I Blog, Therefore I Am

I have expressed a few times why I sought out and found the bloggernacle. But ultimately I was not content to be a commenter only. And when I found out how easy it was to start a blog I had to pursue it. I had slightly different reasons to desire to be an author on a blog. In a small way, I think I felt like Alma felt when he wrote the famous verses:

O that I were and angle, and could have the wish of my heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. (Alma 29:1-2)

You see, I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the church. I really believe this stuff. I believe it leads to peace and happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. And I desire to have a voice in it!

Now, my voice may not be the voice of thunder. Perhaps a little more like an annoying chirp of a cricket. But what voice I have I want to share. My life prior to blogging, and at many times during, is a bit unsatisfying in this area.

It has been nearly three years since I spoke in Sacrament meeting. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but I am an extremely active member of a small ward. There are perhaps 20 active families in this ward. A simple rotation would result in a sacrament talk at least once a year even with figuring in testimony meetings. So I wonder what is going on. Our bishop is a wonderful man, but he does tend to fly by the seat of his pants – so to speak. I suppose he may not keep very good track of things like this. So I don’t feel I have much of a voice there lately. I have born my testimony more often, but I feel obligated to keep my testimonies short and basic. I don’t want to take advantage of open mike Sunday.

Our Gospel Doctrine teacher is another wonderful man. But I find myself making fewer and fewer comments in his class. He has a way of making the ‘material’ more important than the discussion – very frequently saying we need to move on. He also has a tendency to look for very specific answers and being dismissive of anything else. It has been weeks since I have made any comments in class. He is always a well prepared teacher, and I am sure many enjoy his lessons, but it is not a prime participation opportunity to me.

I serve currently as the Teachers Quorum advisor. Unfortunately I have had to many times where a well prepared lesson just doesn’t fly with the teenage boys. Because of this my preparation and teaching have become very basic. It seems my voice here is not outwardly appreciated much.

So now I have this blog, where I can publish whatever I want. It sometimes makes me feel like I have a voice. It appears that sometimes people like and value what I have to say. Other times it feels like my posts are just an annoying cricket chirping in the midst of a thunder storm.

Chirp.

Or worse yet ignored.

………………….

Is my desire to have a voice simply vain? Am I guilty of what Alma says in the next verse:

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted me. (Alma 29:3)

I’m afraid that if I look to participating in the bloggernacle as a way of feeling like I have a meaningful voice, I am headed for frequent disappointment. Posts that appear to go ignored, and comments that seem to be dismissed, might lead to unsatisfying results. Should any of us desire to have a voice in the church/gospel? Is this a righteous desire or a sinful one?

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8 Responses to “I Blog, Therefore I Am”


  1. 1 C Jones May 17, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    Eric- you have expressed quite well why you are here. You want to build the kingdom and share the gospel. You love the gospel and you want to talk about it with like-minded others.

    So it’s nice to also participate at BofJ- a group blog provides more chance for interaction with others. I think what’s going on over there and at APofF is a good thing.

    But you talk a lot about your ward. Are you feeling that you aren’t making a difference there? Are you wanting more of a feeling of community?

    I just read (yes, Truman Madsen again) a description of a day in the Nauvoo temple. A group of the Saints met in the temple. Part of the morning was spent working together, cleaning and painting. Then came a study class. Later, they got cleaned up and came back to the temple, dressed in their robes, and participated in worship. That was followed by a prayer and testimony service, then they had refreshments together. And then, until late in the evening, they had music and dancing.

    That kind of fellowship and love is hard at least for me to imagine now. Could it be as we try to be obedient and learn to love and serve others, we then yearn for more what- is it consecration? Zion?

  2. 2 J. Stapley May 17, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Zion can never exist if people don’t talk to each other. This is just another way to do that. We are all not so different.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson May 18, 2006 at 8:40 am

    C Jones:

    Thanks for your comments.

    I am not sure I make much of a difference in my ward or not. Perhaps some. I am certainly not against more of a feeling of community. But I don’t think I seek that purely for social reasons. I think I am yearning for a gospel level community, or my view of Zion. I don’t know that pot-lucks would do it. A more intense gospel/doctrine discussion where truth was sought (not just debate). Something perhaps like a school of the prophets type thing.

    The Nauvoo temple day sounds like a good time, although I might have skipped the dance.

  4. 4 Eric Nielson May 18, 2006 at 8:44 am

    J.

    I like your thought here. Perhaps this is a way to forward the type of thing I seek.

  5. 5 Kristian May 18, 2006 at 11:32 am

    Eric-
    I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who feels this way from the Ward, but I ALWAYS look forward to your expressions of faith and understanding. That’s why I was so excited for your blog. Sometimes I don’t think we tell our Ward friends enough how much they effect us, beyond “I enjoyed your testimony”.

    Even though I’ve moved from the Ward, please don’t keep quiet! You’ve got a talent for presenting ideas that really adds to any Gospel discussion (and I’ll say I’d rather have you speak out in GD class than some, if you know what I mean).

    BTW-One thing I learned when I was YMP: They are listening whether they show it or not. T.K. of the Priest’s Quorum taught me that in a powerful way. They may look like they’re falling asleep, but your heartfelt testimony IS getting their attention. They’s just not comfortable enough emotionally to let it show as much as the adults do.

  6. 6 Eric Nielson May 18, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Kritian:

    Thanks man. Hope all is well.

  7. 7 Geoff J May 18, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    We blog for the same reasons Eric. I am glad you found the Thang first. I very much appreciate your voice and would be sad if you stopped blogging.

    Should any of us desire to have a voice in the church/gospel? Is this a righteous desire or a sinful one?

    Well I suppose that at worst you could be compared to Alma for desiring a voice. But you haven’t done the thing he felt bad about — you haven’t wished you were something more than a man to have a voice. You are very content to let your voice be heard through thoroughly earthly means (blogs in this case). I think the real sin would be to hide you light (voice) under a bushel.


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