Interestingly enough the present is something that I am in currently. The past then becomes something external. This is the main difference between the two in regards to the memoirist. There is a major difference between being in an experience or being outside of an experience. In fact there is a major difference between being in and out of anything. The inside of a person is very different from the outside. The inside of a building is very different from the outside. They are completely different environments, different feelings, different experiences. So when we write the memoir we are trying to understand something that we were in from the outside. It’s a complete memory shift. Even then when we are in the present looking back at the past, we are looking at the shells from where we came. In my own life I remember a missionary companion that I had. I was told he was dyslexic, but he wasn’t. He was actually autistic, which is quite different. I didn’t know anything about autism, and I thought that he was just weird. It was my responsibility to train him, to help him learn how to be a missionary, and I thought that I was failing. It wasn’t until after the experience. It wasn’t until I was outside the experience that I fully came to understand it. Thus there is a paradox of some sort. We want to understand what we are in, but we never fully understand it until we are outside of it. C.S. Lewis put it this way, saying that a man never understands that he is drunk while he is drunk, or that a sleeping man doesn’t understand sleeping while he is asleep. It’s the same with the memoir. The memoirist is trying to understand the past from the outside. Or rather the memoirist is trying to understand the present from the outside, but as soon as you leave the present it no longer is the present. You can never look at the present from the outside. Thus there is the paradox of the memoir. The memoirist is trying to get back in the present. The memoirist is creating a new present.
What happens when I bring the past into the present. What happens when I put on old clothes. The memoirist is just putting on old clothes with new experiences. It would be like bringing in a shell that you had worn at one point into the self. It’s like eating your own placenta. it’s like bringing in some skin that you had sloughed into a building. It’s like eating skin that you have sloughed.
Memoir writing is reptilian: ingesting then digesting the experiences, memories, skins you were once in.
Turn in journal
do essays reading
Book of Mormon Journal:
Today I want to focus on the ideas of calling and election made sure, the second comforter, and the more sure word of prophecy. I was interested to learn that I am given my calling and election when I am married. I had not realized this; but when Brother Hunter made this distinction, it became very obvious that it was the truth. What’s more is that there may be and can be a disparity between the time that my calling and election will be made sure and the time that I will know that it will be made sure. I had no idea that they could be separate events. They always seemed to be simultaneous. Prophets like Moses and Nephi and Jacob and Abraham and the Brother of Jared all received visions of the Savior himself and of the world. I had always taken the experience that accompanies the Second Comforter to be the actual sealing of the calling and election. I thought the calling and election was made sure by the more sure word of prophecy, but as Brother Hunter shared, one brother didn’t know he had been sealed up to eternal life. The first Nephi as well as the third Nephi, in First Nephi and Helaman respectively, both lamented the fact that they could not help their brethren experience the same thing that each of them had experienced. Helaman 10:3 says that Nephi was cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities.” In 2 Nephi 32:7, Nephi says, “And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men.” There is something that these men long to tell us, but they can't for some reason. What is that? What do they want to tell us? Or perhaps it’s not even that they are not allowed to tell us, but that words themselves are not able to communicate the sublime and beautiful experience and knowledge that is given to them personally by the Savior. There are certain mediums of art that are better employed for certain ideas or messages. This is why people become frustrated with movie adaptations. They say that “the book is better.” I would argue that the book is a different thing, and we shouldn’t expect a movie to accomplish what a book does; we shouldn’t expect a tree to accomplish what a horse does. With this in mind, there are certain things that the scriptures can’t do, the words of men can’t do, mortals can’t do. There are certain things that only Christ can reveal to us.