Sunday, May 29, 2016

I See... How to Make the Old Testament Relevant

The Mormon Third Eye can function as your ultimate one-stop blog for practical instruction on how to master some of the most difficult challenges life has to offer. From issues as puny as “How to Name a Rock Band” to more weighty matters, such as “How to Become the Ultimately Cheap BYU Fan,” the MTE has always been there with you to coach you through trying times. Now it is time to add another elegant experience to the list. One of the most truly challenging Mt. Everests we must climb in our quest to become gospel scholars is making sense out of the Old Testament. How can we make the Old Testament relevant?

This must seem to be an impossible task for those of us diving into the Old Testament overwhelmed by the mountain of irrelevant references to life back then. I myself have fallen prey to the temptation to politely excuse the need to learn about this sacred text. I'm ashamed to admit that I have, on occasion, threatened misbehaving youth with the penalty of making them read or listen to chapters from the Old Testament.

However, once you get past talking donkeys and righteous assassins getting the hilts of their knives caught in the overflowing folds of belly fat belonging to overweight evil kings, the Old Testament is basically a story about a chosen people waiting for the Lord to come and save them from their sins. Repentance and Atonement.

An image of the sleeping baby Jesus.

This is one key element of the mortal narrative we have in common with our Israelite ancestors; we too are waiting for the Lord to come. We are urged and inspired today to “wait” in the biblical active sense- correctly interpret and understand the signs of His Second Coming, then hope for or anticipate it's occurrence. Through ancient and modern revelation we learn that when He does come again, “he shall come in his glory” (Psalm 102:16) and “shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.” (D&C 133:25). Hopefully we do a better job the second time around.

Jesus Christ in white robes and a red sash, standing on a cloud in the air, surrounded by thousands of angels blowing trumpets.

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