father, that his seed should have, for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which is [are] among thy brethren; neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren;
Reason: It reads this way in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon on page 30. It looks like it was accidentally left out of the text. http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/36 {Jennifer Willis 6/8/2017}

1 Nephi 3 (middle of page 33 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father;
Correction: And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, and if it so be that they harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father;
Reason: The 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon (page 32) reads, “And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, if it so be that they harden not their hearts against the Lamb; and if it so be that they harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father;” The redundant phrase was corrected, but “if it so be that they” was left out of corrected phrase. http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/38 {Jennifer Willis 6/9/2017}

Mosiah 5 (middle of page 166 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: for behold, the time is at hand, or is not for distant, when we shall no longer be in subject to our enemies,
Correction: for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subject to our enemies,
Reason: This looks like a spelling or printing error. {submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 6 (bottom of page 170 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits;
Correction: And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with peas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits;
Reason: We wonder if this word should read “peas” instead of “neas”. {submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 8 (top of page 185 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: Even this mortal shall put immortality, and this corruption…
Correction: Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption…
Reason: Is there a word missing here? {submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 9 (top of page 187 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: And now that it came to pass that Alma, who had fled…
Correction: And now it came to pass that Alma, who had fled…
Reason: Remove the word “that”.
{submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 9 (top of page 188 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: And when he had said these words, the spirit of the Lord was upon him,
Correction: And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him,
Reason: Should this word be capitalized? It is capitalized elsewhere “Spirit of the Lord”.{submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 11 (middle of page 205 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: Yea, blessed is this people, who are willing to bear my name;
Correction: Yea, blessed are this people, who are willing to bear my name;
Reason: Grammar error? Should this sentence read, “Yea, blessed are this people…” the use of the word “are” is found throughout this paragraph, which makes the use of “is” stand out more as a possible error. {submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Mosiah 11 (middle of page 206 - 1840 edition BofM)
Original: for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses, when he that says he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.
Correction: for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses, when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.
Reason: Wondering if the words were switched around {submitted by Whitney Horning 5/22/2017}

Lectures
The edits for the Seven Lectures will be in the same format as the Book of Mormon.

Title of the Seven Lectures (top of page 5 – 1844 edition D&C)
Original: LECTURES ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS
Correction: Lectures on the Doctrine of Jesus Christ
Reason: The Lectures have been nicknamed “Lectures on Faith”, but Joseph did not give them that name. He called them LECTURES ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. The Lectures were of faith not Lectures on Faith. The opening paragraph of these Lectures says, “Faith being the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness, necessarily claims the first place in a course of lectures which are designed to unfold to the understanding the doctrine of Jesus Christ.” Lecture 1.{submitted by Jennifer Willis 5/20/2017}

Lectures 7:12 (middle of page 79 – 1844 edition D&C)
Original: The works that Jesus done they were to do, and greater works than those which he done among them should they do, and that because he went to the Father.
Correction: The works that Jesus did they were to do, and greater works than those which he did among them should they do, and that because he went to the Father.
Reason: This looks like a grammatical error. {submitted by Jennifer Willis 5/20/2017}

Monday, June 5, 2017

Every Word is Important - Please Don't Edit My Book of Mormon

Have we inquired of the Lord if he wants us to do all this editing and changing? Are we under condemnation because we haven't accepted the Book of Mormon as Joseph gave it to us? Every word may have significance that we don't understand.

For example: I was reading in 3 Nephi 6 of the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon and it says, “Beware of false prophets, who come in you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” I wondered if “in” should be changed to a “to”. I went and checked the LDS version and saw it was written the way I remembered, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” [emphasis added].

I heard the Lord saying, “Hold on Jennifer, don't be too quick to think that word needs to be changed. Where is the kingdom of God?”

I said, “In me.”

He asked, “Where is the kingdom of the devil?”

I answered, “I guess that would be in me also.”

“So where are the false prophets?”

I replied, “They would be in me.”

“And what is the context of this verse?”

“Lord, you just taught, 'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye: and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.'”

You see, the LDS church altered one preposition and the meaning of the scripture was changed. The Lord wants me to look inside my heart for the false prophets that deceive me. He wants me to look at my false beliefs that are disguised in sheep's clothing. He wants me to know that I have power to cast the ravening wolves out of my own heart. He teaches against criticizing, condemning, and judging my brother, so those people out there must not be the false prophets that concern him.

Note: I stand corrected. It was the RE that changed the word from the original version not the LDS church.  The conversation I had with God was real and has impacted the way I see false prophets, but the scripture is read correctly in the LDS version. This leads to another interesting thought . . . How can God use an error in scripture and teach a true principle?  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Thoughts on Editing The Book of Mormon

Our son, Jared, sent these words to me this morning. His timing couldn't be better. My scriptures have felt like shifting sand these last couple months.  Jesus has guided our family to go back to the facsimiles of the 1840 Book of Mormon. The pictures aren't going to change with the click of a button. As family and friends, we have been working on preparing an accurate digital version of what is found in the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon. These simple words of a teenage boy, living miles away in Texas, are healing words for his mother's soul.  

As I was in the process of making a digitized replica of the facsimiles of the book of Mormon, I read the scriptures below, along with the rest of the book. It got me thinking. I do not believe we should change any of the punctuation or formatting in the Book of Mormon. We should leave it just the way Joseph left it. As I was reading, the way things were phrased and organized gave the scriptures a whole new meaning! At times there would be a huge run on sentence but it helped me see the idea as whole. It felt more like someone was explaining it to me than a text book. Joseph didn't have perfect grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure, but he could do what the Lord wanted done, and the Lord stands behind the work that he did. If there are mistakes the Lord is responsible. I am extremely hesitant to change anything the Lord has already backed up. I feel that as soon as we start to change what has already been approved we become responsible for all that happens because of our error. If we decided to change a comma and someone was lead astray because of that, I feel that would be on our head. We all have so many different opinions on how thing should be organized I don't ever think we would come to a mutual agreement. If you feel that there is a something that HAS to be fixed, realize the responsibility you are taking on. I believe you would then be responsible for that scripture and what happens because of it. Are you sure you want that? I understand that Denver has suggested some changes. That is between him and the Lord. I believe he will be accountable. If we are smart enough to think we can edit the book than I'm sure that we will be able to read it just fine and fix minor errors in our head. It just goes on more to prove that Joseph was just a boy who didn't have an extensive education, but the Lord was able to deliver a message to us that we can understand.

-Jared Willis

I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord; the plates thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For he truly saith, that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless. For none can have power to bring it to light, save it be given him of God; for God will that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord. And blessed be him that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people: and it shall be done by the power of God; and if there be faults, they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless, God knoweth all things; therefore he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire. And he that sayeth, shew unto me, or ye shall be smitten, let him beware lest he commandeth that which is forbidden of the Lord. For behold, the same that judgeth rashly, shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth, shall be smitten again of the Lord. Behold what the scripture says man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord; and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay. And he that shall breathe out wrath and strifes against the work of the Lord, and against the covenant people of the Lord, who are the house of Israel, and shall say, we will destroy the work of the Lord, and the Lord will not remember his covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel, the same is in danger to be hewn down and cast into the fire; for the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. -somewhere in Mormon 4

And now behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish. O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. -somewhere in Mormon 4

Condemn me not because of mine imperfection; neither my father, because of his imperfection; neither them who have written before him, but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been....And these things are written, that we may rid our garments of the blood of our brethren who have dwindled in unbelief. And behold, these things which we have desired concerning our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, is according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land. And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. -somewhere in Mormon 4

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Restoration Youth Conferences June 2017 - Please RSVP

Two youth conferences planned June 2017!

Restoration Youth Conference
June 19-21, 2017
Cache Valley, Utah

Please RSVP to restorationyouthconference@gmail.com. This conference is designed for youth ages 11-18. In order to provide enough food and preparations, please RSVP by
June 9th. When you register, please include your teenager's name, age, and fellowship. A chaperon or parent from each fellowship would be helpful but is not required. Chaperons should also register and include the names of the youth they are accompanying. Once registration is completed on June 9th, we will send out a packing list, an itinerary, and directions. A $35 donation for food and paper products for each registered child and adult would be great. We are excited to provide a great experience for the youth to bond, grow, and connect with each other and the Lord. If you have any questions, please direct them to restorationyouthconference@gmail.com


*************************************************************************


A Day of Faith and Connection

June 10, 2017
Pleasant View, Utah 


Connect with Friends,  Connect with Purpose, Connect with Christ.
Dear Restoration Youth,
“…we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26
What a wonderful time we live in! We have opportunities that other generations haven’t had. We have easy access to scriptures from past dispensations. With a simple Internet search, we can connect with people from all around the globe who share our same beliefs and goals. We feel blessed to have new friends who strengthen us and help make the journey light. Together we can offer a sweet sense of family and belonging.
You are invited to come and make some great connections this summer! Please join us in connecting with friends, connecting with purpose, and connecting with Christ. There will be games, canoeing, cooking out, and great testimonies! We hope you will be uplifted and energized by our speakers, which include Robert and Quintina Bear Chief Adolpho. We look forward to seeing you!
stacks-image-44f1c66-450x450 (1)When: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Barker Family Private Park,  2900 N. 1000 W. Pleasant View, UT 84414
Who: All Restoration youth ages 11-18
Please RSVP and send questions to: zionyouthgathering@gmail.com
“Children are the means to preserve Zion”
17759977_1916227741941014_5893576982096975023_n
17991085_1312134198882366_3195234028830942894_n (1)Things to bring: sack lunch, notebook or journal, sunscreen/hat, bug repellent, camp chair, towel for drying off after water games, water bottle, picnic blanket (optional)               
We’ll provide dinner, snacks, drinks, and dessert!
(Bring your own sack lunch and water bottle)
Saturday, June 10, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Arrive early for check-in!
Any who are willing to contribute their talents and services on this day, please contact us at zionyouthgathering@gmail.com
17904402_1916227628607692_122201243757541321_n          DSC03169

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Why Do You Follow God?

Over the past month, I've asked many friends,”Why do you follow God?” This question brings up some of the best conversations.

Even when friends say, “I don't follow God and think the rest of you are crazy for following some fictitious character!” This still leads to interesting conversation.

Everyone has a different way of expressing their answer, but I found a common element among most. They follow God because it brings them happiness, joy, and fulfillment. They feel free and at peace when they follow God.

As I was coming out of the traditions of my fathers, I gave a lot of thought to how I had been deceived. I didn't want to make the same mistake.

I kept hearing the words, “Jennifer, follow your joy!” These wise words have been a compass to me over the last several years. I follow God because of the incredible joy I feel. If life never got better than it is today, I have not been cheated of living in heaven. Yet, every day life expands, becomes more adventurous, and is a delicious experience.

People talk of a god who condemns, accuses, judges, and has a scowl of his face for me and my weakness. I am not too interested in living with that kind of god. He can take his angels and others who think like him and go live in their own place. I want nothing of it. It would be hell for me to live with a god like that.

Lest you misunderstand, there is a great difference that I experience when living a dark life of drudgery and despair which is riddled with false perceptions, and the fear that is manifest when seeing my darkness brought into the light.

My God works with me by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned, by kindness, and pure knowledge. He does reprove and correct me. He shows me exactly where I've strayed and how to get back on course. When the course correction is made, there are no lingering guilt or unworthiness issues hanging over my head.

I used to berate myself over my mistakes, and this wasn't good for my progress. Jesus helped me with my false perceptions about my tripping and failings. Now, when I make “mistakes”.  Jesus asks, “Did you learn something?”

“Yes, I did. I learned this and this and this . . .” I find Jesus continually making lemonade out of all the lemons in my life. Stumbling and falling has lost its judgment; it is just part of my journey.

I also see Jesus as a rearing stallion. Only the bravest and most courageous dare ride Him. I have fallen many times, been bucked off, and sometimes drag along with one foot in the stirrup as my head bounces along the dirt path. I've also been covered with dirt and mud with my hair in a ratted mess. My God who treats me with such tender love also says, “If you get bucked off, get back on! I'm not slowing down so as to be transformed into a gentle mare! :-) Learn to ride and I'll give you the ride of your life! ;-)”

I've heard of another god. This god also requires those who worship him to sacrifice everything for him, but it is for a very different reason.

While I was living Haiti, I learned something about the Haitian culture. Christianity is a small minority there, and the majority of the people, when asked their religion, identify as voodoo. They explained to me that there are two gods. One is the Good God and one is the mean god. I asked why they worship the mean god. I found that they do so out of fear. If they don't worship the mean god, he makes their life more miserable than it already is. Obedience is required by both the Good God and mean god, but one is obeyed out of love and the other out of fear.

The God of Light and the god of darkness work under opposite governments. I recently learned a great lesson from a close friend. Actions performed under the government of Light have totally different results than those same actions performed under the government of darkness.

God of Light – Honoring Agency
god of darkness – violating agency

God of Light – Charity & Love
god of darkness – unrighteous dominion

God of Light – Being as a Little Child
god of darkness – deception

God of Light – Working in the Light – Transparency
god of darkness – doing things in secret

God of Light – Working in God's Divine Timing - Thy Will be Done
god of darkness – asking amiss, impatience, hastening the work

Example: I offer my friend a drink of water. She says “No thank you”. I offer again. She declines. I offer again, and she accepts. I just violated her agency. I wouldn't take no for an answer. I operated in the dark even though I was offering her a “good thing”.

Example: I want to get baptized and take the sacrament, but I know my husband won't approve, so I don't tell him. Baptism and taking the sacrament are good things, right? But I just did something in secret. Because we are married, I have an obligation to tell him. If God tells me to get baptized and take the sacrament, I should tell my husband and let the consequences follow. Then God can bless my path.

Example: Many times people tell “white lies” because they don't want to hurt someone's feelings. It's not good to hurt others feelings, right? No, because it is deception and is done under the government of darkness.

Example: The loss of the 116 pages was a violation of agency..

Example: Eve partook of the fruit in the Garden of Eden out of God's divine timing.

The September 2017 Covenant

There has been much conversation on this topic. If I take the covenant under the government of darkness, it will turn to my condemnation. If I take the covenant under the government of light, it will be a blessing in my life. Each person needs to make this decision for herself. For example: If I have anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and worry about what is being offered, STOP and DO NOT make the covenant. On the other hand, if I feel at peace, look forward to the offering, and am getting answers from God about my concerns, then by all means go forward with confidence and make the covenant. The confusion comes when we look at the action and not the government under which the action is performed. What is right for me may or may not be right for you. People are saying the covenant is good and others are saying it is bad. They are both right. Work under the government of God and all things will turn to your blessing. Work under the government of darkness, and you will be cursed. Baptism, sacrament, and covenants can be administered under each government. One can be doing it in darkness while the person sitting next to him can be doing it in the light. Your heart can discern the difference and what is right for you.