Friday, June 6, 2008

What are the highlights from your blogging experience?

Reflecting back on the first six months of my blogging experience is a lot of fun. I'm "well pleased" that it has been such a great experience. I've learned a lot and I've gained a lot from the discussions and conversations I've been a part of, not only on this blog but on others. Here's a look at some highlights from my posts over the past six months:

My post Craig Jessop-Why this way? garnered the most comments on my blog and provided a forum to share thoughts and feelings as we all came to grips with the surprising announcement. It continues to get "hit" on daily by people all over the country still doing a google search for "craig jessop".

My Paradigm Shift-"Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling" marked a "coming out party" of sorts, for the first time using a blog to work through and share conclusions I had come to after becoming more "enlightened" by reading the landmark book.

"Pessimists do not contribute, unbelievers do not create, doubters do not achieve" sets the tone I'd like to take as I live my life as a faithful, educated, Latter-day Saint.

Recent posts have been inspired by specific conversations on other non-LDS blogs about Mormons. How they have the time or desire to spend so much time trying to discredit the Church I have no idea. But I reach out to them in the spirit of Christ-like love trying to really seek understanding and perhaps alleviate misunderstanding (an ambitious goal, I know). Really, it's more for my own benefit.

For the most part, these conversations have been very stimulating for me as I think of how to articulate my faith both to believers and non-believers. In the process, my confidence and faith grow too. The first of these posts was I am a Mormon. I am a Christian, followed by Finding an Oasis of Understanding in a Desert of Criticism, A "Works Based Gospel"? You're badly mistaken, Worshiping Jesus differently does not equal "a different Jesus", Are you telling the truth about the Bible?, and the follow-up: "Upon Further Review": Faith and Works BOTH play a part.

I appreciate feedback and dialogue. It helps me not to feel like I'm just talking to myself. :)

What are the highlights from your blogging experience?


Eric Nielson said...

For me there are two main benefits from LDS blogging.

1) Being able to discuss gospel topics at what might be called a 'higher' level than I usually get.

2) Developing friendships with fellow bloggers.

In a sad way, my experience has had several lowlights. And one of the changes I am trying to make is to avoid the lowlights. I feel good when I could have reacted defensively but did not. I feel good when I could have been angry, or rude, or mean but was not. I hope this is progress.

One more thought. In a way blogging is like being part of the media. And when we seek for ratings, or hits, or popularity it can have a corrupting influence on us. We can seek for controversy for the wrong reasons. Beware of this.

Some of the posts I have been prodest of got hardly any notice. Some of the post I am most embarrased about got lots of comments. Keep your motives pure. (I hope this does not sound condesending). I think you are doing well here.

Clean Cut said...

I think you're absolutely right on. I appreciate it. I understand and agree with each point you made. I too have felt good when I've been able to resist my first impulse in a certain discussion and instead said something in a more positive manner.

I also agree with you about not letting "popularity" have an influence on the way you blog. For me it's really a way to grow personally, as well as a fun hobby. I addressed this in a past post (Why I Love Blogging)

For example, I didn't seek to make the Craig Jessop post recieve all those hits--it's certainly not one of the posts I was most proud of. I listed it as a "highlight" only because it was a marvel to me that so many people searched it out. It was a complete surprise to me. It's the kind of thing that I didn't see coming nor expect to happen again.

I'm also interested in sharing doctrinal insights-but again you're right about how some of those don't receive hardly any attention at all.

Lastly, I didn't consider your comment condescending at all. Very good words of wisdom indeed. Keeping motives pure is what its all about--whether in blogging or in leadership or just living the gospel. Our motivations/heart count more that any of us realize. Thank you!

Kenjishiela said...

we blogged because we wanted to share, share experiences, share knowledge, and share testimonies, thereby sharing service to others. Elder Ballard exhorts us to do so. I like your postings and entry but most importantly, I like the photo of your family! what a wonderful family you have!

The Faithful Dissident said...

I've had so much spiritual tension in my life, particularly the past year or so, and I had been looking for an outlet since I live in an area with very few members of the Church. And even if I lived in a big ward, there probably wouldn't be many who are willing to discuss the things that I wonder about.

One day I was out for a run, feeling very frustrated, and the name for my blog just came to me. I thought about it for a while, thinking that maybe I would be "bad" if I started blogging my thoughts. I didn't want to drag anyone down with myself. Once I discovered that the Bloggernacle existed, it's all been a very fascinating experience. Blogging has been the outlet that I was looking for in order to blow off some spiritual steam, and at the same time gain courage and insight from others who either see things as I do, or very differently.

My only regret is that it's taken me this long to get into it!

JAMIE Probert COOK~ said...

when I first started reading this, I thought you were "signing off" to the blogging world. YOu know, This is what I have liked, but I am done...kind of felt that way...

I am glad you have loved the experience...I love your posts.