Bob Dylan’s Conversion to Mormonism

Bob Dylan’s Conversion To Mormonism

by Larry Fyffe

Not at all noticed by Dylanologists is that Bob Dylan gives hints in his song lyrics that he has coverted to the Mormon religion – a well-kept secret that does not escape the sharp eyes and ears at the ‘Untold’ offices.

The lyrics below show signs that Dylan is disgruntled with his life situation, and ready to convert to Mormonism – Utah being the holy city of that particular religion:

Looks like a-nothing but rain
Sure gonna be wet tonight on Main Street
Hoping that it don’t sleet
Build me a cabin in Utah
Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout
Have a bunch of kids who call me ‘Pa’
That must be what it’s all about
(Bob Dylan: Sign On The Window)

According to the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, some Hebrews deported from Northern Israel by the Assyrians set sail in search of the Promised Land, and they come upon the empty expanses of the Americas. There, God-fearing Hebrew Nephites toil, and fight the ungodly Hebrew Lamanites – the latter get punished by God: their skins darken. The resurrected Christ appears to the goodly Nephites, appoints apostles, and peace reigns in the New World, at least for a time.

In the lyrics below, Dylan cues the astute observer that he’s now a follower of the scriptures that are found in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Mormon ‘Bible’:

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue, and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Dylan refers to God commanding John the Baptist to visit the shore of a river near the Pennsylvania home of Joseph Smith to confer the authority of the priesthood upon the Mormon prophet, and to warn him about trouble ahead when Smith and his followers journey westward:

Roll On John, roll through the rain and snow
Take the right-hand road, and go where the buffalo roam
They’ll trap you in an ambush before you know
Too late now to sail back home
(Bob Dylan: Roll On John)

‘Buffalo’ refers to the native Ameican bison.

In the lyrics below, the singer/songwriter takes on the persona of the risen Jesus who appears in the Pre-Columbian New World because His teachings of peace and brotherhood have been flagrantly ignored by the barbaric Lemanites; alligators and crocodiles are native to neo-tropical America, and native ‘Indian corn’ has yet to be transported from the Americas to Europe:

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes, and blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Fortunately for Christ, the Nephites are more receptive – figuatively represented by Dylan as female-like:

Suddenly I turned around, and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me gracefully, and took my crown of thorns
“Come in”, she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Unlike the Holy Bible that’s read by most Christians, Joseph Smith observes that the ‘Book of Mormon’ predicts the coming of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. As depicted by Dylan below, Christ on a trial run for a ‘Second Coming’ to the New World finds out that the Nephites now have themseves gone astray:

But the funniest thing was
When I was leaving the bay
I saw three ships a-sailing
They were all headed my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn’t drive a truck
He said his name was ‘Columbus’
And I just said, ‘good luck’
(Bob Dylan: 115th Dream)

Only here on ‘Untold’ is it possible to learn about Bob Dylan’s secret conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saints.

What else is on the site

You’ll find an index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to the 500+ Dylan compositions reviewed is now on a new page of its own.  You will find it here.  It contains reviews of every Dylan composition that we can find a recording of – if you know of anything we have missed please do write in.

We also have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bob Dylan’s Conversion to Mormonism

  1. LarryFyffe says:

    * ….. some Hebrews set sail in search of the Promised Land

  2. LarryFyffe says:

    apparently what Hebrews and when is not all that clear

Leave a Reply

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