Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)? Continued at Last

Way back on September 25 of 2012, I started a series of posts called “Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)?”  where I started to explain why I left Mormon Matters and came to Millennial Star.

And then I was forced to stop blogging due to personal reasons. Recently I returned to blogging (at least temporarily) because I had recruited Meg Stout to Millennial Star to do her excellent posts on Joseph Smith and polygamy and wanted to be supportive of her.

But before I disappeared I had nearly finished part 4 of that series. (With at least one more part, possibly more, still planned.) So very soon I’ll be publishing part 4 which, as it turns out, is the single most important part of my explanation for why I left Mormon Matters.

And as with all of my opinions, I promise it will be colorful. But this one will be particularly divisive because I’m going challenge the entire paradigm of “dialogue” as currently implemented by Mormon Stories and Sunstone and similar groups. So get ready for a controversy and possibly a Bloggernacling. ;-)

But since its been so long, here is your chance to review what I previously wrote:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Was I DIsrupting Mormon Matter’s Real Purpose?

Part 3: The Question of Balance

 

11 thoughts on “Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)? Continued at Last

  1. To any M* readers out there, I highly recommend you read Bruce’s past posts. You cannot understand why conservative/believing/orthdox Mormons feel so frustrated in the Mormon blog world unless you consider carefully what Bruce is saying. You need to consider the history of Mormon Matters and how it gradually descended into a non-believing blog for the most part. And then you need to consider carefully the false claim of “balance” that you see in Mormon blogs today. Please read Bruce’s post on “balance” to see that Mormon blogs that claim to be “balanced” inevitably put the emphasis on non-belief rather than belief.

  2. I have never been a big-wig in the Bloggernacle like Geoff B. or Bruce, but I’ve watched it over the years. I used to participate in the old newsgroups, and had discussions with a lot of the folks out there way back then. I remember Nate Oman as a law student, and arguments regarding what sexual practices were appropriate between a man and his wife. I even got propositioned by some lady in Missouri who seemed like a bit of a predator. I even launched my own blog for a while years ago, but it wasn’t sensational enough. I didn’t have much interest in questioning Church practice and doctrine, and I never seemed to get traction. I used to have everyone and everything in my RSS feed, but I found that my comments were ignored or derided. I was apparently too much of a TBM to be taken seriously by the folks at T&S, BCC and elsewhere. I’ve never been the type to talk just to hear myself talk, so I tuned them out. One by one they got deleted from my reader until there was only M* and a couple of smaller one-person blogs. But by then, I had been turned off so completely to commenting that it’s been years since I have actually bothered to do so. Recently, I have been trying to be more proactive in spreading positive messages with my online presence and have gotten more active, but I don’t have time for BCC and the like.

    Bruce, I’m looking forward to the next installment(s).

  3. Michael, I appreciate your comments. It is a delicate balance getting involved in the Mormon blog world. On the one hand you can get too involved and neglect your family and take on the bad habits of the obsessed and often abusive on-line world. On the other, you can help people by standing up for the Church, defending the Brethren and helping people with their testimonies. Everybody has to decide how to achieve the right level of balance.

  4. I think a couple Conference talks discussed standing firm and even defending the Church, even if we must stand alone. That truly applies in the Bloggernacle, where most major blogs are moderate or liberal.

    I think we are now getting to a point where members will have to choose between politically correct and following the Brethren. Kate Kelley can insist on having the priesthood under her terms, but it isn’t going to happen without a major revelation, which would go against the pattern already set, and explained and re-explained several times (see Elder Oak’s key talk from Saturday night).

    Mormon Matters is clearly a case of Twinkies laced with rat poison being offered as a heart healthy meal.

    For me, I’m glad to be a perma here at M*. While I may not agree with all that is written here, I know that most posts will offer up concepts that are truly supportive of the Church.

  5. Years ago, a local Gospel Doctrine teacher predicted a growing separation in the church. He said that up until then, a graph of active church members was like a bell curve, with most clustered in the middle. (I suppose graphing faithfulness, with orthodoxy on one end and heresy at the other.) He said that the group in the middle was going to split in two and move to either end, either towards more faithfulness/orthodoxy, or less faithfulness/heresy/heterodoxy. So that instead of one hump in the middle of the graph, there would be two humps, one at either end.

    Since the early days of the primitive church, and even throughout all scripture, the church, or the people of God, could not be hindered from the outside. The only setbacks could come from inside, even if it looked like the proximal cause was external. External attacks were/are only successful when the people inside have weakened themselves, or when God has withdrawn his protection due to disobedience.

  6. “Twinkies laced with rat poison.” That reminds me that I have a post to write on the 7 deadly heresies of the Bloggernacle.

  7. I think the standard when communicating with someone you love is 10 positive comments for every critical comment.

    If I were in a math class and half the teacher’s comments indicated math was useful and half the teachers comments indicated math was a waste of time or hard, I would not consider that teacher “balanced” in their approach.

    If I was given a cup of fluid and 50% was milk and 50% was gasoline, I wouldn’t drink that fluid. On the other hand, I wouldn’t use it in any motorized vehicle I cared about, either.

    I’m curious – does the bloggernacle resound with stories of individuals who were led to embrace Christ and salvation by means of the content posted in the bloggernacle? Inasmuch as such an end is achieved, I think the bloggernacle promotes faith. However if the bloggernacle merely informs people that their faith is corrupt and eases them out of faith in Christ with the promise that they are surrounded by myriad like-minded post-Mormons, then the bloggernacle helps destroy faith.

    I once had an experience in physics lab where the teacher told us we could look at slides of holograms after we were done with our assignment. These were etched into the glass slides, so the only way to see the image was to hold the slide just right under laser light. The teacher’s final comment was that some of the slides might be blank.

    I finished the assignment, and decided to amuse myself looking at the holograms. Slide after slide was blank, until I had examined every slide in the box. So I went to the teacher and reported that they were all duds. Shocked, he hurried over to the box and held one slide up to the laser light. Carefully turning the slide, he relaxed as a glowing yellow bee appeared to float in the glass.

    “See?” he said. And he hurried back to assist someone who was still struggling with the assignment.

    Now that I knew at least one slide had the image, I was able to find the bee on that slide. I proceeded to examine the slides in the box again. Now that I had faith, I was able to position every slide in a manner that allowed the hologram to manifest.

    So the mere suggestion that holograms might not be present on some slides was enough to prevent me from observing an elusive physical phenomenon. Why, then, would we think that aggressive badgering asserting the Church to be a vile and corrupt entity would have no negative impact on the ability of individuals to find the good and honorable aspects of Church?

  8. Meg, you write: “does the bloggernacle resound with stories of individuals who were led to embrace Christ and salvation by means of the content posted in the bloggernacle? Inasmuch as such an end is achieved, I think the bloggernacle promotes faith. However if the bloggernacle merely informs people that their faith is corrupt and eases them out of faith in Christ with the promise that they are surrounded by myriad like-minded post-Mormons, then the bloggernacle helps destroy faith.”

    To be fair, I think there ARE stories of people whose faith has been helped by interacting with other Mormons on-line. Just to use one example, I know of many people upset by polygamy who would be helped by your series on Joseph Smith’s polygamy, which would give them an alternate view. And, to be fair, there are many blogs that promote faith at different times. But as a long-time participant (more than 10 years) in Mormon blogs, I have personally observed many, many people who have become less faithful (publicly) and who use their on-line interactions as crutches to create a like-minded community of semi- to non-believers.

    If I could cite one very positive aspect of the bloggernacle it is the destruction of Mormon myths. This is something the bloggernacle does very, very well, and I think it is mostly positive because very often a naive believer will believe in the myth rather in the core of the Gospel, and this creates a very weak faith.

  9. I started blogging because I didn’t find any – and I mean any – faithful blogs. My voice sounded very alone to myself and I had hope to push back as a faithful member. The end result has been that while I still love to blog and have found some wonderful people to share in my mission to bring an alternate faithful voice to the bloggernacle, in the end I feel like Noah warning about the coming flood to a wicked people. It still seems like a duty to warn, but inevitably the flood will come. Too many powerful half or non-believing members with ulterior motives are infesting the church with little resistance.

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