Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Testimony of St. John

In June 1830 Joseph Smith, Jr began a project to re-translate the Bible. The main work of revising, correcting, or translating the Bible was done during the three-year period from June 1830 to July 1833. During this time Joseph and his scribes went through the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version and produced nearly 500 pages of manuscript, containing thousands of variant readings and new passages. On March 7, 1831 Joseph was specifically commanded by the Lord to re-translate the New Testament.

When he was finished it was considered an inspired translation and much of the plain and precious things removed from the Bible were restored. He declared: “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.” (DHC, vol. 6, p. 57.)

In May 1833, towards the end of Joseph’s re-translation of the Bible he received a revelation on the testimony of John:

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men. I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest. And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.
And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1-6; 18-19; emphasis added)

Is this the testimony of John the Baptist or the testimony of John the Beloved or is it John the Beloved writing or revealing the testimony of John the Baptist?
Regardless of whose testimony this is we are given a beautiful promise that if we are faithful we will receive the fullness of the record of John.

Is this a collective “you” or an individual “you”? Can more than one person receive the “fullness of the record of John”?  If so, could their accounts be different based on their hearts, their desires and their own knowledge? If this revelation is received through vision could each person who receives the vision see different things or an emphasis on different things?  (For example Lehi’s vison of the Tree of Live versus Nephi’s vision)

Does the Lord mean that the while Joseph was re-translating the Bible God had not revealed to him the fullness of John’s record?

In May 1833 when the Lord told Joseph that the fullness of John’s record was  yet to be revealed did God mean a new translation from the original Greek or  a revelation?

Sometime in 2016 Denver Snuffer was asked to take a look at a project which a group of individuals were working on to print scriptures which contain, among other writings of Joseph Smith, his inspired translation of the Bible.  Following are Denver’s words on this subject:

"When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John's Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts. I asked a qualified Greek Scholar to undertake that project and he declined. But the impression remained that it needed to be done.
"I made it the subject of prayer and was told to do the work. I spent a few days working with an English-Greek New Testament, the JS Translation of John, and a Greek Lexicon before becoming hopelessly discouraged by the many options and choices. I prayed about it before retiring for the night and essentially quit. I explained that it would take years for me to accomplish this, and that I was not going to be able to solve the riddles of the text. I went to bed assuming I was done with it.
"In the middle of that night I was awakened and given the solution to every dilemma I had been facing in the work on the text. So the next day I continued on from where I had abandoned the work and, to my surprise, everything was opened to my mind so clearly and continuously that the entire project was completed in less than three weeks. The light of heaven opened the material in a way I had never thought of nor had previously attained to in considering the Gospel of John. At times it progressed so rapidly that I was unable to finish one part before the next came rolling out. Many new and different things were added, and at least one thing was dropped entirely because it was not part of John's original composition. Because of the rapid way it rolled out, once I finished the text I went back to clean up a lot of what had been left as incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing words (particularly conjunctions) and cryptic or inadequate explanations. The intent of the writer, John, was revealed, including why some things were included in the text and the manner he wrote.
"When it began it was an attempt at a "translation" but by the time it was completed it was clearly a "revelation" and not merely a translation of a text. Therefore the result does not have my name on it, because I cannot claim any credit for the content. I failed in what I was attempting. What resulted came from heaven." Denver Snuffer

In the hours of February 5 to 6, 2017 The Testimony of St. John was quietly and without fanfare or announcement, uploaded to the website

There are differences between this newly revealed account and the inspired version of Joseph Smith, Jr.  Does this mean that one of the men is wrong and the other is right?  Could it be that when Joseph was re-translating God kept hidden the fullness of John as it was not yet time for the fullness to be revealed just as Doctrine and Covenants 93 suggests?

Today there are those who have taken the scriptures seriously, and as a result the Lord is offering more.  We live in amazing times, the Heavens are open for business once again!

Those who have ears will hear: