Saturday, June 15, 2013

Words of Mormon 1: Editor's Notes

In another experimentation with non-linear storytelling, Joseph Smith inserts a little aside from Mormon, who wouldn't be born until a few hundred years after the events of the previous chapter.

Mormon mentions that King Benjamin had to take up arms to defend his people from the Lamanites, personally fighting with the sword of Laban (which somehow has become a mystical artifact).  This is the emergence of a pattern in the Book of Mormon which I think helps drench Mormon culture in an Us-Versus-Them attitude.  So many of the Book of Mormon prophets are also war commanders.  Nephi, Alma, King Benjamin, Captain Moroni and others all lead the righteous into battle against personifications of evil.  This makes warlike behavior one of the major themes of the Book of Mormon—the church members are in constant battle with ubiquitous forces of evil and the prophet is a military leader.

Weird how Mormonism teaches that America is the promised land and that the US Constitution is divinely inspired despite the Book of Mormon providing repeated examples of righteous societies with zero separation between church and state.

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