By Keith Fisher
Since there are so many blogs about the Whitneys I wasn't going to post this. I was persuaded, however, by C. Larene Hall. So if you don't like it, blame her. Make sure you also check out the other blog below
Since I post on Saturday, I guess I’m going to be one of the last ones to say something about the latest LDStorymakers Writer’s Conference. It was fantastic. I posted from the hotel room last week while getting ready for boot camp. I was tired from the day before, but I had a smile on my face. Even though I was late, I still didn’t have to do pushups.
I was also very proud to witness history in the making as the Whitney Awards Gala unfolded. Robison Wells and his staff are to be commended for listening to the spirit and making it a reality. Recognition for LDS writers has been sorely needed for some time. When we gave Dean Hughes a standing ovation, I cried. He and others deserve high praise for being the pioneers of the LDS fiction market.
Before the awards were presented, Robison read from the talk given by Orson F Whitney that inspired the Whitney Awards. I looked around the room and could not see any writer who was not touched by those powerful words. Bishop Whitney was speaking to us when he said,
We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. God's ammunition is not exhausted. His brightest spirits are held in reserve for the latter times. In God's name and by his help we will build up a literature whose top shall touch heaven, though its foundations may now be low in earth.
It touched my heart when Robison read, Ye are the "hope of Israel." The heavens are watching you, and the earth is waiting for you.
And this is our charge,
But remember this, ye writers and orators of the future! It is for God's glory—not man's. Let not vanity and pride possess you. Without humility there is no power. You must be in earnest. You must feel what you write, if you wish it to be felt by others. If the words you speak are not as red-hot embers from the flaming forge of a sincere and earnest soul, they will never set on fire the souls of your hearers.
Bishop Whitney’s inspired words from out of the past are rejuvenating to me. They help me remember the reasons I chose to write in the LDS market. I want to set on fire the souls of my readers. Great job with the conference LDStorymakers, and kudos to Robison and the others. It is worth all the rejections just to be able to rub shoulders with God’s brightest spirits.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.