Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. (2 Nephi 3:12, emphasis added)Those words “shall grow together” seem oh-so-simple, but they represent an amazing process that occurred just thirty years ago. It describes nothing less than the production of the LDS version of the Bible, with the extensive footnotes that cross-reference between the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenents, and the Pearl of Great Price. (Not to mention all the amazing study aids..)
The verse above reminds me of Ezekiel’s promise that the stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah would become one in our hand. Previously, I thought this was nothing more than slapping the books together in one binding into a quadruple combination, but Nephi’s words about how the writings would GROW TOGETHER evoke so much more. It implies GRAFTING two living plants together so that they begin to take nourishment from one another. That is exactly the case in our scriptures, as each standard work takes strength from the cross references to all the other standard works. The Bible verses are supported with footnotes to the BofM, D&C, and PGP and vice versa. (The books follow the law of witnesses.)
My husband and I recently watched a documentary on BYU TV called “That Promised Day: The Coming Forth of the LDS Scriptures” which describes how this "grow together" process occurred. It was marvelous and made me so much more grateful for my scriptures. (I highly recommend it as a good Family Home Evening activity… or even just a treat.)
Here are some interesting things I learned that I didn’t know before:
- Elder McConkie wrote the chapter headings. (Consider what the headings do to prepare us for the chapter contents. Consider how much information is compacted in so few words.)
- When President Monson was Elder Monson, he chose the typeface for the Bible so it would be extra readable and yet fit more words on the page.
- Before our current Bible, three different Bibles were being used in the church—one for primary, one for seminary, and one for Sunday school.
- Before our current Bible, footnote letters were done on the chapter level instead of on the verse level. If the alphabet was used up, they started using double letters. It got pretty hairy in Isaiah that way.
- I learned where the Guide to the Scriptures came from and why we English speakers don’t hear much about it. It’s more for other languages to use because it is very difficult to directly translate the Topical Guide into different languages. (But we Englishers are not prevented from using Guide to the Scriptures as well as the Topical Guide! ;-))
I am so grateful to have been born at this time when these scriptures are available. I knew they were awesome, but I never knew how awesome until I learned what was used before.