"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From the Bookshelves

I just finished listening to the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, and it's pretty good. Pretty darn good. I usually have a hard time with pioneer narratives, and early church history, but the way Pratt wrote was entertaining as well as faith-inspiring.

If I could only pick a single theme from the book, it would be "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?". Parley recounted endless examples from his own life, as well as from others' experiences he knew of, that all circled around this theme. Everything returned to the fact that nothing is impossible for people when the Lord is on their side. The Lord was inexhaustible in his goodness toward the early saints.

Other topics of discussion worth mentioning are as follows:
  • religious fervor and involvement of early saints
  • the dynamics of the early church vs. policy changes in the modern church
  • life-and-death struggles met with unsurpassed sacrifice for a higher spirituality; willingness to completely live the laws of sacrifice and consecration despite life-threatening challenges
  • modern visions, dreams, miracles, signs, and wonders as well as modern curses and plagues (Rotting flesh, anyone? That's what several mob members got in later years.)
  • revelation for specific individuals appearing in modern scriptural canon (How cool would that be to have inspiration specific to you canonized? I'd hope it wasn't a chastisement.)
  • religious belief that America was designed to provide a means of bringing forth the fullness of the gospel, yet amazing amounts of resistance (The rhetoric that stood out most to me was concerning the abuses and crimes perpetrated by mobs and government: "Was this America in the 19th century? Were these the scenes transacted in a constitutional republic? Yes. Verily, and worse.")
  • Boggs as an archetype of Herod of old, or Pharaoh, for that matter
  • Phelps swearing like a sailor to save his life following a jailbreak
  • Mormons as an "intrinsically vagrant race" (Perhaps my antsy-ness comes from my pioneer heritage.)
As always, I'd love to discuss this read with anyone interested in doing so. With these few theme pointers, it might be easier to make cohesive thoughts on this book. Happy reading!

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