BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Mormonism: So…Will You Dance Before Akish?
Sister Dalton was the General Young Women’s President almost the entire time I was in Young Women’s (an organization of Latter-day Saint girls ages 12 to 18). I absolutely love that woman. So in honor of her in lieu of her recent release, I would like to talk about virtue for this post.
In one of the scenarios that led to the destruction of the Jaredite nation, Jared lost control of the kingdom. His daughter, seeing his sorrows, came up with a plan to regain the kingdom for her father (Ether 8:8-9). This plan involved convincing one Akish to teach them secret combinations passed down from Cain. She said: “Behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife” (Ether 8:10).
The real tragedy here is that she is willing to lose her virtue and purity—willing to put her body on display and use it to initiate a bargain—all in the name of love for her father. One amazing attribute of womanhood, is our tender and compassionate hearts. Unfortunately, this characteristic is often accompanied by the need to be loved. I have witnessed too many young women change their hair, personality, standards, etc,because they “love” their boyfriends and want to please them. And this doesn’t just happen in romantic situations. Like in the Jaredite story, many girls also lose part of their virtue to protect their relationship with their fathers. For example, they might lie about where they were the other night to avoid disappointing them. For subconsciously in a woman’s mind, disappointment surely leads to abandonment, and abandonment means their need for love will not be met.
Women, it is time for us to stand our ground! No longer can we sacrifice our virtue as we give in to our fears. No, we must return to virtue as Sister Dalton has admonished us. We must find fulfillment and love in Christ. We must remain clean and pure, for surely we need the power that comes from living a virtuous life when facing the day- to-day challenges that come.
So, decide right here and right now: will you dance before Akish?