Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Escape From Unattainable Perfection

The LDS culture has a fascination with stories of those who have come before them. We thrive on reading the triumphs of past pioneers, prophets, etc. These stories can bring us hope and courage for what is to come. However, these stories can also bring impossible ideas of what perfection is and how we each are so incapable to attain it. We, as LDS people, have an unreachable standard of perfection in part because of these non-fiction tales of overcoming the darkest odds.

Non-fiction stories are more often than not focused on the successes and not the trials that led to the success. Questions and doubts that stood in the mind of the people working through the issues presented in the stories are not addressed. That is why LDS fiction is such a wonderful tool in our culture.

LDS fiction gives the freedom to discuss the trials that all normal Latter-day Saints face. In these books we can read about and learn through characters that are often questioning things that many members have questioned in their lifetime. The issues that are generally skirted around can be brought up and discussed because the doubts are not pinned to a real person. There is no guilt pressed upon someone who admits to having faults. We can all feel comfortable reading about an artificially created character because we won’t look at them differently after knowing their faults. They aren’t real to us, so in turn their faults aren’t real either.

Reading LDS fiction can bring new strength to each of us. After reading pieces of LDS fiction we can each continue on with a greater amount of confidence in ourselves because we realize that we are not the only ones to go through this. 

1 comment:

  1. I think the way you articulated your thoughts was perfect. It truly makes sense that fiction provides for a different avenue. I like that you mentioned the pioneers and prophets and other stories of those who have come before us. I think those stories do empower us--and while hardships may be shared in them, rarely are there descriptions like Kyle's of coming to understand, and coming to believe. Most often, in other nonfiction publications, they already believe.