The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is an uniquely remarkable church. At its foundation is the Book of Mormon, this sacred book miraculously translated by Joseph Smith serves as the foundation of the church’s founding. The book justifies Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet of God and has convinced countless of people to follow him by joining the church he founded. Without the book there is no church. As a result of this, Mormon skeptics have tried to explain this book away as something invented by Joseph Smith, chalking it up to his brilliance. Believers have tried to find evidence of its authenticity not only as a religious book, but as a historical one as well.
I say this because I find Faulconer’s question on 1 Nephi 5:21 so interesting:
21 And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.
His question is concerned with the word “unto”, in “that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children”. Why “unto” and not “for”?
Webster says “unto” is another word for “to”. In a casual reading of this verse, in my head, I actually want to read “for” not “to”. Meaning the scriptures are here for us, to serve us, to help us, to give us direction. But this one word changes the meaning in an interesting way. Rather than for us, they are written to us. The commandments and the scriptures are written to save us, to warn us, to make us uncomfortable. Rather than be our servants that “for” implies, perhaps they are acting more as our masters, forcing themselves into our lives not waiting for us to bring them in.
Just some random thoughts, here.
But all of these questions are meaningful only if we think every single word in this book counts, that nothing is throw away. The only way one can believe this is if you believe in this book. I do.