When I first became aware of the word Bloggernacle, I saw two words merged–blog and tabernacle, and in my mind’s eye, I envisioned church members using blogs to teach and discuss the gospel. I decided to see for myself and visited the Bloggernacle for the first time two years ago.
I was aware of a strong anti-mormon element on the internet and was looking forward to spending time with the saints in the Bloggernacle. I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for my first encounter with the Bloggernacle.
Before I continue I want to emphasize I’m not into criticism, observation and comment, yes. In this post I am going to relate a few of my observations and you can decide for yourself if they have merit or not.
Where’s the Beef
My first observation can be likened to a 1984 Wendy’s advertisement where several senior lady’s are looking at a hamburger. They lift the bun to inspect the rest of the hamburger and when they do it reveals a very small beef patty. One of the ladies with a gravelly voice says, “where’s the beef?!” The first thing I thought when I came to the Bloggernacle and looked a little closer at the most popular blogs was, “where’s the scriptures?”
I think this is an awfully good question. Why don’t those who post and comment in the most popular blogs use the scriptures more? It seems to me the scripture ought to have a place of honor where Latter-day Saints are gathered.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to see scriptures used in every post and comment, but on the other hand, I believe there lack of use to near total absence in some blogs is something to be concerned about. I understand that we’re not at church when we’re in the Bloggernacle, and that one of the pleasures of blogging is to explore subjects that shouldn’t be brought up in church. But does that mean we should exclude the scriptures, words of the prophets, and testimony?
Disagreement vs. Antagonism
My second observation has to do with the basic virtue of kindness. I think most Latter-day Saints would agree that kindness is an important part of being a Mormon. I’ve personally found kindness to be in short supply when I have tied to introduce the first principles of the gospel into discussions in certain blogs. I have a difficult time understanding the mind set of those who become agitated when the scriptures, words of the prophets, and testimony are introduced into a discussion. What’s up?
There’s a difference between disagreeing and antagonism. I would think we can disagree without becoming an antagonist. It may be over used, but there is a saying that fits-we can disagree without being disagreeable. I think most of us would say this is a good goal to strive for, even though it’s hard to put into practice.
We can Do Better
One of the important purposes of the church is to help each baptized member acquire the gift of the Holy Ghost. With this gift we have access to a member of the Godhead. The Bloggernacle is part of this equation. The only question is how seriously do we take this responsibility. I think we can do better. I hope we will do better.
I want to make it clear, I am not trying to dig a set of spurs into anyone’s flanks, this is not my plan. My desire is to encourage each of us to “…stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.” Mosiah 18:9