Parables & Poems, Literature Springs Forth in Maxwell Institute Discord

Pasadena Fire Department and local gardeners respond to a house fire

Pasadena Fire Department and local gardeners team up to rescue an elderly woman from her burning home on June 11, 2012. (Click photo to learn more)

It’s amazing how people wax literary in climates such as these.  Sometimes common language just doesn’t do the subject matter justice, and understanding is not well communicated.  Thus the use of parables and poems.  One of the reasons Christ taught in parables was so that people could learn about different gospel topics by using their everyday vernacular, which could increase understanding (for some it actually hid the truth).

Here are a couple parables and poems that have been written in recent days about the current Maxwell Institute events, or because of them:

  • The first is actually a poem, “The Charge of the FARMS Brigade,” by William Hamblin.  Well done!
  • The second is a parable from Hamblin, “The Parable of the Football Team.”  Very well said, and which I alluded to in my analogy.
  • Thirdly, I entered the fore with “The Analogy of the Basketball Team.”  (It’s not really a parable, but an extended analogy.  Perhaps I should have put it in parable form.)
  • Fourth, I was quite inspired on Friday by David Bohn’s article at Times & Seasons, whereafter I wrote “On the Creative Gift.”
  • Fifth, today Pahoran at the Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board (MDDB) wrote “The Parable of the Fire Brigade & Gardener.”  I thought this was very well done, so I asked Pahoran permission to repost it here:

    “Once there was a city that had no fire department.  A group of public-spirited citizens banded together, bought a good second-hand fire appliance, began training together, and pretty soon had a rather good working volunteer fire brigade.

    “There was in that same city a loosely affiliated group of semi-professional arsonists.  Naturally, they were angered by the appearance of the volunteer brigade.  They began opposing its activities, muttering loudly that the fire brigade demolished more buildings than it saved, and that bystanders at fires sometimes got wet.

    “Nevertheless, most of the citizens appreciated the work of the brigade, and eventually the mayor of the town approached the volunteers and invited them to come under the umbrella of the city administration.  The volunteers at first resisted these overtures, but eventually they agreed, and the new fire department was constituted, under the oversight of the deparment of Parks and Gardens.

    “Time passed, as it always does.  The arsonists stepped up their campaign of disinformation.  A new mayor was elected.  The fire department increasingly came under the control of Parks and Gardens people who wanted more resources to beautify the city by planting flowering shrubs.  Some of these listened to the murmurings of the arsonists, not realising their true source.  Eventually they succeeded in getting rid of the original fire chief and began to divert the resources of the former fire brigade to their pet garden projects.”

I should note, sometimes firefighters and gardeners can team up, in very rare circumstances, but it’s pretty unusual when it happens (like a transit of Venus?).  And of course, firefighting and gardening are both honest, requisite, and noble fields of work in our world.

Any other good literary works emerge from the past week?  Please let me know, and I’ll add them to this list.

P.S.  On the other hand, if you want to see a remarkable piece of truly refined ad-hominem literature, certainly an epitome in the genre, take a look at this by Edwin Firmage.


  1. Alece
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The author of that parable should have continued it to it’s natural conclusion — what happens when either the city hall or the garden shed burns down because there is no fire department (volunteer or professional) left to put out the fire!

  2. Posted July 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    @Alece, exactly. I personally was in favor of a Monty Python reference to polish it off, but I digress…

  3. Mike Fisher
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t worry about negative comments from anyone about Brother Nibley I have been a devoted fan of his work for many years and will continue to do so.

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