TO ALL COVENANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Dear brothers and sisters,
After being impressed upon by the Lord we desire to offer to the covenant body at large a statement of principles mutually agreed upon by some few, who after petitioning the Lord over our disputes received from Him what we believe is His desire for us, not by commandment but by pure knowledge, that He would have us accept everything He has revealed to the body of believers regarding the Guide and Standard that He has required at our hands. We have therefore compiled all that has been revealed and inspired by Him into one document and we offer it together with a prayer for the Lord’s acceptance, correction, or rejection according to His word to the covenant body. We offer this prayer at His invitation and desire only to be faithful to Him but we do not know how, or though who, He may choose to answer this petition. We do not believe that this requires any covenant Brother or Sister or any fellowship to be obligated to accept this work. We believe God has made us all free and able to choose what the Lord desires for them. We do not do this to oppose or hinder any other work any covenant Brother or Sister feels impressed to do from the Lord. We support all our family and desire to assist them in any way we can. To that end we offer what we believe the Lord has asked of us. We do indeed love our covenant family and can think of no greater way to fulfill our covenant with the Lord than by this labor we personally have accepted and for which we expect to be held to account by Him.
Some few who are a small part of the covenant body.
A Summary History for Guide & Standard – Nonmancaaf Swhafugs
Due to confusion resulting from misunderstandings of origins, associated names and participants, and the accidental mislabeling of what has been posted as the “Restorationist Paper Effort – Update,” etc. we have written this summary history and correction. On the Guide and Standard website the label for this work should be “Guide and Standard – Nonmancaaf Swhafugs“ with the correcting post titled “CORRECTIONS to the inadvertently mislabeled, “Restorationist Papers Effort – Update”
This Guide and Standard, for want of some distinguishing title has been hereby dubbed the “Nonmancaaf Swhafugs” which is the “Non Opposing, No Marketing Added, Non Compulsory, All Are Free. Simply What He Asked From Us G&S.”
How did we come to this? Simple. By His gentle invitation to restore what He offered, which we only desire to share because we believe He asked us to. Let us explain as briefly as we believe possible…
On the day the Scriptures Committee ‘cast a net widely’ at the end of April 2017 for any and all who felt called of the Lord, we received our call from Him to participate. It was confirmed to us personally by the fact we did not read the request from the Scriptures Committee until the next day.
In order to be faithful to Him we prepared with all our mights and attended the first meeting on June 10th. We remained throughout the entire, almost 12 hour, meeting and were witness to all the proceedings (of which we have many records). We were witness to the spirit and unity experienced and bore testimony of such. That document and testimony were rejected by others and it was thought necessary to try again for the sake of unity.
After even more preparation and to be faithful to the Lord we participated in the whole of the approximately 21 hour, July 2nd meeting. We were re-baptized that morning and did our best to do exactly what was asked of us no matter how weak we have felt in this whole process. When the larger group split up by self-selection into smaller groups with the intention of expanding the Guide and Standards (then referred to as Governing Principles) various topics we personally felt to labor with the group who selected to work on the fellowship portion. We as a smaller group failed miserably and after many hours fell to our faces in the abject misery of our failure pleading for the Lord to save us and direct this labor. It was only when this smaller group of 4 sisters and 5 brothers (this group included three couples) finally laid aside all their own hopes, thoughts, and expectations for what they thought the Lord had to give, that He performed a miracle of inspiration and revelation that united and taught that group in a way we, personally, have never before or since experienced. Out of this miracle, about which much more has been and could be written, came the ‘Standard for All Fellowships.’ After rejoining the larger group it was clear and marvelous in our eyes to see that many more inspired writings were received by others in their groups. We again were witnesses, and again bore testimony of the fact, to the unity experienced in spite of knowing more work was needed as we left that meeting. Within a few days’ time we witnessed a surprising and saddening explosion of contention over the experience and document that spread from the larger group who labored together through to many of the now covenant body as a whole. This resulted in a need for another meeting which was scheduled for August 5th. The ongoing contention and frustration from the ensuing discussions largely resulted in the condemnation and chastisement received from the Lord in the Answer and Covenant. Still, He required this work at our hands.
On the way to the August 5th attempt, the resulting fear of possible loss of the covenant offering from the Lord caused that a mere two days before the meeting an online fellowship group of more than double the original laborers felt it necessary to join those who had already been laboring on the task by some invitation to them from the Lord. This was a difficult thing to receive and were it not for the intervening spirit of the Lord to change the hearts of those present no unity would have been achieved. That meeting produced a document representing a lesser portion than what had been received before, but it did produce the potential for more unity. All who left felt united and all set aside again their own thoughts and desires, even to the point of allowing some things received in earlier meetings and in the original itself to be set aside, for the sake of unity. All acknowledged the unity achieved and again we bore testimony to that fact even though it contained less.
In all this, a vote was taken and a 91% vote of acceptance was achieved—at least among all who chose to participate enough to vote, and the Lord in His great mercy granted us unworthy and bickering mortals His covenant, even in spite of our limited unity. So as it was even after the vote, some opposed and the document was not then presented to the Lord. Suddenly new definitions and a new labor were proposed to solve the dilemma. The August 5th document was not allowed to receive the word of the Lord upon it. This, in our view, was an inadvertent attempt at subverting agency (among other unsettling control issues). Thus we, together with some few individuals and fellowships, authored the document titled “Restorationist Paper,” along with a website preservingtherestoration.com. This document had the sole hope of restoring agency and requesting for the vote taken to be honored for those who supported it. From this effort there were many issues revealed and other documents began to be introduced, some aimed at scriptural persuasion others at establishing alternate ideas for a Guide and Standard. [For some additional historical information see the history section of the Restorationist Paper]
This ongoing struggle has led to much more confusion and frustration. We (as a group who authored the “Restorationist Paper”) then chose, seeing that no common ground could seemingly be found, to withdraw pursuit of establishing the August 5th Guide and Standard. We chose instead to dedicate our effort to receive of the Lord His word as to how to proceed. We, along with many others sought for His part as He promised, “Pray together in humility and together meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me I will tell you my part.” (Answer and Covenant pg 8) In that effort and through many prayers the Lord made it clear to us, personally, that what he wanted us to do was to accept everything he had revealed and inspired regarding the Guide and Standard to the body as a whole.
With this invitation from the Lord we—personally, as a lone couple apart from all other current and prior efforts—set out to amalgamate all the revelations and inspired writings received from the beginning of this work. We sought to retain the inspired original and only added to it as the Lord directed.
Also with this invitation to us from the Lord came the direction to compose a prayer for this Guide and Standard’s acceptance, correction, or rejection from the Lord. We were to do this no matter how weak or flawed our effort and all of those weaknesses are ours alone. These documents, therefore, are something new and can not accurately be regarded as an update or continuation to the Restorationist Paper effort.
We personally expect to be held to account for this work before the Lord and are not afraid to stand before Him with this weak and flawed labor. Having said that, it is clear to us that we, personally, are absolutely unimportant. Our names on it are not necessary, or helpful. We simply want to receive from Him His answer and with this prayer we do not know when, how, where, or through who the answer may come, but we believe this is all part of the work He requires at our hands and that we (not Denver whom the Lord has forbidden) must accomplish it or else we will be unable to do the greater things in He will require in the future.
While there are several who have prayed to have this accepted, corrected, or rejected of the Lord by His word, we do not desire to compel or market this labor. It is what it is. We feel perfectly happy for the unity with others it has thus far given and hope He will unite more. If there is any truth in it then it is up to the Lord to do with it according to His will. We only do this to be faithful to Him, that this—by His word to the many who have received inspiration from Him— may bless, benefit, and inform the lost sheep remnants of this land and of Israel. We believe it to do just that.
One unimportant couple among equals.
November 22, 2017