Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Looking back at books I've read recently and what I've thought of them, I was tempted earlier to post  that I am just a shallow reader. That thought depressed me because while I've never thought of myself as a deep, literary reader, I did think of myself as having some taste in books. Of course I like a lot of books that I would label "fluff" or "candy for the mind," but I still think of "Les Miserables" as one of my favorite books. So I can't be TOO shallow, right? Still, tonight I was ready to give up reviewing books altogether since I obviously have no taste.

And then I thought of a movie we saw a few years ago: "Music and Lyrics." It's not my favorite movie, but I really, really liked one part. Check it out from minute 2:10 to 2:52.

A: Oh, no, of course not. Pop is just for morons. Forgot that.

S: I didn't mean anything by it.

A: Brain-dead, or taken too many drugs. You know what I'd say to you and Sloan Cates? You can take all the novels in the world and not one of them will make you feel as good as fast as:

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May.

That is real poetry. Those are real poets. Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, the Beatles.


So then I thought just because I don't agree with a literary body doesn't mean that what I like isn't as effective and powerful in its own way. I can list lots of books that are not "literary" that I learned so much from even if I got nothing out of Hemingway or Woolf.

And who decided who were the "great authors" anyway? Well, that's another discussion; one I have many strong feelings about. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Having just read Dallin H. Oaks' talk from April 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entitled "Sacrifice," I've been thinking a lot about, well, sacrifice over the last few days. Some people have been baffled at why we "Mormons" do what we do. I thought Elder Oaks summarized it nicely:

I believe that Latter-day Saints who give unselfish service and sacrifice in worshipful imitation of our Savior adhere to eternal values to a greater extent than any other group of people. Latter-day Saints look on their sacrifices of time and means as a part of their schooling and qualifying for eternity. This is a truth revealed in the Lectures on Faith, which teach that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It [is] through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.”

(Emphasis my own.) What do we sacrifice? I think what is "sacrificed" is personal; basically we sacrifice our "worldly" desires or our "natural man" cravings for what we want more - becoming more like the Savior. I think this is so often misunderstood as us being blindly obedient. But when we focus on WHY we do these things, it is a beautiful gift from us and to us. The WHY makes all the difference.