Feb 13, 2011

Sunday Special: Mormon's Work

So, I'm an editor. Part of my job right now is to cut down articles so that they are the correct length for what we want to use them for. About two weeks ago I was asked to take an 800 word article and make it into a 250 word article.

I got to about 400 words and then felt I couldn't cut anymore without losing the integrity of the story. I explained this to the managing editor and we came up with a different idea for the feature. Instead of a story about the Book of Mormon, I was going to do a little step by step of the introduction to the Book of Mormon and talk about what Mormon did to make it what it is.

I started thinking about it and here's a little of what I learned:

Mormon was an editor too! He was asked by God to make an abridgment of the records of the Nephites so that it would be the correct length for us. Now, this isn't just merely taking an 800 word article and making it 250 words--in fact, Mormon might have scoffed at my inability to do so. This was taking over 1000 years of records and finding the most important data, writing in summaries of the rest and maintaining the integrity of the entire record. That is a task I wouldn't have wanted to be given.

If you read Words of Mormon, and Mormon 1:1-5 and parts of other chapters, you'll see kind of how Mormon approached this task. But I think the most important thing is that he had God helping him. I'm sure that God gave him inspiration on what to include and what could be left out--for now. We know that there is more of the record that we don't have, but I don't think that we need it at the moment. The record we do have is exactly what we need for right now.

I don't really know what the point of this is, except that we should trust in God to inspire us in the work that He has asked us to do. Trust in him and the work will be done.

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