Lesson 17 of the Gospel Principles manual in use today for Priesthood and Relief Society is entitled “The Church of Jesus Christ Today.” Under the heading, “New Revelation from God” is this quote:
“…Since that time [the First Vision] the heavens have not been closed. Revelation continues to this day through each of His chosen prophets. Joseph was to be the one to help restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ.”
I do believe and accept the Church is receiving inspired counsel from on high. Not just the President, but at all levels down to families and individuals. However, it got me thinking, “where have all the revelations gone.”
In the early days of the Church (between 1823 and 1843), about 130 Sections of the Doctrine & Covenants were given to Joseph Smith as revelations from the Lord. After that time, only 4 more have been added as canonized revelations. The Prophet Joseph received significantly more revelations that have not been officially canonized and appear in various places.
On the other hand, the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ) has continually added to their Doctrine and Covenants since it was organized in 1860 and has 164 Sections. I know that there are others in the works as well.
That is not to say there is not revelation given to the President and Prophet of the LDS Church. I can point to a few examples I believe were revealed to the President of the Church by the Lord. For example, the plan to design and build small Temples put in place by President Hinckley, the creation of the Perpetual Education Fund, the move to the block meeting schedule, the major changes in the Temple ceremony in 1990, etc. I think these were the result of revelation from the Lord.
But, I wonder sometimes why we do not have further sections added to the D&C as canonized scripture or that some of these changes are not brought before the membership of the Church for their common consent.
So, just what might constitute additions to the Doctrine and Covenants which would be voted on by the Church membership?
Some have suggested the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” might be a candidate. I always thought President Ezra Taft Benson’s talk “Beware of Pride” might be considered. I even formatted it on my computer as a page of scripture to see what it might look like.
So what would get your vote? Or do you have an explanation why we do not have more canonized revelations since we are supposed to have a living canon and we have a living prophet?