Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Missing Steven R. Covey

One of the great examples of "visible Mormonism" passed away this week. Steven R. Covey will be missed. My life was enriched by his principle-centered common-sense teachings in his secular writings, and many thousands of lives were enhanced by what he taught, regardless of their religious persuasion. What he gave the world is one of many positive things to spring from the Mountain West.

My latest post on the Nauvoo Times has a title that will confuse some readers, but it was written a few days before this tragic development. Please recognize that "Got Any Dirt on Covey?" is really about religious bias and the silly fears that some people have of all things Mormon. It is definitely positive on Brother Covey.

He will be missed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that motivational speaking generally, as a cultural form, was both invented and exhausted by that contemporary of Joseph Smith, Ralph Waldo Emerson. And I've always thought of Emerson as a secularized version of Smith (and of Smith as a religion-saturated version of Emerson): what the one called "self-reliance," the other called "exaltation." Both stressed the very American idea of the greatness supposedly latent in each of us, of the idea that there are no limits to what we might make of ourselves, and Covey carried on that tradition. (This was also a big idea in the 60s, and Covey is very much a product of that time.)

Like most motivational speakers who put together "12-Step Programs," "Seven Habits of [Whatever]," and the like, Covey also owes a tremendous debt to that other great American, Benjamin Franklin, whose 12-step self-improvement chart, detailed in his wonderful Autobiography, is the granddaddy of the type.

Covey's work is rooted not so much in Mormon thought as in the American thought of Franklin and Emerson. (Not surprisingly, given that Mormonism is as much American as it is Christian.) Whether this is "dirt on Covey" depends on whether you think Franklin and Emerson were selling truth or snake-oil (and whether you think that snake-oil has its uses). In any event, requiescat in pace, Mr. Covey.

-- Eveningsun