The current printing masters of the 1979 edition of the King James Version of the Bible and the 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price have deteriorated because of age and long use. The quality of the typeface is no longer as clear and sharp as it should be. Therefore, in the process of preparing new printing masters, the Church has taken the opportunity to make adjustments.
The spelling of some words has been corrected to reflect the spellings in more recent editions of the King James Version of the Bible since the printing of the 1979 edition, such as asswaged to assuaged (Gen. 8:1; Job 16:5, 6) and stedfast(-ly, -ness) to steadfast(-ly, -ness).
Adjustments have been made to resolve minor typographical errors in spelling, wording, and punctuation, restoring earlier readings of the text and maintaining the fidelity and integrity of the scriptures.
More than 99 percent of the adjustments are in the study aids. Errors in cross-references, date information, or misquoted text have been resolved in the footnotes, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, and triple combination index. Historical or factual information has been corrected and updated. Some entries have been updated such as under “Ahab,” item 1, the last sentence “the united forces were defeated by Shalmaneser II” was changed to “the united forces were defeated by Shalmaneser III,” the correct historical figure.
A number of adjustments have been made to the layout. The quality of the font and typeface has been improved for clearer reading, title pages were standardized, appendix items were reformatted, the Bible Chronology and Harmony of the Gospels have been given their own sections, and the maps and photos have been improved. See more detailed information on specific sections below.
Side by Side Comparison
1981 and 2013 editions of the Doctrine and Covenants
- Explanations for the Doctrine and Covenants Section Headings
Since the 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, historical research, much of it conducted by those working on the Joseph Smith Papers, has led to new information on many of the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants. Adjustments have been made to correct inaccurate facts, to provide more precise dating of many sections, and, in some cases, to supply historical context that better aids in the understanding of the sections.
- Have adjustments been made in past editions of the Doctrine and Covenants?
Short headings were used in the earliest printed collections of Joseph Smith’s revelations, the Book of Commandments (1833) and the Doctrine and Covenants (1835). Section headings have been substantially revised in many editions of the Doctrine and Covenants, particularly those published in 1876, 1921, and 1981.
- How many adjustments have been made in the 2013 edition’s section headings of the Doctrine and Covenants?
Adjustments, many of which are very minor, have been made to 78 section headings.
- What types of adjustments have been made in the section headings and in the introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants?
The adjustments fall into three basic categories. First, 38 section headings contain either corrected or more precise dates or locations. Second, factual errors have been corrected or deleted. Finally, historical context has been added or updated for many section headings.
- Why have the references to the History of the Church been deleted?
The parenthetical references to the History of the Church have been deleted in the section headings and in other locations in introductory material. While foundational for our understanding of early Latter-day Saint history, the History of the Church contains historical errors about some sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and is inaccessible to most Church members. In addition, the revised section headings rely on other sources, including the Manuscript History of the Church, early manuscript revelation books, and other sources that are reproduced in the Joseph Smith Papers. Quotations from the Manuscript History of the Church and the History of the Church are collectively referred to in section headings as Joseph Smith’s history.
- Why have headings been added for Official Declaration 1 and Official Declaration 2?
Introductions have been added to Official Declaration 1 and Official Declaration 2 to help Church members and others understand the historical context that led to these revelatory statements.
- Why has the Church History Chronology been removed?
The Church History Chronology has been removed so a more comprehensive version could be made available on the Church History website. This will allow for regular updating.
- Where can I learn more about the new historical information in the section headings?
In 2009, the Joseph Smith Papers published photographs and transcriptions of the manuscript revelation books into which early Latter-day Saints copied Joseph Smith’s revelations. These manuscript revelation books, which are available to view for free at www.josephsmithpapers.org, have greatly aided in understanding the context of many revelations. In late 2013, the Joseph Smith Papers will publish the first two volumes in its Documents series, which will provide extensive historical introductions and annotations for Joseph Smith’s revelations through January 1833. For historical background behind specific adjustments, see Explanations for the Doctrine and Covenants Section Headings.
- Is there any additional information available about the adjustments?
The document available at the top of this page summarizing the adjustments introduced in the 2013 edition offers an abbreviated summary of the adjustments. An expanded version of this document is also available.