Sunday, May 19, 2013

LDS Writer blogfest

LDS Writer Blogfest
If you've followed the blog for a while, you might know that one of the constants around here each spring is the LDS Writers Blogfest. Four years ago Krista Van Dolzer kicked off the first blogfest, joined by many LDS writers around the blogosphere. It's a great opportunity to talk about LDS beliefs and how that impacts our lives as writers.

For me, being LDS (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is the primary aspect of my life and everything else I do is impacted by it. My family has been LDS for generations. It shapes my choices and what I want out of life. As I've become a writer, I have seen how that informs what I write and why I write it.

One of our scriptures in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:25, says: "Men are, that they might have joy." This is something that has always struck me as important. I've always been a happy-endings sort of person. When I write, it's rarely something dark and gritty. There are twists, yes, but it's going to be something light, often humorous, with a happily ever after. As a "Mormon", I've grown up with the idea that life is a happy thing.

Even the start of my writing career is surrounded by that idea of finding joy in life. I have a real tendency toward post-partum depression. It's been a really difficult thing for someone who wants to be happy to find themselves buried in depression from time to time. I was starting down the black hole of sadness shortly after my 2nd son was born. I was up late at night and feeling unfilled by my life. (Not that I didn't have great things, but, you know. Depression.) At the suggestion of my husband, I started to write my first book. It was amazing how much that lifted my spirits! I was doing something creative, something that had always been a secret goal of mine. I loved the outlet and the feeling of accomplishment. It was amazing to write the last word and look back at this amazing thing that I had just done. And it still feels that way when I write.

 We live in a world of darkness. Horrible things keep happening. We have school shootings and natural disasters and crime sprees and economic downturns and all kinds of things that constantly weigh on us. We could be bogged down in all of it. But we don't have to be. Our current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, spoke in a General Conference of the church in 2009. He said, "Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us."

Even though writing is a source of great comfort and joy to me, the teachings of the LDS Church give me hope and peace and a feeling of love for God and those around me. I've learned that even when things are dark, I can feel joy because of the trust I have gained in Jesus Christ.

Many other bloggers are participating in the blogfest today. Hop around to their posts and see what they have to say. If you would like to participate, it's not too late to sign up! Just add your name and link to the list below. And if you have any questions about the LDS church, what we believe, or how I feel about either of those things, feel free to ask.


Cami Checketts said...

I love your perspective and completely agree that life is happy because of the peace and joy we find through the Savior. Thank you for sharing!

Ryan said...

I've never thought about us Mormons being happily-ever-after sorts, but it's true. Our doctrine of the millennium (where everything will turn out hunky-dory) and that even the worst of us have something to look forward to (the Telestial kingdom won't be that bad, after all.)
I think that says a lot about God's mercy for His children.
Also, I sympathize with your postpartum struggles. My wife has had depression her whole life and it's been something that has brought us closer and strengthened both of us. Maybe I'll encourage her to write and see if it helps. :)
Thanks for the uplifting post, and especially for organizing this festery.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for organizing this blogfest! God is merciful to us, which helps me have joy.

Angela Ackerman said...

I'm not LDS, but I think it is wonderful that you have found writing to fill a deep need of yours, and to become a way to help with depression. My son suffers from this and it has been a struggle. I know there are certain special things that make him able to cope better, and I am happy you have that too. :)