Volume Five Published: Book Fantasia

The series, A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon, comes to completion with the publication of Book Fantasia.

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The book is available from Createspace and also on Amazon and Kindle.  Also, if you like the books, please add a review on Amazon, or give it a star-rating.  I don’t generally read these, to be honest, but others do, and the books have been trolled by a few well-meaning, not-well-read commenters.

Finally, a preview of chapter three, Imagining the Book of the Lamb, given as a presentation (in SLC, Utah) can be viewed on Youtube.

Description:

This final volume of the cultural history looks into the future,
having seen enough of the past. A collection of related essays
imagining what is possible from the Book of Mormon, it
ponders the book into a fantasia. The collection begins with a
reading of Nephi’s Vision which opens a rather different
perspective on the Book of the Lamb, the subject of an
imaginative reconstruction. The third essay of the volume tells
a fantastical and tragical tale of the Remnant, recipients of the
Book of the Lamb, and long waiting with scales over their eyes.
Their role in creating New Jerusalem is explored, a future again
taking us back to the Book of Mormon’s scene of at-one-ment,
when Christ glorifies his disciples and they are one with him
and the Father. The relationship between Christ and the one
he calls Father is imagined across the essays, and most clearly in
a new reading of Atonement derived from the pages of the
Book of Mormon. Short fantasias give us guesses about the
book’s geography, and provide a reading of the Book of
Moroni, regarded as the preface to the Sealed Writings of that
same author. Finally, a wholly exploratory essay concludes the
volume by pointing to a need to ponder the Name, baptism in
it, calling upon it, and praying in it.

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6 thoughts on “Volume Five Published: Book Fantasia

  1. Moments after my family and I concluded watching this morning’s session of General Conference, I received a call from my bishop informing me the stake president would be conducting a disciplinary council on my behalf this Wednesday at 7 pm. He said I would be getting a letter within the next few hours.

    I asked “Why?”

    He mentioned my “continuing to disseminate” my blog [in200wordsorless], after having been told (by him) not to discuss “Denver Snuffer” or what I’m learning by reading Daymon Smith’s A Cultural History of the Book of Mormon “with anyone within these walls” (meaning the church building) or “among the members of [his] ward”.

    And I haven’t.

    But apparently, that’s not “good enough” — my current temple recommend, (nearly) 100% home teaching and regular service in the Church notwithstanding.

    I must say, I feel sick. A feeling of fear envelops me. (These are not the feelings of the Spirit, but of that other guy!) I have summoned the spirit of charity toward all to counterbalance what I sense may become a blind abuse of “priesthood authority”. (Perhaps they think I am “tearing down the church” when, in reality, I am building up the Christ, basing my faith in Him and not in some organization they cherish and serve).

    I have no qualms with the leaders of the LDS Church. I do not “disrespect” their authority (whatever that may be). I “support and sustain” them…quite literally, with my tithes!

    But, for some reason, this is not “good enough”.

    I wonder what will be.

    • I am sorry for you. That stake president is apparently afraid, and the nature of fear is to consume until it destroys. I think another way of asking your question is, At what point does one cease being afraid of another’s voice?

      • I’m not afraid of what they can do to me. I’m afraid (sad? hurt?) for the terrible harm they may potentially do to my children.

        These men think I am an “apostate”? For what? Because I read books? Because I study LDS Church history? Because I invite others to read with me?Because I think the Book of Mormon, in all its promises and condemnations, refers to us Latter-day Saints as “Gentiles”? Because I believe the Lord when He says the Gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel? And that He will withdraw(or has withdrawn) “the fullness of the priesthood” from among us?

        What a squirrelly “inquisition” this is! They’ve tried for FIVE HOURS to paint me into a corner (without success). I have asked them to name EVEN ONE false doctrine that I espouse…and they haven’t been able to do it! What commandment am I not keeping? What rule am I breaking? (I’m not talking “little” stuff here.) They haven’t been able to pin a SINGLE CHARGE on me!

        Except this one: I “agree with” (and maybe even “associate with”) Denver Snuffer, who has been excommunicated from the LDS Church (and therefore qualifies as an “apostate” himself). I’m “guilty” with him, by association

        I have adamantly attested that I support and sustain the leaders of the Church as “prophets, seers and revelators”. But this is, apparently, not “good enough” for them.

        They have said, in effect, if not in fact, “Why don’t you tell us plainly? Is Thomas S. Monson THE Prophet of God, or not?”

        What more can I say to them?

        I’ve told them “He doesn’t call himself a prophet (as far as I know), but I acknowledge him as such. I haven’t received a revelation about him (unlike other General Authorities I have known), if that’s what you’re asking.”

        “Well maybe you should seek that revelation,” they’ve insisted.

        “I’m not required to have a ‘testimony’ of the president of the Church,” I’ve told them. “It is enough that I ‘support and sustain’ him. If President Monson ‘fell away’, it wouldn’t matter at all to me. My faith and testimony aren’t based on him.”

        Apparently it’s “not enough” for me to say I “accept what the leaders say” or “I take them at their word”. Apparently I must TESTIFY that “I know by the Spirit of God that they are, indeed, prophets, seers and revelators!”

        I have tried to explain to them that my calling them “prophets, seers or revelators” won’t “make” them such. (Either they “are” or they’re “not”. That’s the Lord’s doing, not mine.) I have invited them to produce Pres. Monson’s prophesies, visions or revelations for our review and consideration, but they’ve declined to do so. I acknowledge that President Monson, the Twelve, and others hold the “office” of “prophet, seer and revelator” in the our church. But that’s not “good enough” for my bishop or stake president.

        They want more.

        I asked “which of all the prophets never prophesied?” They couldn’t think of one. I have affirmed that President Monson is the President of the High Priesthood of the LDS Church and, as such, is duly ordained (as far as I know), possessing all the authority necessary to administrate the affairs of the Church, being upheld by the common consent of the membership.

        But this is NOT “enough” for them!

        Perhaps they want me to say he is “the ‘one and only’ who speaks in the name of the Lord”? I’m willing to concede EVEN THAT, so far as the LDS Church is concerned. If the Lord is going to speak to the Mormons, He (most likely) will go through the President of the Church, would He not? That would be the most efficient, I imagine.

        But this is not enough for them. (Samuel the Lamanite, speaking from the wall, would have no say or credibility among these brethren.)

        I find that very disturbing, as well. Perhaps more than anything.

      • So it seems that you’ve run into the reality of those calling themselves administrators of the LDS Church: it has to do with voice, and with using yours to speak what their voices say. Would saying so make Tom Monson a prophet? It would, because a prophet is whomever we call a prophet. The term has no definition nor meaning: it means, in fact, this man must be obeyed, and those who have taken up his voice (as admins) must also be copied. In fact, what they propose in this possession of your voice is that words have no meaning other than what we construct, that there is no independent reality outside of our saying so. They have been confused and beguiled into thinking themselves gods, and yet refuse to admit their power of creation have very limited bounds indeed. They have no power over historical documents, and so propose we don’t read them, or read them as “figurative” or “symbolic,” basically as meaning whatever we’d like. They have no power over death, over redemption, over the future, and so insist only on the present, reciting the same nonsense every six months; and demand your uptake of abstract nouns they can assume mean whatever anyone imagines they mean. If this description is accurate, and I think it is, it points us to the most powerful thing those who claim false power would take from you: your voice. Promises matter, oaths matter, descriptions matter, testimonies matter. They are as close to divine power as we are given in mortality (until ordained otherwise).

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