Okay, we’ve all read this little note scribbled in the JST bible manuscript: “The Songs of Solomon are not Inspired Writings.” This is attributed to Joseph Smith himself, but I suspect someone somewhere is writing an article to be published by FARMS demonstrating that DNA found on the page shows that this was not written by Joseph but by one of his scribes, thereby letting Joseph off the hook. But, for argument’s sake, let’s assume this statement comes from the Prophet himself. If so, then why does the D&C quote from the Song of Solomon on several occasions?
Here’s Song Of Solomon 6:10:
Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
Here’s from the D&C
D&C 5:14–And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness–clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.
D&C 105:31–But first let my army become very great, and let it be sanctified before me, that it may become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon, and that her banners may be terrible unto all nations;
D&C 109:73–That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;
I’m stumped here. Is it inspired literature, just not inspired scripture?
I’ve also uncovered another scandal–there was some kind of song book in the 1940s called “Song of Solomon Folder” that’s no doubt nowadays secreted away in the First Presidency’s Vault:
All will join in singing, “Creation Speaks With Awful Voice,” Song of Solomon Folder No. 26. At the request of Brother Condie we should like you to sing the two stanzas just as he will lead us and then repeat the last two lines of the second, the fourth and the sixth stanza. This is because we have adopted a tune that will be familiar to you all. Everybody please join in singing, “Creation Speaks With Awful Voice,” to the tune “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” Hymn Book, page 354. (David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1943, p.26, emphasis added)
I’m also writing today to SLC asking that “Creation Speaks with Awful Voice” be reinstated in the hymn book. Please join me in my letter campaign.
I’ll end with one final note of interest about the Song of Solomon. Check out this minor incident reported by George Q. Cannon in his book A String of Pearls, pp. 57–59, for which no commentary is necessary.
WHILE Brother H. K. Coray and I were laboring as missionaries in North Carolina, we attended a Baptist meeting …. Shortly after our arrival, the meeting was opened in the usual way, by … the Rev. Mr. Mourning …. He arose and read his text from the Song of Solomon, 8th chapter and 8th verse: “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts,” etc., after which, the preacher launched out in a discourse made up from abuse and slander of other denominations.
He seemed to take some pains to save the “Mormons” till the last, so as to be thoroughly warmed up, that he might be the better able to do justice to their case.
After awhile, getting all the steam on–mustering all his force, he opened his battery upon the “Mormon” Church, saying the “Mormon” Church was not mentioned anywhere in the scriptures, nor the “Mormon” religion; neither the “Mormon Bible,” nor “Joe” Smith, nor Brigham Young, not even the word “Mormon” was mentioned there.
By this time he had been talking an hour, and had not once referred to the text. But having apparently satisfied himself and a few of his hearers in abusing other denominations in general, and the “Mormons” in particular, he suddenly assumed the old “Hard Shell” wail, or preaching tune, and drawled out:
“But my dear friends and breethring-ah, we have a little sister-ah, and she hath no breasts- ah. I am very much afraid, my dear friends and breethring-ah, that in that great day when we shall be spoken for-ah, that some of us will be brought into that awful presence-ah, and there find we have no breasts-ah. And oh, my dear friends and breethring-ah, will not this be an awful condition to be found in-ah?”