Some recent changes in my life, most notably a change in employment to a lower stress environment, have given me a desire to pick up my pen again, or, in this case, to get back to writing in my blog, hopefully on a more regular basis. My first task was to clean up my blogroll. I was surprised to find so many of my early favorites are no longer blogging.
That caused me to do a Google search for “Top Mormon Bloggers.” My eye caught upon the second entry in the list, labeled “Top 100 Mormon Blogs and Websites for Mormons | LDS Blogs” which seemed a little redundant (Mormon blogs for Mormons). Clicking on the link I discovered my blog listed as number 38 on the list. Who made up this list?
And how did I rank as number 38? I haven’t been blogging seriously for the last several years. I guess all those early posts, especially in 2014, and a history going back to 2007 counted for something in somebody’s list. In any event, I found the list fascinating. It provides a snapshot of what is being found online when searching for LDS-related stuff.
Not The Same Old Blog
Anybody who reads or has read some of my early stuff will immediately recognize a major shift in both my subject matter and my approach to blogging. I don’t think my tone has changed. I still desire to present interesting material in a way that is uplifting and helpful. I have no desire to find fault, criticize or belittle anyone or any institution.
In particular, I recognize that many of my subscribers are faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. Others are members in name only with many social and family ties to the church, while the majority of my current readers and my target audience, are former Mormons who still accept the Restoration in their lives.
By that I mean they, and I, accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God, accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and are deeply interested in seeing the Lord’s work move forward in bringing about Zion in the latter days. Thus the continued relevance of my blog title, which is what I hope to pick up again, commenting on events of the last days.
The Ongoing Social Upheaval
As I write this, Hurricane Michael has passed through Florida. I have no problem with those who say hurricanes and other weather events seem to be getting noticeably more severe. I accept it as a tenet of my faith that the earth will be in great commotion in the last days. The God of nature suffers. The earth groans under the burden of wickedness.
The economy seems to be in turmoil. On one hand we read of full employment and jobs that go begging for qualified people to fill them. I see this every day in my industry. I get dozens of emails each day soliciting my response to job opportunities for which I’m only remotely qualified. Yet the wildly volatile stock market lost over 800 points yesterday.
We just passed through a season of extreme divisiveness as we witnessed the addition of a new justice to the Supreme Court. Never have I witnessed such hatred expressed in our modern civilized nation. I choose instead to watch the Dodgers or the Hallmark Channel with Carol instead of the nightly news. The Hallmark Channel? Yes, I confess I enjoy it.
Statement of Principles
Many of my readers have witnessed a difficult journey taking place among those who accepted the covenant offered at the Fall 2017 conference in Boise. It was wonderful to enter into that covenant, which really is a big deal if you think about. The Lord once again has a covenant people upon the earth who are striving to prepare for Zion.
Yes, we’re a small group. If you go by the count of those who voted on the Guide and Standard in the most recent Layton conference, the number is less than 500. The Lord accepted the Guide and Standard and now there has been a proposal as to if we should include it in the scriptures. You can read more about that on the Scriptures Project blog.
Voting is open this Sunday, October 14th through next Wednesday, October 17th. I respect the position of those who opposed the Guide and Standard both for the content and the way it was created, from a group selected by lots. I like what the Lord said in accepting the Statement of Principles, that we have yet to learn how to work together in love.
Changes in the LDS Church
I enjoyed watching the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this past weekend with Carol. I like the change to a two-hour block and the focus on a “home-centered and church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship.” You can read more in Elder Cook’s explanation online.
I was especially intrigued by the apparent about-face in the idea of holding small study groups among members in the home. The wording was thus: ” … it would be completely appropriate for … members and others to gather in groups outside the normal Sunday worship services to enjoy gospel sociality and be strengthened by studying together … This would be accomplished informally by those who so desire.” I like that. A lot.
This is so different from what Elder Packer taught that meeting together in homes to study the gospel was a sign of apostasy. I never understood or agreed with that direction. Fellowship groups meeting in homes is the way the early saints studied the gospel. Although there were synagogues, the followers of Christ in New Testament times could not very well bring up the doctrine of Christ in the Jewish synagogues, now could they?
Building a House Unto The Lord
I apologize to those who may be confused by my apparent jumping back and forth between writing about changes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my thoughts on what is happening in the so-called “remnant movement.” I don’t know if that’s a good way to refer to what is happening among those who have been re-baptized.
Even though I resigned from the LDS Church over four years ago, I continue to attend the weekly Sunday meetings, sing in the choir and participate in other social activities of the church with Carol. I enjoy the fellowship there but miss the fellowship in meeting with those who have entered into the new covenant by partaking of the sacrament with them.
Life goes on. We each have our challenges and opportunities. I am enjoying a new job, a new look to my blog and the possibilities that the future holds. Every day brings a new opportunity to serve others and to strive to follow the Lord’s direction to work harder to love one another. I am practicing how to disagree without being disagreeable. God bless.
Tim Malone, Camarillo CA – Latter-day Commentary
To learn more about why I took the action I did in leaving the LDS Church after a lifetime of service there, feel free to view the short, 30-minute Tim Malone story on YouTube.