A passage from the original "Governing Principles" draft comes to mind when contemplating the Lord's acknowledgement given on Wednesday:
"If led by the Spirit, one may be led to share an experience, but it should not be used as a trump card to compel agreement; rather, inspiration by way of dream, vision, messenger, or His Spirit should be shared and judged by what is found in scripture, that we may remember not only to say, but also to do what was given us by God. Persuasion rather than domination is necessary to bring harmony between us [D&C 47]."
Although some may not have felt comfortable adopting this portion of the original draft statement, it may nonetheless be true. And it may be that pointing to the answer the Lord gave to this group and using it to compel others to get in line is less than helpful. It may even prove counterproductive to repairing the damage we have inflicted on one another and to bringing about unity of heart. Perhaps it could instead be enough to encourage and allow each person to carefully and prayerfully ponder the situation. Concerns others have wrestled with may not always be what is portrayed "for the sake of argument."
For example, it is possible a person might struggle with what has most recently been composed not because she or he reject any of the words of the Lord included in it but because of words the Lord specifically gave for inclusion in the statement which have instead been rejected as unsuitable. Should this inability to accept those words also be considered as "rejecting Him"?
Another way to put it: could it be somewhat hypocritical when we triumphantly celebrate the words of confirmation given by the Lord to this group of seven through a once-obscure woman while simultaneously refusing to celebrate or even acknowledge the words given by the voice of the Lord (not mere impressions) precisely for inclusion in the first GP document? (one of which quotes turns out, in fact, to have been given through the channel of David, the other of which was given through an obscure-at-the-time man)
Anything obtained by the voice of the Lord should be celebrated.
I am personally grateful for the careful, thoughtful work of those elected by lot to work on composing a document, who willingly labored under the set of constraints the majority of the body of believers were able to agree on. They have been dilligent and faithful to the comission given them.
I am also grateful that despite the initial ambiguity, in the end, the agreed list of rules did not limit this group to using only words from the Answer and Covenant (A&C) itself. There was much more that needed to be included in order for it to be "kind" and for us to be "charitible".
I believe that lots are and were a perfectly acceptable way to allow the Lord to manifest His will in a selection.
I'm thankful that, despite our collective procedural miss where we ought to have asked in advance whether David would be willing to take the draft product of this group to the Lord (prior to any vote of the body), the group of seven/eight instead humbly approached the Lord themselves in faith (and with the united faith of many others, myself included), not attempting to rely on David.
And I am personally persuaded that the Lord has, in fact, acknowledged (in words given through a "mere" woman, as well as witnesses of others) that the results of the work of this group of eight are "enough".
I believe it is evidence of His patience with us and His mercy that He is willing to accept this offering despite our collective inability to unite on a statement without first excluding pearls He initially gave us, we preferring instead to limit ourselves only to what had been given in the past and not being willing to accept anything more that hadn't already been overtly and demonstrably given by the Lord through His servant, David.
If it is enough for the Lord even with this deficiency, it is enough for me. The Lord is clearly more interested in our unity of heart at this point--that we become precious to one another.
Having said this, I do not believe that this in any way suggests that the first effort was not similarly "enough", since the Lord already clearly stated in the A&C that this should-have-been-small effort could have been complete (by virtue of being accepted) long before any covenant was offered. The words suggested it was the condition of our hearts that was at fault.
Either way, in the end, whatever is put forward must still be adopted by the voice of the people. It may yet remain more a matter of our hearts than of document revisions, although the words certainly matter. And will we continue to hold to "super-unanimity" as the meaning of the Lord's requirement for agreement?
I pray we can move on from this "small thing." But at the same time, I wonder how this precedent (should it to now be adopted) will affect us--our inability to receive the Lord's word he may choose to impart by any other men, women, or children than His servant, David. How important a principle does the Lord consider that for the establishment of Zion?