Tuesday, January 13, 2015

a novel novel

Nephi Anderson’s novel Added Upon does a very clean job of navigating through the beliefs of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) in a clear and simple way. By addressing the belief of a Pre-Mortal existence, an Earthly existence, and a Post-Mortal existence, Anderson outlines the LDS doctrine of what is called the Plan of Salvation. This Plan is absolutely key doctrine to the beliefs of the Latter-day Saints and to understanding further doctrine and principles. Through his effective writing style and storyline choices, Anderson is able to clarify an often misunderstood piece of the restored gospel, as believed by the LDS population.

He addresses specifics of how the pre-mortal existence went, in how all of God’s children were invited to come to this Earth, and how both Christ and Lucifer volunteered their lives for the Plan. He creates a confusion in the pre-mortal existence that is relatable and understandable for all readers—he makes the scenarios very realistic. He uses an assortment of very human characters to continue his story in depicting the earthly existence to which the readers might be able to better relate to and understand because of how real the situations are. He continues to easily explain the post-mortal existence and the Millennium through using those same characters to navigate those areas of eternity as though they are really happening. This novel is actually quite novel in its approach to structure and content. It is intriguing, informational, and inspiring.


  1. Cool title! I like what you said about how clear Anderson is--I felt the same way; the prose was really easy to read, and all of his language was really straightforward.

    My question is, is a novel really the form to achieve this goal? For straightforward, expository doctrine, I feel like an essay is the way to go. Was there anything about it being a novel that you felt was important, or that you liked?

  2. I also appreciated his language. I mentioned this in my post but I noticed that he changed his language based on his setting which I think was appropriate considering the different settings and topics he discusses. Though some of his descriptions went over my head, his language was clear and on point

  3. Tyler, in response to your question, I think the novel wasn't really about the characters. I felt the characters facilitated the Plan of Salvation, which was the main focus of the novel. I think seeing people go through the process of the Plan is an easier way to understand it than just explaining it. Seeing the Plan in action, so to speak, allows us to apply the different parts to ourselves in a more realistic way. Does that make sense?