Rsbenson wrote:Now, if you see problems with what physically happened, when compared with the spiritual teachings in the scriptures, don’t stick your heads in the sand and pretend like it didn’t happen. Figure out the problems and go on to the next piece of history.
I ask myself: What's the most important takeaway, spiritual lessons or history lessons? Which lessons have the power to effect change in my life? I can fast and pray as much as I'd like but that will not change history. I can fast and pray to learn from history but at that point it doesn't matter whether the historic event actually occurred, what matters is whether I am learning lessons that will help me become a better person.
Jesus' parables come to mind. Does it really matter whether Jesus had a specific, historical figure in mind when he related the parable of the prodigal son? If the focus of study becomes whether the event actually occurred I may miss out on the lessons I was meant to learn from the cast of characters that were influenced by events.
In some cases problems with history simply cannot be resolved. We may never have all the facts and people often have very different takeaways from the same set of facts. Even in the relatively simple case of a car accident that occurred moments ago, different witnesses may have interpreted the event very differently. Tossing thousands of years into the equation only complicates figuring out the problems of history.
All of that said, I understand the place and importance of history in setting the stage for learning spiritual lessons. If one were raised up in Norse mythology their history of creation may include stories of melting ice forming frost giants and a cow. That person would hear stories of how the cow licked deity out of a rock and how man was created from trees. The story would be very real to the person that was raised up on it. It might be very difficult for a person raised in that environment to learn lessons that would make them more Christlike, but they might have better odds if they divorce themselves from the literalness of their creation myths and focus more on the spiritual lessons. Ideally we'd say that they would be better off abandoning their mythology in favor of the gospel but they have already lived and died. They had to learn the gospel truths that they could learn with the tools that they were empowered to work with while in mortality. Hopefully that prepared them to learn truth in the spirit world.
Mythologies come and go. Explanations of the origins of man have similarly came and went. New mythologies and explanations will rise and fall. History and our interpretations of it is just as temporal as the world we live in. The spiritual elements seem to persist though. Humans have the desire to become one with god, to become eternal in nature, to transcend, to become enlightened. We
can through Christ.
We have a lot of similarities with people that have gone on before us. Some puzzles of history will only be solved in the next life, that's why at times I chose to ignore the unanswered questions of history in an attempt to strengthen my connection with the spiritual. History will bear itself out over time. What spiritual lessons can I learn in the meantime?