Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Saving Face?

Doug Thayers Novel “Will Wonders Never Cease” I felt was a great insight to what the church really can be like for a young teenage boy. In the LDS culture we often find it difficult to find the proper context to discuss certain aspects of the faith. Doug Thayer is not shy about discussing coming of age topics for a young mormon boy. 

The pure honesty of Thayer as an author was something that most would be afraid to do. They way the character Will trys to negotiate with God is something most mormons and christians in general do. Stuck in the avalanche Will promises to God that he will immediately stop his bad habit of swearing if only he will help him. As if God is about to be fooled into helping him now. 

Using a fiction based book is a great way to really exploit mormon beliefs and day to day culture. In a personal essay for instance you would think the facts of the story and experience would be picture perfect. Indeed they may be, because the author doesn’t want to become vulnerable to speculation for not living the culture in an expected mormon way. 

This novel allows Doug Thayer to take a character and build into the often taboo themes and topics of the church. Taking an audience into the brain of a 15 year old boy not necessarily rebellious but not exactly sure how the church really fits him is a brave task. Thayer isn’t shy about topics of sex education and how a young boy trying to live gospel standards and trying to remain worthy of serving a mission. As a mormon culture we all know the expectations, but not very often to we actually talk about the struggle and internal conversations a young man of the LDS faith has. 

By speaking through the eyes of a fictional character the hard truths about the LDS culture and less often topics can be exploited. Whereas the personal essay form might embellish the story a little bit more because they are real characters and people that have to save face. 

1 comment:

  1. I didn't think about it like that, but Doug Thayer is able to talk about taboo themes and topics of the church through his main character. The fictional character is better able to make the taboo themes and topics of the church better understanding whereas from a personal viewpoint, people might take offense if their personal essay isn't appreciated.