Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Wisdom of Parley Pratt

From a historical standpoint, the following obviously needs to be read in the context of Pratt's ardent Mormonism, which brings to the quote a subtle endorsement of the divine authority of Joseph Smith generally and the Book of Mormon specifically. In a strictly inspiration context, however, one can view Pratt's sentiment as a bulwark against the perennial temptation of bibliolatry; in it can even been seen a hint of the Orthodox notion that all things good and true function as icons directing a person toward God who is Goodness and Truth. In "The Fountain of Knowledge," Pratt argues:

The scriptures are sacred and true, and useful in their place. Although they are not the fountain of knowledge, nor do they contain all knowledge, yet they point to the fountain, and are every way calculated to encourage men to come to the fountain and seek to obtain the knowledge and gifts of God.

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