Archive for the 'Bloggernacle' Category



Diversity is Overrated


Kaimi made an interesting post recently at Times and Seasons about Times and Seasons. He was writing about the benefits of being an inter-ideologically diverse group blog. He mentioned how many group blogs are places where birds of a feather flock together. I suppose he could have been talking about Blogger of Jared and similar blogs. The contributors here tend to be fairly similar, and from my understanding this is intentionally the case. When I was first invited to join this blog I asked a couple of my blogging friends for their advice. One comment was made that ‘I can’t tell those guys at BofJ apart’. Well, just scroll down a couple of posts to see an example of a strong difference of opinion! But generally speaking, we are similar people. Is this such a bad thing? Does it make BofJ boring and irrelevant?

This has caused me to think a bit about whether or not there are benefits to diversity in a group blog when what is being discussed is so often the doctrines and practices of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Is diversity within a blog and within the church in these areas a desirable thing? For now I think the answer is no, it is not.

Now don’t get me wrong. (I say that a lot). I delight in the differences of personality, style, knowledge, experience, etc. that I find in the bloggernacle, and in life. I like what Brigham Young said about stereotype Mormons, although I could not find the reference today (little help?). I’m talking more about ideological, or perhaps more specific, theological diversity as it relates to the doctrine, and to a lesser extent practices, within the church and within Mormon blogs. Should we not in general be a united people in these areas?

Brigham Young had a lot to say about unity. In fact there is an entire chapter on the subject in Discourses (Chapter 25). This chapter starts out with the following paragraphs:

Be of one mind and one heart – I pray, my brethren, the Bishops, the Elders, the Seventies, the Apostles, yea, every man and woman and child who has named the name of Christ, to be of one heart and of one mind, for if we do not become of one heart and mind we shall surely perish by the way.

If we were one, we should then prove to heaven, to God our Father, to Jesus Christ our Elder Brother, to the angels, to the good upon the earth, and to all mankind that we are the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we are not one, we are not in the true sense of the word the disciples of the Lord Jesus.

And quotes like that continue throughout the chapter.

The writings of Paul are filled with pleadings that the saints in various areas are united. I will give just one as an example ‘Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.’ (1 Cor. 1:10) Look in the TG under unity to get quite a list of similar verses. But this is not all.

In the intercessory prayer Jesus himself says. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:20-21).

During the wonderful time after the Saviors visit to the Americas it was said of the people:

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! (4 Ne. 1:15-17)

The D&C states, ‘I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.’ (D&C 38:27)

Also, ‘Hearken, O ye elders of my church whom I have called, behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word.’ (D&C 41:2)

To ultimately agree upon the word of God. Should that not be the desire and goal of those who gather with saints here or elsewhere? Sure, it may be fun for a time to debate and speculate regarding certain gaps in the revelations – but to what end?! Should we not seek to become a united people?

And if I have not beat the horse quite dead yet, There is verse three of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ (Hymn 246)

Like a mighty army Moves the Church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the Saints have trod.
We are not divided; All one body we:
One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.

Well, I did not seek the bloggernacle out for argument or debate. It seems to me there are plenty of sources for ideologies and theologies that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Life is challenging enough for me. I hope for peace and unity within the gospel. Greater understanding, not additional confusion. I am sincerely grateful for all the uplifting, faithful, interesting, and uniting contributors out there. Perhaps there are some who find BofJ a tad boring. Well, there are also those who find the scriptures boring. And conference. And the Ensign. And prayer. We certainly do not put ourselves in the same category as those sources, but hopefully the similarity you may see in us here in some way represents a type of unity which comes from being part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not divided; All one body we: One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.

Bloggin’ Man (A Rush Parody)

The following are modified lyrics to “Workin’ Man” by Rush. I have been using my lyrics whenever I listen to this song or when it goes through my head. It says a bit about what I feel about blogging sometimes.

Continue reading ‘Bloggin’ Man (A Rush Parody)’

LDS blogs: Size Matters

I have read posts on an awful lot of blogs. When I first found the bloggernacle I read everything that came up on the Mormon Archipelago. I still put in a LOT more time reading other people’s stuff than I spend in preparing and writing my own…..I probably shouldn’t have said that. You can tell can’t you?

Continue reading ‘LDS blogs: Size Matters’

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!

Continue reading ‘I Blog, Therefore I Am’

Dammit Jim! I’m an Engineer, not a Theologian!

Some of you may recognize the title as a play on the familiar phrase that was frequently given by Doctor McCoy on the popular television show named Star Trek. This post is an attempt to draw some parallels between my career as an engineer, and my approach to living the gospel as a member of the church.

Continue reading ‘Dammit Jim! I’m an Engineer, not a Theologian!’

Revelation for your Blog?

We sometimes speak of the right to receive revelation in the church. We believe that Gordon B. Hinkley is a prophet and has been called, sustained, and set-apart for this calling. We believe that he has received priesthood keys which allow him the privilege, right, responsibility and authority to receive revelation for the entire church. The First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other General Authorities have also been called, sustained, and set-apart for their callings. They either have, or act under the direction of those who have, priesthood keys and also have the privilege, right, responsibility and authority to receive revelation as the act in their calling.

Continue reading ‘Revelation for your Blog?’

Friends

Right now I can break my life into two halves. One half being a youth, and one half being an adult. A few of the experiences that I have had lately have caused me to think about friendship, and how my ideas about friendship have changed in my life.
When I was young, friendship usually meant fun. My friends were the people that I had fun with. The people I played ball with (any ball), the people I would watch movies with, the people I would have over to play Risk and order pizza with, these were my friends. They were also people that had an unconditional acceptance of me. Even if I did or said something dumb or embarrassing, they would stand by me. If they laughed you could tell it was the ‘laugh with’ kind. There were also times, in awkward social situations (which for me is pretty much any social situation) my friends were people that I could stand by. It is amazing how having somebody to stand by makes such a difference.

There was an intensity to these friendships of my youth. And even though I don’t keep touch with many of them as well as I should, I will always think of them with much fondness. I had quite a group of very good friends.

‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ‘ (1 Cor. 13:11)

As an adult life gets pretty busy. Most of every day is filled with responsibilities of some kind. Not much time for fun. I have my wife and my children, and there is a level of friendship in these relationships. But those relationships are of a different sort of which I am speaking, aren’t they? Certainly one should be a friend with one’s spouse. But is it not healthy to have friendships in addition to this relationship?

It seems the older I get the less friendships I have. And in comparison to the friendships of my youth, the bar has been significantly lowered. Not that the quality of the people are lower, but the quality of the friendship seems lower. Not the intensity of youth. Not the fun. I have co-workers now. Ward members. Neighbors. Sure we are friendly, but are we friends? Really friends? I find myself wanting to protect the word friend. I don’t really give it freely. I have been spoiled with high expectations from my youth.

I love to golf. Most of the time I golf alone. I’m busy, everyone is. I’m a little old for ‘can Joe come out and play’? I watch sports, often on TV. Usually alone. I’m not shedding tears – I’m not that emotional. It’s just the way it is. It’s more practical.

That brings me to the bloggernacle. Are we friends? Are we having fun together, doing something we enjoy. Do we stand by each other? Do we laugh ‘with’. Are there people I can stand by when I feel awkward? Sometimes I think the ‘friendships’ I have here are about as real – maybe more – than the friendships I currently have in real life. Sometimes I think these ‘friendships’ are just one step away from having imaginary friends like a small child might have.

This is not a ‘HELP!’ This is a ‘what do ya think?’


Bloggernacle



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