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Mormon Metaphors of Restoration: Pathways to Identity and Understanding

Mormon Metaphors of Restoration: Pathways to Identity and Understanding

Dallin D. Oaks and Cynthia L. Hallen

Department of Linguistics and English Language, 4064 JFSB, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.


The important role of metaphors in interfaith understanding has received significant attention. The pervasiveness of certain metaphors in the lives of members of a religious community is especially significant when they are incorporated into sacred texts. This would seem to be the case not only for Judaism, Islam, and mainline Christianity, but also for Mormonism, a distinctive branch of Christianity. Officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Mormonism shares some root metaphors with other Christians but differs in important ways in its development and use of these metaphors. In this paper we discuss the journey, battle, and container metaphors in relation to LDS doctrine and scripture and some crucial implications that grow from these metaphors. The discussion considers the relationship of these metaphors to such matters as an open canon of scripture, the relationship of grace and works, the doctrine of the eternal progression of human beings, and the vital nature of covenants. As part of the discussion, the metaphor of restoration is identified as the overarching Mormon metaphor to which the others are subordinate.


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Science, Religion and Culture


Vol. 5, Sp. Iss. 1 Pages 1-82


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