Suffer the Children is a work of fiction. The writing is based on actual events around which the fiction has been written. In composing dialogue and speeches from historical persons, I have used direct quotations from the source list appended at the end of the novel. The rest of the dialogue involving actual persons is my own creation based on my own research and intuitive conclusions regarding the movement of the plot within the novel. The dialogue of fictional characters is my own voice of course.
I researched and wrote this novel as a cultural and heritage-based Mormon who was born and raised in rural Southeastern Idaho. My research included my own perceptive experience from childhood; how I remember visualizing the narratives, stories and folklore I was given about Church history. My education included a strong emphasis on with the theological assumptions regarding Mormonism as the “one true and living Church on the face of the earth.”
I found a variety of sources within and without the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the value of which proved to be problematic. The Church’s self-narrative has been written, re-written and reworked so often that one is forced to literally take on faith what has been many times an altered and republished narrative.
My research of non-faith-inspired historians, particularly those whose scholarship and sources are worthy of regard and respect, recognizes authors who have demonstrated a professional historian’s eye for historical accuracy combined with reasonable assessments of events, motivations behind them and well-researched quotations.
The autobiographical sources connected to this story include works and confessions that are for the most part self-serving and written from a specific point of view to serve a specific writer’s agenda.
Nevertheless, non-Mormon life stories are as valid and self-serving as are the journals, biographies and autobiographies of Mormon authors whose intents reflect their own faith-promoting agenda. True believing 19th and 20th- century journal keepers were taught to record their lives and profess their convictions regarding the hand of the Lord and His divine restoration. Those recordings are in fact the principle sources of most of the folklore and stories that became the historical underpinning of the culture.