Part two of Terryl Givens’s lecture series is now available to watch online, “Awful Woundedness.” In this four-part series, the Maxwell Institute’s Terryl Givens discusses “The Choice to Believe.”
The 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon describes the earth’s inhabitants of our day as suffering in “a state of awful woundedness.” What aspects of creedal Christianity deserved the divine descriptor of “abomination”? A characterization of God as devoid of body, parts, and—most crucially—passions, was indicated by Joseph Smith as at the heart of a world suffering in pain and sorrow. Allied to this was a view of humans as inherently depraved and incapable of godly advancement. The restoration of the Weeping God of Enoch, and of human souls “whole from the foundation of the world” are keys to addressing the condition of our broken world and broken individuals. The eternal, premortal human soul in particular is a powerful theological resource we have never sufficiently elaborated or appreciated.