Monday, June 5, 2017

A Swedenborgian Reading of Abinadi

Mosiah 12:1-7

1 And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to prophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations.
2 Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh.
3 And it shall come to pass that the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord.
4 And it shall come to pass that I will smite this my people with sore afflictions, yea, with famine and with pestilence; and I will cause that they shall howl all the day long.
5 Yea, and I will cause that they shall have burdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass.
6 And it shall come to pass that I will send forth hail among them, and it shall smite them; and they shall also be smitten with the east wind; and insects shall pester their land also, and devour their grain.
7 And they shall be smitten with a great pestilence—and all this will I do because of their iniquities and abominations.
8 And it shall come to pass that except they repent I will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth; yet they shall leave a record behind them, and I will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land; yea, even this will I do that I may discover the abominations of this people to other nations. And many things did Abinadi prophesy against this people.
Mosiah 12:1-7's inner meaning, insofar as I can translate it correctly (with some help from Swedenborg's system of correspondences):

1 Truth comes to those who are too open-minded and curious about sin in the only way they'll let it, maybe in a book that's not scripture or through somebody they love, and says: the Lord wants you to know that you are full of false ideas; you have not come to me to be healed; therefore, I will oppose those false ideas and try to fix them, but it will involve great suffering.2 People like this will have a lot of reason to be sad. If you're like this, the Lord wants you to know that, because of your selfish and greedy actions, the false ideas in you that they come from will be a burden. They will become very painful to hold onto. Savage, intrusive thoughts will plague you; so will lusts and the thoughts that try to justify them.3 Your reasoning will be plagued by distorted ideas; this intensification means that those falsities are ending.4 And I will put you through this suffering, where you hunger for real truth and are reduced to despair,5 Where you feel trapped and enslaved,6 Where false ideas and lusts afflict you and take away everything that matters to you,7 Where everything you believed in seems to be ending, because you have done greedy and selfish things from your false ideas, and I want to heal you from them.8 You can always turn to me and I will heal these false ideas much more quickly. But if you don't, you will experience immense suffering. And even then, your suffering will become a great teaching tool for those who can see clearly.

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