Monday, May 29, 2017

"Celestial Accounting" Discussion

Katherine Cowley's "Celestial Accounting" is up on the Mormon Lit Blitz site. Take a look!

Then come back here if you'd like to discuss the piece.

A few questions:

-What is the value of statistical data on earth? In heaven?

-What do you make of the depiction of angels with email accounts?

-How many sacrifices do you think are made in your ward? Does a per capita average 1.7 major, 15.5 mid-level, and 200 minor sacrifices sound about right to you?

Look forward to your thoughts on the piece and/or any of the above questions.


  1. .

    I wouldn't know how to qualify sacrifices or, having done so, arrange them thereby.

    I'm a big proponent of having fictional characters interact with the world in a manner closer to our own. Screwtape, I suppose, is the classic, but I've read others I like and attempted my own as well.

    If I have a caveat for this particular story it would be the rather neat conclusion. With a hundred words left, I think there was a chance to build more into subtlety---but that's always tough with this kind of length constraints.

    Regardless, it was a fun exercise. And providing epiphany through email is quite the challenge. Would that email did lead to epiphany!

  2. I love the kindness portrayed. Nobody got mad. And the person was patient.

    I love the message that each good is noticed and each sacrifice appreciated.

  3. One thing I loved about this is that it challenges our tendency to reduce obedience (in this case, sacrificial obedience) and blessings into something transactional. In fairness, we do have scriptural statements saying things like we're unprofitable servants because God immediately blesses us for obedience. Still, it's been a personal journey for me to move beyond that transactional mentality and see obedience as transforming instead, so I really enjoyed this one.

  4. Fan theory: the "new book" Periera is going to start is the book of Schmidt's post-mortal sacrifices. ;)

    1. I wondered about the new project too! And I think your theory is good. Although part of me wants it to be something completely outlandish and weird.

  5. I love Sister Periera. I hope she is my supervisor in heaven.

    1. Amen. Plus, I bet her meetings and councils are way better than most of our meetings here on earth.

  6. So many things I loved about this piece, but most of all, I think, I loved how Sister Schmidt keeps getting another chance to get it right. And it doesn't count against her that she has to keep on trying. I feel like we all need that sometimes.

    I find myself really wishing I could see more of the list, though, to see other people who maybe didn't sacrifice as visibly as Sophie Chen.

    I also wonder how Sister Schmidt classified major, mid-level, and minor.



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