Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Better Understanding the 5th Article of Faith

My wife took on the challenge to memorize the Articles of Faith in Spanish, and since she posted them on the shower door, I decided to try it too.  As I was going through them, I got to the 5th Article and reading it in Spanish changed a very important part of the meaning for me.  

For those who are familiar with the tune that the article is put to in the Children's Song book, that's generally how I'm able to recall most of the Articles of Faith in English, the way that it's sung never fully made sense to me, since it didn't emphasize the punctuation.  There's a pause between "laying on of hands" and "by those..." but you don't hear the pause where the comma is between "authority" and "to preach...", which is where the Article explains to what end a man must be called of God.  I had always thought that it was saying that, "a man must be called ... by someone in authority who can preach the gospel and administer its ordinances."  But the comma between "authority" and "to preach" is very importand and makes it read instead that, "a man must be called ... by someone who has authority, SO THAT the man who is called can preach the gospel and administer its ordinances."  In other words men are called to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances, they aren't just called with no purpose by someone who happens to have the authority to preach and administer.

In Spanish, in addition to the comma, the article also says that a man must be that he can preach the gospel... that's the translation of "a fin de que"
We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

Creemos que el hombre debe ser llamado por Dios, por profecia y la imposicion de manos, por aquellos que tienen la autoridad, a fin de que pueda predicar el evangelio y administrar sus ordenanzas.
I hope I explained the realization I came to well enough to be understood.  I'm not sure how many English speakers have thought the same thing, but my wife said that she always understood it the other way (the way I thought the article read) too.


sherrie bebe said...

Ah man! You stole my post! I was way to slow. I thought it was funny that we both caught on to that on our own! Maybe I'll still post my own thoughts on this topic in my own way....if I ever get around to it...

Coach Ann said...

Very interesting. I need to do a better job understanding the Articles of Faith and not just try to recite them. I do remeber the discussion about "paradisaical"

don&janet said...

I remember memorizing them with each of you, but never quite caught on to what you have shared. A very good challenge to take on!