Exponent II Call for Submissions – Winter Writing Contest 2019

“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And (the man) said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And (Jacob) said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And (the man) said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”  Genesis 32:24-28

What scriptures have you wrestled with in your life? What words challenge you, make you think, make you act, turn around your direction, comfort you, or force you to move away? Jacob demanded that his opponent reveal himself and bless him for his efforts. How have we interrogated a text and demanded that we know more as well as demanded from ourselves more insight than we have had before?

For this year’s contest we are providing a list of scriptures, many chosen by our readers, that we feel could provoke meaningful narratives. Some of them are beautiful; some of them are deeply troubling. Read them and choose one that makes you want to wrestle and understand. We are not looking for conceptual, academic interpretations, but living, breathing stories and memories that evoke a moment as real as Jacob’s. Jacob was moved by this encounter in both good and bad ways and the impact changed not only his name but the way he lived his life. What scriptures have done this for you?  

Submissions should be 700 – 2400 words and sent in Google Doc or Word for to [email protected] by October 15, 2018. The first place winner of the contest will receive a one-week stay at Anam Cara, a writers’ retreat center in Ireland owned by former Exponent II editor Sue Booth-Forbes. More information about the retreat center can be found at

Here are the scriptures we have chosen. We hope that one of them will inspire you to send us a submission!

  • 2 Timothy 1:7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  • Alma 5: 26: If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
  • 1 Nephi 12: 23: I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 84: 88: And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
  • Moses 7: 41: And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 132: 61-62: And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
  • Mark 9: 23-24: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
  • Helaman 4:12: And it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek …
  • D&C 9:8: But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
  • 2 Nephi 26:33: He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female.


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