Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Meg's Book - Chapter 18 - Eliza

Trivia - Eliza provided an affidavit in later years that she was 'sealed' or married in late June 1842. By mid-August, then, she could have been in the early stages of pregnancy as described here.

3 comments:

ktb said...

I liked the introduction using the fly to create a picture of bordom and desire to be somewhere else. I think small things like that add a clearer sense of how the characer feels at the moment, while adding a touch of humour.

In Chapter 9, and now in Chapter 10, Elvira is keeping the secret of the New and Everlasting Covenant between herself, Joseph, and Jonathan. Secrets may sometimes be necessary, but often they allow the person keeping the secret to maintain an internal perception of superiority, or power over those that do not know the secret. Whether intentionally or not, I think the way the bottom paragraph of page 56 is written regarding Elvira’s internal thoughts bears this out. It might be useful to consider having Joseph explain up front in Chapter 5 why Elvira, Jonathan, and he must keep the New and Everlasting Covenant a secret between themselves, and select others that have not yet been named. Doing so might be stepping too far over the line though, even for a fiction book, so that may be an unfair request. The whole thing seems really important since plurality becomes a major source of debate with the Mormon Fundamentalists in the decades to come. The web site that I cheated and read ahead at is http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/questions_concerning_the_1887.htm . I assume that the 1886 Revelation was the event fortold (about 40 years). The importance of the New and Everlasting Covenant is alluded to on page 24 of Chapter 5. If nothing else, is there a way to clarify how this is supposed to work. Is it to develop an intertwined network of believers with someone as the central core (please have pity on a non-Mormon with a type A+ personality that just has to understand everything and can not piece it together from the Internet sites visited so far)? Chp 10, page 57, paragraph starting with "She thought back to Joseph’s...." In the last sentence of that paragraph, did you mean to say, "...so that meant at least 40 years in the future there would be a correct understanding of the covenant, ..." Right now it reads that an incorrect understanding of the covenant will occur in 40 years, which is counter to Joseph’s blessing. In the notes section, a poem is mentioned as having been included in the chapter. I did not see it.

daughterofheaven said...

Wow -

I actually had wanted to tone down the kind of "we'll die if you betray" kind of language that was used, but clearly it had a purpose.

Bryan and I were reading in "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling" and it was really, really interesting regarding what Joseph had told others and what Elvira could have even known. I'll revise Chapter 5 to make it more clear.

Pat said...

It is interesting that KTB raises the question of exactly what the 'new and everlasting covenant' was supposed to do and how it functioned. The same question existed among members of the church. It was not for many years that a clearer understanding of the process was gained. In early years many asked to be 'sealed' to prominent members of the leadership, thus becoming 'members' of their family. A young woman married a fellow named Mr. Smith and soon found that he was not a nice man. She obtained a divorce. Not much later she married another man named Mr. Smith and had several children. He was also something of a loser and she was never 'sealed' to either man. She was a widow when Brigham Young encountered her on the street. He offered to 'seal' her to himself, but she demurred. However, she said she like the idea of becoming sealed to Joseph Smith who was already dead. Young agreed. From the time of her 'sealing' she referred to herself as Mrs. Smith-Smith-Smith. Eventually common sense and revelation brought forth the current practice of seeking out 'real' family and effecting the sealing ordinances on actual relatives back through the ages. Thus the LDS church has the world's most devoted genealogists. We even use gene research to identify family lines. It is quite amazing to study the amount of information about various doctrines and practices received by Joseph Smith in his relatively brief ministry. One of the key teachings was that of eternal family relationships. He passed this along with some urgency to the 'twelve' before his death.

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