Some Book of Mormon thoughts.

The Sign is too Big for Me to See It

After another of his inevitable wrangles with his brothers, the Lord tells Nephi that they will receive a sign of Jerusalem’s destruction.  The sign will be arriving in the promised land.  It made me realize that while many of God’s interactions with us are too subtle for the unwilling mind, a great many evidences of Him are just too obvious to be noticed.

How do we know that Jerusalem was really destroyed?

Well, here we are, aren’t we?

But, no, the facts as they are are just “how things have always been” or are “historically inevitable.”

Collapsing birth rates?  Nothing to worry about.

We have in front of us daily the experience of creation, of beauty, of the inner working of our soul, of meaning.  But those are too obvious.

Artefacts in Revelation

The standard explanation for Joseph’s seer stone and the Urim and Thummim and etc. is that they were baby aids to neophyte revelators.  And it is true that once Joseph Smith had been beavering away at the prophet gig for awhile, he no longer needed them.

(I believe the Catholic understanding of relics and such is something similar–concrete aids and focuses for devotion.  Perhaps some of our Roman friends will weigh in.)

But that does not seem to be the case with the Liahona.  Both Nephi and Lehi had received repeated, detailed visions from the Lord before the Liahona.  They did not need an aid.  In fact, the night before the Liahona shows up, Lehi receives instructions to get up and go to the Promised Land.  They also continued to receive direct revelation.  So why the Liahona?  Grimly, it seems that it might have been a way to tempt Laman and Lemuel into revolt at sea, by allowing them to tell themselves that divine aid was technological.  But the main response to my question may just be that I like everyone else these days tries to spiritualize/de-materialize the gospel too much.  Why not an artifact?  Stuff is awesome.



Have any of the old reliables, Dan Petersen or any of those guys, addressed what Shazer might mean?

A cursory search revealed a fun site on Book of Mormon names, but no convincing explanations.



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