6 Comments

  1. Many wolves, whether it be by chance or not, can read/hear the words spoken in the Temple. But our Gatekeeper Jesus Christ has more than one way to admit someone into the Celestial Kingdom.

  2. JAK

    In addition to the similarities to temple ordinances it also reminds me of the instructions given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, February 9, 1843, making known three grand keys by which the correct nature of ministering angels and spirits may be distinguished. HC 5: 267 and D&C 129:

    1 THERE are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—
    2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
    3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.
    4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.
    5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.
    6 If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—
    7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.
    8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.
    9 These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.

  3. Mondo, I think you are right. This does appear to be a retelling of a traditional Aesopian folk tale, but it appears that Jean de la Fontaine added some details that make it even more intriguing.

    It would be an interesting research project to trace the development of this fable through history. From what I’ve been able to determine thus far, the earliest translations from Aesop did not include a password or a sign. The kid hears the voice of the wolf, and it sounds strange, so he looks through the door and sees the wolf and refuses to open the door. See several different English and Latin versions here. This fable is known by the Perry index number of 572, which indicates that this fable is “extant only in a medieval Latin source” (Gibbs, Aesop’s Fables, xxxiii). The earliest English translation from Caxton in 1484 included neither a password nor a sign. I can’t read Latin, but I don’t believe any of those versions include these details either (see here). Sir Roger L’Estrange included the sign of the beard in his version in 1692, but this was likely after Fontaine. So somewhere along the line the fable was embellished and changed somewhat (even the moral seems to have developed from obedience to the surety of two signs). Jean de la Fontaine may have been a significant part of that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *