top of page

Mormon Lit Blitz Pandemic Reading

Reading recommendations list selected by Mattathias Singh Goldberg Westwood


Meetinghouses and temples all around the world are closed. General conference next week will be attended in person only by the speakers for each given session. These are unusual times for worship around the world, as community leaders try to buy medical professionals some time to understand the novel coronavirus and prepare hospitals to meet needs as well as they can.

Even with meetings canceled, though, this is no time to go on spiritual cruise control. Strange times raise important questions. We may not be able to meet as wards, but we need chances for reflection and worship as much as ever.


At the Mormon Lit Blitz, we’ve been inviting writers to think about Mormon life and possible Mormon futures since 2012. Like the oil in the parable of the ten virgins, we’re finding that past years’ writing has prepared us to process our present situation.

Here are some pieces, organized by topic, you might find it useful to read over the next few weeks.

Imagining the Church Facing Times of Crisis


Several Mormon Lit Blitz finalists have imagined how the Church might face major crises.

In Jonathon Penny’s “A Voice Not Crying In the Wilderness,” a zombie outbreak makes worship more restrained and reflective: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2014/11/a-voice-not-crying-in-the-wilderness-by-jonathon-penny/

Katherine Cowley’s “Waiting” explores what it means to have life go on when the world is going crazy: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2016/02/waiting/

Anneke Garcia’s “Oaxaca” asks us to imagine how outside stresses can be catalysts for reflection and growth:

Food

At a time when many of are eating our food storage, fasting for global solutions, or simply shopping for the next things to eat, here are two pieces about food:

Marilyn’s Nielson’s “In Bulk” takes on the shock of shopping for many in a culture where that’s no longer a norm: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2012/02/day-one-marilyn-nielson/

Wm Morris’s “After the Fast” imagines what it might mean to break a fast after 40 days and nights: After the Fast https://lit.mormonartist.net/2018/06/after-the-fast-by-wm-morris/


Service and Stress

In times of crises, people are looking for ways to serve. 

Lee Allred’s “Beneath the Visiting Moon” explores isolation and ministering:


Katherine Cowley’s “Paradisiacal Glory” imagines service during the Millennium: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2019/07/paradisiacal-glory-katherine-cowley/

Wm Morris’s “The Joys of Onsite Apartment Management” reflects on the mundane nature of most service–and the inspiration that comes with it: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2015/05/the-joys-of-onsite-apartment-building-management-by-william-morris/

Church and Temple

A time when temples and meetinghouses are closed might be the perfect time to reflect on what they mean to us.

Jonathon’s Penny’s “Yahweh: Prologue to the Temple” does the hard work of trying to capture what the temple does in language:


Laura Hilton Craner’s “The Primary Temple Trip” works both ward and temple into a single classic short short story: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2014/06/the-primary-temple-trip/

Kelli Swofford Nielsen’s “The Back Row” points out what we might be missing when we lose the chance to sit in the back of the chapel: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2016/06/the-back-row-by-kelli-swofford-nielsen/


Social Not-Distancing

Along the same lines, a period of social distancing might be a good time to think about what it’s like to be around a lot of people: 

Cesar Medina Fortes “A Sunday at Laginha” reminisces about spending time with all the neighborhood kids:

Melody Burris’s “Something Practical” is a comic love letter to ward gatherings and their unexpected delights:


For those separated from close loved ones, Merrijane Rice’s “Mother” may feel timely:

Coping with Absurdity

As humans, we respond to the overall feeling of strangeness in a time of disruption as much as to any specific event or concern. We’re all trying to find ways to cope with the absurd.

Wm Morris’s “Last Tuesday” is about strange happenings: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2016/06/last-tuesday-by-william-morris/

Emily Harris Adams’ “Second Coming” deals with the space between hope and trouble:


And finally, Annalisa Lemmon’s “Death, Disability, or other Circumstance” is a story about dealing with disorienting change: https://lit.mormonartist.net/2015/05/disability-death-or-other-circumstance-by-annaliese-lemmon/

Enjoy the reading! If you’re so inclined, join the legacy by submitting to this year’s Mormon Lit Blitz or by making a monthly donation pledge on our Patreon account.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page