Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LDS Writer Blogfest: The Laborers in the Vineyard

Welcome to the 3rd Annual LDS Writer Blogfest. Recently, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint held a General Conference. This is a time when leaders of the church address the worldwide membership. Each of the Twelve Apostles and members of the Quorum of Seventy expound scriptures and discuss doctrines of the Church. It's an uplifting and inspiring time.

One of the talks that was given really struck a chord with me. It was delivered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Laborers in the Vineyard. (Full text available by clicking the link.) In this talk, he spoke about a scriptural passage from the New Testament, Matthew 20:1-15. In this parable, a householder hires several different laborers to work in his fields. Some come in the early morning. Some come in the middle of the day. Some come when the day is almost over. All of them work as hard as they can in the time they have. At the end of the day, the householder gives each worker their wages. The ones who worked hard all day receive the same wages as the ones who started working later in the day. The ones who worked all day are a little upset at this and complain. And this is the part that really struck me. The householder answer, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" Elder Holland distills the meaning down to something like this, "Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?”

And here's the take away. We can look at the good fortune of others and be jealous, or we can appreciate our own good fortunes. So what if someone got an amazing agent on the very first round of queries with the first book they ever wrote. Does that mean that the tenth book I'm writing is awful? So what if someone got an awesome book deal after being on sub for only a month. Does that mean that I have a terrible agent, who can't sell a terrible book? No! Some of us start working at the beginning of the day and some of start working at the end of day, but all of us are going to get a fair day's wage, as long as we finish the day's work.

In writing, it's super easy to compare ourselves to what is going on in someone else's life. But we we just have to remember that we don't need to jealous because of what someone else got. There's still something wonderful and meaningful and just right waiting for us.

If you would like to know more about General Conference, what it means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or what I believe as a member, please ask! I'd be happy to answer. And head on over the rest of the participants in the blogfest to see what they have to say!

Amanda Sowards
Angie Lofthouse
Ben Spendlove
Britanny Larsen
Cami Checketts
Charity Bradford
Danyelle Ferguson
Giselle Abreu
Julia Keanini
Julie Coulter Bellon
Kasey Tross
Kayeleen Hamblin
Kelly Bryson
Krista Van Dolzer
Laura Johnston
Melanie Standord
Rachelle Christensen
Rebecca Belliston
Sierra Gardner
Stephanie Worlton


Krista Van Dolzer said...

I loved that talk, too, Kayeleen. That first part you mentioned, about not comparing ourselves to others, totally reminded me of a talk he gave about ten years ago called "The Other Prodigal." That one's stuck with me for a long time, and I'm sure this one will, too. Honey Bear and I looked at each other while he was speaking and said, "It's 'The Other Prodigal Part Two'!" :)

Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

Yes, that was a great talk! I happily surprised myself with an experience I had at a writer's conference over the weekend. We had the opportunity to skype with an editor from Shadow Mountain publishing and he actually invited us to go ahead and pitch our books to him. Well, there was this 17-year-old high school kid there who walked up and kind of explained the basic premise behind his book and the editor just thought it was really intriguing and asked him to send it to him. I pitched mine and he told me it sounded more like a made-for-tv movie, but the funny thing was that I was just happy to have had the experience and I was SO thrilled for the kid! I was happy that I didn't have to force myself to be happy for him- I was just genuinely pleased that he got that opportunity. I hope that I can take Elder Holland's advice and continue to be that way. :-)

Lo said...

What an important trait to acquire! Being happy for other's successes may be hard, but I believe it makes everyone happier and more successful in the long run. It's great to meet other LDS writers. Thank you for setting up this blogfest!

Unknown said...

Oh comparisons!! :) I do it much to often in every aspect of my life. Thank goodness for our wonderful leaders who know us and guide us :) Thanks Kayeleen for doing this...it has been a fantastic experience!! My testimony and my love of writing has grown tremendously :)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I loved your perspective. I think as writers we are so aware of those feelings because what we put out there is a part of us. I don't know of too many other professions where you have so many chances to grow in these sorts of areas. :)

New follower, too. So great to meet you.

Sierra Gardner said...

That is one of my favorite parables. I think what we often overlook is the 'laboring' was not a bad thing-it was an amazing thing! The people who started early had the benefit of all that time in the vineyard to learn their trade.

Kelly Bryson said...

Sierra- nice point- I hadn't thought of it that way.

And Kayellen, very nice post. That was an excellent talk, one of my favorites! They kind of all were, but you know what I mean:)

Thanks for all you've done to make this blogfest a success!

Angie said...

Yep. That's why I choose this talk too. We all have individual journies and comparisons and jealousy only hurt us.

Melanie Stanford said...

Great post. Elder Holland is such a great speaker! It's a hard lesson sometimes when we work so hard and don't get the results and see or hear of others who don't seem to work as hard or as long and get what they want. But you're right- so what? When I hear those stories of people getting agents so quickly or having 3-book deals and stuff, I just tell myself that I need to work harder.