[The Jaredite] history is given near the end of the Book of Mormon. It is that people, among the Faithful exiled from Numenor, whose pre-flight story has now been told in Words of the Faithful. The tales of Izilba and of Zhera’ bring together the world brought into story by Tolkien, and that other tale perverted into scripture by Mormonism. It is my advice that we read the Book of Mormon within Tolkien’s “fantasy,” and that we realize that fantasy amid the Book of Mormon’s pretension to history. And I believe both stories are true. Really.
I advise readers familiar with Tolkien’s writings to approach the Book of Mormon as they do The Silmarillion or Lord of the Rings. Just read it, and imagine as you do. The same can be advised for Mormons, here and also when taking up Tolkien’s vast library. The truth of them may be decided in time.
~The Book of Mormon in three volumes, introduction
I’m reading a lot these days (or trying to read a lot). I’m currently participating in a course taught by Dr. Becca Tarnas which requires me to read the Lord of The Rings entirely by mid-December. That is roughly 10-pages per day.
Additionally, I’m working my way through Words of The Faithful and Words of them which have Slumbered. The books, to me, are not easy reading. You can read through the books three times and still find things that don’t make sense, or that leave you puzzled.
It has been easy to put The Book of Mormon to the side during all of this. I’m very familiar with the Book of Mormon. I’ve been Mormon for 29 years. When I was 16, I read the Book of Mormon every month for nearly a year. Since then, I’ve read it at least once per year. It was too easy to put it aside while digesting the new material.
But, that is the danger. That is how I got to this point. I am familiar with the stories and lessons found in The Book of Mormon — or so it would seem. What have I missed because I lack “fresh eyes” or because I have failed to step outside the interpretations and imaginings of a Corporate Sole?
For the last few days, I’ve been trying to think of the structure and format of the blog.
How often should I post? Should I make them long posts? Short posts? Etc.
I believe the easiest way for me to share this journey with each of you is to write as I read and tie that post to what I am reading. If I’m reading The Book of Mormon, the tile will tell you which volume and the date that I’m reading/publishing. If I’m reading The Lord of The Rings, Words of The Faithful, Words of Them Which Have Slumbered, The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-Earth, etc. … you get the idea.
Tonight, I’m trying to sort through what Daymon might mean by, “It is my advice that we read the Book of Mormon within Tolkien’s “fantasy,” and that we realize that fantasy amid the Book of Mormon’s pretension to history. And I believe both stories are true. Really.”
I’m puzzled at that. What does it mean to have the stories be true, but perhaps remove pretention to history? Maybe this is trying to hard? Perhaps I should be focused more on imagining and reading that deciphering what one person might mean when they use the words like “fantasy,” “history,” “believe,” or “both stories are true.” I think that might be the case.
Ok. Now that I’ve discovered I’m making this too complicated, this post doesn’t have a definite ending. This is about reimagination. It is about, as mentioned in the previous post, the real hard work of reading and imagining. I need to do more reading and imagining. But, I’ve written this much, so, consider it published.
Hopefully, the next posts will have content worth considering.