In a probably unsuccessful rush to finish the Book of Mormon before the end of the year (who knew Alma was so long?), I’ve had some thoughts I want to flesh out and discuss. The first involves prophets writing descriptions of the state of affairs of the church and the saints for a given period of time; these descriptions sometimes cover hundreds of years in a single verse, or they may focus on a few months or years and take an entire chapter doing so. Either way, the author (usually Mormon, although it may be someone who lived at the time being described) often mentions several indicators of the general righteousness of the church, including: strife, contentions, treatment of the poor, the wearing of fine clothing, sexual morality, priestcraft, fasting, prayer, treatment of the prophets, and others. (If you noticed any others, mention them in the comments.) Here’s one example of what I’m talking about, from Alma 4:
A faithful member of the Church dies. All that you know about her is that at the time of her death she was genuinely worthy of a temple recommend and was sealed in the temple to her husband and children. With what degree of certainty would you feel comfortable in asserting that she will be recieve exaltation in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom?
Here are a few of the ways I would spend my money:
* Magazines: I really like books, but sometimes reading a book smacks of duty, which I avoid at all costs. Magazines, on the other hand, are pure leisure. I loooooove magazines. I’d subscribe to The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, and US Weekly/In Touch/OK.
* Laundry: I’d never, ever, ever do anything laundry-related for the rest of my days.
* Brushing My Teeth: Yes, that’s right. I’d have someone brush my teeth for me. I hate doing it. While they’re at it, they’d shave me.
Wife: Welcome home.
Husband: Uh, yeah. Thanks.
W: How was work?
W: Was the drive OK?
H: Not bad. There weren’t any bad jams. It took about 50 minutes.
W: Well, what’s wrong?
H: Wrong? … Oh. I listened to Jeremiah on tape most of the way home.
W: Oh. I see.
One thing I liked about BYU was the presence of families. I’m not referring here to spouses and young children, though they added to the wholeness of the place, too. I’m remembering the siblings and cousins.