“GODWRESTLING–PHYSICALITY, CONFLICT, AND REDEMPTION IN MORMON DOCTRINE”
By Rick Jepson
In this inaugural episode of “Matters of Perspective,” Rick Jepson reads his November 2005 Sunstone article, “Godwrestling: Physicality, Conflict, and Redemption in Mormon Doctrine,” which explores through many different angles the transformative power of struggle, both physical and spiritual. It contains one of the most complete discussions in all of Mormon writing of the Genesis story of Jacob’s wrestle with the angel, and links Jacob’s transformation from this intense battle with physical ordeals in the lives of other prophets, especially Joseph Smith, as well as Jesus’s struggle to complete the Atonement. It also examines in wonderful ways Jacob’s and Esau’s difficult relationship, Jacob’s struggle to win the esteem of his father, Isaac, and even some of the reasons it was important for him to break free from the influence of his mother, Rebekah. It also teaches us a ton of fascinating things about wrestling!
This article is a master example of the power of both the personal voice–Jepson reveals a great deal about himself and formative experiences in his life and that of his family–as well as first-rate scholarship. We are so pleased to offer it as the first in the Matters of Perspective series!
Link to the article (which includes endnotes with many interesting extras).