[Please pardon the personal nature of this post, but I want to take the opportunity to write this personally.]
For the past two years (almost), I have been an active blogger – to say the least. (*grin*) Actually, to be more precise, I have been a VERY active blogger. OK, that is an understatement.
That has changed over the last three weeks. The internal drive simply has begun to fade, and this change has corresponded to the impending change in my employment situation. I am in the process of changing careers (to something I have wanted to do for a while), and it will take time and focus to be successful in this new stage of my life. I also will be moving with my family to an area where we will need to spend time integrating into a new community, a new ward and a new stake.
I still will maintain my personal blog (Things of My Soul), hopefully with the same focus and format as I do now. I still want to post daily there, as I find great joy and peace and meaning in doing so. I will not market it actively, but everyone is welcome to visit any time. I hope what I write will benefit someone, somehow, somewhere – and I hope sometime in the future I will be able to resume a degree of participation on the group blogs. I have enjoyed and learned from it more than I have words to express.
I simply will be cutting way back on my participation at the group blogs I have frequented so regularly for the past two years. In many ways, I will miss that participation. I will try to post here at Mormon Matters at least monthly, and I will check in as often as I can, but my participation will drop dramatically soon.
I have learned SO much in the last two years, especially about the wonderful group of people who struggle with something (sometimes many things) about the Church and/or the Gospel but continue to serve faithfully or, at least, strive to understand and remain involved despite their uncertainty and doubts. Largely due to my experience blogging, I have come to value deeply Elder Wirthlin’s amazing message in his April 2008 General Conference address, “Concern for the One”. (This talk has become my favorite of all time.) Among other things, this humble man of God said:
Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.
Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.
This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”
Over the last two years, I have blogged publicly largely with these members – those who have been hurt in one way or another because they look, THINK or act differently. I have felt a connection to them and their concerns – in some ways, more deeply than I have felt almost any connection in my entire life. The one thing that has weighed the most heavily on my mind and heart about my upcoming reduction in blogging time is the accompanying cessation of my active fellowship with many of the people I have come to love so much. (even you, Doug) *grin*
So, in closing, may we do all we can, in whatever way we can, to be a force for good – to be charitable in our communications – to think before we speak and edit before we comment – to see God in those around us and with whom we communicate – to become more Christ-like in a very conscious, intentional way. May those who struggle and those with whom we are different be blessed by our acceptance, understanding and love. May they feel God’s love through us. May the world be better because of our blogging, and may God smile when he sees how we treat His children – our brothers and sisters.
May there be a road – and may we travel joyfully together along it (caring for and succoring each other) as we make our way back home.