The scriptures are strange, sometimes. Parts of them are simply mythic, telling stories of who we are, where we came from, what our purpose is on Earth. On the whole, though, they are a series of parables and metaphors, using the lives of God's servants as examples of what to do and, more often, what to avoid.
You see, these exemplars are deeply flawed men and, occasionally, women. While some of these stories are about someone who did the right thing, they almost universally tell a story of the pain, suffering, and heartache which comes from disobedience.
This is something I wish the Mormon church paid a little more attention to, especially in regard to the Book of Mormon and our own modern leaders. Honesty about Joseph Smith's weaknesses, for example, or a thorough examination of Nephi and what his flaws might be, could be good for us as a people.
It also makes me wonder how it would feel to be permanently enshrined in lore as the man who slept with his own kin, the guy who swindled his own brother, or the idiot who lost everything because he used his priesthood power unrighteously.
I wonder about some of the biggest screw-ups. Did Jonah have a family he worried about during his three days in the belly of an holy leviathan? Did he have a wife and children he assumed would be a widow and orphans after his mission to Ninevah?
Lehi is a better example, having received a revelation and simply going into the desert. His wife and kids weren't entirely pleased about his decision, though. Do I have the strength of Lehi? Or am I Jonah, about to be swallowed by a whale?