Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Joseph Smith's own Bible

Reading the JST (Joseph Smith's "new translation" of the Bible) in some ways feels a lot like reading someone else's scriptures, with their own highlights and notes. It's interesting to see what he flags as important or not important. Let me give you a specific example. Rev 2:18-19 says:

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
In some cases, repetition in the scriptures is significant. Is it doctrinally significant in this case that "thy works" appears both at the beginning and the end of the list? Joseph Smith didn't think so, after consulting with the Holy Ghost. I know because in the Bible he was using he crossed out the second occurrence, "and thy works." That means that "the last" means patience--thy patience will be more than thy works. That fits with the rest of what the Lord tells those in Thyatira: "I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come." You may not outwardly appear to accomplish much, he seems to be saying, but if you just endure to the end as saints I will be happy with you. Be humble and be faithful, and I will comfort you when I come.


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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