I just caught a quick glimpse of this image, copied from "Joseph Smith, the Prophet"'s Nerdbook page. (I wonder if Joseph Smith thinks it's great, having his own Nerdbook page. Wonder who writes on his behalf?:)
It made me laugh. Today I was reading in Denver Snuffer's Nephi's Isaiah, and he spent quite a bit of time explaining a discrepancy between Lucy Mack Smith's account of what happened to the plates. Lucy writes that Joseph gave the plates to the Angel Moroni, and most Mormons repeat that that's what happened to them. But Snuffer takes a moment to clarify what scripture, in particular Nephi, dictates, and it's different than what Lucy's account describes. (He also explains how Lucy's account is true, yet not accurate if questioning where the plates are now.) Snuffer actually takes time to evaluate the details in the Testimony of the Three Witnesses, as well as the Testimony of the Eight Witnesses (both located in every Book of Mormon). He highlights key differences in wording, and illustrates exactly how the plates were indeed returned to the place where Joseph was instructed to return them, rather than taken away completely by Moroni. Yes, Joseph did return them to Moroni for a time, who then shared them with the "three", but he then returned them back to Joseph, who then, as it lists in the Testimony of the Eight, showed the plates to them for their account. But only the observant or questioning would notice the difference in the current residence for the plates.
|(Sorry, they didn't give a photo source and I have no idea who did it! But it's nice, isn't it? :)|
Anyways... all of this back and forth in the book shortly led to how we obtain a witness of the Holy Ghost, and it was quite an interesting take on the Holy Ghost. In fact, it's one of the best descriptions and clarifications on the Holy Ghost I've ever read. (This post leads up an incredibly well done series that has changed my understanding of the Holy Spirit.) We, as Mormons, do a great job at confusing a lot of what's written in scripture. But I really love that this gospel at it's heart, is so simple.
So why the picture? Joseph communicated quite a bit with angels, and when reading his accounts and seeing beautiful depictions, I think it's fun to realize that the paintings can never do the real experiences justice. But I applaud the artists for trying. What a beautiful depiction.
And why is it funny? Who gave these angels permission to stand upon the podium? Was that ledge put there for angels to descend upon? Probably. (I can just hear them saying, "That's how we roll!":) Could you ever imagine doing this as a mortal? The audacity! Now try envisioning how fun it would be if angels appeared in sacrament meeting, and decided to make their appearance by standing upon the pulpit. That would be quite the sacrament meeting. I hope someday they do it, just because.