If someone really loved me, they would buy me an etymology dictionary for my birthday (which is in less than two months, by the way, in case you were wondering) For real. If I could go back to college and do it all over again, I would. And I would study the origin of words. That’s all. Just the origin of words, all. day. long. Is that even a possible major? Well. If not. I would petition the University to make it one. That’s how much I love etymology. I mean … listen to this:
Behold: comes from a Mid English word meaning “to keep”, which came from the Old English word behealdan, meaning “to hold”. The current definition is “to perceive through sight or conception.”
Perceive: comes from the Latin word percapere meaning “thoroughly to take”. The current definition is “to attain awareness or understanding, to become aware through the senses.”
Now the word Desire: It comes from the Latin word desiderare, meaning “long for, wish for; demand, expect.” The current definition is to long for, express a wish for. To request.” The dictionary goes on to say that desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim.
So interesting, no? Enlightening.
As I read the scriptures this morning, I found that I was paying close attention to what certain people desired. And then I began noting what they were “beholding.” And in understanding the words more deeply, I understood the Word more deeply.
I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy … wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit. … And … I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit … and I beheld your mother … And … I beckoned … with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. (–Lehi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon. Reference.)
And I … was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of the these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men … And the angel said unto me again: Look and behold the condescension of God! And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world … And I beheld that he went forth, ministering unto the people. (–Nephi, Lehi’s son. Reference here and here.)