Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fiction and Uncomfortable Topics

Growing up in an LDS community, and having mostly LDS friends I have come to find that Mormons find talking about a large array of topics taboo. In most of my friend’s, and in many church members homes, talking about sexual relations, pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, masturbation ect. just doesn’t happen. I remember in High School the first time I traveled by myself, far away from home, was to attend a conference back east. This was a medical conference and one of the topics discussed centered on sexual relations and STDs. I was shocked at the amount of knew information I learned and disgusted that Utah schools didn't spend more time talking about things that are so dangerous, but also very prevalent. It was surprising to me at that time that the "LDS culture" we live in was so prominent that even the public school system followed suit. 

The candor and honesty Douglas Thayer presented in his novel Will Wonders Never Cease was a perfect way to present information to young adults in the church. He presented topics such as sex, homosexual relations, pornography, drug and alcohol use, and others in a way that would help sheltered youngsters understand that “taboo topics” are alright to talk about. When kid's don't learn those things in a structured, honest setting at home or in a class room, they tend to learn them in the halls at school where they are perverted and misguided. 

Representing the LDS experience by fictional novels can be difficult given the topic and the angle presented by the author. However, the way Douglas Thayer used sarcasm to depict the sheltered lives LDS youth often live was perfect. He talked about real issues in a way that helped the reader understand that not all important discussions need to be brushed under the rug and that often confronting uncomfortable topics can be very healthy. 

1 comment:

  1. As I read the book I didnt realize hardly what Douglas Thayer was doing as he introduced those topics, however thinking back after reading your post helped me realize how well he incorporated so many of the teachings of the church in his book without the reader realizing it either. Love your point.