Gratitude is Seeing the Miracle in Every Moment.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A New Book Club

There are faithful gatherings of men and women the world over who come together to read and discuss the wonders, enchantments, and knowledge found within the pages of the magic one refers to as a book. Books about vampires, romance, danger and strong opinions; books that would take over a millenia to find, read, and discuss. The possibilities are intensifyingly endless. With such endless years of knowledge and entertainment right at the world's fingertips it isn't surprising, that the masterpieces of written works often go un-mentioned or unread in comparison to the amateur modern works of the day.

The masterpieces worth referring to over anything else do not fall within the talents of great men and women like Aristotle, Mark Twain, or Charlotte Bronte; but rather reside with overlooked but far greater men and women of a divine nature; although possibly unlearned and untrained in the art of forming words, masters at the art of expressing truth and lessons of life in every passage.

Where else can the world find a greater analogy of how to obtain and cultivate faith than in the word of Alma living in ancient America nearly 100 B.C.? Or can it be possible to understand at any greater measure the glory of the creation of this world than by reviewing the first hand experience of the man who saw it all, even the great Moses of old? Might the world be better prepared if they dedicated themselves to studying the parables of Christ recorded by his apostles or the revelation of John the Beloved?

Having been a member of a book club for one, this enthusiastic seeker of knowledge is now initiating a weekly book-club discussion of the standard works, and will be inviting all to participate in such discussions, here online. It is my hope that we will all be able to come together, though miles apart, and further bond our relationships in strength as we read, ponder and share what we read with one another.

Seeing as "The Good Book" has a number of "sub-books" nestled within its pages and thousands of years worth of history is recorded in the first half of the Old Testament, if one hasn't reviewed the comprehensive writings of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy), or the nation of Israel's history under the leadership of Joshua, spanning to that of Hezekiah, then the words written by Isaiah will seem a bit daunting, but it is nevertheless where we will begin the book club. Feel free to catch up on your own time.

Up to this point, much has transpired. Moses has recounted the creation of the earth, moon and stars, and all that inhabits therein by God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. His first self-written account entitled, "Genesis", meaning origin or beginning covers a period of roughly 2,500 years. It tells of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the beginnings of their posterity, starting with Cain and Abel.

Moses tells of the great flood because of man's great wickedness; the righteousness of Noah, his family and their righteousness and the re-establishment of the earth and its inhabitants. He includes an account of the Tower of Babel and the generations of Noah's son Shem which include Abraham.

All histories and lessons taught by God to man from the great high priest, Melchizedek, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, Jacob and Rachel and Leah and the formation of the 12 tribes of Israel from his lineage. The true stories of Joseph, Jacob and Rachel's son, and his being sold into Egypt.

The second book of Moses called "Exodus", meaning departure, recounts the children of Israel and their eventual captivity and slavery in Egypt and their being rescued from such by the power of God through his servant Moses; their wanderings in the wilderness and eventual arrival in the land of promise; the Ten Commandments, and the building of the Lord's Tabernacle.

The third book of Moses called "Leviticus", describes the priestly and religious life expected of the tribe of Levi, or the religious leaders of the time.

The fourth book of Moses, "Numbers", reviews the census and events of the children of Israel up to this point. This can be a bit newsy and leave a reader a bit on the drowsy side, but rest assured, the people were only setting a standard to hold when it came to having all things in order and keeping track of the Sheep of the Lord's fold.

The fifth book of Moses called "Deuteronomy", can be referred to as a repetition of the law. This can be viewed as a summary of Moses' writings from Genesis to this point. He graciously gives a recap of all that has befallen Israel during their forty years in the wilderness.

From the writings of Moses to the writings of Isaiah, a detailed history is also given; filled with knowledge and valuable lessons, too many to recount here. Instead, I feel much as Nephi of ancient America when he said, "Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah..." and his people were later taught by Christ Himself that "great are the words of Isaiah". And thus it is, that Isaiah is where this new book club will begin on a weekly basis. Discussing and reviewing the words of this great prophet, then proceeding on until the completion of The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.

For those of you who will be joining, I bid you welcome, and invite you to bring your thoughts and comments to this spiritual feast that has been prepared for us.

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