Mark Gregson wrote:
> > I found Eric
> > Samuelson's criticism a bit harsh, but this was probably to be expected
> > as
> > he knew little about it going in. I see his program as no more strange
> > than
> > for a backyard gathering of amateur astronomers--which is what John
> > Pratt
> > is. Here is an excerpt from what John Pratt says himself about the
> > "Feast
> > of Trumpets" program in an email message promoting it:
> > <Quote>
> > There will be a symbolic and instructive program, based partly on
> > authentic
> > Hebrew traditions but mostly on my own interpretation, relating it to
> > events of the restoration of the Gospel.
> Any way you slice it, the "program" was bizarre. Why the heck would
> anyone want to present "information" in that style? (you can't use the
> temple as a reason because it is real and authorized).
I think that Samuelson's gnostic reference is sadly pretty much bang on.
I have read a lot of Samuelson's comments on AML over the years,
although I haven't been there for some months now, maybe even a year or
two, but he probably hasn't changed much. He's playwright and a lot
more liberal minded than the typical ZION lister for sure (isn't
everybody?) but he is a prof at BYU and he even writes some of the
"spoken word" commentaries for the MTC broadcasts, so he does know
better ;->. He can be an irreverant satirist at times. Maybe even most
of the time. And he's perceptive. His remark about "Yo HO that I Were
an Angel" was seen by me in that vein, as a comment on the possibility
that the rather contrived first two notes of that song, sliding from oh
up to OH, (is that a full fifth of an octave?) can be quite difficult to
accomplish artfully and if you aren't careful you end up sounding like a
pirate's Yo HO. He may have just spoiled the song for me forever, which
is the ultimate compliment you can pay to a satirist.
Actually he seemed to be pretty mild about Pratt's performance. Perhaps
in deference to his Sister in Law or whoever it was in his family who
seems to becoming a fellow travellor. But more than likely he just
figured the thing spoke for itself. How do you satirize something
that's already so far over the top?
I have to confess that my mind was drawn to the wonderful Isaiah passage
about "wizards who peep and mutter" as I read the review.
"To the law and to the prophets" is where we should turn, as we are
sternly reminded by Isaiah, not to people who claim the right to
instruct us in things of God because of special insight. Interestingly
Isaiah says of such people that there "no light in them." I understand
that Pratt has been published in the Ensign and that tells me that he
should know better too. If part of Pratt's ritual caused Samuelson to
become uncomfortable about temple parody then it must have been
amazingly inappropriate. Samuelson would not blush easily.
The Isaiah reference can be found at 2 Nephi 18: 19-20
> I believe that all rational LDS would have warning alarms going off if
> exposed to this "program".
My ears were ringing. And not with the sound of trumpets!
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