Saturday, October 01, 2011

“Lovely Picture Books for Women”: Don't miss the real gift.

When Ardis Parshall read a press release about the Church's new book Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society, she sat in her rocking chair and cried (as related here). And even though she's now done two blog posts about the book, ostensibly she still hasn't read it (as claimed here).

Don't be sad, Ardis.

Open your mind. Read the book. See the real gift.


Blogger R. Gary said...

This post might be better understood after reading what Ardis Parshall said yesterday in "Lovely Picture Books for Women": Daughters in My Kingdom:

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Do you remember Yentl, the 1983 movie with Barbra Streisand as the Eastern European Jewish girl of the early 20th century, who so craves the bookish education that is forbidden to her that she cuts her hair and masquerades as a boy in order to register in a distant yeshiva? While she is still at home in her shtetl, keeping house for her rabbi father, she crosses through a marketplace just as a bookseller cries his wares: “Holy texts for men ... Story books for women! Sacred books for men, lovely picture books for women!”

I’ve thought of that scene so many times in the past few weeks as I’ve tried to come to grips with the new Relief Society history, Daughters in My Kingdom. It is a lovely book, indeed, and it is indeed filled with pictures....

I think that there is some text in the book, too – there’s a pattern of black shapes in rows that serves to frame and separate the pictures – but I keep being distracted by the shiny pictures and haven’t yet been able to read the text.
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10/01/2011 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Although neither the cover nor title page of Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society lists an author, we learn in the book's Preface that Susan W. Tanner was set apart in 2009 to write the book. The LDS Newsroom adds the following in an Aug. 2011 News Release:

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Daughters in My Kingdom is unique within the Church because it was written by an individual woman rather than a committee. The writer is former general Young Women president Susan W. Tanner, who is now serving a mission in Brazil with her husband. (LDS Newsroom News Release, Aug. 19, 2011)
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10/01/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Montgomery said...

Thanks Gary, for your example and faithfulness.

10/02/2011 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

The Prophet Mormon abridged a thousand years of the history of his people. Daughters in My Kingdom is a similar abridgment. Though similar in purpose, it is much smaller in scope than the Book of Mormon. It covers less than one fifth the number of years and only one part of God's kingdom. But Daughters in My Kingdom seems to be exactly what the Lord wants for His daughters at this time.

10/02/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Received this afternoon: "Is the entire purpose of your blog to call out other Mormons who you feel aren't as righteous and orthodox as you are? sheesh. Not very Christlike, dude."

My response: When someone spends 95% of her blogging time discussing old Church magazines and the Gospel Doctrine lessons she's taught, she thereby signals that she is a believing Latter-day Saint. Last Friday, however, she posted numerous pictures from Daughters in My Kingdom on her blog. In doing so, she skillfully diverted the reader's attention from the fact that they were all posted completely out of context. She did this by make a contrived case for NOT yet having even read the book. She is attacking a new book that the Church has published with a foreword by the First Presidency.

As I said six years ago, the following words of Martin Luther (1483–1546) accurately describe this blog's purpose.

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"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."
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Ardis Parshall's two posts about Daughters in My Kingdom (here and here) contradict the image normally put forth on her blog. The two posts in question both attack the LDS Church's new book, and if I've made that one point clear it doesn't matter to me who you think is Christlike. Dude.

10/02/2011 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, have you read the book?

It is incredibly shallow. Ardis focused on the odd density of pictures. But, in substance, it is really lacking. Instead of honoring the Relief Society it conveys the point that the Relief Society has done little of importance (a point I STRONGLY disagree with).

Just because the Church issues something does not mean it is of high quality.

In this case, I really doubt President Monson edited it with his red pen. He is a much better writer than evidenced by this.

10/02/2011 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous: My goodness, of course I've read the book.

It would be incredibly shallow to discuss the value of a book without first reading it.

Oh wait. That is exactly what Ardis did, isn't it!

To me, the book is clearly deserving of more than one read. It will become a resource in Relief Society meetings, in other Church settings, and in homes. LDS Brothers and Sisters of all ages will use the book as a reference in lessons, talks, and council meetings.

I strongly disagree with your assessment of the book. And, given its wide distribution to LDS sisters around the world, it seems obvious that the Lord's authorized servants disagree with your assessment also.

10/02/2011 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Yesterday, Ardis received a comment on her blog (here) from someone who points out that: "Entire decades are reduced to a page or two. Or, utterly skipped altogether."

No doubt just as in the Book of Mormon, and for the same reason.

10/02/2011 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I got the book but sadly, haven't really read it yet. I'm going to go read it right now. :)

10/30/2011 02:26:00 PM  

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