Last week I shared how to store questions in Scripture Notes in a few different ways. Today I want to show how to store large quotes that have scripture references in them.
This past week I was reading and found this statement by Hugh Nibley that I wanted to store. It relates to the long-term promises and curses that would accompany the Nephites and Lamanites in the promised land. Due to their heritage, they each had a different path. I can’t say I fully understand the eternal nature of these things, because at times, each group was more righteous or more wicked than the other and it seems that the same things would happen to each group regardless of initial promises made to them. Regardless, we see that these pronouncements were fulfilled.
First, read this quote and then I’ll show you how I store these statements.
The Nephites and Lamanites each received a promise in the beginning, and each promise contained two parts, a promise of bliss and a promise of woe, “for this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land” (Alma 45:16). In the Dead Sea Scrolls every covenant which promises a blessing if kept, promises a corresponding curse if broken, for a contract in which either party should be bound to no conditions whatever would be meaningless (see 2 Nephi 2:5-10).
For the Lamanites the penalty of their backsliding is that they shall be scattered and smitten and driven by the Gentiles; the reward of their faith is that they are to survive all their afflictions and in time become the Lord’s own people again. For the Nephites the promised reward of faith is that nothing on earth can without their own will and action in any way ever mar their liberty, security, prosperity, and happiness: “And now there was nothing in all the land to hinder the people from prospering continually, except they should fall into transgression” (3 Nephi 6:5). This tremendous guarantee is matched by a promise of total extinction in case they should fail to comply with the conditions of the contract.
Since they never became fully ripe in iniquity as did the Nephites, the Lamanites were allowed to remain in the land, paying for the privilege by taking a terrible beating: “Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you. . . . Because of my blessing the Lord God will not suffer that ye shall perish” (2 Nephi 4:6-7). It was an unconditional promise of survival (Jacob 3:5-9; Helaman 7:24; Helaman 15:14-17). No such promise was given the Nephites, and Enos was told that though the Nephites might perish, still the Lamanites would survive to receive this record (Enos 1:13; Enos 1:16). (Hugh Nibley, Collected Works of Hugh Nibley,Volume 7, p.389-390)
Due to the nature of this longer statement which is longer and contains multiple verses, it’s not well suited to just add it to a basic verse note in Scripture Notes.
You have a couple options as to how far you want to carry this.
1) You can just add the quote to a collection note without any verse references beneath it, and give it a good title and tags to find it later.
For example, you could title it: “Covenant promises and cursings to the Nephites and Lamanites.” You could then give it tags such as Nephites, Lamanites, Nibley, Promises, and Cursings. In the category box, select Quote. This will make finding this statement easier in the future.
2) However, what I like to do is tie in all the scriptures that deal with a quote like this so I see this quote linked to from related verses in the future.
I put my collection note pane on the left, open a library pane, start to type a book name in the search panel to quickly view that book, then click the chapter I want to get to and open it up. I then find the verse referenced in the quote and drag it into my collection note.
Then any time I am reading that verse and see a green eye icon, I can click it to see my collection note.
Now when a particular reference includes a range of verses, if it’s just a couple, I might include both verses, but if it’s a lengthy range, I will examine the verses and decide if I want all of them in the collection of verses so I can always see the set in context here, or if I just want to put the most relevant verses in the set.
In this particular quote, there are a few ranges of verses. For most of them I included a couple of the verses, but the range in Helaman 15 is totally relevant in every verse so I put all of those into my collection.
I also came across a great bit of information in a podcast I was listening to and copy/pasted part of the transcription to a collection note. It was a podcast on the Book of Mormon by Mike Stroud and he was sharing some of the symbolism of the brass serpent Moses raised in the wilderness. Here is the quote and it’s from his podcast on Helaman 8.
“The Son of God is lifted up with outstretched hands and wrists nailed to a tree. Have you ever wondered why this serpent was placed upon a brass pole and why the serpent itself was made out of brass?
These people were also accomplished in metallurgy and metalworking. They could have easily used gold, or silver, or copper. Why brass? The spiritual meaning for brass is that it brings out natural good and inner truth. It has the properties of purifying negative energies. The golden shine symbolizes the sun. Even the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” tells of clearing away old debris and getting down to the pure and natural truth. It is a mixture of copper and zinc.
The serpent is the ancient symbol for the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been hijacked by Satan and used for his nefarious purposes and designs. The ability of the snake to shed its skin and take upon itself new life is a powerful metaphor for the death and resurrection of the Savior of the world.
The serpent is also a logical likeness and symbol of the life-giving waters of a river. The river was the very basis of civilization in the ancient world and the very source of life. Water for the rivers came from the sky in the form of rain. When the ancients looked into the mystical heavens, the source of the rain, there they saw at night a great river in the sky―the wonderful and beautiful Milky Way. The Milky Way was observed to curve and undulate across the sky as the Euphrates and the Nile curve throughout the river valleys of the ancient world. The Milky Way came to represent the source of light, the source of rain for the Creator God; and the stars were regarded as the creative water or seed of God.
In summary, the thinking of the ancients form the concept which connected the undulating serpent to the Creator, in a series of logical symbolic steps, undulating serpent equals curving river, equals Milky Way, equals the Creator. In other words, the symbol of water equals the source of light, equals the heavenly symbol of the life-giving waters, equals the Creator. Satan possessed the body of the serpent in the Garden of Eden to further his deception knowing that Eve knew that the serpent was the symbol of the Son of God.”
As you can see there are no verse references here, but I knew there were references all through the scriptures to this event and symbol. In this case, you can do searches for these terms and drag in relevant results:
Brass +serpentBrazen +serpentMoses +type
You can also go to the Bible Dictionary and look up “Serpent, Brazen” and find verses tied to this topic.
Made by Moses at God’s command to be a sacramental means of healing for the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:9). It seems to have been carefully preserved and became an object of superstitious worship (2 Kgs. 18:4); it was accordingly destroyed by Hezekiah, who called it “Nehushtan.” The “lifting up” of the serpent in the wilderness is referred to by the Lord as a type of His own “lifting up” upon the cross (John 3:14–15). Latter-day revelation confirms the episode of the fiery serpents and the healing properties associated with looking upon Moses’ brazen serpent (1 Ne. 17:41; 2 Ne. 25:20; Alma 33:19–22; 37:46).
In the upcoming release of Scripture Notes, we will have the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide included in the system to make this even easier.