Thursday, April 8, 2010
How Does Virtue Apply to Me Personally?
OK, I know I risk offending some people...but here goes. It all started a few years ago. I read about Stephanie Meyer's book, Twilight, in the BYU Alumni Magazine, which we get since both my husband and I are alums. Read it here: magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=1972 Hmmm, sounds interesting, I thought. That's cool that she was "just a housewife" and has written a book and hit it big. I didn't give it much more thought. Then awhile later I noticed girlfriends in my ward talking about her book. Hmmm, do I want to read it now? No, I thought, it seems like brain candy and there are too many classics, aka, nourishing food for the mind, that I want to digest. I will pass the cotton candy in order to have organically grown steak from grass-fed cows.
Then, I visited with my girlfriend who is the editor of my book which I, promise, will come out this year. We had a blessingway for her third baby the night that one of Meyers' new volumes in the Twilight series came out. Despite being 39 weeks pregnant, this friend I will call Sara was off to Barnes and Noble, at midnight, after our bash was over, to get the latest copy. She confessed that the writing isn't that great, but the books are so addictive, she said. (So that is why she took so long to edit my book...I was competing with Twilight, not just her pregnancy. What does that say about my writing? Ouch!) Sara even called it "LDS pornography." Wow, strong words. I think I will stay away. This wasn't just cotton candy, it's being compared to poison. Hmmm.... My husband created quite a stir at a Cub Scout family camp in Idaho a few weeks later when he reported my conversation around the campfire amidst some Twilight fans.
Two months later, at a parents' training meeting for the commonwealth school I belong to, I started talking to Aneladee, the co-founder of the Commonwealth School philosophy. She said she was going to California soon to a TJED youth conference and would speak about "siren vs. beacon, vampire vs. knight." I quickly figured out what that meant. Sirens are females who draw others, especially, males, to evil. Beacons are females who draw others, especially males, to goodness. Vampires suck virtue from females, and knights defend virtue. Wow, what a great concept! I immediately wanted to hear more.
That dream is coming true! I found out however, that Aneladee got the concept from a mutual friend, Stephanie, and Stephanie has been working on a book about it. She has read the whole Twilight series and has studied the proper forms of the family. She feels it is her mission to teach these family roles, which are based on the proper roles of males and females as knights and beacons. She has a friend engrossed with Edward, the vampire in Twilight. She said she went to a birthday party for Edward with her friend and was disturbed to hear these women complaining about why their husbands aren't like Edward. This is so sad! A figment of a young mom's imagiination versus real flesh and blood men who are willing to die for their wives. This disturbs me too! I want to learn more! Stephanie and Aneladee will present this concept this coming Sunday at a special fireside that I have organized for youth ages 12 and up and their parents. it will be 7 PM, April 11, 2010, at the home of our friends, the Fabers, in Bountiful, Utah. Please email me (email@example.com) for the address if you want to come.
This is the first in my series of firesides for parents and youth to focus on virtue. Our LDS Church Leaders are asking us to 1. return to virtue, and 2. learn as parents and children, from each other, in the home. That will happen in my family as we converse about what we learn from these talks from Sister Elaine Dalton about virtue and the recent General Conference and this fireside.
My goal is to get parents and youth to think, "How does virtue apply to me personally? If I am virtuous does that mean I should avoid reading certain books, even though they are tremendously popular? Does being virtuous affect what I wear, what I watch, listen to, and how I spend my time each day, especially with the glut of entertainment choices I have?" Let's get virtue out of the ethereal and get personal about it. This might be painful, I know, but it will be good for us.