Posts Tagged ‘Mormon blogs’
If you are a new visitor to my blog, you may want to take a few minutes to browse through some of my top essays. These are ranked by page views over the past two years. I have a different list of some of my favorites but these are the most viewed. I hope this gives you a flavor for the kind of material I like to cover in my essays - current LDS topics.
1. General Authority Training – Advanced Subjects
2. How Americans View Mormonism
3. About Tim
4. There is no middle ground
5. It Came From Behind the Sun
6. Elder Packer Was Right about Bearing Testimony
7. My Interview with Mormon.org
8. What they don’t tell you about Bishopric Meetings
9. The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith
10. The Mormon Corporate Empire
11. Getting past prejudices with Rent – the Musical
12. An Evening with Richard Bushman
13. The Endowment is more than the ordinances
14. When Prophets need to know
15. Divine Manifestations must have a purpose
16. Come Unto Christ – my Christmas talk
17. A different kind of knowledge
18. Rachel Esplin video continues to be a hit
19. Shades of grey and relative truth
20. Walt Whitman – the great American poet
21. Mormon visitors from outer space
22. A website for the average Mormon
23. Thoughtful discussion of controversial topics
24. 2012 the movie
25. Revelation and emotional response
26. Add your profile to Mormon.org
27. The attitude of mocking
28. Objections to the Book of Abraham
29. A letter to a reader – burning of the bosom
30. The ambush – a fictional background story
31. Spiritual experiences as a foundation for faith
32. Seer stone in a hat – book of Mormon translation
33. When a prophet gets Alzheimer’s disease
34. The personal power of Hester Prynne
35. Red Sky – an early version of my novel
36. Unique Religion of Benjamin Franklin
37. God even loves computer geeks like me
38. Moving toward gospel promises
39. Sandinistas - missionaries in Nicaragua
40. Mormon mommy blogs are the traffic queens
41. Multiple versions of the first vision
42. And the stars shall fall from heaven
43. Miracles and angels – a car wreck in Oklahoma
44. The government of the United States will collapse
45. Just where exactly are the lost ten tribes?
46. Mormon Church is not the fastest growing
47. Just what was Portnoy’s Complaint?
48. Changes to the Book of Mormon
49. Changing requirements of perfection
50. Public rebuke from an apostle
I haven’t been this excited about something the church has done in a long time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the blessings of being involved in church activity each week, especially as I watch the young single adults grow and develop (I serve in the Bishopric of a YSA ward). But for me, this is probably the single most exciting development I have seen come from Salt Lake City in many years.
I’m talking about the new Mormon.org, a complete redesign of the companion website to lds.org, the two main websites of the Mormon church. Since I make a living with computers in IT support, I have been watching the church embrace and use technology for my entire adult life. In the early nineties I wondered for a long time when the church would finally get a website. When they did, it took me a while to not think that it was just a little bit behind the times even when it was new. I felt the same way when Mormon.org first came out. But with release 4.0 of the site, I confess that I am just blown away. Why? Because of the interactive element.
The church has embraced social media in a big way. I confess that I am a little shocked at the amount of openness and trust that is exhibited in allowing members of the church to create their own profiles on the site. It’s especially progressive that links to FaceBook, Twitter and blogs are not only allowed but encouraged. The Brethren are putting a lot of faith in the members of the church to show the world who Mormons really are. The profile and links are reviewed but they are left totally up to the members to maintain – warts and all. It is an awesome way to share the gospel.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to add your profile to the new Mormon.org. It’s a simple process and takes just a few minutes. All you need is an account on LDS Account. Most members of the church have already done that as they participate in the new Family Search or access their ward and stake websites. I can’t think of a better way to share our beliefs with the world and help dispel all the misconceptions that are still out there, especially on the Internet.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, come be my friend on Facebook. That’s where I do most of my online social interaction these days. It’s just so much quicker to share my life with family and friends there. I’m glad that I spent several years writing essays on Latter-day Commentary because I wanted a place to explain in depth how I feel about the church and the powerful doctrine. But you may have noticed that my essays have become few and far between. Social media is not just for the young. I have reconnected on Facebook with 500 friends from school, work, church and life.
What an amazing thing that the church has done. I think we’re going to hear a lot more about this. Now go create your profile on the new Mormon.org.
I’ve been reading the arguments on MormonThink.com off and on for several years now. I have a lot of respect for the individuals behind the site, even though most of them choose to be anonymous. I am confident that I have been visited by several of the contributors there or at least by those who read their site and others like it such as Ex Mormon and Post Mormon.
I am by no means a scholar or intellectual. I think I’m pretty smart and that I’m pretty good with logic. After all, I have made a living for thirty years demystifying computers for others. But I know there are a lot of people out there who are smarter than I am and who have the academic credentials to prove it. I like to think that I’m just a regular, average, typical Latter-day Saint.
I like smart, thinking people and especially people who present logical conclusions well, either in writing or verbally. Critical thinking is a skill that I am constantly striving to improve. I confess that I am impressed when someone can speak or write with confidence, especially when it comes to doctrines and practices of the church. That’s why I continue to take college classes each year.
Choosing to believe
But I’d like to take exception with one of the common threads I find in the essays on sites like MormonThink.com. It has to do with choosing to believe. The concept of voluntary or involuntary belief has been discussed by philosophers for millennia. But it’s such a basic part of how I deal with the sort of intellectual issues on Mormon Think that I want to share it with you.
I disagree with those who contend that beliefs are not voluntary acts of will. There is no doubt in my mind that I am a voluntarist when it comes to my beliefs about the church and our history. This is especially true in light of, or in spite of all the fascinating historical facts that I have read over the years that are just not taught to or even known by the majority of the Latter-day Saints.
Invariably I have found that those who label themselves atheists also claim to be involuntarists. I am coming to the conclusion that those who embrace the title of Ex Mormon, Post Mormon or Former Mormon also see their position as involuntary. “It was inevitable,” they say, “based on what I have learned, I had no other choice but to now disbelieve what I had formally believed.”
Well, that’s where we differ. I have spent many years studying the same material that has been so troubling and bothersome to so many of my fellow seekers of knowledge. I can honestly say that my faith has been strengthened and my belief deepened that Joseph was who he claimed to be – a prophet of God – and that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be – Holy Scripture.
I have no doubt that there are many in the church, who, if they studied the same material we have written about on our blogs and websites, would be absolutely freaked out and would soon leave the church. They are either social Mormons only or are not strong in their desire to know more about the history of our church. I don’t think these kinds of people are your typical Mormons.
What’s missing from sites like MormonThink.com, and what you’ll find in abundance on the official church web sites, is the role of faith, and especially encouraging faith. There is way too much emphasis on the intellect and not enough focus on feelings. The section on Testimony and Spiritual Witness relegates the role of feelings of faith as something to be dissected and derided.
Announcing new website
That’s reason why I decided to start my own website, LatterdayCommentary.com. This blog is hosted on that domain, which I registered years ago. It’s not much to look at today. In fact, I almost consider it a prototype. I’ve put together some commentary and links to my essays on some of the same subjects that you will find on MormonThink.com. It will grow with time.
I know that I’m just one of thousands of LDS members who have a website where they share their beliefs and testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I like to think that I’m not much different from your average Mormon. I grew up as a member of the church but I come from a convert family. And my viewpoint is definitely that of a laid-back California boy.
I’ve been happy as a member of the LDS Church all my life. I loved my mission and I love going to the temple. I love General Conference and I love serving in a local Bishopric. I hope you’ll take a look at my website and then come back here and make some suggestions as to how I can make it better and more useful in promoting the doctrines of our LDS faith to the world.
A long time ago, I compiled a list of the LDS blog aggregators and made sure that I got listed on as many of them as I possibly could. The effort paid off. Although Google searches are still my number one source for bringing in new readers, being listed with the LDS blog aggregators has brought in a respectable number. In fact, I get roughly eighteen percent of my traffic in this way.
Meta-list for Mormon Mommy blogs
My fellow blogger Megan from Hall Pass announced on Facebook a couple of days ago that she was a guest poster on Mormon Mommy blogs. It got me to thinking about all the MM blogs I’ve seen spring up over the past few years. I wondered just how much traffic they were bringing in. I also wondered if there was a blog aggregator especially for Mormon Mommy bloggers. Yep!
So I ran some Alexa comparison numbers and was shocked to discover just where all the LDS blogging traffic was really going. The aggregator site called Mormon Mommy blogs was ranked higher in Alexa than any of the other LDS blog aggregators out there. Now you may argue with me that it is not a real aggregator, but you might want to take a second look. They are indeed!
LDS blog aggregators
Take a look at the chart I compiled of LDS blog aggregators sorted by Alexa rankings. There are two MM blog aggregators on the list, one right at the top of the list. You are probably familiar with all the others. If not, you ought to be and you should make every effort to get your blog listed in them. They can do wonders for driving traffic to your blog and getting you new readers.
Except for the two MM link-lists, I get referrals from almost all of them except the two from the More Good Foundation. My blog is fed to Mormon Bloggers while LDS Blogs is really more of a hosting site. I suppose they probably don’t really qualify as an aggregator but I do get some traffic from blogs found there. I am pleased to see that Nothing Wavering ranks high on the list.
An amazing contribution
So congratulations to Mormon Mommy blogs, both the aggregator site and to all the MM blogs that are listed in there. You are the queens of LDS blog traffic, at least according to Alexa. If you have never visited their site, go take a look at all the blogs in the different categories. You will be amazed at the diversity and thoughtfulness there as well as many that are just plain fun.
You’ll find book blogs, hair blogs, beauty and fashion blogs, adoption blogs and even some blogs about crunchy moms! There are blogs about homeschooling, infertility, blended families, military life, singles, parenting, spirituality, photography, music, art, self-help, special needs and just about every other helpful topic. What an amazing contribution these women have made!
At Connor’s encouragement, I updated the rankings list of the solo LDS Blogs I read on a regular basis. I now have 110 solo blogs in my Google reader and listed on my sidebar. That’s an increase of thirty solo blogs since I published the last rankings five-six months ago in November 2008. Click on the image of the screen print below to go to the page and view the list with the hotlinks.
Although I noted several disclaimers at the bottom of the published list, I will include them here as well: This is an arbitrary list of some of my favorite solo blogs. It does not include LDS group blogs. The rankings are based on current Alexa rankings. Some blogs may not be strictly LDS. The top 3 are skewed due to their hosting site. All 9′s indicates that I recently added it.
How blogs are ranked
Look for the updated group blog rankings later this week. I classify a group blog as any LDS-themed blog with more than one contributor. In the list above, I have tried to only include those that are maintained exclusively by one person. It is not always possible to determine this so some may be in the wrong list. I move them around as I discover where they belong.
The top three are hosted on blog sites that include a whole bunch of other blogs. Alexa is unable to split out the individual blogs from these sites – About.com, Beliefnet and BYU. That would make Seriously So Blessed the top LDS solo blog but I doubt that it really is just one person maintaining it and of course, it’s not a serious effort at sharing doctrine. But it sure is fun!
LDS Blog Aggregators
This is in no way a complete list. There are thousands of LDS or Mormon related blogs out there. You can find a lot of them listed at LDS Blogs, which is curiously found at the URL of Mormon-Blogs.com. A big Bloggernacle thanks to David Sundwall of A Soft Answer and Of Good Report who has been publishing this list as a service to LDS bloggers for many years.
You can find many more LDS blogs at Mormon Archipelago, also known as LDSBlogs.org, Mormon Blogosphere, compiled by Dr. B of Mormon Mission. There are several other aggregators, one I especially recommend: Nothing Wavering. Another good one is the Blogregate at MormonBlogs.org. LDS Rankings rounds out the list. LDS Select seems to have disappeared.
A final note
Again, this is just my own list of LDS blogs that I follow, ranked by Alexa rankings. If you want to be added to the list, just let me know. I’ll add you as long as I find your content interesting, current and ranked in Alexa. If you are just starting and aren’t ranked yet, just give it time. You can read more about how to promote your LDS blog at this essay I wrote last year.