Truman Madsen (1926 – 2009) told the story of a Latter-day Saint religious service in a prison I have occasionally seen pop up as a joke in Mormon culture. In the story, someone is offering a prayer and uses an absent-minded phrase that echoes an expression you can often hear in benedictions at Mormon congregations: ‘Please bless that those who are not here today will be here next time.’
Various forms of the joke use slightly different wording but the general substance is always the same. While you may pray that someone who is not at church today can be in attendance the next time, you probably do not want to pray that the location for their particular church services will be a prison.
I always thought this was just a joke, but I recently stumbled across a story that suggests it is based on an actual incident. Continue reading “Justice A. H. Ellett and the origin of a Mormon joke”
Welcome to Fromthedesk, the new freelance writing site of Kurt Manwaring. This site will be utilized for a number of different publishing purposes, including personal blogs, author interviews, and special features. Additionally, users may contact me to hire my services as a freelance writer.
This is where I will be posting my personal blogs. Topics will be wide-ranging and reflect my observations on different writing projects. Frequently, when I publish in mainstream outlets you can expect to see supplemental material to the articles posted here.
Book reviews also fit under this category, though whenever possible I plan to examine different books with a focus on one or two issues rather than general overviews.
Most book reviews and author interviews will contain a focus on relevance to Mormonism. Many books will be overtly Mormon (i.e., Mormon authors writing about Mormon topics). Those books that are not directly related to Mormonism will nonetheless be examined to determine what connections can be made. For example, fantasy authors who are Mormon may be asked about the role of their faith in their writings while religious historians may be asked how their works apply to Mormons today. I do not intend for my audience to consist solely of Mormons, but my book reviews will largely center on those interested in Mormon aspects of different writings.
Source material for my interviews with authors will be published on Fromthedesk. This not only adds context and transparency to the use of author quotes in press materials, but also allows the source material to be quoted by those working on other projects.
I plan to use Fromthedesk for a number of special features. At present, two features are planned.
- 10 questions. This feature series will feature 10-question interviews with various authors. In addition to acting as source material for quotes used in other articles, 10 questions will introduce readers not only to new books but also provide insight into the personality of the authors. Interviews will occasionally be co-published with different sites.
- A decade later. This feature series will examine books of consequence a decade after their initial publication. What do authors think of their books ten years after first going to press? This series will give you direct access to authors who share their thoughts on how their fields of study have evolved over the past decade and how they have changed as authors, scholars, and individuals.
I am certain the site will evolve with time. For now, I hope readers will find engaging material and that those seeking for a freelance writer will be happy to have come to the right place.