An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Six years ago, I finished reading the Book of Mormon for
maybe the twentieth time. Even though the BoM was the Gospel Doctrine course of
study for the coming year, I had no desire to start another reread. I wanted to
spend my scripture-study time reading the Jewish Study Bible. Yes, I could have
read the JSB at some other time of day, but there is never enough time—there will
never be enough time—to do everything I need and want to do.  Spending time on one activity means not doing

By this time in my life, I felt I had pretty much mined the
wisdom of the Book of Mormon, but had a lot to learn about the Bible—particularly
the Old Testament. I finished the JSB, and moved on to the Catholic Study Bible
edition of the New Testament. Bible insights from scholars outside my own
religion opened my eyes to the many plausible ways to interpret these ancient
writings—as well as to the importance of understanding the historical context
in which various parts of the Bible were written.

I decided to include religious
thought from outside the Judeo/Christian tradition in my scripture study and
read the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita and Chinese
Tao te Ching. The wisdom from these
books seemed every bit as inspired as anything in the Bible and Mormon
scriptures. True, the Bhagavad-Gita
glorifies battle in one section, but much less so than the Bible and Book of
Mormon. Sharon Salzberg’s introduction to Buddhism, Loving –Kindness, introduced me to the peaceful acceptance of the
Buddhist tradition.

The messages of connectedness, right action, non-attachment,
and mindfulness from these volumes have given me insights into God, myself, and
others that I was not finding in the Book of Mormon. I’m truly grateful for the
Mormon teaching to spend time each day on scripture study—and I’m  also grateful to live at a time when the
wisdom and inspiration from people of various cultures and time periods is
available for my study.


Comments on: "Expanding My Scriptural Canon" (2)

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