Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter XXI - June in Nauvoo

Trivia - All dates and events and quotes in this chapter are straight from the history books. In this version I allude to earlier events that I will probably write up as full chapters later, but I hope I've given you enough to infer what has happened (particularly with Thomas Sharp). I also intend to expand the last chapter to include a conversation between Elvira and Joseph about what it would have meant if Jane had been willing to be sealed to Joseph and Emma as a daughter (or to Joseph as a plural wife).


jl said...

I was not expecting a chapter tonight, but was pleasantly surprised to find it waiting for me..... I was a little confused by the numbering. The subject title is 21, then I opened it up to find "Chapter 20 - June in Nauvoo." the time line seems clear to me that this occurs after the last chapters that I have read up to 26, I think. Have you revised enough that this is now your chapter 20 or 21? I know this probably seems a little annoying, but I am just trying to keep everything straight and the numbering threw me off. =-0)

one issue I came upon while reading. I figured that I would mention it. No suggestions though.
Elvira thought to how upset she’d been when she heard the mobs had destroyed the press in Jackson County, Missouri. Now Jonathan had been involved in a similar action against the Expositor. Last year when Joseph had been arrested, the city had been united in his defense. The city would not be united now.
This seems choppy. I thought she was still at home, when did she go to the mansion house. Is this important? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. I just got lost for a split second and had to look back to see if I missed something.

Ever since the disagreement between Thomas Sharp and Joseph that memorable night two years ago, Elvira had disdained to read the Warsaw Signal. But she couldn’t stand by not knowing what young Mr. Sharp had to say. She spied a rumpled copy of the Warsaw Signal at the Mansion House and spread it open:

daughterofheaven said...

On the chapter renumbering, my 'muse' objected to the original chapter 18, where Joseph and Elvira get sealed. That created the whole business of me realizing what is actually in D&C 132 and the implications about Joseph and Emma and their trial. So I had to add a few chapters. We're back to chapters I had originally written during November now. My writing from November was choppy because I was still learning how to write historical fiction and I was in a tearing hurry to cover historical ground. This chapter was also difficult for me because I wanted to cover the documented series of events, since as we approach Joseph's death things are so well known.

On the locations of things, I will go back and figure it out. As I revised last night, I wanted her to read the Warsaw Signal piece, and she wouldn't find that anywhere else but at the Mansion House, since no one reads the Warsaw Signal ever since the disagreement between Thomas Sharp and Joseph Smith in 1841-42. But I figured it would be reasonable that a copy of the Signal could have been brought to the Mansion House at that time.

By the way, just fyi, I will be revising the previous chapter to include a conversation between Elvira and Joseph where Joseph prophesies that, because Emma didn't ask Jane to become one of Joseph's wives, and because Jane didn't accept even that portion of the New and Everlasting Covenant that she was presented, that the political environment and the 'wars that will pour forth starting in South Carolina, probably over the slavery issue' will prevent God from being able to open the gospel to all His children until fifty years after the Church ceases wandering in the wilderness (Utah's admission to the United States occurs almost exactly 50 years after the evacuation of Nauvoo commences). Something about it will take the United States four-score years after its founding to end slavery. Anyway, I think it would have been hard for the church to deny blacks the priesthood if Brigham Young or one of the other leaders had had to marry Jane (as the leaders ended up marrying almost all of Joseph Smith's other plural wives). And if Jane had been the wife of the prophet, imagine what that might have meant. At the least it would have made it hard for the Republicans to talk about eliminating the twin relics of barbarism (slavery and polygamy) quite so succinctly.

Pat said...

Interesting thought that Jane's refusal to become part of the Smith family, whether as a child or a wife may have been the breaking strain, but such things happen. 'All things happen for good to those who love the Lord' is true, but sometimes we can lose patience with the way the 'good' things are brought about. I wonder if the miraculous harvest of souls in modern Africa would have been as great if the Church were not energized and the field not white. In any case, it is my experience that whatever we do, God's plans cannot be frustrated.

ktb said...

The importance of this chapter to me is that the rift has taken shape and is now openly visible. The pretense for this is polygamy, but that through human nature may only be the focal point for many underlying supporting factors which developed over time. Austin Cowles, Elvira's father, seems to be displayed as a main factor for this rift, through previous chapters and this chapter's news articles, but he is one member of the council of the many who were upset. Something has been deveoping over years for this event to have had a chance of taking place, yet it is not really clear what the underlying causes are, other than polygamy being the most easily identified item for those opposing Joseph to rally around. Why was polygamy used as the banner, and not other synergistic issues that must exist to support this rift?

This is not necessarily an issue to reolve in a fiction novel, but it would lend depth to a subject that is as old as human nature. Maybe the question to address is, how was the council offended, or more likely, why did its members feel threatened.

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