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Mailliw73

LDS parallels and Brandon's work

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I was reading TWoK again and noticed some things that reminded me do LDS Book of Mormon stories and doctrine so I decided to start this thread. Brandon has said time and time again that he never intentionally writes his religion into his books. He has said that it does have some influence on him, as does everything in his life, so it does influence it from time to time. This thread should remain peaceful and not turn into a flame war.

I'll start off with these two things I found.

Kaladin dodging all the arrows from the Parshendi reminded me of Samuel the Lamanite and how he was protected from arrows.

This line by Taravangian, "It is better for man to sin than for a people to be destroyed" reminded me of 1 Nephi 4:13 where it says, "It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief."

What have you found?

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This is actually quite interesting that you pulled this out. I was going to do a rather lengthy post of things I noticed about similarities in other books, especially Elantris and Warbreaker. Anyways, I will post my thoughts a little later but you have some great finds (potential parallels).

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There's an old TWG thread where someone says Nohaden is inspired partly by King Benjamin. I don't know enough about LDS to understand the reference, but it might be interesting to you.

(The rest of that old thread wasn't so great. I kind of don't like the overly "omg it's all Mormon allegory" thing that pops up every few months. But looking for little specific parallels is interesting to me, especially since I'd never recognize them on my own.)

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Mistborn,

Where all the religions turned out to have shreds of truth to them

is a big example of this.

 

Something about Jasnah griping about how the Devotionaries suppress free thinking reminds me of something as well.

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Posting to subscribe...  Will have to post more later.

However, I've been constantly impressed by what Brandon has done in this regard (a little less heavy-handed than Orson Scott Card's blatant plot-ripping for a couple of his books), and see it in all sorts of places.  The biggest thing to me, though, is not any one specific situation, but the general feel and (if you will) "theme" of almost each and every book he has (at least among the major, often-Cosmere-related ones)...  That of diety.  Think about it.  Elantris with it's fallen gods & why they fell, Mistborn with its interactive gods (& in the Lord Emperor, god-on-earth), Warbreaker with it's pantheon of living, breathing gods & what kind of affect they'd have on society, Way of Kings with it's god-like men (& as the series continues, god-like conflicts).

 

I have always  wondered about those kinds of things, and it is diety that really excites me in a fantasy sense, which is part of why I have been so drawn to his books.  How that's related to the LDS faith; well, let's just say 'diety' is an hallmark & extensive subject for our faith.  Much has been written (with much more yet to understand).

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I won't go into any real detail, but if you look at the entire religious sub-plot of Elantris, you will find all kinds of things that really strike you as a draw from LDS beliefs.  One of the biggest underlying tones of the book is "which religion to join".  I am putting together some quotes from the book and should have them up over the weekend.

 

Another one I think has plenty is Warbreaker.  It is infiltrated with a whole slew of "gods-on-earth" with other religions worshiping a single God.  It is a constant battle between the religions, both physical and mental (through the minds of its members) as to what is correct.  There are a few things that really scream LDS, and I will try and post those quotes as well.

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One of the strongest parallels I find is that of religious tolerance and openmindedness.  The concept that, while there is an absolute truth to be found, no one except God really knows what it is.  In the case of Brandon's writing, that God would be the creator of the cosmere.  He is the ultimate source of all truth.

 

Religions in general are fragments of absolute truth combined with interpretations, philosophies, and cultural mores of men.  Often times religions are sects and splinters from other older religions that can change drastically over long periods of time, still retaining particles of truth, but with widely varying doctrines that may be far from the real truth.

 

 Within the LDS religion we believe that we have more of the real truth than other religions do because we recognize that God continues to communicate with his children, through His prophets, and reveal new truths to us. But our prophets also continually warn us not be prideful or arrogant and to recognize the truths that other religions do embrace. If we are close-minded it becomes difficult to relate to others with differing beliefs and it also makes us less willing to accept new truth as it is revealed to us.  While we are a missionary church that teaches what we believe to others, it should always be done in such a way that it enhances and adds to the truths that others already hold and respects the beliefs of others even if they differ from our own.

 

I see this very attitude strongly displayed in Siri and eventually in her older sister as they interact with the Hallendrans in Warbreaker.  It is a strong theme in Elantris and the Mistborn Series as well.  And while it hasn't blossomed fully in the Stormlight Archives yet, there are certainly passages, especially about Jasnah and the devotaries, that point to it and I think it will be a stronger theme as the series progresses.

Edited by Sylvrin
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I see strongly Hinduism and Bhudism. In Hinduism, Adonasium, shards, splinters...Brahman. One creator ten sons. Brahma. the part seeking the whole. Action and reaction (Karma). Vedenism (vedanta, vedas)?

In Bhudism, seeking a pat and dedication to that path to achieve perfection...the more dedicated to the path, the more connected to the spirit (uh...Nahel Bond?)

Most stories that have themes beyond the banal are going to repeat overarching themes of the divine found in many religions. The fact is that in order to tell a story that will sell, putting out a worldview that espouses absolute truth probably wouldn't sell very well. Come to think of it, that is apparently true for religions themselves :)

 

I would say, at best, this is very well hidden allegory on the part of Brandon. I am not Hindu or mormon, just saying, that All religions point to the evidence of divinity en the natrual world. 

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