As I was sitting in Gospel Doctrine last Sunday (a week ago) I was struck by the idea of how much literature, well written literature, hits on some very gospel oriented topics, even when it isn't expected. We were cramming the first two lessons of the year into one Sunday, because apparently the week before there was some confusion about who was teaching or something like that. The main point that the teacher was trying to get across was the importance of having the writings that Lehi's sons were trying to get. There was so much that was important to their lives from that, heritage, wisdom, teachings of past generations, etc. Lehi was willing to send his sons to get WORDS, sending them into a situation that he knew very well was dangerous, all for words. This reminded me of Fahrenheit 451, when Montag finds people who stay in the group because they had memorized one book. The whole group of people fought to beat the system in defense of words and knowing it would cost them the lives they had. And this whole idea makes me very sad, that we live in a society where books and words are disregarded for the better, easier, less thought provoking video games and TV. I won't deny that I find them enjoyable, but I can't fathom having them replace words.
In Relief Society, we started studying Joseph Smith and had a discussion about how he had the courage to go against what everyone was telling him was the only way of life, to go against what he had been taught and follow what he knew was right for him. As I was listening to the discussion, I kept thinking of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand has a gift for depicting people who know what they want in life, and will persevere in-spite of people telling them that they are doing everything in their life wrong, going against what is normal and expected, and will surely soon realize the wrongfulness of their ways. In all of these situations, there are people who do what they know they need to do and achieve amazing success, even if the story doesn't end happily ever after. Great life lessons I think.