A Mormon Image: Scriptures Deconstructed

A few years ago I left my scriptures on the roof of my car when driving home from church. When I realized what I’d done I returned to find the pages scattered all over the road. These were my mission scriptures and they meant a lot to me so I spent about an hour gathering as many pages as I could. This is the result. In some ways this photograph symbolizes the process I have been through of deconstructing the very sure faith of my mission. My faith today is a lot less certain and much messier, but it feels a lot more personal and therefore more meaningful.

~ James Gregson

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7 comments for “A Mormon Image: Scriptures Deconstructed

  1. I marked the heck out of my scriptures on my mission. I never did in seminary, and I’ve never felt the need to do so since the mish. I’m not sure what that means; I guess the experience of going through and carefully marking them was only something I felt the need to do one time. (Great pic, btw!)

  2. Reminds me of a time in the MTC when I was doing laundry. The elder next to me was set to leave for Russia in four hours. He opened his washer to discover that all his whites had become tie-dyed thanks to a set of well marked scriptures mistakenly joining the wash. Era has of the missionaries chipped in a white shirt or garment for him, but we couldn’t save the scriptures.

  3. Kevin, I also marked up my mission scriptures a lot, so much that I couldn’t really tell why I’d marked anything. Each succeeding set of paper scriptures has fewer marks. The last set had nothing marked until I recently read the Book of Mormon again with a careful eye. I marked everything that raised questions or didn’t quite add up. I soon discovered that I was marking at least one verse per page. I’m going to go back through and look at each verse marked to see what these tell me about the book as a whole.

  4. My parents gave me my first set of scriptures–a quad–when I was ordained a deacon. Together, we went through seminary, an intense Ricks College mission prep class, a mission to Mexico, and years of institute. Shortly after I got married, my wife got a puppy which used them as a chew toy while we were both gone one day. I bought another set, but it’s just not the same. 15 years later, I still miss those scriptures. They’re still in a box somewhere, waiting for me to transfer my margin notes over. I suppose it would be a great excuse to re-read the entire standard works, but instead, it just makes me sad.

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