Theologizing In The Presence Of Burning Children: Mormon Theology And The Absurd

Alma 14 in the Book of Mormon narrates a tale that appears patently absurd if not utterly atrocious: a prophet has power from God to stop the burning of defenseless women and children but is explicitly told by God not to intervene to save them. Mormons normally offer trite explanations for this story or dismiss it completely as ludicrous. How are we to productively interpret a seemingly absurd scripture passage like this in ways that are not simplistic, insensitive, incredible, or obscene?

Jacob Baker