I heard a rumor once, that when the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were finished with ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’, that it was suggested that this document be added to the scriptures – perhaps as a section in the Doctrine and Covenants. As the rumor goes, President Hinckley decided not to do that because it would make members feel that they needed to go out and buy a new set of scriptures. A nice set of new scriptures is quite expensive, and the task of printing new scriptures for much of the church membership would be a significant one.
For the sake of argument, let us assume for the moment that this rumor has some truth to it. Do nice, expensive scriptures lead to a functionally closed canon? Unfortunately, I think the answer might be yes.
What if, instead of an expensive, leather bound set of scriptures, we had a three-ring binder. This way, when new revelation for the church was received by a prophet, such revelation could just be posted at lds.org, people could print out their own copy of it, and slip it in their own scripture binder. Or similarly, with on-line information and technology progressing as it is, maybe the scriptures could be on-line and additions to the scriptures would just be a matter of updating the scripture wed site. In this way, new scripture would only be a matter of receiving revelation, presenting it to the church for sustaining vote, and updating a website (or something to that effect).
As it is now, the words of the prophets are written in the Ensign. It seems to me that how members take these words range from being the equivalent to scripture, to being personal thoughts and opinions. It is sometimes difficult to know how much weight to give these articles.
So once again, the question(s): Do nice, expensive scriptures lead to a functionally closed canon? Should the church have made the D&C more like a binder so additional scripture could be easily added? Will new technology eventually lead to non-printed scripture which could serve to functionally re-open the canon?