Friday, January 16, 2015

Likening the Scriptures

How do we liken the Scriptures?

If your like me, you've been told countless times in church that we need to liken the scriptures to our day. But what does this mean? In nearly every instance, this phrase has spring boarded a discussion on topics such as chastity, morality, and the wicked ways of the world. These scriptural examples are juxtaposed with specific examples of how far the world has fallen (i.e. same-sex marriage, pornography, violence), and how Latter-Day Saints alone are above this debauchery.

I suggest an alternative approach. To me, likening the scriptures means learning by example, and seeking after what the authors of the book desired. The Book of Mormon contains numerous examples of individuals approaching God and Christ. Nephi is an excellent example of this. Near the beginning of the narrative, Nephi informs the reader that his father, Lehi, has been preaching repentance to the city of Jerusalem. The Lord then commands Lehi to take his family and depart into the wilderness, which causes much contention among his sons. One of the first details Nephi gives about himself is a desire to know the Mysteries of God. To do so, he softened his heart, believed the words of his father, and was visited by the Lord. (1 Nephi 2:15) Through this action, Nephi demonstrates how a broken heart and contrite spirit are essential characteristics of a follower of Christ. He is therefore blessed with many gifts of the spirit, including the holy ghost, priesthood power, and visions. Nephi goes on to perform a great work for the Lord in assisting his family in their journey to the promised land, which sets the course for the rest of the Book of Mormon. But it began with Nephi's humble desire to follow Christ, to know him, and to understand his will.

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