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Song of Solomon

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Judgement of Solomon Mormon
This book called the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament is sometimes referred to as the Canticles in Latin or the Song of Songs in Hebrew. It contains an erotic poem about the love of a man (sometimes identified as Solomon himself) with an un-named lover. Solomon is traditionally considered to be the author of the poem, however, it is unlikely that he is actually the poem's author.

A manuscript of the Joseph Smith Translation contains a note, written in the margin, that "the Song of Solomon is not inspired scripture." It is not clear how authoritative such a note in an unfinished manuscript is, but most Latter-day Saints are reluctant to consider the Song of Solomon as inspired scripture despite its inclusion in the Biblical Canon. The book was included in the Bible because its romantic themes were traditionally interpreted as an allegory of God's love for Israel and/or for the Church. Nevertheless, due to its erotic content many Jewish groups and Christian denominations have also been reluctant to accept the Song of Solomon as inspired scripture.

However, the book does contain beautiful phrases and lyrical prose, and is therefore certainly a gem of literature regardless of its status as inspired scripture. Furthermore, the use of human intimacy as an allegory for God's relationship with the Church is commonly found elsewhere in the scriptures. God himself quoted multiple times from the Song of Solomon in the Doctrine and Covenants (compare Song. 6:10 with D&C 5:14; 105:31; and 109:73). In each instance, the quotation is in the context of the the Church's rise form obscurity, using poetic passages from the Song of Solomon about the beauty and wonder that a man feels for his love. This use of the poem fits with the allegorical interpretation of the text. God's use of the allegorical interpretation from the Song of Solomon could indicate that He approves of the general principle of the allegory, regardless of whether the poem itself was not initially inspired.