My previous “Lit Crit Sermons” have been from sources that generally took a positive view of literature, seeing the role of the author or poet as an important and divinely inspired one. That view is, unfortunately, not universal among past General Authorities of the Church and those who wrote in LDS-oriented magazines. In fact, Church leaders often saw dangers in literature from the outside world and warned Church members against reading that literature. The Home Literature movement was the solution to the dangers that leaders saw.
Brady Udall’s The Lonely Polygamist (Amazon) (AMV review) has been making a splash. As of this writing, it’s holding on to the last spot of the NYTBSL and I’ve been seeing articles about Udall all over the interwebz.
Here at A Motley Vision, we are “devoted to exploring the world of Mormon arts and culture. Or to be more specific: Mormon literature, criticism, publishing and marketing — plus film, theater, art, music, and pop and folk culture” (cite) and generally we interpret this to mean the culture of faithful Mormons.
With Brady Udall, whom, many of those reports report, is rather less faithful (at least as compared to his wife and kids, apparently), the question arises: How do faithful Mormons (interested in the arts or not) view our less faithful artists?
One of the great heroes in my family’s history is Mary Lee. She was a famed Southern Utah midwife, saved my father’s life, had none less than Harold B. Lee wish he was half as sure of his own salvation as he was of hers, etcetcetc. There is no question she was a great woman. I look forward to meeting her someday.
In 1955, Gene L. Gardner published 100 copies of an 85-page biography of Aunt Mary called “An Inspired Principle and a Remarkable Lady.” My father owns one of these 100 copies and I hope to have it pass into my hands someday and read it with the care and honor it deserves.
All of which is merely a pious introduction to my real topic today. Continue reading “Too sacred for public consumption -or- Disgusting the prophet’s wife”