Tuesday, January 31, 2012
by Terri Wagner
Let's call this a book review. I have been reading the Rollins' Sigma series for some time with my dad. We often get into adventure series and read until our eyes are red and our brain is saying no, please, no more of that!
Rollins is probably best known for writing the novel Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. That was not my favorite Jones' movie (book is better), but now that I have read quite a bit of the Sigma series, I get the why of the crystal skulls.
This particular book is about gasp Mormons! The author has sparked my interest in what I consider off doctrinal gospel mysteries. I like off beat ideas even if the author gets a few things wrong. It may have been the copyeditor but the title of the church is wrong; and we of course would never say Joseph Smith "wrote" the BOM. No spoiler alert here, I'm only half way through the wild, nailbiting tale that involves Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Meriweather Lewis, Mormons and Iceland. Have I whetted your appetite? If so, start with the first Sigma book Sandstorm and enjoy the roller coaster style of James Rollins.
While I have no idea if the "Mormon" community dissects the BOM quite this way, I can believe that Mormon scholars, scientists and Native Americans might delve into these so called troubling issues.
For example and from the book, a Native American/Mormon professor at BYU has concluded that the genealogy of the BOM could be (emphasis on could) interpreted in a different way. That the Nephities were not so much Jews as a group of people who believed a certain way and traveled to the US via the Atlantic and eventually met up with the current inhabitants who were Lamanite. Of course the other characters in the Devil Colony believe the BOM is off its proverbial rocker and all Native Americans are Asiatic in descent and came across the Bering Strait. In point of fact, I believe we classify the Nephities as descendants of Manasseh, whose father was Joseph who was a brother to Judah. So we would not classify Lehi as a Jew but of the House of Israel. But I digress.
As to the Asiatic vs the Atlantic vs Pacific vs Bering Strait...it does spark an interest. I like books that challenge my traditional way of thinking, and I really enjoy speculating about off doctrinal mysteries. Do you?