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Appendix III: Elder Bruce R. McConkie's Proposed Additions to the Pearl of Great Price
TitleAppendix III: Elder Bruce R. McConkie's Proposed Additions to the Pearl of Great Price
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSmoot, Stephen O.
Book TitleThe Pearl of Great Price: A Study Edition for Latter-day Saints
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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In 1980, one year before the release of the current official edition of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles submitted additional content to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve for consideration to be canonized in the forthcoming new edition of the Pearl of Great Price. His proposals were reviewed but were ultimately rejected. The content proposed by Elder McConkie for canonization in the Pearl of Great Price is reproduced here to highlight Elder McConkie’s expansive vision of the canon and also to raise awareness of some interesting content that was considered.

“Selections from the Book of Moses”

In addition to the current eight chapters of the book of Moses, Elder McConkie proposed the inclusion of additional content from the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis touching on Methuselah, Noah, Enoch, Melchizedek, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. The column on the left is the versification of this content as proposed by Elder McConkie. The column on the right correlates Elder McConkie’s proposed versification with the current versification of the 1981/2013 book of Moses and the 1944 edition of the Inspired Version (Joseph Smith Translation) of the Bible published by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing), which appears to be the version Elder McConkie was drawing from. (Compare Joseph Smith’s “New Translation” of the Bible [Independence, MO: Herald Publishing, 1970].)  

Proposed Versification

Source

Moses 1:1–54

Moses 1:1–42

Moses 2:1–33

Moses 2:1–31

Moses 3:1–36

Moses 3:1–25

Moses 4:1–35

Moses 4:1–32

Moses 5:1–68

Moses 5:1–59

Moses 6:1–96

Moses 6:1–68

Moses 7:1–115

Moses 7:1–69

Moses 8:1–31

Moses 8:1–30; JST Genesis 8:23

Moses 9:1–15

JST Genesis 9:15–25

Moses 10:1–20

JST Genesis 14:26–40

Moses 11:1–27

JST Genesis 15:5, 7b, 8–12; 17:1–14

Moses 12:1–16

JST Genesis 48:3–11

Moses 13:1–38

JST Genesis 50:24–38

“Selections from the Psalms as Revealed to Joseph Smith”

Elder McConkie proposed that the following psalms from the Joseph Smith Translation be canonized. As above, the column on the left is the versification of this content as proposed by Elder McConkie. The column on the right correlates with the 1944 Inspired Version (Joseph Smith Translation).

Proposed Versification

Source

David 1:1–10

JST Psalm 11

David 2:1–11

JST Psalm 12

David 3:1–12

JST Psalm 14

David 4:1–10

JST Psalm 24

“Selections from the Gospels as Revealed to Joseph Smith”

Besides retaining the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 24 (Joseph Smith—Matthew in the 1981/2013 Pearl of Great Price), Elder McConkie proposed the inclusion of additional Joseph Smith Translation material from the Gospels. As above, the column on the left is the versification of this content as proposed by Elder McConkie. The column on the right correlates with the 1944 Inspired Version (Joseph Smith Translation) and the 1981/2013 designation for Joseph Smith—Matthew.

Proposed Versification

Source

Matthew 2:1–9

JST Matthew 3:19–28

Matthew 5:1–56

JST Matthew 5:1–50

Matthew 6:1–39

JST Matthew 6:1–39

Matthew 7:1–40

JST Matthew 7:1–37

Matthew 21:1–24

JST Matthew 21:34b–56

Matthew 24:1–63

Joseph Smith—Matthew

Luke 3:1–26

JST Luke 3:1–20

Luke 12:1–23

JST Luke 12:40–58

Luke 17:1–8

JST Luke 17:34–40

John 1:1–40

JST John 1:1–34

“The Book of Abraham”

In Elder McConkie’s proposal, the text of the book of Abraham was to remain essentially the same as in previous editions of the Pearl of Great Price but with new versification. The column on the left gives Elder McConkie’s proposed new versification. The column on the right is the current 1981/2013 versification.

Proposed Versification

Source

Abraham 1:1–47

Abraham 1:1–31

Abraham 2:1–33

Abraham 2:1–25

Abraham 3:1–41

Abraham 3:1–28

Abraham 4:1–38

Abraham 4:1–31

Abraham 5:1–26

Abraham 5:1–21

“The Testimony of Joseph Smith”

In Elder McConkie’s proposal, Joseph Smith’s 1838 history was to remain canonized but with new versification. As above, the column on the left gives Elder McConkie’s proposed new versification. The column on the right is the current 1981/2013 versification of Joseph Smith—History.

Proposed Versification

Source

Joseph Smith 1:1–47

Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20a

Joseph Smith 2:1–20

Joseph Smith—History 1:20b–26

Joseph Smith 3:1–65

Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54

Joseph Smith 4:1–40

Joseph Smith—History 1:55–65

Joseph Smith 5:1–22

Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75

“The Wentworth Letter”

Joseph Smith’s 1842 letter to John Wentworth, published on March 1, 1842, in the Times and Seasons as “Church History,” was considered for canonization in Elder McConkie’s proposed revisions. Had his proposal been accepted and sustained, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would have two canonical accounts of the First Vision and the recovery of the Book of Mormon as opposed to having only the one currently canonized in Joseph Smith—History.

Proposed Versification

Source

Wentworth 1:1–14

“Church History,” Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842.

Wentworth 2:1–29

Ibid.

Wentworth 3:1–38

Ibid.

“The Articles of Faith”

The thirteen Articles of Faith (which originally appeared in the 1842 Wentworth Letter) were to be retained in Elder McConkie’s proposed Pearl of Great Price but with two additional articles penned by Elder McConkie. The fourteenth article read, “We believe that God has restored in these last days the fulness of his Everlasting Gospel to prepare a people for the coming of the Son of Man, and that this Gospel shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all people, and then shall the end come.” The fifteenth article read, “We believe in a premortal life, in eternal marriage, salvation for the dead, the resurrection of the just and of the unjust, eternal judgment, and kingdoms of glory in the eternal worlds.”

Proposed Versification

Source

Articles 1–13

Articles of Faith 1–13

Articles 14–15

Composed by Elder McConkie

“The Lectures on Faith”

Elder McConkie proposed that the Lectures on Faith (which had been canonized in 1835 with the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants but decanonized and removed from the Doctrine and Covenants with the 1921 edition prepared by Elder James E. Talmage) be included in the Pearl of Great Price with revisions. The catechisms at the end of each lecture in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants were omitted in Elder McConkie’s proposed edition.

Proposed Versification

Source

Lecture 1 (25 verses)

1835 Doctrine and Covenants (Lecture First, Section I)

Lecture 2 (62 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Second, Section II)

Lecture 3 (47 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Third, Section III)

Lecture 4 (67 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Fourth, Section IV)

Lecture 5 (35 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Fifth, Section V)

Lecture 6 (50 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Sixth, Section VI)

Lecture 7 (152 verses)

Ibid. (Lecture Seventh, Section VII)

“Doctrine and Covenants”

Besides proposing the addition of new content to the Pearl of Great Price, Elder McConkie proposed that the Doctrine and Covenants be expanded by two new sections (sections 137 and 138 in the 1981/2013 edition). These two sections had been canonized as part of the Pearl of Great Price since April 1976 as “Joseph Smith—Vision of the Celestial Kingdom” and “Joseph F. Smith—Vision of the Redemption of the Dead,” respectively.

Proposed Versification

Source

Section 137 (10 verses)

1981 Doctrine and Covenants (section 137) = 1976 Pearl of Great Price (“Joseph Smith—Vision of the Celestial Kingdom”)

Section 138 (sixty verses)

Ibid. (section 138) = 1976 Pearl of Great Price (“Joseph F. Smith—Vision of the Redemption of the Dead”)