Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Are records the universal ice-breaker?

A heavy theme running through the Book of Mormon refers back to the medium of the scripture itself: records. From Nephi to Moroni the authors repeatedly remind us of the importance of their record, but they also reveal the importance of records within their own culture in a variety of ways.

 For instance, Kin Benjamin takes a long time telling his sons about the advantages of their records; they preserve the language of the Egyptains, teach them the mysteries of God, give them good examples to learn from, and prevent them from suffering from ignorance (Mosiah 1).

However, the importance of records and taking histories was not only practiced by the the righteous. In the book of Mosiah, a group of corrupt Nephite priests join the Lamanites. Amulon, the leader of the group, gains a teaching position for himself and his companions by finding favor with the king. With their new found power  and the lack of religious tradition on the Lamanites part, Amulon's men has freedom to teach as they want to.

The priests did not teach them the words of Abinadi or the law of Moses. They fail to teach them about God at all. Taking this under consideration, we can fully appreciate the weight of one thing Amulon and the priests do choose to teach: "They taught them that [the Lamanites] should keep record, and that they should write one to another" (Mosiah 24:6).

Fast forwarding to the present, we see the emphasis on sharing our personal records with social media of all kinds. These modern day records come from Latter-day Saints and atheists and everyone in between. They allow all these people—who may not otherwise connect so easily with each otherto interact as they share experiences, daily life, and beliefs. Other forms of record keeping have been significant as well. Think of Anne Frank. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers across America have connected to a young German girl who died almost a century ago because of her compelling diary. The examples of this could go on forever.

Perhaps the authors of the Book of Mormon understood the power of their record keeping and the ability it has to communicate to others on a personal level. Seeing how big a priority records were to this people make the offering of the Book of Mormon that much more compelling.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this post! I did something similar by focusing on the how the past plays a role in BOM stories. I really like the examples you used and I love how you bring it to the modern day by referring to social media. That's something that I think could help my posts.