Greetings, Gentle Reader,

During my years as a young mother, I dearly loved a trip to the library. There was a veritable treasure trove of books, many very old, that were downright delightful. Oh, sure, there were the few modern writers who couldn’t remember to keep their mouths (typewriters?) clean. They were vulgar and simply low-class, but they didn’t matter to readers such as I. We all knew who those writers were, so we simply refused to read their books.

Then things began to change: previously clean brands of books began to have sex scenes in them. It was quite a surprise for those of us who had no interest in reading such cheap, trashy scenes. We were told that publishers had changed their policies, and if a writer did not include at least some type of sex scene, the publisher would insert one written by a writer employed by the company. I’m not sure that was precisely how it worked, but it seemed to explain the unexplainable change in the tenor of the newer books. It also was the beginning of the end of my buying what previously had been light, quick reading. By now, in the decade of the 2000s, vulgarity is the norm and downright filthiness is often the rule.

Now, things have taken another step downhill. Some LDS writers, advertised as acceptable to LDS teens and older readers, have taken to writing works that can only be called the scrapings off the latrine floor. Think that’s too harsh? Think again!

Now, a simple sex scene is not good enough for such writers. Such scenes must involve the bishop and his wife. After all, if you want to sell sewage, why sell garden variety sewage? Crank it up a notch! Anyone can write a sex scene, but to take it to a higher level, such writers make it a scene between lesbians or male homosexuals, and if that isn’t sufficiently depraved to offend any and all decent people, especially LDS people, make it a scene between the bishop and his wife. Worse, include vampires, and have the vampires calling the shots. "The shots" include selling ones soul to save lives of the innocent.

These kinds of books are written to make money, and more money can be made if the author is selling more than just a book. The really big bucks come if the author is selling depravity. After all, depravity has been the all-time best seller for as long as there have been books. Why? Because we human beings become what we put into our minds and hearts. If we input virtue and righteousness, we become more virtuous, more righteous. If we input adventure, we become hungry for exciting adventures and more willing to stretch ourselves, in order to enjoy the adventures we have been putting into our minds.

The natural order of the human mind and nature is to want more of whatever is stimulating us, and there are few things as stimulating as sexual filth. How else could pornography addict its consumers to such a degree?

The process of this is astonishingly simple: If we eat some delicious pie, we want more. If we watch a delightful comedy, we want to see another one the next day. Those are innocent and enjoyable activities, but they are not as addictive as something that stimulates the body, such as alcohol or drugs. Neither, tragically, are they as addictive as sex, especially illicit sex. Somehow that "illicit" part makes a very big difference.

Since all of the above circumstances are well known, surely LDS publishing houses would avoid sexual filth at all costs. Except that some of them do not. Why not? Money. The almighty dollar is so seductive, they cannot resist doing whatever it takes to get more. And when they finally reach the point of selling their souls for money, nothing else matters. They have sold their all for a mess of potage, only to find that potage is bitter, indeed, to their grief, it is eternally bitter.

Until next time,
Muriel Sluyter

Return to the Neighborhood.


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