“Thy Daughters Shall Be Carried Upon Their Shoulders”

Alan C. Miner

According to Charles Swift, one of the most touching images involving children is found in the Lord's description of the way the children of Israel will be brought home. He says the Gentiles "shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders" (1 Nephi 21:22). This is not an image of a family at an amusement park, with a small girl being carried on her father's shoulders as she excitedly looks at what ride is coming up next. Rather, this is an image of a "foster-father . . . [who] carries an infant in the bosom of his dress . . . or upon his arms, so that it reclines upon his shoulders." This is an intimate, loving image of parenthood, bringing the child close to the father's heart. [Charles Swift, "The Power of Symbol," in Covenants Prophecies and Hymns of the Old Testament, p. 230]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary