I spent a six-month chunk of my life last year feverishly pursuing an understanding of virtue. I have a 250+ page manuscript to show for it. Though the first publishing company I shared it with didn’t run with it, I believe it to be the most comprehensive work on the subject ever compiled. I can say this without pride because I felt the guidance of Providence in this study so much so that I feel little personal responsibility for the finished product.
This lost cause has been abandoned by those who have not seen the full breadth of its context and application. Some have become offended at the word in this ambiguous incarnation. My purpose in highlighting the lost cause of Virtue is a lofty one. It is to inform and transform the way this word is used in our traditions, conversations and philosophizing, and most importantly, to do it on a large enough scale to breathe life back into its rejected soul.
My inspiration to seek out an understanding on virtue was prompted by Elaine S. Dalton, former General President of the Young Women for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After a brief meeting with her my efforts to understand became more intense and focused. Six months later I sent her a copy of the completed manuscript. This, in part, was her reply to my offering:
“I just finished reading your manuscript in total. You ask ‘What now?’ I would suggest if I haven’t already that you submit it to several publishing houses for consideration to publish . . . You have done sweet and thorough work. It is very instructive and enjoyable reading. It is as good as you are good! You are very talented and should continue on in what you are being inspired to do. Thank you for sharing it with me.”
My conclusions in the manuscript are not taught, but they are not so outlandish so as to be heresy. They received the nod of Sister Dalton and my husband, an LDS Army Chaplain. What are my conclusions? What is virtue?
For those who will read the manuscript and engage in thoughtful discussion, I will share my discoveries with you. I will share the lost cause of Virtue. You can find the manuscript HERE. I would love for you to read it and give me feedback.
I chose virtue as my first lost cause because it lays a foundation for my hopes for subsequent posts and how they’ll be received. So many blog posts that make it to the limelight of Facebook are reactionary and one-sided. They belittle and call out repentance to those sinners who would think differently or who have somehow offended the author of the blog. Then, within a few short days, comes the reactionary scathing post putting the first blogger in their place. This cycle is so uppity that I wonder if either side ever actually heard the other, recognizing the truths amid the poor presentation. In many cases I can see myself in both causes and shrink at the thought that I may have made the same tragic mistake which became so much bigger than the original message so as to bring down wrath upon my hypocritical head.
I begin this blog hoping that it won’t take fractionary drama to be appreciated, but that it might stand under the weight of scrutiny, steeled by simple truths imperfectly attempted. I hope that as I make bare my mind, the reader here will consider what truths I may have stumbled upon.