Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Blogging Experience

My original blog mission statement (admittedly not that original) was informally stated in these few words:

"Nothing spectacular--just random thoughts which tend to revolve mostly around my Mormon faith, family, and politics, along with links to other blogs or articles that I've enjoyed or found worthwhile."

Looking back now, I'm surprised to see that I've stayed pretty true to my original purpose--except for the politics part. I've had a more enduring education by sticking to "faith" (yes, I know, still a very broad category). It's an interesting exercise to step back and contemplate what I've learned as a direct result of "the blogging experience". Here's a short list of just the first five that came to mind:

1. A year ago I would have stared at you blankly if you had mentioned "creatio ex nihilo". I get it now, and it's a huge "game changer" in interfaith religious understanding.

2. A year ago, when someone accused my "Mormon Jesus" of being a "CREATED BEING", I had not the slightest idea of what the heck he meant by that. I understand him now.

3. I grasp the "Are Mormons Christian"/"Is Mormonism Christian?" debate much more fully than I did even a year ago.

4. Interesting paradox that ironically has nothing to do with politics: I've become more liberal; I've become more conservative. (Or maybe just more moderate?)

5. I've gained an appreciation for the huge spectrum of individuals and interpretation/beliefs that fall under the large tent called "Mormonism". It's definitely bigger than I had ever imagined.

Of course the list can go on and on. I'm curious what others would say. What have you gained as a result of "the blogging experience"?


NM said...

I really appreciate this reflective post.

As for me and my blogging experience: I'm really getting my teeth into how the gospel interacts with the taboo subjects that surround mental-health. As an insider, I can't help but want to expose some of the myths the public have about psychiatry and see how the gospel (the good news that Jesus has done it!) confronts the notion that one-has-to-help-one's-self-in-order-to-get-better

The blog, for me at the moment, is a venture into unknown waters...

Thanks again Spencer! Great post!

Bruce in Montana said...

I really enjoy reading different perspectives from around the mormon world. I was a "Texas mormon" for many years and can relate to many down there.
Even though I converted to fundamentalism, I deeply respect the Church and most members.
Thanks for your blog.

Papa D said...

I've learned to not be so shy. (Sorry, inside joke for those who know that I comment around the Bloggernacle using my real name.)

I've learned more deeply how fascinating Mormons are.

I've learned that I am seen as a liberal on conservative blogs, a conservative on liberal blogs, and a puzzling combination on moderate blogs.

I've learned to not care one bit about those labels.

I've learned to value the perspectives of those who struggle to understand and reconcile difficult things.

I've learned that a catchy title draws visits more than solid content does.

I've learned to be saddened by that last fact.

I've learned how to generate lots and lots of comments.

I've learned I don't want to do what it takes to generate lots of comments.

There's more, but that's enough for now. *grin*

SilverRain said...

Great post. I would say:

1)I have learned greater charity towards myself and others.
2)I have learned greater clarity in expressing my thoughts.
3)I have gained more patience and understanding what it means to wait upon the time of the Lord.

Clean Cut said...

Great comments! I just want to keep learning from others perspectives and insight. This is the rewarding part.

Anonymous said...

I as well like this reflective post. Its always great to learn, and we're lucky we live in a generation with the internet. Placing us in direct contact with various idea's we wouldn't have otherwise.

I've been bloggin for over a year as well. I've learned a few things here and there, especially with Mormonism. Many things I already knew, but some stuff, like what you said to me once about hte Godhead being so united they're practically one, almost as if its cutting hairs with Traditional beliefs. I think the most I've learned is the discipline of actually researching my topics as well as potential topics. Before I started bloggin I'd research stuff, but not like I do today or over the course of the year.

Katrina said...

I've learned a lot from reading your blog and others like it. It helps me to understand things more clearly. And helps my testimony to grow. Thanks so much.

Tom said...

Have you read, "Are Mormons Christian?" You should add it to your list if you haven't. I've only read the first few chapters but it helps a LOT in the "are Mormons Christians" discussion.

One thing he does really well is address the issue of canon and how every church has to let every other church define its own canon, how to interpret words of prophets, etc.

Clean Cut said...

Tom, "Are Mormons Christians" by Stephen E. Robinson is one of my all time favorites--precisely because of what you said. It's a "must read" for anyone wanting to seriously engage in the conversation, Mormon or not. Great recommendation!