Prayer and Promptings in LDS Fiction

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about Rachel Ann Nunes’ post, just before this one, especially where she talks about how revising her latest book “essentially removed God from my novel.”

And I’ve been wondering why the LDS fiction I’ve read hasn’t had that much to do with God and how we LDS perceive Him and strive to become like Him.

I’d like to offer some ways that I think we could write stories about LDS characters receiving personal revelation, and growing in the gospel aside from what some consider tried (and tired) conversion stories, without reverting to any no-longer-valid-or-interesting “deus ex machina” endings, and, I would hope, avoiding the risk of offending “certain readers.”

The main thing to consider, it would seem to me, is how to create believable conflict and challenge in a story–in an LDS context and as part of LDS culture. So my first offering involves decision-making stories. We should all have read D&C 9:7-9 enough times to know how to go to the Lord for help in making a decision, but even after studying it out in our hearts and coming to a tentative conclusion, sometimes He doesn’t answer with a discernible burning in the bosom or a stupor of thought. There could be countless short stories, if not novels, written about what an LDS character would do next. And there are countless ways to show God in the details as the character moves ahead, hoping that the decision is the right one, and showing how things work out, or don’t work out, in ways that help the character to grow into the potential that God knows we each have. The important thing here, it would seem to me, is to show a character trusting in God, being “anxiously engaged in a good cause,” and managing to “bring to pass much righteousness” even without being sure what God’s will in the matter is.

Another kind of challenge or conflict could arise for an LDS character who is in the habit of following Spiritual promptings and being blessed by them, but who feels prompted to do something difficult or, worse, something that just doesn’t make sense. Such a character would, of course (being the kind of person he or she is), go ahead and follow the prompting, hoping that the way would be prepared, but could find, as did Nephi, that the way prepared involves something extremely daunting. I’m not recommending that we write stories about LDS characters who find they have to kill someone in order to fulfill the promptings of the Spirit, but there are all kinds of fears and challenges we struggle with which such a character could be required to overcome in order to learn that weaknesses can become strengths for those who rely on God (Philippians 4:13). Such strength believably comes from “within” in other kinds of heroic stories, so if only the LDS readers know where it has truly come from, that’s fine.

LDS characters should be willing to pray often, since we are commanded to do that, but strong fiction doesn’t allow for easy answers to those prayers. Dr. John Lund has something he calls the “Intervention Principle” which lists five ways God intervenes when we ask Him to. In order of how He seems to be most likely to do something, they are 1) soften a heart, 2) strengthen the praying person, 3) raise someone up to do what the praying person can’t do, 4) lead the praying person out of the situation (exodus or escape), 5) remove the problem, but only after several attempts of the other four interventions.

Because in fiction protagonists are expected to solve their own problems, some of the above interventions from God can be tricky to use in a story. I would recommend falling back on some general folkloric methods in such cases. For example, in folklore, if the protagonist did a kind deed for a stranger or an animal (helping old ladies across a stream, feeding birds, rescuing a wild animal from a trap, and so on), the recipient of the kind deed often provided a tool or information or even eventual assistance that the protagonist could use later in dealing with the main problem. So, a grateful stranger could give the LDS character an insight that would help the character in softening an enemy’s heart. Or that grateful stranger could provide information that would give the LDS character the strength/faith/hope/will to endure. And so on. In that way, the intervention is earned during the course of the story.

Another folklore motif, the grateful dead, is one that could fit nicely into an LDS story. Our kindred dead have every reason to be grateful for the work we do for them in the temple, and there are countless stories in the LDS culture about help “from the other side” that members have received in doing that work. Characters get “good ideas” (or inspiration) all the time, especially if necessary clues are planted earlier in the story, and all the character has to do is put the pieces together in the right way. An LDS character’s “grateful dead” may or may not be the source of such inspiration, but general folklore certainly allows for it.

Other stories could be about LDS characters having faith enough to actually “seek the best gifts” as we are also commanded to do (extending this idea to include all gifts and talents and not just spiritual gifts), and to actually use such gifts for others. Challenges and conflicts could arise from the people LDS characters are prompted to use such gifts for, and not so much from the gifts themselves. Such gifts could be a given in an LDS story, part of LDS culture, and the struggles the character would go through could involve being in the world but not of it, and not whether or not there are such gifts or who deserves them.

Rachel Ann Nunes talked in her post about paranormal stories, and not all of these suggestions necessarily require the paranormal, though they could. They are intended for LDS stories, however, about LDS characters who are imbedded in LDS culture and struggle with challenges that are peculiar to LDS-ness. If “LDS fiction” is only about ordinary characters who just happen to be “LDS” and are otherwise not so different from other people, except for maybe the Word of Wisdom and chastity, then I submit that LDS writers are not “living up to their privileges” and are missing out on potential stories and aspects of being LDS that other characters and stories don’t have. Whether those things would be considered “paranormal” to other readers, or just plain weird, they are part of who we are, and I really would like to see more of them in the LDS fiction that is published. Surely it can be done within the constraints of LDS publishing.

Please, writers, if you don’t feel ready to write the kinds of things Rachel Ann Nunes talked about, won’t you at least consider putting more prayer and promptings into your stories?

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About Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

Author of six professionally published short stories; moderator of two online writing workshop forums for Orson Scott Card (The Hatrack River Writers Workshop and the Nauvoo Workshop for LDS Writers); part-time computer genealogist; AML Review Archive editor and AML website flunky; mother of three and grandmother of five, so far (plus slave of a polydactyl, part-lynx-point snowshoe Siamese cat); Salt Lake Temple ordinance worker; lover of reading, knitting, and dark chocolate.
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30 Responses to Prayer and Promptings in LDS Fiction

  1. Darlene says:

    Wow, Kathleen, I think I would enjoy any of these types of stories you described. I’m especially interested in the decision one. Think I’ll go write it right now . . .

    I’m also very interested in Dr. Lund’s list. Where did that come from? It brings me comfort when I look at the prayers in my life that seem not to have been answered.

  2. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    I learned about Dr. Lund’s list on a Book of Mormon cruise I was able to take a few years ago to the Yucatan Peninsula. He’s a great speaker and has a lot of inspiring insights. I’m going to have to review some of his books for the AML Review Archive, I guess.

  3. Lisa Torcasso Downing says:

    Kathleen, I’ll be mulling these things over for a while. As I read, I felt like, [i]Yeah, why aren’t we doing that? [/i]

    But its harder than simply plotting that includes prayer and inspiration. I suspect many writers already do that. Perhaps they just aren’t making it to publication.

    You see, its an extremely difficult thing to capture–not to mention pass on to the reader–the reverence that needs to attend such plot points. Its like testimony. As a new convert, I used to stand and bear testimony nearly every month. As I lived the gospel longer and better and discovered its complications, my testimony grew. Now I rarely bear testimony publicly, even though I have a stronger connection to my God than ever before, simply because there aren’t words to contain that testimony.

    Deeply spiritual moments are very difficult to write. A writer has to find in the sounds of the syllables, the cadence, the structure of not only sentences but of paragraphs, scenes, chapters, etc, the right combinations that will mimic in the reader a feeling that is as close as possible to what the character is experiencing during a spiritual moment. Tough. Very tough.

    Of course, I’m not speaking of those moments when the spirit bears witness or comforts or testifies to the reader of the truth of some point contained in the writing. Nor am I speaking of writing that sets out to carry the spirit because it contains truth. I’m speaking of writing about moments that are deeply and intimately spiritual to the character. The process of making a reader feel that intimacy and spirituality–even (and especially) if the reader is not inclined to feel that–is very difficult.

    In the LDS culture, we do have certain buzz words, images, and ideas that, as we speak to each other, will signify that what is written should be ingested by the reader as sacred. But I think that kind of writing is happening with some frequency, though some of it may rely too heavily on rhetorical baggage to reach publication. Still, if there is something that is holding our writers (me in particular, I guess) from embracing writing such holy moments of inspiration, it may likely be an inabilty to mimic with words that which is divine. Heaven knows, I have failed at doing precisely this time and again. In fact, I think I’ve only come marginally close to succeeding at this once.

    Personally, I’d prefer to read LDS writing that addresses holy issues without relying on Mormonspeak. And when we finally get a grip on this, then I think we’ll have those Shakespeares and Miltons. (FTR,I’d be happy with either a Shakespeare or a Milton. I’m not greedy.)

  4. Th. says:

    .

    (Note: this comment could be construed as me using myself as a good example and as I well know there is nothing more irritating than using oneself as a good example, I will not be offended if you leave now to say nasty things about me on Twitter.)

    When I write LDS characters (which is, to my mind, disappointingly rarely), I can’t keep prayer and promptings out of my stories. They are too integral to my understanding of what Mormons [i]are[/i] to leave out. In fact, now that you bring it up, I realize that the reason some of my stories that started with Mormon characters but ended up without lacked those very elements. And without them, those characters had to be rewritten into something else.

    Hmm. I need to go back over my stuff and see if this rule holds true.

    Because ultimately, for a Mormon story to ring true, it needs to take into account the LDS characters’ relationships with God.

    Or so it seems to me.

  5. This is a topic that hits close to me, since my just-published novel largely stands or falls by whether or not scenes involving inspiration actually work for the reader. (Reaction so far is mixed but mostly positive, at least from those who don’t think I’m a latter-day Korihor. But let that pass…)

    Good comments in general. I’m particularly struck by Th’s concluding thought. I think that for a believing Mormon, an integral part of one’s life is one’s relationship with God. There are other kinds of Mormons, too–cultural Mormons, for example, whose meaningful relationship is with their culture or heritage or whatever–but it seems to me that these categories are, if anything, overrepresented (at least in the more realistic/literary side of Mormon fiction, if not the DB/Covenant side).

    Having just tried it, I also agree with Lisa that it’s hard to write spiritual moments. One reason is because we perceive the Spirit in such different ways that what is spiritually moving to me may not be to you. I had a stake president–someone I deeply admire, who has shared some very moving and thoughtful things that struck me quite deeply–share the Birdies story over the pulpit. I have to think that for him, the reaction this story generated was quite different from mine (squirming discomfort). Listening to people in fast and testimony meeting sharing their spiritual experiences, it seems to me that much of what other people see as spiritually significant doesn’t strike me that way (and doubtless vice versa).

    One problem with the kind of thing that Kathleen is suggesting is that surprising or problematic spiritual promptings will, without a doubt, be seen by some readers as evidence that the writer himself is deceived or setting out to deceive others. There’s a lot of stuff in scriptures that Mormon writers wouldn’t be able to get away with–at least, not without alienating a big part of their audience. I can also attest that simply including a priesthood ordinance in your story will be taken by some readers as a sign of irreverence. I suppose those are some of the readers that you just have to write off: they’ll never read and enjoy this kind of story, so one might as well not try.

    Finally, I agree with Th that the best kind of spiritual involvement arises naturally out of characters and situations. I can’t really imagine using any of Kathleen’s ideas as a starting-point for a story, because my mind doesn’t think that way. Instead, the most fruitful way (for me) to get this kind of thing seems to be ask, over and over again: "What would my character *actually* do at this point in time?"

  6. Th. says:

    .

    Yes, exactly. Spiritual moments generally are quiet. Again, looking over my own work, those moments function well when no attention is drawn to them, they simply are. Naysayers can dismiss them as easily as they would dismiss a real person’s experiences.

    I suppose there is a place for more in-your-face spirituality, but I don’t live that way and I’m suspicious of most feeling-the-Spirit junkies. (Does that make me a bad person? Probably yes. I need to stop judging people.)

  7. Moriah Jovan says:

    >>>I can also attest that simply including a priesthood ordinance in your story will be taken by some readers as a sign of irreverence.

    And yet…I’m going to do that. Because it’s part of who we are. On the other hand, it’ll been seen through the eyes of an outsider who doesn’t believe but is trying to assimilate our culture, so maybe that’s its own cop-out.

    I have spiritual experiences. I don’t talk about them. My characters have spiritual experiences. Mostly those don’t make it into the books, but if they do, they’re viewed through the POV of a sympathetic cynic/skeptic.

  8. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    I guess it’s just that I have read LDS fiction in which the LDS characters deal with their problems by talking to everyone except God. I have found myself ready to throw a book across the room as I have wondered why the protagonist isn’t praying about the problem.

    Not that I necessarily expect anything explicit in the story about what happens in or after a prayer.

    I’ve read enough fiction in which the author tells the reader that a character has had an epiphany of some sort, but the reader doesn’t learn what it was until the character acts on the new understanding and reveals what it was by those actions, or until the character tells all the other characters–as in mysteries where the murderer is revealed to the whole cast of suspects.

    Authors can leave the profound and indescribable parts of spiritual experiences to the reader’s imagination. I’m not particularly asking for that in LDS fiction. I would just like to see LDS characters do more of what LDS people are supposed to be doing when dealing with the challenges and weaknesses in their lives.

  9. Scott Parkin says:

    Nicely done, Kathleen.

    This question of how to invest a story with the deeply personal and intimate (or spiritual) is one of the basic problems of fiction. Where is the line between spiritual and maudlin, between insight and lecture, between self-discovery (or discovery of the divine) and self-delusion (or wishful thinking)?

    Part of the problem is that I don’t think there’s a single answer. The line moves from person to person.

    As Jonathan and Th. point out, much of what people casually offer as evidence of the spiritual seems too casually handled for me–not as a matter of moral correctness, but as a question aesthetic choice.

    I’ve been accused of both moral weakness and squeamishness over the years because I choose not to make God a speaking character in fiction, and because I like to use an indirect sf/metaphorical approach to issues of philosophy and religion. I can’t argue with the claim of squeamishness except to clarify that I choose not to depict certain things because I find them precious and out of respect I don’t want to handle them in a way that I consider trivial.

    It’s a personal choice, and I think those who try to question my spiritual depth, moral integrity, or personal testimony because of that choice have simply got it wrong–both morally and aesthetically.

    My 15-year old daughter is very frustrated in her high school literature class because it seems like everything they read is either about the Holocaust or about racial intolerance. She believes that literature is/should be more expansive of other kinds of human experience, and the frequent repetition of those two themes has made them tiring to the point of either irrelevance or active disdain.

    Her teachers are simply exploring issues of personal interest and general value using the best books available (in their experience). They feel the issues are so important, relevant, and transformative that they want to explore those issues deeply and from multiple angles.

    It’s still driving my daughter nuts–especially since she does understand how important those issues are, and hates having them turned into something unwelcome.

    I feel the same way about a lot of the ways issues of the spiritual are handled in Mormon fiction. Too much, too often, too easy.

    But that’s an aesthetic judgment, not a moral one. The problem is that the functional effect is the same–I express disinterest when asked, and I choose not to consume products that don’t appeal to me. I choose to argue my own aesthetic assumptions; essentially exploring the world and its parts as I understand them.

    This is where we all need to learn some charity. The fact that I don’t write psi-stories and have no inherent interest in reading them does not mean that I think they’re bad, corrupt, or morally suspect. They just don’t interest me on their own.

    But these stories do interest others, and every story can function as a bridge to the broader literature. As a ten-year old I loved stories that featured dogs as protagonists. That ultimately led me to read Jack London, which led me to sea exploration, which led me to historicals, which led me to read Roots at the age of eleven, and Grapes of Wrath at twelve.

    The only way one story can form a gateway to the wider literature is if there is a wider literature to begin with. Stories told from a variety of social, moral, political, and aesthetic viewpoints. And not just a few tokens, but a broader literature that is deep within those different viewpoints, not just a thin veneer across a wide surface.

    I have little interest in romances, westerns, or hardboiled detective stories, and yet I’ve read quite a few of each of them because there was a second element in each story that did draw my interest–usually a fantastic setting or speculative science component, but increasingly often a philosophical, political, or religious component that engaged my interest and allowed me to skim over the parts I didn’t care as much about. I used to hate political satire–it required too much contextual knowledge and I didn’t want to work that hard–but now I actively seek them out.

    I appreciate Kathleen’s approach and her attempt to explore more ways to address those things that are important to us. I’m not likely to adopt many of them because I have other methods that I’m exploring right now.

    But that’s an aesthetic choice, not a moral one. Making that distinction is critical not only for authors and readers, but for critics as well. And underlying all of it should be charity and a modicum of patience.

  10. Kathleen wrote: "I’ve read enough fiction in which the author tells the reader that a character has had an epiphany of some sort, but the reader doesn’t learn what it was until the character acts on the new understanding and reveals what it was by those actions, or until the character tells all the other characters–as in mysteries where the murderer is revealed to the whole cast of suspects."

    A lot of the time when I read something like this, it strikes me as an irritating point of view violation. Hiding something from the reader that the main character knows seems like a cheap, somewhat artificial way of developing tension–if I understand correctly the type of thing you’re talking about.

  11. Th. says:

    .

    I wonder if Kathleen and Scott P. could offer specific examples of books they mean? Kathleen mentions reading lots of LDS books without prayer and Scott complains about books with "Too much, too often, too easy" — me, I don’t feel I’m broadly enough read in LDS lit to know which way the trends trend.

    A couple lines from Scott I want to comment on:

    <i>I’ve been accused of both moral weakness and squeamishness over the years because I choose not to make God a speaking character in fiction….</i>

    This made me laugh because God is the narrator of my new novel. I don’t know how people will take that.

    <i>The only way one story can form a gateway to the wider literature is if there is a wider literature to begin with. Stories told from a variety of social, moral, political, and aesthetic viewpoints. And not just a few tokens, but a broader literature that is deep within those different viewpoints, not just a thin veneer across a wide surface.</i>

    Well said. How close do you think Mormon lit is approaching this sense of broader lit?

    <i>But that’s an aesthetic choice, not a moral one. Making that distinction is critical not only for authors and readers, but for critics as well. And underlying all of it should be charity and a modicum of patience.</i>

    True. I think we’re all making that distinction, but it’s worth making explicit.

  12. Lots of great points.

    Like Th. I can’t shake my LDS characters of their communion with the Lord in sometimes near constant inner prayer. I do this with Zelph and very close 3rd POV. Doing it with a Porter Rockwell novel as well.

    With both there is no way I would have the character have an epiphany or vision that the reader is not completely aware of what happens.

  13. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    Jonathan, I remember a Dominic Flandry novel (Poul Anderson) in which Flandry realized the solution to the problem he was dealing with and went off to do this, that, and the other thing. Maybe I was just too naive to understand from what he was doing what his solution was, but I remember being frustrated as well by how that particular novel ended. It was most definitely a point of view violation.

    I’ve also seen mysteries where the sleuth (usually not the point of view character, so it isn’t point of view violation then, at least) says something like "Aha!" and doesn’t explain until the end of the story.

    It can be irritating when that happens, especially if the author doesn’t give the reader enough clues to figure it out along with the character (surely, LDS readers would know as much, in most cases, about gospel principles and be able to guess what God might say in answer to a prayer, as any LDS character). I don’t think it has to be frustrating or irritating to the reader in all cases, though.

    Personal revelation could be handled in a way similar to the shutting of the bedroom door behind the loving couple. Not every scene in a story needs to be written, and some things can be implied without being made explicit. Deeply sacred things ought to be able to be left to the imagination just as other private things can be, but all too often aren’t–but that’s for another post and another blogger to explore.

  14. Th. says:

    .

    <i>Personal revelation could be handled in a way similar to the shutting of the bedroom door behind the loving couple.</i>

    Wasn’t it . . . Anita Stansfield who was busted for just that?

  15. When Holmes has that "Aha!" moment that Lestrade and Watson didn’t, it’s because Holmes is brilliant. Ditto when House figures out a diagnosis that eluded every other doctor in the world. There is an empirical process at work: the deduction is at least hypothetically reproducible.

    Even when the "inspiration" is expressed as a physical skill with a considerable biological and/or genetic component, we see a connection between hard work and courage and outcome–Rocky Balboa. Or we simply accept that some people "have it" (Mozart), and other people not so much (Salieri).

    Because life isn’t fair. We know that. But God is supposed to be. So as a plot device, this gets extremely problematic, morally and theologically. I believe this is one reason Correlation got so skittish about fiction in church publications, and that is the one reason I can empathize with.

    Artistically, when a writer engineers a revelation that has no predictive logic, we call it "bad plotting." Or: [i]Deus ex machina.[/i] "The phrase comes to English usage from Horace’s [i]Ars Poetica,[/i] where he instructs poets that they must never resort to a ‘god from the machine’ to solve their plots."

  16. Jack Harrell says:

    Kathleen,

    Thanks for your thoughtful discussion of this. I think it’s true that when a writer brings God into a story there is a potential for something deeply meaningful–that is, if the writer is really, truly honest. Otherwise, writers risk blowing it by regurgitating the same old thing. Reaffirmations are fine for testimony meeting, but creative literature needs to stay fresh. It seems to me that Mormon theology has so much to offer, and yet our creative output has focused so much on cheesey culture–green jello and singles wards. I hope a lot of us can take up your challenge and start engaging God through our characters’ prayer and promptings. The question is, will we be ready for the inexpected answers God provides?

  17. I know that with several of my earlier stories (not published by my current publisher), I was told to tone down the spiritual content of a scene because not every member could expect to receive that kind of guidance. Maybe the scene was off? Maybe my very young editor was wrong? I don’t know.

    Perhaps these novels have been written and are being written, but are lost in the crowd of books our market produces these days. Another issue is that suspense is selling so well currently in the LDS market that many authors are focusing on that. However, I find it almost impossible to enjoy an LDS suspense novel when the action suddenly stops so the character can become converted. Is it possible to include spirituality believably in a suspense novel? So far such scenes have always jerked me out of the book. Could be just me. (And doesn’t that just add more fuel to the reasoning against LDS paranormals?)

    I don’t know the answer here, but I know for myself, that lately I’ve been drawn more to telling stories of characters who aren’t overtly LDS, perhaps because of this believability factor (especially in urban fantasy or paranormal). That’s not to say I won’t write LDS characters again. I will when the right story comes to me—and maybe I’ll keep your ideas in mind. Thanks for the post!

  18. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    Thank you, Rachel. I can certainly appreciate the question of how to show spirituality in a suspense novel. It seems to me that LDS characters who have prayed in such a novel, whether they’ve received answers or not, could certainly go ahead with whatever they needed to do, just as Nephi did when he entered Jerusalem in the dark, confident in the guidance of the Spirit, even though he didn’t know what he was supposed to do.

    Praying characters don’t have to receive answers that are clearly from God as soon as they finish praying–praying people certainly don’t. Sometimes we only realize what God’s answer was when we look back on what happened, but that doesn’t mean we don’t pray.

    As was pointed out elsewhere just recently, the most heartfelt and sincere prayer the world has ever known, prayed by the most righteous and worthy person the world has ever known, was answered, "No."

  19. Th. says:

    .

    Spirituality is best when fully woven in to a narrative. When it has to stop the action, then it’s not really part of the story.

  20. Kathleen Woodbury says:

    Amen, Th.

  21. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    Please excuse me while I test something here.

    Apparently, people have indicated that they can’t put URLs in their comments, even though I have seen them there.

    So I’m going to try to put the URL for the Irreantum home page here and see what happens.

    http://irreantum.mormonletters.org/

  22. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    All right. All I did was copy and paste the URL from my browser when I was viewing the Irreantum home page.

    Didn’t use HTML, but I was still able to put this URL in my comment.

    Please, someone else check it to see if it works, and let me know?

  23. Wm Morris says:

    URLs that you copy and paste directly are fine. It’s trying to use html code to embed links in text that doesn’t work.

  24. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury says:

    Thank you, William.

    Boyd asked Jacob Proffitt, who set the AML blog up for us (thank you, Jacob!), about this, and I wanted to know if URLs could be inserted at all.

    As far as not being able to use HTML code for things like italics and bold, I can see there would be a problem, but since there is a way to insert URLs at least that isn’t a problem, right?

  25. Moriah Jovan says:

    This isn’t an HTML board. It’s a UBB board.

  26. Jacob says:

    You can use code to do [i]italics[/i] or [b]bold[/b] or even [u]underline[/u]. If you look at the upper right of the comment text pane, you’ll even see little buttons there that will do it for you if you have text highlighted.

  27. Wm Morris says:

    Oh, I know about those, Jacob. It’s just that most of us who comment steadily on blogs are used to be able to use some html in our comments. I prefer the elegance of embedded links but using the entire URL is fine.

    But since Moriah reminded me that it’s UBB, let’s try this:

    [url=http://www.motleyvision.org]A Motley Vision[/url]

    Hmmm. Looks like that particular UBB tag is turned off, which is not uncommon for some comment forms — it’s supposed to keep out spam, I believe.

  28. Th. says:

    .

    Yeah, it’s really an elegance issue. (I’m used to being pretty elegant.)

  29. Just saw a trailer for a Christian novel (as opposed to LDS fiction) and thought to myself, “Just imagine LDS fiction writers not being afraid to have stories about spiritual experiences similar to the story this appears to be about.”

    • Moriah Jovan says:

      I actually find that odd, coming from an evangelical publisher. For one, they don’t believe in prescience and/or personal revelation and/or prophecy (especially not from a nobody-nonpaid-preacher-type).

      For two, they would normally consider such a theme to be witchcraft (although I assume that the writer makes it clear it’s God’s voice, which still goes against #1).

      I may have to get this book to see how they work that out, because the whole tenor (heh) strikes me as what would be considered witchcraft in their view.

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