Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Written for Humanity: Revision

When reading a novel, poem or essay, I don't like when I am given the "moral of the story" within in the first paragraph. I like to analyze and search and even create my own meaning. Where is the fun when the answer is blatantly stated?

Among the chapters in the Book of Mormon, the writers often include a statement of intended language. In 2 Nephi 31: 2-3, Nephi states that he will speak in plain language and he emphasizes "plain" multiple times. He says "I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying". The prophets of the Book of Mormon write to enlighten and engage our understanding; they do not write to confuse or misguide. Just like when conveying something clear and essential, we do not do so in difficult terms. We tell it like it is. The Book of Mormon is meant to be understood by humanity for it was written for humanity. Nephi testifies "For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding".

When I read the scriptures, I want to be told and carefully guided the answer. I've been taught that we can find answers and happiness in the scriptures so I'd rather receive inspiration and knowledge sooner rather than later. Sometimes though, as I'm sure most people will find, I don't always understand what I am reading; whether it be the message, the language or the context I am unsure. But I trust that Nephi and others were honest in their intentions to speak plainly of the workings of God. The intention of the Book of Mormon is even stated on the first page. On the title page, Mormon writes that such a record intends “to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever­­ – And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ”.

The Book of Mormon was not only written for scholars or prophets but for us. It was written plainly and is meant to be understood. So I may enjoy the well-crafted words of Shakespeare or appreciate the deep passions of Emily Bronte but more than that I adore the plain and simple truths the Book of Mormon offers to all who read.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your emphasis on understanding; especially the scripture where it says God speaks to men 'unto their understanding'. We aren't being tricked, duped, or lied to. The Book of Mormon was written to be understood and you get that point across very clearly. I think this is a crucial point and you handled/described it wonderfully.