Eureka! I have solved the riddle at last! Many, including prophets, have offered reasons as to why the proud folks in the “great and spacious building” in the Book of Mormon lean out their windows mocking the faithful followers of Christ. One of my favorite explanations comes from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:
“They are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts.”
I whole-heartedly embrace and accept the teachings of the ancient and modern prophets, but must here add my little two-cents, (which I think are rather hilarious):
Something rang a bell, recently, when we were watching a documentary. The Palace of Versailles is a great and spacious building, is it not? In it’s hayday, it was full of people in costly apparel, strutting about like peacocks, basking in their wealth, power and influence, so we are told. The Book of Mormon also teaches a much ignored fact: many, if not most of those mocking are of the House of Isreal, yet despite their royal lineage and birthright, they are deliberately fighting the twelve apostles and the Lamb… Just as many royal houses of Europe do or did claim descendency through Israel.
Now, stay with me, here. Did you know that in Versailles everyone wore very heavy perfume? Did you know that the reason why they did so is because there were no toilets, that’s right, no toilets at all in that entire palace? Guests often retired to an open pit toilet under the stairs, whose stench filled the whole room with its stink. The many pets who lived there relieved themselves wherever and whenever they pleased. A certain princess, resident there, is said to have urinated while she walked, much to the irritation of servants who had to clean up after her. These servants “held it” until they could use the lawn at the end of their shift.
Now, think carefully: the great and spacious building has no foundation, it floats in midair. We therefore see no pipes, no plumbing emerging anywhere from the edifice. AHA!!! So, the great and spacious building might be very much like Versailles, and all those people who want you to believe that you are missing out on something? All those people hanging out the windows, breathing the fresh air that you and I both know only trees can produce? They’re totally faking you out!!! Poor, foolish, too-proud-to-be-humble, miserable folks! I’ll take the Tree of Life, its fruit, its healing leaves and the fresh air it makes, and leave the tenants of that building to wallow in their self-created fountains of filthy waters, both indoor and out, for unlike the tree folks, they have nothing to take that filth away. Pee-yoo!
Oh, and one last warning. Remembering that the inhabitants of the Great and Spacious Building are of the House of Isreal, a bell should be going off in your head that numbered among the window out-leaners would be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints themselves. Please recall that when we receive our Patriarchal Blessings we are informed of our literal lineage or adoption into lineage of a particular House of Isreal. So… are we ever asking ourselves, “Lord, is it I?”
In his wonderful fashion of mincing no words, Elder Boyd K. Packer made our risk quite clear, “Largely because of television, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it. That is your fate in this generation. You are living in that great and spacious building… You who are young will see many things that will try your courage and test your faith. All of the mocking does not come from outside of the Church. Let me say that again: All of the mocking does not come from outside of the Church. Be careful that you do not fall into the category of mocking.” (January 16, 2007 BYU Devotional speech, Lehi’s Dream and You.)