|Photo by LDS Media Library|
I really enjoyed The Welcoming Door. It was refreshing to touch on topics that are bigger than LDS culture, while still integral in LDS culture. Jeshua was written to be a very real, but good, perfect Jesus. I liked that He was so real, the moments when He got hurt, or seemed to almost be frustrated because it made his goodness and divinity even more beautiful in near contrast. What I liked most though, was the fact that in each parable there was more to the story after the parable ends in the scriptures.
One of the most obvious examples is the Good Samaritan story. True, everything occurred to fundamentally maintain the structure of the parable, but it doesn't end there. Achish isn't just the antagonist, some random force of misfortune. In Kemp's version of the story, it is as much a journey of redemption for him as it is for the merchant. In fact, it rather struck me that although from the perspective of a parable, we are trying to follow the Good Samaritan's example, the people who significantly changed were not the Samaritan. This made me feel the reality of layers that exist in parables. Even with just scriptural parables we know there are many layers of meaning, but add a narrative and the implications go crazy. I really enjoyed that aspect.
Finally, although the stories themselves were delightful, I really appreciated having them end, not with the conclusion of the story itself, but with the moment Christ uses the story in His ministry. This helped connect me back to the scriptural and historical context, making the scriptures feel situated in a reality and time frame I am a part of.