Some of you know I dedicated this blog to the Lord earlier this year. Prior to that time it was just another Mormon-themed blog. After that sacred moment in prayer, it became, at least for me, a consecrated effort to help fulfill the purposes of the Lord. I pray about every post and ask the Lord for inspiration in what I write, that it may be uplifting, helpful and encouraging to others.
Latter-day Commentary Now a Group Blog
Last month, Latter-day Commentary celebrated seven years as a solo blog by adding its first guest editor. Thus, it was reborn as a group blog. I imagine you’ve heard the expression, “the spirit pressed upon my soul.” That’s what’s been happening to me over the past little while. I have felt a constant impression to improve the blog by adding the voices of other contributors.
Competing with the Mormon Group Blogs
I have long resisted the idea, feeling no desire to compete with By Common Consent, Times & Seasons, Mormon Matters, Millennial Star, Mormon Mentality, FMH, Mormon Stories, Wheat & Tares, Segullah and so many others. This doesn’t even include all the LDS Facebook Groups, especially The Hub, or the large religious themed blogs with Mormon contributors.
A few Boring Technical Details
One of the things I disliked about the free hosting service on WordPress.com was the inability to add any plugins. If you’re a WordPress blogger, you know how important plugins are. It requires a plugin to give readers the ability to edit their own comments, which I have now done. The only alternative is to make someone an editor. So I moved the blog off the free site and onto Bluehost.
Content AND Discussion Both Required
Yet even after I moved the blog, I could not shake the impression that maybe, just maybe, there are others out there who might want to join me in creating and sharing posts. Perhaps they have their own solo blog but would like a larger readership. Besides interesting content, a good blog needs SEO, design through themes and widgets, and time to read and comment on other blogs.
There are no Guarantees of Permanence
Because I believe the day will come when society breaks down and Babylonian commerce is no longer the driving force of this world, a blog is a temporary tabernacle. The threat of losing the Internet and electricity seems foreign here in America. Yet, the possibility of such loss is real. Thus the repository of my thoughts and your comments will always be of a temporary nature.
Blogging as a Personal Growth Process
Of course I hope such a catastrophic event will not happen in my lifetime, especially since I feel so unprepared both temporally and spiritually. In the meantime, my focus on writing and sharing in this blog as a vehicle for growth and change, has been a major blessing in my life, one which I desire to increase. In other words, I would like to have more people participate in blogging here.
An Open Invitation for Authors
In connection with this transition to a more robust version of the WordPress platform and the migration to a new hosting company, I hope some of the regular readers here will be desirous of sharing their own writings from time to time. Latter-day Commentary has a solid base of several thousand regular readers, many of whom consistently contribute with amazing, engaging dialog.
Non-exclusive Content is Welcome
Maybe you already have your own solo blogs. You don’t have to abandon that. I simply want to invite you to join with me in building a site where readers can feel safe and can connect with like thinkers in several key areas along some common themes. There is no commitment to how often you share something – one a month or several each week. It’s the dialog that makes a blog work.
A Blog is Not a Forum – It’s a Platform
Themes include the writings and lectures of Denver Snuffer, Current Events in the LDS Church, and discussion of deep gospel doctrine subjects such as Born of the Spirit, Calling and Election, Second Comforter, Visions, Dreams, Spiritual Gifts, Visits from Angels, Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Mormon History, ancient scripture, Last Days, the Building up of Zion and more.
United in Becoming a Zion Community
Maybe this is all a dream. To me, it’s a vision I have long held in my heart. I have seen the day when thousands upon thousands of consistent daily visitors come to Latter-day Commentary to learn about and discuss gospel principles that have one goal – to lead them to that meeting with the Savior in this life. I make no bones about it. That has become the focus of my life these days.
An Open, Self-Governed Community
Teach correct principles and they will govern themselves. I’m aware there are several other online communities, mostly forums, where like-minded people hang out. Many of them are private because the contributors are concerned their participation would not be understood by their family members, ward members or their priesthood leaders. I prefer open participation.
You are my Zion Community
In other words, I want to get to know you, to share with you in your spiritual growth. I don’t have a community. I attend Sacrament meeting with my wife each week, then go home and have my own sacrament, accompanied with gospel study and prayer. It is the highlight of my week. I won’t say I have entertained angels, but the worship service has been sacred and powerful to me.
And Their Numbers Were Few
I know communities have been organized and are doing well in the Utah, Idaho and Arizona centers of Mormonism. I’m aware of some in Colorado, Washington and a few back East. For some reason, there simply aren’t many here in Southern California who are close enough to meet on a regular basis. I’ll be traveling to Oceanside in a few weeks to meet with a community there.
Passing the Angels that Stand There
I’m looking for readers and authors who are not afraid to share their spiritual journeys. I want to read your stories of discovery, how you learned what the Lord required of you and how you met that intense commitment. Even though it is deeply personal and private, there are common steps we must go through to advance on Jacob’s ladder. I help you, you help me. We advance as one.
Coming into the Presence of the Lord
I know many of you are serious about coming into the presence of the Lord. I know some of you have already done so. I am aware of nearly a dozen now. This was unheard of just a few years ago. Maybe this has always been happening but individuals were forbidden to share. The saying is that by sharing, it cheapens the experience and breaks the trust between you and the Lord.
Hearing the Voice of the Lord
Why do I feel different about that? I always have. If I come into the presence of the Lord, I want you to be the first to know. I want to share with you how it worked for me, the steps I had to take and what I had to do in order to qualify for this supernal gift. I’ve shared it before and I’ll share it again. One thing that changed for me in a big way since my baptism is hearing the Lord’s voice.
Sharing Spiritual Experiences
I’m a little naïve in how I share my experience, as evidenced by Daymon’s cute little response to my last post. That’s alright. I don’t mind. I know it sounds a little hokey. People just don’t talk about hearing the voice of the Lord. The common response is, “you’re crazy,” or “you’re hearing your own thoughts or the voice of devils.” I have received dozens of private emails like that.
Walking With the Lord Each Day
Yet the more I study and the more I pray, the more I ask to know, the more I hear His voice. I can tell you it is real. He is real. I feel like I am walking with the Lord every day. I feel He is patiently waiting for me. He is guiding me along, helping me see where I need to do better in this area or that, mainly in being more loving and kind to others. Long-suffering is real for both of us.
Openness is Enabling and Powerful
Such openness and desire to share seems foreign to so many in the LDS Church. The constant focus is, “keep it to yourself.” My friend Log observed how happy I have been since my baptism. He said I was clearly acting oppressed before I resigned. I had not noticed it. I thought I was trying to fit in, to conform, to be just like everyone else and stick to the correlated material.
Opposing Views are Welcome
I have dozens or regular readers who have been with me since my early TBM days where I was defending the orthodox interpretations of scripture and history. I know Zion consists of those who are of one heart and mind but we’re not there yet. I know I have a long ways to go. I have always appreciated opposing viewpoints. If you’re not a fan of Denver I invite you to join in.
Persuasion is a Tool of the Lord
We all know contention is of the devil, but there is nothing wrong with reading a good argument and using persuasion to help others see the benefits and blessings of a certain point of view. I’ve read thousands of posts and essays on hundreds of blogs and forums over the past twenty years since my early days in participating in online Mormon mailing lists originating on BYU servers.
Come Join With Me on the Journey
What say ye? Will you join me? WordPress supports multiple levels of participation: Contributor, Author, Editor and Administrator. I’ll retain the Admin role for now. The editor role is very powerful. I hope to add more trusted editors who can contribute their own posts and moderate the dialog. Sometimes it can get a little out of hand in the space of a few minutes of discussion.
Communities Can Be Online
I invite us each to focus on coming onto Christ. Mighty prayer, offered in faith, will get the attention of heaven. Many prophets worked alone by necessity – Abinidi, Moroni, Ezekiel – but we live in a day and time when we can connect via the Internet even though we may be far apart. Will you join my community and help me build it up with the purpose of preparing for Zion?
Unite our Voices on Common Ground
Come and join. Even if you are totally opposed to all things Denver Snuffer has written, that’s okay. We have the common ground of coming unto Christ. We have the common ground of the Book of Mormon, of the revelations and prophecies of Joseph Smith and the common ground of prayer, worship of a loving and kind Father in Heaven and of a hope for salvation from our sins.
How to Get Started
If you’ve never commented here before, I’ll set you up as a contributor where I review and then release your posts. If you’re a regular reader / commenter I know, I can add you as an author. You can then post whenever you want. I only ask that you write in such a way as to invite dialog. Eventually I hope you’ll have so much fun with the community that you should be an editor.
Friends to Encourage and Help You
Salvation is an individual thing. We pass through the veil only one person at a time, usually in the privacy of our own home. It is a sacred experience. The road can be long and hard. The Lord requires obedience, sacrifice and consecration. Disciples of Christ place Him first in their lives. Once you enter into His presence, your ability to bless and lift others is magnified and sanctified.
An Assignment From the Lord
This is my assignment. I have received it from the Lord. He has asked me to do this. He has prepared me for this. A lifetime of working with and supporting technology is no coincidence. This is my offering to the Lord, which He already accepted. I invite you to share this ministry with me. I take great delight in sharing my journey and reading of your successes in return.
The Time Feels Short to Many
God bless us all. We do not know how much time is left to take advantage of technology to work together in building Zion. Many of you have told me of dreams and visions where you know, as do I, that the time is short. We feel pressed in the spirit that something is on its way. The Lord has sent His messenger to prepare the way. There is work to do in preparing for Zion among us.
One of the Definitions of Zion
And there were no poor among them. I like to think that means not just those who are no longer poor as to the necessary things of this world, but also no poor in spirit. Each of us is at different levels. But ones thing in common is our covenant to help and lift each other. Don’t come to the blog to fight and argue or prove a point. Come here to help others understand the truths of God.
The Blog Will Go On
I’ve said enough. I’ll just throw this out there and see how you respond. If nobody cares to be a guest blogger for a day or two, that’s okay. I’ll keep pressing forward. I find great joy in the experience. My every day is spent pondering on what the Lord would have me focus next. I learn best by sharing. If I can’t teach a principle then I haven’t learned it. Thanks for helping me learn.
The Facebook Group Goes On
If you prefer the dialog that takes place in private on the Facebook group, that’s fine too. If you’re not a member, just ask to join. Wonderful conversations take place there each day. There are about 225 participants there. The most readers I’ve ever had in one day here is about 6,000. The majority do not comment. That’s okay. I appreciate the visits. I hope they learn something.
Tim Malone, Camarillo CA – tmalonemcse at gmail.com, 818-257-0513 (text first)
Filed under: Blogging, Doctrine, Last Days, Mormon culture | Tagged: Blogging, Building Zion, Denver Snuffer, Jesus Christ, Journey to the Veil, LDS Blogging, LDS Group blogs, Online Communities, Openness, Opposing Viewpopints, Preparing for Zion, Second Comforter, Spiritual Experiences, The Voice of the Lord | 10 Comments »