Thursday, May 23, 2013

Never to be Blotted Out, Mosiah 5:11-12

At the end of King Benjamin’s speech and after his people have taken on them the name of Christ, he says some things using an analogy of writing and blotting that are important to understand:

11 And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.

 12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you. (Mosiah 5:11-12)

This idea of writing and blotting out is an interesting figure of speech.  I had the idea in my head for the longest time that to blog something out was to cross it out with more ink so that it couldn’t be read, but with some research, I found out that wasn’t what it meant at all.

There is blotting paper that is used to absorb extra ink after someone has written so that ink dries faster, but that is, I think, a relatively new invention.

Somewhere—I wish I could remember or find the source again—I read that in ancient times there was no way to erase ink from a writing surface except to re-wet it and press some kind of cloth to it to try to lift the softened ink up and out.  Removing the ink by blotting took a while, but it was possible.

So, King Benjamin uses this image to teach that when we take the name of Christ upon us, it should be written on our hearts, but sin and transgression have the effect of blotting that name slowly out of our hearts, which is why we have to take heed that we do not transgress.