Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Exploring Scripture Through Prose

The act of exploring scripture through prose is a very interesting idea. It is easy to think that it would be a dangerous attempt, being forced to take so many liberties and explore things the scriptures often remain silent or vague about. Is it always a good idea? What are some of the pros and cons? Right now I'm having a hard time thinking of any legitimate cons. We could obviously never call it doctrine, but imagining and recreating the great events of scripture in such a way opens doors of thought that are super interesting to explore. I would love to read/write a tragedy of this type from the perspective of Moroni, maybe starting from the point of Mormon 8:

 1 Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father.
 2 And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed.
 3 And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not.
 4 Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.
 5 Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not

That's some great tragedy material. And, like Samson in Milton's tragedy, reading such an exploration could cause the reader to have a greater appreciation for what Moroni had to go through and reflect on his situation. I found Milton's Agonistes extremely redeeming for Samson as a character in a way I had never pictured Samson in my reading of the scriptural story.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that reading scripture as prose is necessarily dangerous, but it does change your perspective, sometimes in an uncomfortable way. I studied the story of Abraham and Isaac a few years ago for class, and it just completely blew my mind. What a story! What complex characters! I can never Abraham the same way again after delving deeply into it.