Monday, September 17, 2012

Scriptural Language

Just as modern language degenerates with time, so does scriptural language.

Holy Ghost has come to mean "warm fuzzies"
Truth has come to mean anything spoken by a General Authority
Abominations, wickedness, iniquity, filthiness, pollutions, apostasy.  These all get applied to people like terrorists, or some extreme religeon, or people in the past.  They have all gotten applied to "everyone else"  and thus have lost their meaning. 
Come unto Christ has come to mean following the Prophet. 
Repentance has come to mean some formula involving "R's" or to refer mostly to stopping some addiction.  
Following the Spirit has come to mean relying on the handbook of instructions, or following a printed program. 
Intelligence has come to mean a P.h.D. or scholarly learning. 
Endure to the End has come to mean staying mainstream Mormon at all costs.
Learning mysteries of God has come to be something inappropriate, wrong, against the leaders, or apostate.  Or something we should leave alone.
  
Scriptural language as seen above can quickly loose it's underlying meaning. Unless preserved, the words and meaning deteriorate with much more consequential effects than our everyday language. (see Omni 1:17, 1 Nephi 3:19, Mosiah 1:3 (2–6). Without the Spirit to assist us, and give us the true meaning of the passages our understanding will decay. This does not require any academic degrees or training. It requires only a humble heart, and open mind, and for us to listen to the Spirit of God when reading.

If all we look for are "good feelings" we are going to miss most messages of scripture. "Good feelings" are very separate from the Holy Ghost. God often delivers messages that cause a wide spectrum of feelings and of course some of them are pleasant. But we shouldn't dismiss a message coming to us simply because it doesn't prompt "good feelings". This is one way to miss scripture's meaning entirely.

Discovering the underlying meaning of scriptural language is not a scholarly endeavor or an emotional one.

The scripture authors wrote "as they were moved upon by the Spirit". We need to be in tune with that Spirit in order to hear the true message being conveyed.

When scriptural language looses light there is a loss of associated word meanings, until the words of scripture may become empty, or lifeless. It's possible to have a large religious or scriptural vocabulary, but not have any inner light or correct meaning associated with the words. One could then have a discussion using all the right words, but not be speaking about the correct ideas. Further, satisfaction from being able to use and throw around the right vocabulary words is not the same as possessing the inner light or understanding the words point to.

For this blog the word "Christian" is not referring to modern Christianity or historical Christianity. And "hope" also is used in a much different way than the cultural definition of a vague wish.

The Holy Ghost is used on the blog in the way Joseph taught. Something that communicates light or intelligence. The feelings prompted may cover a wide spectrum but they are independent of the message the Holy Ghost communicated.

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