Friday, June 2, 2017

"Spurious Revelations" Discussion

Day 5 is Niklas Hietala's "Spurious Revelations."

This one dives deep into semi-obscure Mormon history and mythos and weaves it together with Western history. It's the kind of piece you're only going to find in a place like the Mormon Lit Blitz.

What do you think of it? And what might the existence of stories like this do for Mormon culture more broadly?


  1. I had never heard of Oliver cowderys diving rod before. Interesting.

    Having just taught a lesson on Hiram page and the gifts of the spirit, I think we really don't do a thorough enough job teaching their breadth and how we can recognize false Revelations.

  2. I've heard of the divining rod and seer stones, but not the bronze head. Is that an invention in this story? I think it would be a really cool idea for a series of books!

  3. I have never heard of the bronze head and assume it's part of the story.
    I kind of like how the piece melds together real and fictional elements. I know there are some readers who don't care for Mormon historical fiction precisely because you don't immediately know what's real and not, but I think Niklas has done a great job making that space interesting.
    And I like that a lot of the non-Mormon figures he mentions did experiment with various practices that made sense in their cultures, but which we would no longer consider strictly rational. Kind of interesting the way the historical figures themselves blur the boundaries between the familiar and the unfamiliar...

  4. There is some source for most of the "facts" in the story. I didn't invent the bronze head, but it is not really a Mormon thing. Check:

    1. The more I find out about this story, the more I like it.
      It's nice to have a piece that can capture you on a casual read, but also continue to yield surprises as you look more closely.

  5. .

    I enjoyed this very much, but it feels more like an opening than a completed tale. It should continue---not to resolve some lovely ambiguity but because it has only begun.



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