Friday, July 5, 2013

The Game's Afoot!

Welcome back to MVSB Radio!  Tonight we have with us a delightful guest.  Doctor, author, moralist, knight, thrill seeker, and creator of one of the most adored literary icons of all time, please welcome to the table Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

Michelle: Shaking hands with Conan Doyle.  It's a great pleasure.

Conan Doyle:  Likewise.  Thank you.

Michelle:  You are a man of a million adventures, Sir Conan Doyle.  And your literary works are staples to every human's formal education in the English speaking world.

Conan Doyle: Smiling ironically and sighing.  You're going to talk about Sherlock Holmes, aren't you?

Michelle:  Smiling and shrugging. Sorry. 

Conan Doyle:  Ah, I suppose I'm used to it.  Rolls his eyes.

Michelle:  But I have read your other work as well, so have no fear because we will in fact get to that.

Conan Doyle:  That is incredibly refreshing.  What have you read?

Michelle: I've perused much of your life, some of your notes and some of your less known works, but I really fell in love with The Lost World.

Conan Doyle:  Smiling afresh.  Ah!  You liked it?

Michelle:  Swooned!  Great story with an amazing ending!

Conan Doyle:  Well, that's something.

Michelle: And I appreciate your fine sense of moral decency in so much of your work and life.  Truly inspiring.

Conan Doyle:  Thank you.

Michelle: I know you are going to hate this, so I will try to tread lightly, but you exhibit a great deal of honest justice in your plots, particularly - dare I say it?  In the Holmes stories and in The White Company.  Your conscience is not captive to the law of man but to a higher law of humanity.

Conan Doyle:  I liked The White Company.  And yes, there is a higher law than the law of black and white, just as there is a higher way of thinking than the immediately obvious.   I proved that in my own life a few times.

Michelle:  You refer, I think, to the times you investigated some cases in order to clear convicted men of crimes they hadn't committed?

Conan Doyle:  Smiling.  And proved their innocence conclusively.

Michelle:  Bravo!  Now, Sir Conan Doyle, it seems that there is something of a mystery about you that has created a great deal of sadness among certain circles, but I believe I have the problem solved.  Shall I disclose this to you?

Conan Doyle: Smiling.  Certainly.

Michelle:  It concerns A Study in Scarlet.  You see, (leans forward and smiles) I am a Mormon.

Conan Doyle: Slowly smiles and leans back in his chair.

Michelle:  Smiling widely. Now, it seems strange that a man so dedicated to truth and morality could take a such a religion and demonize it in the cruelest manner imaginable.  I cannot help but think that there is something amiss in this line of reasoning.

Conan Doyle: Well?

Michelle:  So I will tell you what happened and you will let me know any details I might have missed. 

Conan Doyle: Laughing.  Very well, Sherlock.

Michelle:    Firstly, you grew up in a very religiously contentious area in Edinburgh where you learned from your youth to use your fists in arguing doctrines and faith.  Religion was from the first a very contentious, unpleasant idea to you.  You were forced into a Jesuit boarding school which you hated and in which you learned to despise many aspects of religion and corporal punishment.  You never once in your writings, at least to my knowledge, condone religion or speak of it with anything save disgust.  You learned to hold to science and things you could see and prove in order to distance yourself from religion in general.    Secondly, you were raised opposite an ocean from where the religion began and most members of the church living in England quickly immigrated to the States so as to join Church headquarters in the Salt Lake Valley.  Thus you could not have had many dealings with the members and thus understood who they were and what they believed.  This is evident by the idea in your story that Mormons worship the angel Moroni, which is not and has never been the case.  Indeed, there are many ideas in that story that do not at all hold to the facts of Mormon practice.  So many lies and persecutions arose against Mormonism that people in the States had no idea as to the true nature of the faith, so certainly it would be inconceivable to suppose you could have, from such a distance, known the kindness and generosity that served as the center of our lifestyle. Have I missed anything?

Conan Doyle:  You have certainly done your research on my life.  No, I think not, except that rumors did in fact circulate in England about the evil, inhuman practices of the Mormons.  But you seem normal enough, I think.  And the church has proved generally well meaning.  Well done, Michelle!  Extraordinary work!

Michelle:  Smiling with a twinkle in her eyes.  Elementary, my dear Sir Conan Doyle. 

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