Monday, February 7, 2011

Finding My Angle

"Its appeal is as timeless as truth, as universal as mankind. It is the only book that contains within its covers a promise that by divine power the reader may know with certainty of its truth."
Gordon Hinckley
"The Power of the Book of Mormon"

There has been some confusion as to what my angle is here. When I contend for a "liberating form" of the Book of Mormon, am I suggesting a new, revamped, digital version or am I pushing for a more personal version of the book? Honestly, I'm not 100% sure. There are elements of both within my argument. But if asked which I see taking the book further, I would say I'm not pushing digital versions as much as personal versions through the digital. Confused? Don't worry, me too!

My Idea
The Book of Mormon is a personal account of the histories of a people. These people had scripture (1 Nephi 4), and read/comment on that scripture. Those commentaries have become our scripture. This idea of personal knowledge, personal interpretation, being scripture is amazing. When the Book of Mormon is read as only an impersonal document, it is a stale unchanging record. However, we see all the time, people read themselves into different accounts and suddenly the book is brought to life! Nephi recognized this when he commented:

And I did read many things unto [my brethren] which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scripture unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning. -- 1 Nephi 19:23

Indeed, Nephi clearly states that his purpose in writing on the plates, " that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, and be saved." 1 Nephi 6:4

Nephi didn't say he only wanted to bring people of his day to God, but said he wanted to persuade men, all men, to come unto God. Suddenly there is personal application and we see the book's relevance to Christianity not just 1,400 years ago, but today!

The New Epistemological Crisis
--How do I know what I think I know? Read my blog?
It's like during the Renaissance, with the emergence of the printing press, suddenly people began to have their own copies of the Bible and questioned the church's authoritative voice on scripture. The Bible was suddenly open for interpretation, for the general public to make personal, and it was everywhere. I believe the way to liberate this book out of a form which makes it seem objective and impersonal, is to publish personal commentary on the book and use social networking devices (Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.) to publish that commentary. This is the way to bring the book to all the earth, one person/personal blog post/Facebook update at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Personal interpretation as scripture. I never thought of the Book of Mormon like that before. Very cool.