Monday, January 4, 2010

(Svithe) Resolve:

I'm making no resolutions this year. I'm just going to refocus on the resolves I made in October during General Conference, things I've let slip through the cracks for any number of reasons (but mainly because I'm by nature a slacker, as evidenced by my complete lack of presence here in the past couple of weeks).

In line with with Resolve 3 (Cultivate greater spiritual discernment by recommitting to the small and simple things), I'm engaging the Book of Mormon differently. Last year, I purchased the Penguin Classics Edition to see if reading the text without footnotes would facilitate a different reading experience. And while it didn't do so much at first, I just recently decided to put my iPhone to a more spiritual use: by downloading a Book of Mormon podcast to iTunes and listening as I follow along in my hard copy, then taking notes in between chapters using my "Notes" application, which I plan to post here for your svithing enjoyment.

And so far, so good.

Here are my notes from the first three days of twenty-ten:

* * * * *

Notes on reading: 1.1-1.3
1.1 (1 Nephi 1)

Language a central issue/focus of the book.

Ministry: teaching, pattern of prophetic ministry (struck more and more by the similarity between Joseph's First Vision and Nephi's version of Lehi's vision: pillar of fire, visitation, receiving a book, call to ministry, persecution, etc.), ministering (of) angels (continually struck with Sherem's deathbed confession: the Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels)

"They came down and went forth": Earth filled with hosts of ministers

"The redemption of THE WORLD": the Earth itself and its inhabitants

1.2 (1 Nephi 2-3)
"To leave the land of their inheritance": sacrifice ("a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation" [ref]; the neccesity and power of sacrifice; what am I willing to sacrifice for the good of my family?) and wandering in the wilderness ("We shall not cease from exploration. / And the end of all our exploring / will be to arrive where we started / and know the place for the first time" [ref]; BOM highlights the redemptive journey into the wilderness, where, at the mercy of God and Nature, one becomes wholly dependent on God, learns to rely on Him for life and salvation, and thus gains power)

Theme throughout book: the single righteous person speaking with power against many: Lehi to the Jews/Laman and Lemuel, Nephi to Laman/Lemuel, Abinadi, Nephi (in 3 Nephi), Alma and Amulek, Mormon, Moroni, Abish, etc., all given power/strength/words by the Holy Ghost; magnified by the Godhead to accomplish their work

Pattern: gaining God's favor through obedience in action as well as attitude

Human language, language of God, language of revelation: the latter is one medium that bridges the gap between the former two and can be the means for perfecting(?) human language, of making up for some of the failures of human language

Laban (and Laman and Lemuel): The dangers of materiality, of lusting after, of coveting, worldly goods; of allowing them to supersede communion with God/things spiritual ("Spirituality is the consciousness of victory over self and communion with the Infinite" David O. McKay)

1.3 (1 Nephi 4)
Persistence: Nephi won't give up, finds another way in, even after two failures---like Alma taking the back way into Ammonihah or Samuel into/over Zarahemla; constrained by the Spirit with the best course of action. I need to be more sensitive to this course, to the spirit's whispering as to what course might be best/do the most good in/for the world in all aspects of my life (digital included: blogging [AMV and Chasing] and Twitter especially)

The power of promises and personal integrity; I need to be more integrated around moral principles; musn't toss to and fro; must be strong, covenant-oriented in word and deed, in faith and works.