In section 42 the "Law" was given to the Church.
Contained within the Law, was the following commandment/prophesy concerning the new translation of the scriptures:
"..And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach and all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given..... Thou shalt ask, and my Scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety; and it is expedient that thou shouldst hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until thou hast received them in full. And l give unto you a commandment, that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue." D&C 45
Clearly, the JST of the Bible plays a huge role in the Marvelous Work.
It will go forth to all nations.
It and all others scriptures brought forth by the Lords Seer contains the law by which the Church will be governed. Those that follow the law contained in the JST will be saved.
So important to the Great Work among the Gentiles was the new translation of the Bible that Joseph Smith gave this ominous warning to the Church:
"...except the Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures.. they would yet fail.” TPJS P.9
As you have probably noticed, I draw heavily upon the JST of the Bible. In fact, any time Joseph Smith made changes to the Bible, I will virtually always quote from the inspired version instead of the traditional King James version of the Bible.
As early as December, 1830, we find the Lord telling Sidney Rigdon,
"Thou shalt write for him; and the Scriptures shall be given even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect" (Doctrine and Covenants 35:20).
This would indicate that the JST of the scriptures were given for the salvation of the elect!
Regarding the Joseph Smith Translation, Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,
"The Joseph Smith Translation, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth"
After studying JST at length, I concur with the above testimony of Elder McConkie. There is no comparison.
Because the translation was published by the RLDS Church, some LDS have questioned whether it had been published accurately. However, research in the past few years with the original manuscripts has indicated that the JST of the Bible, published by the RLDS (Community of Christ Church) is an accurate representation of the sense of the original manuscripts prepared by Joseph Smith and his scribes. Furthermore, it seems to be increasing in use and acceptance in the LDS churches today.
An official editorial of the Church News dated December 7, 1974 contained these words:
“The Inspired Version does not supplant the King James Version as the official Church version of the Bible, but the explanations and changes made by the Prophet Joseph Smith provide enlightenment and useful commentary on many biblical passages." …
I have not checked to see if the Church has made an official statement about the JST since that release. I suppose the above statement could be interpreted in a few different ways.
Clearly, the Church has been in an awkward position due to the fact that the Community of Christ Church holds the copyright on the JST. Nevertheless, the LDS Church has gained permission from the Community of Christ Church to publish many of the most profound changes contained in the JST version in the LDS version of the Bible. (for a fascinating read on how the LDS Church was able to approach the RLDS Church and get permission to publish portions of the JST in their current editions of the Bible read this interview with Robert J Matthews
I have stated in a previous post that we will each be responsible for what we choose to believe. When I stand before the Lord, I will not be able to say that I discount the holy word of God in the JST because some person or organization told me what to believe. I will be solely responsible for my own self.
I have already shown from the word of the Lord why the JST is so critical to the salvation of the Church... Gods infallible and holy word is good enough for me.
Additionally, the inspired version of the scriptures contains information that can unlock many of the secrets pertaining to the events of the last days.
While translating the scriptures, Joseph Smith received section 45 which gives additional information about Matthew 24 regarding the events of the last generation. However, the Lord informs us that there will be additional information about Christs comments in Matthew 24 regarding the events of the end times that will be contained in the JST of the Bible:
Did you catch that? Although section 45 contains additional information about Matthew 24 and the events of the last generation, God was going to withhold additional information that is necessary to prepare us for the things to come, until the translation was finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The JST contains secret information that unlocks critical information about the events of the end times and the Marvelous Work! That is why I draw so heavily upon it!
You will recall that I laid the foundation for this blog using two incredible portions from the JST in post number one and post number two. Those two sections of scripture from the JST provide the information contained in the diagram at the top of this blog. It was the clarification provided in the JST that brought the doctrine of the three watches to my attention!
You may have also noticed that I have made several other references to the JST leading up to this, the 45 evidence. The JST provides critical information that was withheld from the early Saints of the restoration movement... information that is necessary in preparing you and me for that is about to take place.
I implore you to study, search and pray about the JST until you have a testimony that it is Gods word from his anointed servant. If you don't have access to this sacred volume of scripture, run, don't walk to the nearest book store to get one!!!!
I realize that there has been a lot of misinformation and disinformation about the JST of the Bible and that many Latter day Saints do not take it very seriously.... but I make no apologies to for my profuse use of the JST as I provide scriptural evidences about the Marvelous Work.
I am not convinced that the version of the JST that we currently have is the finished version that Joseph Smith will publish to the world when he returns. There are several reason for this that I will not address at this time. But there is nevertheless an abundance of information in the current edition that we can be edified by.
For those interested in learning more about the JST of the Bible, I am going to provide a little information below-
In I Nephi 3, we find these statements: "
And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
This is one of the doctrines that really sets the restored Church apart from most of the protestant churches of that day... while Catholicism and Protestantism taught that the Bible was a complete record... and was the perfect and infallible word of God, the Book of Mormon revealed that the Great and Abominable Church had taken away many parts of the gospel from the Bible to pervert the right ways of the Lord. Hence the following declaration from the Prophet Joseph Smith:
"We believe the Bible contains the word of God in so far as it is correctly translated."
The Lord Commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to begin translating the Bible within less than 6 months after the Book of Mormon was published. The translation was begun in June 1830, commencing with Genesis.
The new translation of the Bible (hereafter referred to as the JST) was to contain the "mysteries of the kingdom"
“And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith. And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him.” (D&C 43:12–13.)
Although the financing of the Book of Mormon was provided by one or two individuals who had been financially blessed of the Lord, the financing of the JST was to be a united effort by the church membership. On 11 October 1831, the Prophet recorded in his journal:
“A conference was held at Brother [John] Johnson’s where I was living [Hiram, Ohio]. … A committee of six was appointed to instruct the several branches of the Church. Elders David Whitmer and Reynolds Cahoon were appointed as two of the said committee; with the further duty on their mission of setting forth the condition of Brothers Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that they might obtain means to continue the translation.” (History of the Church, 1:219.)
The Prophet and his scribe were without means and would have to lay aside the translation in order to labor for the necessities of life. The journal of Reynolds Cahoon mentions this appointment under the date of 9 November 1831 in these words:
“Started for hiram to fulfill my mission to the churches which was given to Br. David and myself to obtain mony or property for Brs Joseph and others to finish the translation.” (Journal of Reynolds Cahoon, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. spelling errors from original have not been corrected)
Two weeks later, on 25 October 1831, at another conference of the Church in Hiram, the Prophet again dwelt upon the need for temporal aid to enable him to do his work, specifically mentioning the translation of the scriptures. The minutes of the meeting include the following:
“Brother Joseph Smith, Jr. said … that the promise of God was that the greatest blessings which God had to bestow should be given to those who contributed to the support of his family while he was translating the fulness of the Scriptures … that God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the Church … and except the Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures that they would yet fail.” (Far West Report, p. 16, quoted in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, p. 9.)
" Now, verily I say unto you my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, saith the Lord, it is expedient to translate again; And, inasmuch as it is practicable, to preach in the regions round about until conference; and after that it is expedient to continue the work of translation until it be finished." (D&C 73:3–4.)
“I completed the translation and review of the New Testament on the 2nd of February, 1833, and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrived in Zion.” (History of the Church, 1:324.)
“Zion” meant Independence, Missouri, where William W. Phelps had established the Church printing press. In April 1833, an inquiry was received from Brother Phelps as to whether he should print the new translation in the monthly issues of The Evening and the Morning Star. The Prophet’s reply, dated 21 April 1833, reads:
“It is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new Translation in the Star; but when it is published, it will all go to the world together, in a volume by itself; and the New Testament and the Book of Mormon will be printed together.” (History of the Church, 1:341.)
Having completed the New Testament, the Brethren then returned to the book of Genesis and continued with the translation of the Old Testament. On 8 March 1833, the Lord spoke to them about other duties that needed to be taken care of, but not until after they had “finished the translation of the [Old Testament] prophets.” (D&C 90:13.)
Then on 6 May 1833, at Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord counseled the Prophet,
“It is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures.” (D&C 93:53.)
On the same day another revelation was received in which the Lord gave instruction concerning a printing house to be built:
“And again, verily I say unto you, the second lot on the south shall be dedicated unto me for the building of a house unto me, for the work of the printing of the translation of my scriptures.” (D&C 94:10.)
These revelations suggest some urgency about completing the work and getting it printed.
On 25 June 1833, the Prophet wrote again to Brother Phelps in Missouri:
“In regard to the printing of the New Translation: It cannot be done until we can attend to it ourselves, and this we will do as soon as the Lord permits.” (History of the Church, 1:365.)
A week later, on 2 July 1833, in a letter to the brethren in Zion, the Prophet wrote that-
"we are exceedingly fatigued, owing to the great press of business. We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for this we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father." (HC 1:368)
The words “Finished on the 2nd day of July 1833” also occur in bold handwriting on the JST manuscript at the conclusion of the book of Malachi.
On 23 April 1834, the Lord again spoke to the Prophet about printing the new translation:
“And for this purpose I have commanded you to organize yourselves, even to print my words, the fulness of my scriptures, the revelations which I have given unto you.” (D&C 104:58.)
Although more than the new Bible translation is involved in the scope of this revelation, the new translation is included.
Then, in July 1833, the Star announced:
“At no very distant period, we shall print the book of Mormon and the [New] Testament, and bind them in one volume.”
However, hopes for this were postponed when the printing press in Independence was destroyed the same month.
As the years passed, the Prophet did not loose interest in publishing the JST, although he was greatly hampered by persecution, the administrative duties of the Church, the lack of financial and material means, and the burden of moving the Church from Ohio to Missouri and then to Illinois
On 18 June 1840 in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Prophet presented the high council with a lengthy memorial. He lamented that he had to be concerned so much with the “temporalities” of the Church and explained that it was a duty that he owed to God and to the Church to give his attention more particularly to spiritual things. He requested that the Church build him an office in which he could
“attend to the affairs of the Church without distraction, … [for] the time has now come, when he should devote himself exclusively to those things which relate to the spiritualities of the Church, and commence the work of translating the Egyptian records, [and] the Bible.”
The Prophet reminded the high council that he had “no means of support whatever” and requested that “some one might be appointed to see that all his necessary wants may be provided for.” (History of the Church, 4:137.)
The plea fell on receptive ears, and in July of that year the First Presidency and high council appointed two brethren to go throughout the Church to obtain money for the publication of various books, including the JST, or as they called it, the “new translation of the scriptures.” An extract from an epistle by the First Presidency, July 1840, states:
“To all whom it may concern:—This is to certify that Elders Samuel Bent and George W. Harris are authorized agents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being appointed by the First Presidency and High Council of said Church to visit the branches of the Church … to obtain donations and subscriptions for the purpose of printing the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, hymn-books, the new translation of the scriptures. … We do hope the Saints will do all in their power to effect the object proposed. [signed] Joseph Smith, Jun., President.” (History of the Church, 4:164.)
A few days later in Nauvoo an editorial appeared in the Times and Seasons, the official Church periodical, bearing the headline “BOOKS!!!” The editorial reiterated the call of Elders Bent and Harris and stated, among other things, that “the authorities of the church” were taking definite steps to make the scriptures available to the members of the Church, including “also the necessity of Publishing the new translation of the scriptures, which has so long been desired by the Saints.” (Times and Seasons, vol. 1, no. 9, pp. 139–40.)
Another “Epistle of the First Presidency to the Saints Scattered Abroad” was sent out on or about 1 September 1840 and contained an appeal to the members to contribute financially to the building up of the kingdom. Particularly mentioned was “the printing and circulation of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, hymn-book, and the new translation of the Scriptures.” (History of the Church, 4:187; also Times and Seasons, vol. 1, no. 12, Oct. 1840, p. 179.)
These epistles make it clear that the Church leaders intended to publish the JST along with the other scriptures and a hymnbook, but in order for it to happen the Saints would have to make a financial contribution.
On 19 January 1841, in counsel to William Law, the Lord spoke again about publishing the JST: “If he will do my will let him from henceforth hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph, … and publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth.” (D&C 124:89.)
That William Law did not “hearken to the counsel” is shown in the following excerpt from the minutes of a meeting of the Nauvoo City Council containing a charge against him: “Daniel Carn was sworn: Said, ‘I told Brother Norton that certain men had been counseled by the Prophet to invest their means in publishing the new translation of the Bible; and they instead of obeying that counsel, had used their property for the purpose of building a steam-mill and raising a hundred acres of hemp; and the Lord had not blessed them in the business, but sunk their hemp in the Mississippi River.’ ” (History of the Church, 6:164–65.)
On 15 January 1842, the Times and Seasons contained a notice that the “Trustee” [Joseph Smith] needed time to arrange the scriptures, including the “New Translation of the Bible … for the press.” Therefore, the recorder’s office would be open only one day a week. (Vol. 3, no. 6, p. 667.)
In February 1842, the Council of the Twelve placed a notice in the Times and Seasons, over the signature of President Brigham Young. The entire document dwelt upon the financial straits of the Church and the need for assistance from the Saints, especially in the building of a temple and loosing the Prophet’s hands from temporal bondage so that various works could be done, “such as the new translation of the bible, and the record of Father Abraham [can be] published to the world.” (Vol. 3, no. 9, March 1842, p. 715.)
Eight months later an announcement was made in the Times and Seasons that the Book of Mormon and the hymnbook had been republished, but;
“the new translation of the bible, and the book of Doctrine and Covenants are entirely dependent on the liberality of the well-disposed for the cause of our Redeemer.” (Vol. 3, no. 24, 15 October 1842, p. 958.)
The Brethren had been successful in reprinting the Book of Mormon and the hymnbook, but more time and money were needed before the Doctrine and Covenants and the JST could go to press. Since all except the JST had been published before, less time would be required to arrange them for republication than to prepare the JST for its first appearance in print. That may be the reason the other books were ready first.
On 1 March 1843 at Nauvoo, the Council of the Twelve issued another epistle to the Saints requesting financial and material aid for the Prophet and his family to enable him to find the time to bring forth the spiritual things of the Church. Particularly mentioned are the “revelations, translation, and history.” Although the “translation” is not identified, it is quickly discernible that it has reference to the Bible, since the record of Abraham had already been published a year earlier in 1842 in the Times and Seasons. The epistle is extremely interesting and illustrates not only the meager financial situation of the Prophet, but also the determination of the leading Brethren to put the scriptures, including the JST, into the hands of the membership of the Church. The entire epistle follows:
“BELOVED BRETHREN:—As our beloved President Joseph Smith is now relieved from his bondage and his business, temporarily, and his property, too, he has but one thing to hinder his devoting his time to the spiritual interests of the Church, to the bringing forth of the revelations, translation, and history. And what is that? He has not provision for himself and family, and is obliged to spend his time in providing therefor. His family is large and his company great, and it requires much to furnish his table. And now, brethren, we call on you for immediate relief in this matter; and we invite you to bring our President as many loads of wheat, corn, beef, pork, lard, tallow, eggs, poultry, venison, and everything eatable at your command, (not excepting unfrozen potatoes and vegetables, as soon as the weather will admit,) flour, etc., and thus give him the privilege of attending to your spiritual interest... The measure you mete shall be measured to you again. If you give liberally to your President in temporal things, God will return to you liberally in spiritual and temporal things too. One or two good new milch cows are much needed also... Brethren, will you do your work, and let the President do his for you before God? We wish an immediate answer by loaded teams or letter... Your brethren in Christ, in behalf of the quorum, brigham young, President
Willard Richards, Clerk
“P.S. Brethren, we are not unmindful of the favors our President has received from you in former days. But a man will not cease to be hungry this year because he ate last year.” (History of the Church, 5:293.)
The epistle says nothing about the Book of Mormon or the hymnbook, since these had recently been republished. Attention was now centered on the “revelations” (Doctrine and Covenants) and the JST.
A year later in June 1844, the Prophet lay dead, felled by assassins’ bullets, and the JST was not yet published.
The Doctrine and Covenants was nearly ready for a republication at the time of his death and came forth from the press in September 1844. The JST would probably have been next, but the Prophet had been unable to get it published. He worked diligently on it during the closing years of his life when time would permit. Perhaps if he had not been forced to leave the “spiritualities” of the Church so often to attend to the “temporalities,” he would have been able to see the translation of the Bible through to publication as he had hoped to do.
There has been an assumption that the JST was deliberately not published because it was grossly unfinished.
That assumption is not based on all of the facts.
The epistles of the First Presidency and of the Twelve as published in the History of the Church and the Times and Seasons, some of which are cited in this article, lead to the unmistakable conclusion that the intention was to publish. The major reason for failure to publish appears to have been an inadequate response from the Saints in providing temporal assistance. The basic conclusion seems to be that the work of translation was acceptable as far as the Lord required it of the Prophet at that time, but the manuscript was not fully prepared for the press.
Some of the information provided above was taken from:
(Much credit needs to be given to Emma Smith for being a faithful steward over the JST. In an obscure, unpublished revelation received in 1841, the Lord, referring to Emma said: "for she holdeth records and a great key of knowledge..."
"During the troublesome times in Missouri, my grandmother [Emma Smith] was forced to take her children and go across the state of Missouri to find refuge in Illinois—and she carried this manuscript in her dress. In those days, the women wore voluminous skirts. Grandmother had a belt or a girdle made, with this manuscript of the Inspired Version suspended from it. She considered it so sacred a trust for her to save, that she went across the state of Missouri in winter time with the manuscript. )