Musings on Mormonism

Time for an awesome quote

So, I like to collect profound or otherwise impressive things people have said, and I am in favor of, in the words of a friend of mine, promulgating truth. So, without further ado (or is it adieu?), here is something Dr. Murdock, one of my favorite BYU professors, had to say about our educational and cultural pursuits (brace yourself for a quote within a quote):

“Some feel that if a movie or book does not leave them refreshed, uplifted, and joyous, it has no value but cankers their soul. Like monks in a monastery, they prefer to sever contact with the β€œworld”. Consider the following prophetic comments concerning education and progression:

‘Shall I sit down and read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants all the time?” says one. Yes, if you please and when you have done, you may be nothing but a sectarian after all. It is your duty to study to know everything upon the face of the earth in addition to reading those books. We should not only study good, and its effects upon our race, but also evil and its consequences.’

-Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:93-94″ (he also included some great quotes from Joseph Smith, which I’ll save for another time)

I think Dr. Murdock and Brother Brigham both make excellent points here. Obviously, one could take this sentiment too far, justifying willing exposure to ideas, events, and media which carry little value for the nourishment and enlightenment of the human soul and mind. However, if we shut ourselves in from the world completely, even if that means metaphorically, such as in keeping to our favorite circle of friends or neglecting to engage in civic society, I imagine that we will find ourselves missing out on fantastic opportunities to truly be the salt of the earth, helping spread much-needed good in the world. Simultaneously, we will find our own personal growth stunted.

But back to the original topic, I agree that there is value to becoming acquainted with kings, nations, principalities, history of things that have past and things to come, and so forth, and also to become acquainted with evil and its consequences (although I’m sure neither of the two was arguing for personally experiencing evil). The Book of Mormon, for instance, is absolutely filled with unhappy recollections of horrible things which befell people as they turned their backs on the Lord. You could call that the “Scared Straight” method of promoting obedience, or you could call it a simple warning and declaration of cause and effect. Either way, it is good to know the quality of life one can expect without God’s good graces.

…and, without any intended message of whether it is a worthwhile movie (I haven’t seen it yet), here is a picture of Star Trek to try and generate some hits πŸ™‚


Copyright 2009 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved


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  1. * Elliott says:

    Great post. The quote within the quote is still rocking my world.

    Dr. Murdock: one the most amazing, and amazingly undervalued, professors to have ever been at BYU.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  2. * Bryce says:

    Hahaha, yeah, it always takes me a minute to recover from quotes within quotes!

    I definitely think Dr. Murdock is uniquely awesome, but beyond his obvious undervaluation by certain administrators, do you think he was undervalued overall? I’d be curious to know what the other faculty generally thought of him. I’m under the impression that the majority of students who took his classes liked him/his classes (of course, that majority could be something like 51%)

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  3. * Bridget says:

    I’ve agreed with this sentiment for a long time but I’ve never seen it put so eloquently before. Thanks!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  4. * Bryce says:

    Given the right opportunity, I bet you would have said something comparably eloquent, Bridget. Professors and prophets, I think, have more frequent cause to say brilliant and insightful things than the rest of us πŸ™‚

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago

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