bomonomo: A set of golden plates bound by rings, representing the original form of the Book of Mormon in LDS culture. (Default)
2009-05-21 01:06 am
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Introduction

I'm often disappointed at how little many people know about the Bible. Don't get me wrong--I'm not geared for faith and my Bible knowledge doesn't have a spiritual component. I'm not a Bible expert, either; most of what I know is from the sheer osmosis of growing up in a very scriptural religion rather than rigorous study. But, I enjoy being able to recognize Biblical allusions, which are very abundant in American culture. (Like the lyrics to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah!) And sometimes I make a comment referring to what I assume to be commonly held Biblical knowledge, only to be met with blank looks. Granted, a lot of that has to do with keeping some very secular company.

But if there's anything that would get me even blanker looks than making Bible references, it would be making Book of Mormon references. Even though LDS concepts leak into popular culture here and there (such as in the original Battlestar Galactica, or Orson Scott Card's writings, or even Stephanie Meyer's Twilight), the LDS religion is overall such a minority that I don't carry the same assumptions of background knowledge I do with the Bible. I can't deny that I have a lot of LDS cultural heritage in my background, though, and sometimes I want to share some of it. That's where this journal comes in.

The tales in this journal are not designed to convert you. I won't be trying to relate them into an overall doctrinal framework; keep in mind that these stories have layers of meaning to most Mormons that I won't be going into. I'll also be embellishing them with turns of phrase and commentary that might not be entirely orthodox. Because of this, I'll be linking to the original scripture source for each story as well as any related official scripture study guides.

The tales in this journal are also not designed as a critique, either scientifically or theologically. I'm not going to point out knowledge that conflicts with the events in the Book of Mormon. While I might connect these stories back to the Bible when relevant, as the Book of Mormon contains Biblical allusions, I'm not going to analyze whether the BoM is inconsistent with the Bible or if any of it conflicts with the tenets of mainstream Christianity.

My background: I was born into a Mormon family who actively attended church. As such, from the age of 3 to 11, I was in Sunday School lessons for children almost every Sunday. From the ages of 12 to 18, I was in Sunday School lessons for adolescents, which rotated through one scriptural work in a four year cycle (New Testament, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, D&C). During the four years of high school, I attended seminary classes nearly every school day--one year spent on each of the four works listed. I'll admit that sometimes I was sleeping, but I did graduate.