Monday, January 29, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter XXVI - Winter Quarters

Trivia - You know that phenomenon that happens when you are watching a clip online, then it just stops? Well, this chapter is a bit like that. The good stuff has stopped and you just have a sketchy summary.

My plan had been to entertain you with the good chapters written earlier while I worked on the stuff that hadn't been written yet. But at least one of you (muse mine) persuaded me to spend real time effort, so the chapters after Joseph's death are still somewhat uneven. Some are fully realized, but others are sketchy or not even written yet.

So, do we wait for me to:

a) write the chapters real time, or

b) go ahead and post what I have, attempting to flesh out the bones of the plot before coming back to write it 'right.'


daughterofheaven said...

To refresh your memory, the main events sketched out:

- Jonathan and Elvira being sealed to their respective spouses (Marietta and Joseph) in the temple the day before the evacuation starts, triggered by the belief that a US army waited in St. Louis, prevented only by the frozen river from attacking Nauvoo. I will expand this to include widow Bell and how she gets sealed to her husband.

- Arrival at Council Bluffs (Winter Quarters) and Jonathan's departure with the Mormon Battalion.

- [not in the 'pencil sketch'] Elvira greeting Mary Fielding Smith (Hyrum's widow) when she arrives at Winter's Quarters (see From Mary we will learn of the shelling of Nauvoo, the miracle of the quail, and the fact that Sarah's friend, Mary Bell, has been left behind in Nauvoo with her guardian, Brother Heywood (one of the three men allowed to stay behind as 'trustees' of the Mormon property). Also, how Mary viewed what Emma had done in moving Hyrum and Joseph to the garden and Emma's decision to stay in Nauvoo.

- The illness from 'black canker' (scurvy) and Lucy Elvira's death.

daughterofheaven said...

A third possibility is that I write the parts where Jonathan and Elvira are together real time, then come back and fill in the surrounding story at a later time.

Pat said...

I made a text change near the first of the chapter as follows: “Elvira. They are asking for volunteers to join the US Army. Brigham asks it of us. Five hundred are needed to fight in Mexico.” From the look on his face it was clear that he had already made up his mind to go.
“How long will you be gone?”
I have enjoyed receiving frequent posts of your chapters, but I also want to see how this would look if you took the time you need to give it better finish.

ktb said...

The way I see it, you are the one writing the book and we are the ones enjoying it. What do you feel like doing? You are the one doing all the work.

If it were me, I would take a little more time to flesh the stories out while each portion is still fresh in my mind. Otherwise, a new skeleton of a chapter could be written each day, but then I would have to go back and start all over again, spending a fair amount of time fleshing each one out anyway. Additionally, a more complete chapter allows for a more constructive and meaningful critique by your reviewers here.

lh said...

Meg, why do you think polygamy was stopped in the church? I have been
digesting this and wonder what books you have read on the subject. I have been completely sucked into your book, but at the same time, it doesn't paint a pretty picture of the principal....just the problems and the secrecy.

daughterofheaven said...

We'll get to the pretty picture - for a while. Elvira and her daughters lived amongst the most positive polygamous lives there were. The stuff to now involved Emma, and Emma had a problem with the principal.

I think the purpose of the New and Everlasting Covenant is aligned primarily with what Joseph F. Smith saw in the vision he received just before he died. I think the potential for plural wives part of the New and Everlasting Covenant is a tertiary footnote. And I believe what Jacob says about polygamy - most of the time it is an abomination with potential to break the tender hearts of women and children. But there are times when God will use it to raise up righteous seed to Himself.

jl said...

I would much rather wait even a week for a complete chapter. If not, I would like to read the revised chapters as you complete them (if that is not too much to ask).

I have a question: Eliza anointed and Elvira blessed the girls?!?!?!? How is this? I thought ONLY men holding the priesthood could perform anointings and blessings. Please help.

daughterofheaven said...

All members of the Church are permitted to give blessings by the power of their faith in Jesus Christ. In form it is much like priesthood blessing.

This was done a lot during the early days of the church, when men were not available. And it was used extensively by women when they assisted one another in birthing.

I was taught about this in the MTC, as I recall (not standard instruction, I am sure). I had one occasion to pray to rid a space of evil.

When my son was ill, I gave him a blessing. I was able to say his heart rate would slow. I was able to say that he would come home. But when I tried to say that he would do well in future surgeries, I couldn't say it. It was as though God stood by me, holding me by the shoulder and shaking his head. The next morning Arthur's heart slowed to stopping and he returned to his Father, to His home. And so in the blessing I had not said anything that wasn't in accordance with God's will. I merely hadn't understood what God meant.

I have had a variety of leaders confirm that this is a valid practice, although frankly I'd just as soon merely pray and leave the experience of being a conduit for God's will to the men in my life.

lh said...

Though I wasn't asking for the sister wives to reveal secrets... just have those bonds be created in the book. I guess Heber was a fool but I don't think so. If we didn't have inspired authors, then we wouldn't have an entire set of sciptures, or a Constitution to say the least. We have Martrys throughout history. Their blood seals their testimony. All the men who signed the Declaration knew they were signing death warrants....but they did it anyway...Because their life was worth it. The Adversary knew who Joseph was and what his mission was. They all had guts.

I think you are inspired to write this book. I think it will cause sisters to search and read about the foremothers of this religion from other sources. It will cause them to study and understand more...and that is always a good thing.

daughterofheaven said...

Making it so we aren't ashamed of our foremothers is a driving reason for this book. Plus the fact that God pretty much told me to do it - again and again and again.

Heber wasn't a fool, but without knowing what you are referring to, he may have been writing after everyone was safely in Utah. Eliza was painfully discrete while in Nauvoo (except for that love poem published in the paper). I'm talking folks like Nancy Rigdon - running to the newspapers then recanting only after the story was published (I suspect that gave John C. Bennett the idea of how to couch his seductions). I think if you read and consider what people knew in Nauvoo at the time, it was extremely secretive.

dd said...

I am not a professional writer and I haven't read the chapters yet but my vote would be to do the sketch (writing your seld-assigned amount of time each day) and go back later to fill in the details. That is my understanding of the best way to write, from what I have read from writers who have written about writing - which is mostly Roald Dahl's book, "Solo". So there you go.....a real expert.

daughterofheaven said...

Hi dd,

Everyone else who expressed an opinion told me to stop and write the chapters in more detail now - you have a couple of more chapters in your inbox now - you might want to read XXVI-A first then XXVII though.

daughterofheaven said...

Jane Richards (1823–1913) made the trek across Iowa late in 1846 without her husband, Franklin D. Richards, who was on his way to England. Jane’s little daughter, Wealthy, was ill and died at Cutler Park after weeks of incredible suffering. Sister Richards recounted the incident:

“A few days previously she had asked for some potato soup, the first thing she had shown any desire for for weeks, and as we were then travelling, we came in sight of a potato-field. One of the sisters eagerly asked for a single potato. A rough woman impatiently heard her story through, and putting her hands on her shoulders, marched her out of the house, saying, ‘I won’t give or sell a thing to one of you damned Mormons.’ I turned on my bed and wept, as I heard them trying to comfort my little one in her disappointment. When she was taken from me I only lived because I could not die.””

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