“They Have Received Many Wounds”:Applying a Trauma-Informed Lens to the Book of Mormon


Dialogue 57.2 (Summer 2024): 5–40
This article will explain what trauma is and how to be trauma informed, describe a few examples from the Book of Mormon in which a sensitivity to trauma could reveal greater insights from the text, and argue for the importance of using a trauma hermeneutic. We conclude with an application of a trauma hermeneutic in religious settings and an argument for the importance of being aware of how scriptural trauma may interact with the potential trauma of readers.

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A Man Born When He is Old

This took place back in the days when the city was small and its Jewish, dusty streets were trampled under the feet of the most magnificent, powerful empire on the face of the earth. This was the empire that soared like an eagle from the heated deserts of Arabia to the fathomless deep of the Mediterranean Sea to the valleys and mountains of the European continent. From there, from that Europe that did not worship Jehovah, the empire had struck Judea. Under Caesar’s ensign, it had pounced upon God’s people, advancing in swift chariots that carried men protected by breastplates and pagan arrogance. The empire had comfortably taken control of the sacred province, defiling it with Western traders, Greco-Roman tongues, voracious taxes, and imperial order.

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Mr. Lind

Ziner didn’t make Mr. Lind sick, so he’s under no obligation to make him feel better. Whatever small thing he chooses to do is purely out of kindness. Mr. Lind wastes in his tender flesh while Ziner struts in front of his bed to show that the one who can still walk is the one who is not a fool.

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Letters to the Editor

Reconsidering Reconciliation

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Robert A. Rees, “Truth and Reconciliation: Reflections on the Fortieth Anniversary of the LDS Church’s Lifting the Priesthood and Temple Restrictions for Black Mormons of African Descent” in the summer 2023 issue of Dialogue (56, no. 2).

My biography is much like Rees’s….

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Cup of secrets at the mouth,
gate of astonishment, flag of denial,
register of deeds, cradle of arithmetic,
ledger of greetings and good-byes,

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Volume Art

Volume Art

LAURA EREKSON was born in Oakland, California, and presently lives in Salt Lake City. Her printmaking and sculpture background influences her current body of work. Using found objects and plants, Laura’s paintings are rich in texture, leaving behind details and fragments of the objects themselves. She received a BFA from...

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