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Why Things Move: A New Look at Helaman 12:15

TitleWhy Things Move: A New Look at Helaman 12:15
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGrandy, David A.
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly

A verse from the Book of Mormon says, "And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun" (Helaman 12:15). The verse has been commonly understood to mean that its author, Mormon, had a heliocentric view of the cosmos. David Grandy explores why that may not be the best way to read the passage and we need not place the words in the context of modern physics. Grandy explains that Mormon is concerned with whether entities of any sort move in response to God's will, and not whether one body is moving around another. Mormon's statement is consistent with the biblical attitude that all nature is mindful of God and quick to move or act in ways that glorify him. This view accords nature the capacity to respond to its creator.