Hey JUers! It's good to be back.. yeah, I know, I've been "back" so many times, I might as well be an aging rocker announcing "yet" another retirement... but as you can see from the new title, I'm going to take this blog in a whole new direction.
I've read the Book of Mormon many times over my lifetime. Some of the times have been "cover to cover", other times, I've chosen a book to read and gone with it. This time is going to be a bit differently though. This time I'm going to treat it almost like a textbook. From "I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents" to "And now I bid unto all, farewell.." I will be reading, and taking notes. Then I'll post articles based on the notes I've taken, opening up discussions for JUers who want to participate.
Because I know how religious and spiritual discussions can go, I've taken the liberty of setting a few "terms of participation". These are meant to help foster the proper spirit in the discussions as well as to offer "fair warning" to people who want to detract from that spirit.
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION
Anyone at JU who wants to participate in these discussions is welcome. The last thing I want to do is limit participation to just Latter-Day Saints, or Christians... or anyone on the basis of sex, race; skin, hair, eye or parachute color; nation or species of origin; religion, age or maturity; disability; sexual orientation; marital, ancestral, veteran, animal, mineral or vegetable status (not even on the lack of any or all of the above).
However, since I know that there are some who aren’t willing or able to keep things friendly, or like to disrupt the Spirit that I hope to foster in these discussions, I’m laying down a few simple rules. What are rules without consequences for infraction? There is only one consequence for infraction here at The Blog of Mormon… that is… your violation will simply be deleted. If you want to defend your deleted article, do so in email, not as a comment in the discussion. I will keep a copy off all deleted comments so that I can restore them if you're successful at convincing me I was wrong for deleting it in the first place.
So here goes…
1: Keep it friendly.
Sometimes it isn’t what we say that’s the problem, but how we say it. Feel free to disagree, but do it in a way that doesn’t cause others to feel the need to come to my defense… even if they happen to agree with your point.
2: The Blog of Mormon is a topic driven blog. Therefore, if you’re comment isn’t on topic… well.. You know the consequence. By “On topic” I mean for the specific article. Don’t post a comment in an article about (say) the Plates of Brass, when the article is about the Liahona (you’ll understand what those are as we discuss them).
I know, I know, your pastor, minister, evangelist, priest, father, mother, brothers’ girlfriends’ BFF’s former coworker said “X” about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You know what? I don’t want to hear what they think about my church. This blog isn’t about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It isn’t about whether it’s the “True Church of Jesus Christ” or not. Therefore, if your question, comment, or disagreement is with the LDS Church in general, then there are many, many places on the web you can take it.
3: I want to read YOUR opinions, not those of someone you know, or read.
I used to waste my time reading what has been dubbed “anti mormon” books and articles, but I came to one major conclusion… they are free to write what they want, but I am also free to NOT waste my time reading it. Freedom goes both ways folks, their freedom of speech doesn’t put any responsibilities on me to read them. It also doesn’t require me to allow their drivel on my blog. If you choose to quote, link or even mention their words, they will be deleted.
On the other hand, if you want to comment on YOUR opinion about what I’ve written, you comments will be welcome. I reserve the right to decide whether or not to reply, but I also respect your right to the same.
4: Just as I expect you to stick to your own opinions and don’t expect you or your words to represent anyone else, what I write here is strictly “Ted Chapter 2 Verse 5”… on other words, my own opinion or beliefs and in no way should be taken as official doctrine, teachings or policy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, any of it’s leaders, departments, congregations or organizations.
5: What I write may contradict, or be different than what you understand, or what someone else has said about the passage of scripture or topic. That’s fine. Contrary to popular misconception, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are able to think for ourselves. We are free to express our thoughts, opinions and beliefs openly and honestly. If the words of two or more members don’t seem to make sense to you, don’t fault the church, pray about it to find the answer for yourself.
6: The topics covered will be based solely on my reading, and commenting on, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know a lot of you know this book (some much better than I), and might be tempted to refer to other passages that I haven't covered yet, please don't. We’ll get to that favorite passage of yours sometime in the future, but let’s keep it “line upon line, precept upon precept” for now. However, feel free to refer to passages from past articles on this blog.
7: Don’t drive away the Spirit of God that I hope to welcome to our discussions.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18: 20
Let’s keep The Blog of Mormon a place where the Spirit feels welcome.
8: Serious topics don’t have to be stuffy or pious. We can have fun, add good natured humor and even joke around a bit. I know I’m not planning on being serious all the time here (or even most the time). God gave us a sense of humor, let’s quit acting like he was only joking! (or worse yet, mistaken). ;~D
So let's have fun and in the immortal words of Bill & Ted... "Be Excellent to Each Other".