8 Comments

  1. Tia Roskelley Fowles

    Bryce-
    Wow, I have to say, my research paper for this same class was nothing compared to this. What great insights and connections. I knew there was a reason I felt such a deep spiritual connection with dancing. Thank you for sharing this paper with us!

  2. Thanks Tia! It was a fun paper to research and write.

    I think that dancing, like crying or laughing, is inborn in each of us. It is part of who we are. Since the day my baby was born she has been dancing and moving to the music. Where did she learn how to do that? We didn’t teach her that, she just started doing it one day and hasn’t stopped since. I think there is much more to dance than we usually think. There are eternal qualities to dance. It is not just a passing hobby in this life.

  3. Well, I would say that that the Latter-day Saints believe that the form of ritual worship of God can and has changed through different dispensations. When we say “dancing” we are referring to motion in the circle. The form of the ancient prayer circle might have involved motion at different points in time, as Nibley has shown us. These things are flexible and adaptable. The form of the worship in Moses’ tabernacle, for instance, was quite different, but still had quite familiar elements.

    But more than that, many of the examples I’ve shared were, what I believe, “apostate” forms of the prayer circle, which had devolved from a form of worship to a form of entertainment and recreation. Many of them lost the real meaning behind the circle. Ritual turned to art, and we can see this in many diverse examples in literature, dancing, painting, theater, etc. Nibley taught that all the muses originally came from the temple, but had still changed significantly from their source.

  4. I suppose your second point is the answer I had in mind when I asked the question.
    I was wondering if you concluded in your research that the dancing was inserted after apostasy from the true ordinances.
    Although I guess it is always plausible that different dispensations danced, or moved, in their prayer circles.

  5. I believe that it is possible that in different dispensations, and in different contexts and places, there may be movement in the circle, just as Lehi’s vision describes the heavenly circle “in the attitude of singing and praising their God.” Whether it be a “prayer” circle or another type of circle, I don’t know. But what is prayer other than a form of worshiping God? Prayers sometimes occur in the form of song or praise.

  6. D&C 25: 12
    12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

    It could be that this scripture has much to so with the idea of the prayer circle being a chorus. It states pretty clearly that the song of the righteous (temple recommend holders) is a “prayer” unto me. (a.k.a the prayer circle)

    Also…

    What do you think of the Muslim practice of praying in concentric circles around the Kaaba?

  7. Anthony

    I am truly happy that I have finally sat down and read this paper through. It has fed my mind and spirit. Thanks for posting, Bryce.

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