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Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: 'Les Miserables' teaches how God's truth is lovable’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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oldcougar
Orem, UT

Thanks for a fine message. I love the story and the music too. Don't forget Victor Hugo in your praise!

red84604
Fruit Heights, UT

The two catchiest contemporary tunes I can think of are Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe" and Taylor Swift's "We are never getting back together." Will someone please post a video response to this and put a hymn to one of those tunes? That would make my whole month!

SoCalChris
Riverside, CA

Yes please give Victor Hugo his due. Les Miserables is possibly the finest novel ever written.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Defending the[Christian]Faith: 'They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord, they will walk behind the ploughshare, they will put away the sword.

In Luke 23:43,where Jesus on the cross says to the thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise". 2 Corinthians 12:2-4,where Paul alludes to his vision of the third heaven and also to paradise; and Revelation 2:7,which describes the righteous who partake of the tree of life in the midst of God's paradise. (Heaven)
… beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. — Isaiah 2:4 (return of Christ)

Thinkman
Provo, UT

What matters most in this life is how we treat others, most especially our family members.

When we die, and if there be life after death, it won't matter what cars we drove, what clothes we wore, where we lived, nor what our lifestyle was, which church we knew was true, nor what we did for work. What will matter most are our relationships we had with our family members.

Love for family and for others trump all other attributes and principles of life.

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

This book illustrates so well the value and power of living a good life and the power of godly love. Jean Valjean shows how interesting a character can be who is striving to live life according to his conscience. Our culture seems to be absorbed in characters that push the limits. Jean Valjean's also a great contrast with Javert who lives by the letter of the law and is destroyed by his zeal.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

Thinkman:

Thirty years from now, when I look back, it won't matter what I ate for dinner tonight...but for now, I'm very excited to head home, fire up the grill, and eat a delicious New York steak.

That's sort of how I feel about the "when we look back" comments. In hindsight many things that bring us temporary happiness do not factor into our future happiness, but what is missed is that most of what we call happiness is nothing but a string of punctuated happinesses like the clothes we wear temporarilly, and the car's we drive temporarilly. Families and relationships matter too, it's just not a zero sum game inspite of all the altruism suggesting otherwise.

Phranc
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Interesting take on a story by a man that was a devote Populist and humanist.

johanBjorn
Salt lake city, UT

I don't appreciate the 'stark contrast' you outline by mentioning the innkeeper.

Yes, he was a thief, and possibly Atheist, but don't paint us all with such a broad brush. That's the same thing as saying all religious people are righteous and good and just.

I'm an Atheist, and proud of it. I hold myself to a high standard of morals, and many of my peers do as well.

Please don't assume we're all amoral. It's not like that.

Thank you.

Verdad
Orem, UT

johanBjorn, my computer must not be working correctly, so I'm asking for your help. It seems to have cut off the paragraph of Peterson's article where he claimed that all atheists are amoral. And, oddly, the paper version of his column that arrived at my house this morning ALSO lacks that paragraph. (Go figure!) Could you please quote it here?

IrishLDS
Castleknock, Dublin

Since our relationships with others matter above all things ... it may matter a great deal what cars we drove, what clothes we wore, what work we did and especially what lifestyle we led - all of these can affect our relationships with others. Especially if, for example the cars and clothes don't belong to us! ;)

I think God may be much more interested in our 'lifestyle' that we tend to think. Is that one of the hopes expressed in Les Miserables? How we live here affects how we live there.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

the writer of this article demonstrates the ver reason I do not care for this play. the watered down way the play is presented allows for strange translations of a very complex work by a man that was very devoutly a populist that would not have looked favorably on anyone trying to use his works to promote establishments such as modern organized religion. please read the orginal writings of Hugo they are very different from the watered down versions you see on stage and in film.

Dayzd
Salem, OR

I hope we can agree that both the novel and the musical can provide both entertainment and food for thought and inspiration whatever our biases. The book though not a quick read is worth the effort and is richer in content than the play. No matter how many times I view Lea Salonga's uber-emotional performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" at the 25th anniversary concert I am moved to tears; as well as "Bring Him Home".

jttheawesome
Scranton, PA

I look forward to seeing the upcoming film. As long as Les Miserables was on Broadway, I never did get to see it. I am, however, re-reading the book after a long absence. I get lost in some of the "bunny trails" Hugo takes me on in 19'th century France, but it's still a great place to "visit" and experience again.

gcrobmd
GADSDEN, AL

Right on, Bro. Peterson.

The Twilight series resonates with many because of themes of pure love (putting your love’s feelings and welfare above your own), sacrifice, and even solving problems without violence if at all possible. That ending received applause from the audience.

The war in heaven predicts we humans will resist being controlled by outside forces. So we hate the thought of being Borg from Star Trek, and other tales of alien possession where we lose our agency.

Stories of heroism emulate our greatest hero, Jesus, who died to save us all.

Stories of healing are always appealing. The ultimate healing and transformation, the Phoenix-like rising from the death---these stories are always hits, such as Twilight and Avatar.

These themes are ingrained, and we recognize them, because we shouted for joy as the first story unfolded at the foundation of the world.

Authors in the past, such as Hugo, Lewis and Tolkien, were not afraid to write about these things.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

The conflict of this book and play is, Mercy verses Justice. On one hand you have the inflexible Javert, who is a good man, but consumed by the letter of the law. On the other hand, Valjean has experienced pure mercy without regard for Justice. At the end of the play, Javert shows mercy and can't live with it because it conflicts with his belief system. Valjean at the end understands the relationship between both. Awesome. Great article.

oldcougar
Orem, UT

Here, from a scholar, is what the real Tolsoy thought of Victor Hugo and Les Miserables:

Victor Hugo and the Two Tolstoys

Amit Majmudar
May 10, 2012

One of the keys to Tolstoy is his early admiration of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. The young Tolstoy visited Hugo during a trip to Europe; the young Russian Count read and admired Les Miserables before he wrote War and Peace...

Hugo’s novels are, in some ways, the kind of fiction Tolstoy wanted to write. Hugo is a moralist writing in novel form; his sympathy with and understanding of the plight of the poor, lower-class, and unfortunate (les miserables) is deeply felt and morally profound. In Hugo, the didactic and artistic tendencies work in unison.

Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX

And here we go again. . .

If Dan Peterson were to write, "I like puppies" some people would criticize him for being insensitive to Guinea Pig fans.

If Dan Peterson were to write, "I saw a beautiful rainbow this morning" some people would criticize him for being insensitive to those who work swing shift and are asleep.

If Dan Peterson were to write, "My wife made a great blueberry pie" some people would criticize him for not being insensitive to type II diabetics who live an alternative lifestyle.

Hey some people, not everything has to be a fight.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Actually what matters more than anything when it comes to our Heavenly Father and his only begotten son, Jesus Christ is if we show our love to them. Sure showing pure love, as Charity is the pure love of Christ. However, one must be baptized by one having proper authority and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost otherwise you can not and will not enter into Kingdom of God. Christ taught that if you love me keep my commandments. As he stated to Peter after his resurrection what I have made clean then you can eat. This included pork, shell fish and other items because of the Law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ. THe Gospel and Doctrine of Christ is clear and those who mock the Church of Jesus Christ shall be on the outside looking in. The Church of Jesus Christ has only one baptism and that is by immersion, and only one faith. Not the many that others project. So as has been said if you are not with me you are against me as Christ taught.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@old coug
and your point being? believe it or not being a moralist and being Christian are far from synonymous. it does not change tolstoy"s point. Jean was a good man and moral man when he stole the bread but to feed his family. the constable chancing him only could see a thief and a criminal. the constable viewed the world in very black and white terms. jean while running from the constable almost gave into this view when he was unable to make and honest living because of the ay society viewed him. At the last moment the priest prevents Jean from giving into the view that the world is black and white. the constable at the end of the book kills himself after he realizes that his world view that there is only good and evil comes crashing down around him. Now you tell me which one sounds like a Christian view and which does not? the man that sees the world in terms of good and evil with no room for other or the good but poor man that stole to feed his family.

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