Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Resources in Will Wonders Never Cease

I've enjoyed reading my classmates' opinions of Doug Thayer's Will Wonders Never Cease. They've noticed several themes in the book and how they relate to other books we've read in our class. Another motif I noticed in the book is that of using and appreciating one's blessings and resources. 

At the novel's start, Kyle spends most of his brainpower whining to himself about pretty much everything--how strict and strange his mom is, how much he hates school, and all the stuff he'd like to have but doesn't. After finding himself buried in the avalanche, however, Kyle has to take an inventory in several ways. 

Physically, Kyle finds and uses everything from orange peels to empty soda cans to keep himself alive. Emotionally, he takes time to acknowledge and deal with his grief over his older brother's death. Spiritually, he ponders what he's been taught about the Gospel his entire life and reaches out to God and his deceased grandfather. For the first time, he realizes how much he has and chooses to use it. This changes him in a realistic and profound way.

This theme of finding and using your talents and resources also shows up in other works we've read in our class. In Dispirited, the protagonist learns she can talk to the spirit of her stepbrother and works to help him. Similarly, the protagonist in Seventh Son finds he has powers and hones them. The LDS faith focuses a lot on our spiritual gifts--talents God has blessed us with--and how they can help us improve the world around us. So it's little surprise that this idea shows up in so much LDS fiction. As well as LDS lives. 


  1. I like the theme of spiritual gifts too. Sometimes people struggle with the church because they feel a lack of individuality inside the church, but focusing on our spiritual gifts helps us realize how different (and therefore ready to work together) we are.

  2. I think that spiritual gifts is an important theme for LDS authors to highlight--if the reader is reading the book properly, then they can reflect upon their own spiritual gifts. Like Valerie said, it's important to realize our differences in order to figure out what we can do and what we can handle. Obviously the trial of being stuck in an avalanche is a big one, but that isn't my trial (knock on wood) because I don't have the gifts and skills to handle that. Whereas Kyle (however fictional he is) did have those gifts and was therefore "given" that trial.

    That got a little wordy, but hopefully you get my point. Basically, good observation and takeaway.

  3. That's a really cool connection. I wouldn't have thought about that, but there has been a lot of talk about spiritual gifts among many of the Mormon authors we've read. I wonder if that would be a connecting theme to other religions at all, or if that is mostly a theme explored by Mormon authors?