God and his plan for us are supremely lovable, but that has often been obscured by human sin, betrayal and corruption. Still, we humans yearn for him, even if, very frequently, we've forgotten and become distracted. As St. Augustine said, addressing God in his "Confessions," "Our hearts are restless, until they rest in thee."
"Les Miserables" doesn't preach doctrinal details at us. Rather, it reaches down deep into the souls of its audience, reminding us of our homesickness for God, of our longing for truth, love, beauty, meaning and redemption.
The field is, truly, white, already to harvest, and there are many tools available beyond the indispensable service of missionaries — art, music and literature among them. The truth, to be loved, must be shown to be lovable. "Preach the gospel at all times," goes the advice popularly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. "When necessary, use words."
Daniel C. Peterson is a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at BYU, where he also serves as editor in chief of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. He is the founder of MormonScholarsTestify.org, the general editor of "Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture" online at www.mormoninterpreter.com and he blogs daily at www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson.
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