The 2013 edition of the scriptures has unintentionally added new scripture to the canon


I’ll make this post short and to the point.

This is how the section heading of D&C 89 used to read:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833. As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was led to ponder upon the matter; consequently, he inquired of the Lord concerning it. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, was the result.  The first three verses were originally written as an inspired introduction and description by the Prophet.

The first three verses were never considered to be part of the revelation itself, therefore, when the saints later voted to make the Word of Wisdom a commandment binding upon all latter-day saints, the part that was binding started in verse 4, for that is where everyone thought the revelation started.

However, new scholarly research* has shown that the first three verses was not just an introduction written by Joseph, but actually part of the revelation itself.  In other words, verses 1-3 are the words of the Spirit**, not Joseph.  So, the scholars changed the section heading to read as such:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833. As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was led to ponder upon the matter; consequently, he inquired of the Lord concerning it. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, was the result.

This adds three verses to our scriptural canon and also causes the vote which bound the saints to obey the Word of Wisdom as a commandment to apply to verses 1-3.

Because the Word of Wisdom is not to be sent by commandment or constraint (according to the words of the Spirit in verse 2), the only way to break the Word of Wisdom is by insisting that people follow its proscriptions and dietary regulations.  So, smoking, drinking, coffee and tea are now allowed in the church.


Footnotes

*  The following information comes from the Explanations for the Doctrine and Covenants Section Headings page of the Joseph Smith Papers web site:

Section 89

The revised heading in the 2013 edition deletes the last sentence of the earlier heading, which stated that the first three verses of the revelation were written by Joseph Smith. The sources for this change include the versions of the revelation in Revelation Book 1, page 167, and Revelation Book 2, pages 49–50, which treat the opening statement as part of the revelation.

**  DAC 89 on the 1st Act Scriptures web site shows the Spirit’s words in black text, while the Lord’s words are in brown text.

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