Newtown, and the Weeping God


There is real darkness, but there is also real light.


“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father, but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; . . . and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?”  (Moses 7:33, 37)


To me, one of the most moving, remarkable, and significant passages in all of scripture is the entire seventh chapter of the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.  (I’ve written about it at length here, published a column about it in the Deseret News, and spoken publicly about it as reported here.  Jeffrey Bradshaw, Jacob Rennaker, and David Larsen have also published a recent article about it in Interpreter.)


There is absolutely nothing adequate that can be said about, and certainly nothing adequate that can be said to the families of the victims of, the massacre in Newtown.  But Moses 7, in my view, suggests at least the outline of a religious reflection on the tragedy.


And Doctrine and Covenants 42:45-46, another passage that I’ve found deeply meaningful for decades, suggests in very basic terms how we should react:


“Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.  And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them.”


There is, certainly, hope of a glorious resurrection for those elementary school kids of Newtown.  Yet we weep for them, and for their families.


Posted from Orlando, Florida.




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