Sunday, March 9, 2008

All the World Could not Contain the Books

I've been reading quite a bit of the Journal of Discourses lately as the last few posts indicate. I have found all sorts of interesting things from very speculative stuff to some really great insights. Yesterday I read this one.

Commenting on John 21:25 ("And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."), Brigham Young said:

Allow me to explain this text. The Apostle could not possibly mean what the language of the quotation implies—that the whole earth would have been covered with books to a certain depth; no, but he meant, by that saying, there would have been more written than the world of mankind would receive, or credit. The people then were as they are in this day—they are continually reaching after something that is not revealed, when there is more written already than they can comprehend. Instead of saying the world could not contain the books, we will say there would have been more written than the people would carry out in their lives (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:3)

The principle he seemed to be getting at is that what we have in the scriptures is limited to what we are willing to receive at this time. If we were more like those people of the City of Enoch, God would reveal to us many more things that we do not now know. As a LDS Christian, I have no problem with this concept.

Those who are non-LDS Christians, can you accept the possibility that God would reveal more if we were to understand and live more perfectly what he has already revealed?


RWW said...

Funny coincidence -- I just read that talk yesterday. I had always wondered about the hyperbole in John 21:25, and I found this an interesting insight.

The beautiful thing is that we are not, as individuals, completely limited in our knowledge by the incredulity of others. Personal revelation rolls on...

Andrew Miller said...

Looks like you read it a day before me!

Thanks for your insight on personal revelation. That's very true.