Table Salt and Brother Brigham – by Debbie Nance

I’ve mentioned before that I’m doing some editing work for a gal who is creating a Latter-day Saint based home-schooling curriculum. I’m relearning a lot about grammar and punctuation, which is always helpful, as well as reading through the literature sections. The books and selections chosen are void of swearing and crass words and are often classics that include a high vocabulary. It is interesting work.

Quotes are routinely placed at the beginning of sections. A quote from Brigham Young intrigued me so I looked online for the full text. “Now, brethren and sisters, … employ the rest of your lives in good thoughts, kind words, and good works. ‘Shall I sit down and read the [scriptures] all the time?’ says one. Yes, if you please, and when you have done, you may be nothing but a sectarian after all. It is your duty to study to know everything upon the face of the earth, in addition to reading [scriptures]. We should not only study good, and its effects upon our race, but also evil, and its consequences.”

 

Brigham made it clear in the next several passages of his talk that there was a difference from learning about evil and doing evil, which he himself would not do. He felt children never allowed to learn about evil would, when free of their parents, fall into or even embrace evil practices. That reminded me of something a Salt Lake City librarian once told me that they had to keep replacing books at the library on some tough moral and social topics—not because the kids reading them were doing the “bad” things discussed, but in her opinion because the kids were too embarrassed to ask about the topics or to even check out the books so they just took them. To her, there was an obvious need for those books.  

 

In my WIFYR class, one of the writers was unsure about including some difficult things in her novel about a girl who had attempted and failed suicide. My classmate said she chickened out when it came to writing the hard stuff and would simply end the scene. Our class encouraged her to write the whole story. I don’t believe that means she has to add a ton of foul language or gross details, but her book has a place and needs to be written for those teens faced with the same difficult situations as her MC. I think Brother Brigham would have agreed.

 

WIFYR was a great conference and I was surrounded by lots of friends and many talented people. At times I felt inspired and excited, and at other times I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. Can you relate?

Stephen King once said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” 

Guess it’s time for us to go back to work. 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Table Salt and Brother Brigham – by Debbie Nance

  1. Oddstuffs

    Thank you. This was an important post for me to read. I’ve been wondering about the contents of my own story and this helped.

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