Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

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SamBee
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Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by SamBee » 20 Mar 2019, 03:32


Now having read a lot and traveled and being introduced to different cultures, I would say God has many voices and He’s been speaking to His children in every way He can—all the time, everywhere.

If we put that in our minds as the assumption, instead of the assumption of He spoke to the Old Testament prophets, Book of Mormon, the Savior, and then we have the Restoration and few reformers here and there. If we would just realize that He doesn't always speak with just apostles and prophets. If you can’t hear a prophet or apostle for whatever reason, maybe you can hear the words of a sage in China, or a philosopher, or an author, a playwright, a poet, a musician, an artist, scientists. As soon as I put into my mind that God speaks, God has been speaking and speaks all the time, everywhere, in many different ways, then I’m looking for it.
http://www.ldsliving.com/Finding-Eterna ... ox/s/90478
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Minyan Man
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Minyan Man » 20 Mar 2019, 07:24

I like this interview a lot. There is one quote I especially like,
I think sometimes we narrow down our voices of God. In other words, God's voice for me earlier in my life was the prophets and apostles, the scriptures, general conference...Now having read a lot and traveled and being introduced to different cultures, I would say God has many voices and He's been speaking to His children in every way He can--all the time, everywhere.

Roy
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Roy » 20 Mar 2019, 08:56

Once you start looking for it I just find it everywhere. It's like an orchestra. Apostles and prophets, they have a sweet sound, but there are woodwinds, brass, and various kinds of strings and God just plays them all. He just orchestrates them all so that goodness, truth, and beauty come to man in every way He can get it down to us.
Lots of great stuff. We talk about Elder Worthlin's orchestra example. Here this same concept is broadened to all of humanity. The Mormons are needed and serve a purpose in the grand symphony - as do every other group and philosophy.

I also like the principle that fictional works can be enlightening and enobling. It can be scripture in that we can hear God's voice in it. I believe this is one way to deal with the possibility of the BoM not being of ancient origen but still being scripture.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Minyan Man » 20 Mar 2019, 12:11

Roy wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 08:56
I also like the principle that fictional works can be enlightening and enobling. It can be scripture in that we can hear God's voice in it. I believe this is one way to deal with the possibility of the BoM not being of ancient origen but still being scripture.
Many of the parables in scripture are technically fictional stories teaching spiritual lessons.
I believe that there are events we remember over time that have a spiritual lessons that are designed specifically for us, individually.
(Does that make any sense?)

Roy
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Roy » 20 Mar 2019, 14:42

Minyan Man wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 12:11
I believe that there are events we remember over time that have a spiritual lessons that are designed specifically for us, individually.
(Does that make any sense?)
I read that to mean that there may be life events that provide pivotal lessons at important milestones in our life (or maybe the lesson was not clear at the time but looking back in hindsight the lesson is more apparent). Is that what you are saying MM?

If so, the Author S. Michael Wilcox talks about reading of powerful experiences in literature and experiencing them vicariously to a degree. He feels that he was partially prepared for the emotions of grief that accompanied the death of his wife because he had experienced great loss vicariously through the characters in great works of literature.

Interesting concept!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Minyan Man » 20 Mar 2019, 15:11

Roy wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 14:42
I read that to mean that there may be life events that provide pivotal lessons at important milestones in our life (or maybe the lesson was not clear at the time but looking back in hindsight the lesson is more apparent). Is that what you are saying MM?
Yes, that is what I mean.

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mom3
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by mom3 » 25 Mar 2019, 16:08

Great interview. Pushing water down the rows is hard. LDS Living seems to keep pushing. I like that.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Daughter1
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Daughter1 » 17 Apr 2019, 21:18

I need to go to bed, but I am so excited to read this interview tomorrow. I have half-joked over the past couple of decades that I have two quad combinations: the "standard works" and my copy of LotR and The Hobbit. And that I would be hard-pressed to say which is more dear to me. More recently (7 years or so ago now), I saw a quote from the Dalai Lama. It hangs on my wall, and if it were't too long it would be my signature here:
All religions share a common root, which is limitless compassion. They emphasize human improvement, love, respect for others, and compassion for the suffering of others. In so far as love is essential in every religion, we could say that love is a universal religion. But the various techniques and methods for developing love differ widely between the traditions. I don't think there could ever be just one single philosophy or one single religion. Since there are so many different types of people, with a range of tendencies and inclinations, it is quite fitting that there are differences between religions. And the fact that there are so many different descriptions of the religious path shows how rich religion is.
Actually, just typing it out again, I think I decided my favorite part of the quote which might be short enough. :)
I don't think there could ever be just one single philosophy or one single religion. Since there are so many different types of people, with a range of tendencies and inclinations, it is quite fitting that there are differences between religions. And the fact that there are so many different descriptions of the religious path shows how rich religion is. - HH the XIV Dalai Lama

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Apr 2019, 11:56

We say we beleive there are virtuous, praiseworthy, lovely, good things outside of our religion and that we seek after them. We also are told to seek wisdom and learning out of the best books.

I think of Les Miserables, for example. SO much eternal truth I wish we understood better, collectively.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Finding Eternal Truths in Classic Literature: A Conversation with Author S. Michael Wilcox

Post by SamBee » 18 Apr 2019, 13:03

Curt Sunshine wrote:
18 Apr 2019, 11:56
We say we beleive there are virtuous, praiseworthy, lovely, good things outside of our religion and that we seek after them. We also are told to seek wisdom and learning out of the best books.

I think of Les Miserables, for example. SO much eternal truth I wish we understood better, collectively.
I see that book as essentially about forgiveness. At what point can we forgive and when should we?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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