Happy Birthday Hugh Nibley, born March 27, 1910
No, we haven’t forgotten or given up. Sidetracked a little by other activities. But we have some new and, we hope, interesting postings coming up. Thank you to those of you have ever so gently prodded us to continue these posts.
Excerpt from a letter to Paul Springer
March 28, 1956
I have run into difficulties on the present [Melchizedek priesthood] lesson-manual: the committee wants something for backward ten-year-olds and they have a perfect right to it, only I keep telling them that I am not the guy to do it.* Accordingly I may get let out of this assignment, and instead of going to the Coast this spring take the usual time in the summer. Only I don’t know yet. Meantime I am working my head off on a dozen projects…
Our household as it grows larger is becoming ever more and more of an enclave, a foreign colony, in the midst of Provo. For one thing the lack of TV marks us as queer to the point of defiance; the program of serious literature** which has kept the kids amused all winter, and the wild informal “jaunts” we take whenever the weather allows have set people to wondering if we are quite all right. My religious rantings serve to balance the books, but still people are disturbed and someday there may be some sort of showdown. Abdera without Aristotle, that is Provo.
Thank God for Phyllis, who thinks exactly as I do on all essentials. Perhaps what should worry us is not that the world is going to pot, but that it may take too long in doing so. Well let’s make the most of things, after all, we have eternity to go and endless surprises ahead. I’ll let you know what the committee decides.
[*The priesthood manual HN mentions here was, chapter by chapter, rejected by the publication committee with the comment that it was “over the heads” of the priesthood holders. The rejections were subsequently overruled by President David O. McKay, reportedly with the comment, “If it’s over their heads, let them reach for it.” That manual became An Approach to the Book of Mormon, still read today almost six decades after HN expected to be fired from the job of writing it.
**Don’t let him fool you. The program of “serious literature” to which HN refers here consisted largely of Mad Magazine, Nancy Drew and Edgar Rice Burroughs. ]