Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Ostler: The Book of Mormon 85 refers to the "monster death and hell" which has the dead within her grasp (2Ne. 9:10, 19). Sheol was often personified in Hebrew thought as an insatiable monster or demon with wide-open jaws waiting to swallow the dead (Prov. 1:12; Isa. 5:14; Heb. 2:5). Jacob makes the location of the body and spirit after death clear; the nature of existence in hell or paradise before the resurrection remains unclear. The concept of after-life appears to have remained that of a dismal half existence where nothing further could be accomplished or enjoyed, or "the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed" (Alma 34:33; Eichrodt 1:210-16). Jacob specified, however, that the righteous ultimately go to a place of royal glory and the wicked to never-ending burnings after the resurrection and judgment, as in the Serehk scroll or Revelation (2 Ne. 9:14-16; 1QS IV, 12-14 in Vermes 1969, 76-77; Rev. 20:10, 14). Nearly 450 years later, when Alma attempts to discover the nature of the intermediate state between death and resurrection, he apparently cannot find an answer in available sources but an angel explains that the wicked go to eternal burnings and the righteous to a paradise even before the resurrection (Alma 40:7-23). The Resurrection The resurrection in the Old Testament is first mentioned in Isaiah 26:19 ("Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead") and usually attributed to deutero-Isaiah or trito-Isaiah in the fourth century B.C. Ezekiel 37:5 ("Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live"), is usually dated to 350-338 b.c. (D. Russell 1964, 366-79; Charlesworth 1 :xxxiii-xxxiv). In contrast, the Book of Mormon has a well-developed concept of universal resurrection brought about by the Messiah's death and resurrection (2 Ne. 9:10-16; 26:13; Jac. 4:11-12; Mosiah 15:21-22; 16:7-11; Alma 16:20; 27:28; 33:22; 40:2-21). However, Lehi teaches that the wicked will be destroyed "body and soul," thus precluding a universal resurrection. The earliest references to salvation in the Book of Mormon are not of bodily resurrection but of the "redemption of the world" (1 Ne. 1:10; 20:20; 2 Ne. 1:15; 2:3, 4:31). Nephi sees in vision the resurrection of the Messiah but does not mention resurrection for humans (1 Ne. 10:11). The Devil Pre-exilic Hebrews did not have a concept of a personal devil who tempted individuals and opposed deity (Eichrodt 1:205-8). In the Old Testament, the adversary is a counselor in the heavenly court, a son of God, not quasi-divine opposition (Ps. 89:7; Job 1:1; 1 Chron. 21:1). The adversary is thus a "role" in pre-exilic writings rather than a specific demi-god who explains the origin of evil and who tempts individuals as in the New Testament, whose idea of the devil and demons is influenced by Zoroastrian dualism (J. Russell 1977, 79-91). The early Hebrews did not equate the serpent of the Eden story