Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Dialoguing Online: The Best of 10+ Years of Mormons Blogging

Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Dialoguing Online: The Best of 10+ Years of Mormons Blogging

Article excerpt

Over ten years ago, blogs changed the look, feel, and immediacy of Mormon discourse almost overnight. The ongoing lively conversations, brilliantly constructed posts, and sometimes even unruly debates have not stopped since. Dialogue both views and participates in this online dialogue, submitting archival references to current discussions and writing pieces in concert with the printed prose found within its present-day pages. With that in mind, Dialogue takes a look back at some of the best of the blogs from the past ten-plus years in an effort to more permanently cement these posts into the collection of Mormon thought. Post descriptions are arranged topically, then chronologically with the most recent posts first, in an effort to capture the change (or non-change) in conversations through the years. Full URLs for each post are listed in the notes at the end of this article; the digital version at also contains live links.


March 3, 2014: "At some point, as we all sat there, Jane asked if I would give her a blessing. I was the only man in the room, so, for better or worse, I was her only option. I would have given anything not to have been there at that moment. I had no idea where Jim was, or what he was doing, or if Jane and her two small kids would ever see him again. I'm not one for spiritual experi- ences." Stephen Taysom pens an incredibly powerful essay about a friend and how "He Will Find His Way Home."1

December 12, 2013: Not many could get away with titling a post "Advice for a Mormon Intellectual,"2 but James Faulconer does-twice. Why? In part 1, he explains, "The only authority I have for giving this advice is age and interest: I've spent a lot of time engaged in intellectual pursuits, particularly philosophy and the close reading of scripture. In philosophy I've said, written, and done things that I later regretted. I've done the same with regard to religion. I hope I learned from all those mistakes." In Part 2,3 he looks at truth claims of the LDS Church, testifying that

I believe in the truth of Mormonism in the straightforward, propositional sense: Joseph Smith was called by God to be a prophet. He did have plates of gold, and he translated a portion of those plates by the power of God, resulting in the Book of Mormon. And so on. But I am much more interested in, and even more firmly committed to belief in, the truth of the LDS Church in the second sense: through membership and life in Mormonism, a way of living is opened that gives me genuine relation to God and other people; the good news of Christ shows itself in and through the LDS Church. I am so much interested in this sense of truth that it shapes how I understand the first sense.

October 6, 2013: In an open and heartfelt blog letter titled "This Is an Hard Saying; Who Can Hear It?"4 Steve Evans writes to Elder Dallin H. Oaks in an effort to gain clarification regarding certain things he said his October 2013 General Conference talk:

I was particularly interested by (and agree with) your testimony that "unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable." One of the best things about our Church, what I love, is that we start with fundamental truths revealed by God and use those as the basis for our policies and programs. But I have noticed that we have changed our policies several times in the Church on various matters. I don't need to cite these; I'm not trying to build an evidence file to oppose your words. But you do seem to imply that these policies are forever unchangeable, and I wonder if this is truly the case. I believe that our current policies are in place because of inspired leaders and I intend to obey those policies, but the bedrock of our Church is ongoing revelation and the certainty of your words seems (at least on the surface) to run contrary to that principle. Has God identified his standards against same-sex marriage, for example, as unchangeable? …

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