I was extremely pleased to discover what I think is the most significant development in LDS religion since 1830. Dr. Thomas Wayment, a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies, has offered a new translation of the New Testament aimed at LDS readers. (Get it here or here.) The translation is comparable to other modern translations of the New Testament. During my ten-year journey to understand Christianity I have seen no development more important for both the LDS and Evangelicals who feel called to share the good news with them.
Given the often impenetrable and inaccurate prose of the King James Version — the official LDS version of the bible — this development promises to open up a common understanding of the New Testament in a way comparable to the translation of the Vulgate into the vernacular language.
Another critical development that comes this year is the LDS church’s emphasis on extra-curricular bible study. In the past, the Church has implicitly discouraged organization of Bible study outside of its curriculum. This has changed, with the recent shortening of the Sunday program, the church has encouraged more study at home and President Nelson has explicitly stated that understanding our salvation is a personal matter and that members have a personal responsibility to learn the gospel on their own.
For those who believe that the Christian faith comes by hearing of the word, nothing could be more important to LDS culture than sanctioned access to a clear statement of the truth of Christ. It is my hope that these developments will be more and more LDS into a knowledge of the truth of Christ and fellowship with the universal church.