Sunday, January 17, 2010

Response to Ju

Some of my favorites off your list that I love but am not really interested in re-reading right now: Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre (though I pretty much have it memorized if you want to discuss it sometime), Origin of Species, The Professor and the Madman (seriously, read that one--it is awesome).

Books on your list that I am interested in reading: Robinson Crusoe, Les Mis, How Capitalism Saved America.

Also--Kim by Rudyard Kipling is on my list. I read it and loved it but it has been too long for me to remember much. Anyone interested in that one?

Kami--jump in here anytime.

Kelly--you've posted the books you've read. Are there any you'd like to see on our book list?

Kami and I will put a new list together for the next few months so post any others that you'd like to see on the list.

As for your question--heck yes you should be the one to introduce your children to things like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Think about how Christine felt to know that she'd made a fool of herself in front of her class, and how things like that can really shake a youth's budding faith. It is like polygamy. Ignoring it, or pretending that it isn't doctrine can lead to huge crises of faith. If you start talking about these things when your children are young, you can guide how they feel about them, so when other people ask about them or criticize the church for them (and people will), then your children are ready with answers they feel comfortable with and are less likely to feel confused/conflicted/upset. I was bothered as a youth (and still feel this way) by how polygamy was swept under the rug like we were ashamed of it. Because if we're ashamed of it then we're ashamed of Joseph Smith and if we're ashamed of Joseph Smith then we are ashamed of the Book of Mormon, and if we're ashamed of that--then we cannot believe. If we can't talk about the Mountain Meadow Massacre then the only people who are talking about it are those who want to diminish our faith. People make mistakes. Joseph Smith made a lot of mistakes. That doesn't diminish his greatness as a prophet or undermine his pivotal role--but our children have to be taught to see it that way.

I want to be the one to teach my children that while the church doctrine is perfect the people aren't, and then use the Mountain Meadows Massacre as a perfect and obvious example of this. Then I want to put it in a historical context for them about the feelings of church members and the fear and how people were responding to fear, not the Spirit. And I'm writing my Emmeline B. Wells book for my daughters whether Deseret Book will ever publish it or not so my children have a springboard for talking about polygamy. We'll talk about options women had and what it meant to be a single mother, or a single woman without educational or employment opportunities. We'll talk about how the whole world believes in polygamy--they just don't want to look at it that way (remarriages after a spouse dies) and how it would be for someone to not have the opportunity for a family. We'll talk and talk and talk about these issues until my children have a firm grounding in what was caused by the time period in which an event took place and what was and is doctrine so that when someone makes an "oh, you're a mormon, how many mothers do you have" comment (and I got loads of them the short time we were in Kentucky), my children will be ready and it won't be a threat to their faith that the church doesn't have a perfect history or easily embraced doctrine.

And that was my very opinionated opinion on that!

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