Sunday, January 11, 2015

Aphorisms on the Book of Mormon

Over the past few months, I've done a lot of thinking and praying about the Book of Mormon. I am now more convinced than ever of its truth, and I feel obliged to continue writing posts that elucidate it's deeper significance. But I think I've reached a point in my understanding where I would ruin the insights that I've gained if I ever put them down directly in writing or speech--just like in the Book of Mormon, there are some things that are better felt than said.

So in what follows, I'll try to convey what I've learned through indirect means. By using the aphoristic format (short, ambiguous, phrases), I'll try to convey what I've learned in a way that shows more than it says. So without further ado, enjoy:

1. The Book of Mormon often speaks of clouds and mists. How appropriate, then, that the book sometimes strikes us as so opaque.

2. The Book of Mormon is overcast. With what? With words.

3. How often a voice pierces through these clouds!

3a. Voice--the harbinger of light.

4.Like with those at Bountiful, Christ only manifests himself to us when we turn to the voice we hear.

4a. Faith--a hearing, a turning, a seeing-through.

5. Surely it wasn't the devil who shook the ground and raged the sea before Christ came. God did all this.

5a. To think--a God that shows Himself in darkness and destruction. What a comfort to the tempest-tossed soul!

5b. Of course, what is divine darkness but an unfamiliar light?

5c. Perhaps our eyes just need time to adjust.

6. Christ's birth: a day within night

6a. Christ's death: a night within day

6b. But of course--night and day contain each other.

7. The Book of Mormon was born out of the ground. But how was it conceived?

7a. Dying--a fertilization of the earth.

7b. Death--a great womb.

7c. The Book of Mormon--a resurrection in miniature.

8. The voices crying from the dust--what do they cry for? 

8a. The answer comes in a flash from the pregnant darkness--they want to live again.

8b. What is the Book of Mormon (and the act of reading it) but an ordinance for the dead?

9. Moroni "knows our doing," and so, in some sense, he is here with us.

9a. Maybe he, too, lies hidden behind the clouds.

10. The Book of Mormon didn't only come through a Urim and Thummim--it is one itself.

10a. The Book of Mormon contains and conveys the light poured into those glass stones at the time of the Brother of Jared's vision.

10b. It is a light in the darkness as we voyage to the promised land.

11. Where does the sealed part of the plates lie? In heaven, you say? Then perhaps we should turn toward it.

11a. Maybe "the words which are sealed" will be translated when we learn how to find them.

11b. Maybe Joseph Smith, too, needed to turn toward a voice to find and translate the Book of Mormon.

12. The Book of Mormon--deeper than it is tall.

12a. Most of it lies below the surface.

13. Perhaps we need not only gather Israel in the world, but in us as well.

13a: Maybe you, too, are a "captive daughter of Zion." Maybe you are a Jerusalem waiting to come forth.

13b: Zion--the leaven in life's bread.

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