I’ve been getting ready to study the Book of Mormon for Sunday school in 2012. I wanted to create a way to more easily place the first three prophets of the Book of Mormon (Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob) into context related to the prophetic books, and some historical writings like Ezra, of the Old Testament. After some research and experimentation with layout, I put together this timeline of Old Testament and Book of Mormon prophets between 800 B.C. and 400 B.C.
In the months I was preparing to visit Israel last year, I listened to a great deal of the Old Testament while riding my bicycle to and from work. Listening instead of reading helped me approach the scriptures in a way that prompted new insights and ideas, and I unexpectedly found that listening inspired me with some ideas for poetry to write.
Though I am not a prolific poet, the poetry I write is usually infused with gospel concepts and imagery. But I had never thought of poetry so directly inspired by scriptural narratives before.
As is usual for me, the time between when the idea for a poem occurs to me and when I actually write it is substantial. It has been well over a year, and I am now approaching the one year anniversary of my trip to Israel for Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles.
This last Sunday, I sat down and wrote a draft of the first poem, and then honed it during the next day and a half. Hope you enjoy it.
For my first substantive post here on M*, I wanted to take you back to an issue that was discussed on this blog by M* Ben, back in 2005. M* Ben raised some very relevant and interesting queries for those of us who are familiar with the LDS temple ordinances: “Should we find the Temple ordinances in the Old Testament? If so, should we see them presented as they are today?” His preliminary answers to these two questions were “yes to the first and no to the second.” I agree with M* Ben’s initial conclusions, but I would like to approach these questions from, perhaps, a different angle and present to you some different results. I believe that the temple ordinances that we know today may have been presented as more of a “coherent whole” than M* Ben assumed. (Just to forewarn you, this post may be a little on the long side)
Back in October of 2009, Daniel Bartholomew and I announced our ScriptureLog project, an open source plugin that turns WordPress into a collaborative scripture study platform. At that time only we only had The Book of Mormon available.