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Segullah Spring Journal: 2020 Writing and Visual Arts Contest Winners

By Sherilyn Stevenson

“Prayer of the Heart” by Brooke L. Bowen

Life feels a little quieter lately. Most of us stay home and visit no more than one or two other places. Outside, the roads are less traveled, some store shelves are empty, and only ghosts of crowds gather. Can this unsettling, collective quiet lead to peace?

This year, for the first time in the annual contest’s history, Segullah teamed up with Mormon Women for Ethical Government, launching the theme, “Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace.” With submissions ranging from humorous to haunting, writers and artists exhibited their relationships with peacemaking. The results find us pleased to announce gorgeous winners in both the Visual Arts and Poetry categories. Each first-place winner will receive a $100 cash prize from the Eugene England Foundation. We express our deep gratitude to the Eugene England Foundation for supporting Segullah’s contributions to the advancement of Latter-day Saint arts and letters.

While posting these contest offerings on peacemaking, we consider the profound lack of control many of us experience during this current crisis. We find ourselves individually asking, “What CAN I do?”  If there is something to be done as a peacemaker—like the personal responsibility required in order to curb this worldwide pandemic—we must each act on my own. Peace is personal. It looks like settling a fear of an already angsty teen; being present (even virtually) with someone; forgiving ourselves; forgiving one another; becoming creative in re-structuring our time; wiping surfaces; exploring the deepest meanings of hope; reassuring our children without frightening them.

And peacemaking looks like our winning entries.

We are so grateful to everyone who participated and submitted to the contest this year. Thank you for supporting the work of Segullah by sharing your gifts and talents with us. Thank you to those you who even thought about entering, since the more we focus on what it means to be a peacemaker in our complicated world, the better off we all are. Let our individual lives continue to reflect our commitment to that lofty goal. Our plans for creating a book with essays on peacemaking, unfortunately, did not come to fruition.

As a buoy and bonus to all Segullah readers, we offer this list of ten things to amuse/distract/ inform/ support/and inspire you through the ongoing unsettled days. We are all in this together. There must be no “othering.” Nourish trust in our Creator God who knows what we suffer and can inspire us in using our talents and abilities to heal and bring beauty to our shared globe.

Ten creative things to do to promote peace in your own lives (in no particular order):

1. Go through your pantry and create a meal out of what you already have on hand.

2. Make your own playdough (and search YouTube.com and pinterest.com for a bounty of ideas to use with your children)

3. Start a garden.

4. Listen to children’s books for free at Audible.com.

5. Try a new calming hobby here, here, here, here, or here . (Once you get pulled into YouTube, you’ll  find a treasure trove of options suited to your skill level and interest.)

6. Read that novel you’ve been wanting to read.

7. Start writing that novel you’ve been wanting to write.

8. Try this guided meditation on love and forgiveness created by Segullah’s own Melonie Cannon.

9. Immerse yourself in family history – review old photo albums (label names!), pedigree charts and the latest bells and whistles from FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com.

10. Listen to an audio Dialogue Sunday School podcast on Enos through Words of Mormon taught by the gifted and insightful Rosalynde Welch.

(Feel free to add to this list in comments.)

With great affection and gratitude –

Sherilyn Fuhriman and Linda Hoffman Kimball

Co-Editors-in-Chief of Segullah




About Sherilyn Stevenson

Prose Editor at Segullah, Sherilyn Stevenson's essays and poetry appear in Dialogue, The Friend, LDS Living, Mothers Always Write, and other publications. She earned a Masters of English with a creative writing emphasis and works for state government in Utah.

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