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Powerful Mormon Myths for the Modern World

Lincoln Cannon

5 August 2007 (updated 24 August 2021)

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Powerful Mormon Myths for the Modern World

Dave Banack, writing for Times and Seasons, asks:

What sort of mythology would develop or result from the modern world of our own day? What myths work in the modern world? … Does Mormonism have anything to offer? Does Mormon doctrine or the Mormon worldview provide any mythic frames that provide Mormons with meaningful and effective ways to live their lives?

He suggests the following answers for consideration: the pre-existence (pre-mortal existence), temples as sacred space, and Lehi’s dream. These are good ideas. And we can go further into the most powerful and deeply moving aspects of Mormonism – the ideas for which early Mormons died or walked across the plains into the mountains of the American West.

Mormon myth opens the heavens. We became a people of personal revelation, laying the foundations of Zion, engaging in participatory atonement, anticipating ordinances of transfiguration and resurrection to immortality, and ultimately working out our godhood in eternal worlds without end. There is power in these ideas, of the sort that moves a people to fulfill its own prophecies.

Does Mormon mythology have much to offer the modern world? Yes! For evidence, one need look no further than the Mormon Transhumanist Association, advocating practical faith in human immortality and eternal life through charitable use of science and technology. The traditional mythic framework of Mormonism combines with the detailed insights of modern Transhumanism to provide a vision of the world, humanity, and our future that inspires me.

Check out our article in Sunstone magazine, which elaborates on how Mormon mythology complements a modern and forward-looking world view.

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