Mormonism and the Emotions : An Analysis of LDS Scriptural Texts
Farleigh Dickinson University Press
Mormonism and the Emotions: An Analysis of LDS Scriptural Texts is an introductory Latter-day Saint (LDS) theology of emotion that is both canonically based and scientifically informed. It highlights three widely accepted characteristics of emotion that emerge from scientific perspectives—namely, the necessity of cognition for its emergence, the personal responsibility attached to its manifestations, and its instrumentality in facilitating various processes of human development and experience. In analyzing the basic theological structure of Mormonism and its unique canonical texts the objective is to determine the extent to which LDS theology is compatible with this three-fold definition of emotion. At this basic level of explanation, the conclusion is that science and Mormon theology undoubtedly share a common perspective.
The textual investigation focuses on unique Mormon scriptures and on their descriptions of six common emotions: hope, fear, joy, sorrow, love, and hate. For each of these emotional phenomena the extensive report of textual references consistently confirms an implied presence of the outlined three-fold model of emotion. Thus, the evidence points to the presence of an underlying folk model of emotion in the text that broadly matches scientific definitions. Additionally, the theological examination is enlarged with a particular focus on the Mormon theology of atonement, which is shown to play a significant role in LDS understandings of emotions. A broad exploration of such areas as epistemology, cosmology, soteriology, and the theological anthropology of Mormonism further contextualizes the analysis and roots it in the LDS theological worldview.