Why blog at StayLDS.com?

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Heber13
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Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by Heber13 » 25 Feb 2015, 11:08

Why do we blog on StayLDS.com?

We're not professional writers.

We don't get paid to spend time on this website.

We haven't received a calling from an authority in the church to sacrifice our time to do this.

So, why do we do it?

On our main webpage...it states:
StayLDS.com is not affiliated with any group or movement. We are not “Middle-Way Mormons”, inactive Mormons, apostate Mormons, or anti-Mormons. We are Latter-Day Saints with a desire to support other LDS members with real faith issues, with a hope to encourage active involvement in the church, and not to attack the church or its leaders. We have no agenda to organize any types of groups to promote changes to the church. It is about individual growth and support. All are welcome to join the conversation in an uplifting and positive atmosphere.
StayLDS.com is one of a gajillion blogs out there. There are some general observations about blogging beyond our little site.

Did you know:
- There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States alone.
- 42 million blogs are found on Wordpress.com alone, which only makes up 43% of blogging patforms (others include Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, Posterous and others).
- 329 million people view a blog
- 25 billion (with a B) pages are viewed a month
- 500,000 posts a day, with 400,000 daily comments

[Source: Blogger.org]

Something I didn't know is that some people actually do this for a living. 81% never make $100 from it, but 8% earn enough to support a family, 9% make enough to sustain their lifestyle on 4-6hrs a day blogging, 2% actually spend 1-2 hours a day blogging and make $150k+ blogging from exotic locations (I could go for that gig!)

Even businesses are using blogs now. At my work, as executives or employees visit customers or make new market discoveries, they blog internally for all our employees to share the info and others discuss it on encrypted intranet secure sites.

The world is blogging, as the Internet has changed life for us, and new generations have new tools to grow up with.

Our niche here is about mormonism and how to stay mormon (whatever that means to you), and difficult topics that brought us to the Internet to research and learn, and then want to discuss with others.

Here are some of the benefits I thought of for why we blog at StayLDS.com:
1. Feel supported by others
2. Ask questions in a safe environment
3. Keep anonymous, but express our voice, we want to be heard by someone, anyone...even strangers
4. Learn new facts about the church or our religion or the world
5. Learn others' opinions and viewpoints on things we wonder about but can't express in church or in person
6. Be able to focus thoughts through writing them down
7. Be able to express emotion with little repercussion to personal relationships or careers
8. Practice challenging the ideas of others in a respectful/productive way
9. Feel connected with others who share similar questions or beliefs, perhaps to fill the loss in live personal relationships
10. Feel confident and validated that we are not alone with our worries and doubts and troubles. This confidence helps us to deal with life day to day, and find new meanings and solutions for being happier.
11. Develop new friendships. Some even lead to meeting in person, and become very influential relationship in our lives.
12. To smile.

In all complete honesty, I don't think any of us come here to try to justify our thoughts, or justify sin because we don't want to listen to church leaders, or to build pride by developing our theories in place of God's, or to cheat on relationships we already have, or to pretend to be someone we're not and live a fantasy online. Some of us get some flack from others about it, even calling into question our fidelity or testimony because of it.

I also think there are likely phases or changing reasons a person may start looking on blogs, and then perhaps other reasons take over to keep them blogging well after their initial need is past.

But, for many of us, we continue to find it useful in our lives. Even sometimes despite getting comments like, "Why do you even look at that stuff?"

Some feel the need to step away for periods of time, or feel maybe a sense of addiction to it, feeling they should be more productive in life if they don't let it keep them up at night, or even tempt them to blog when they shouldn't.

But we keep blogging on.

I have found it meaningful in my life. I thank all of you for sharing pieces of you that have helped me get through extremely difficult years. I thank all of you for tolerating my wandering, and often lengthy, expressions of my inner thoughts. I thank all of you for taking time, voluntarily.

I'm interested more on why many of you find value in coming here to blog?
- What brought you here at first?
- What keeps you coming back?
- Why do you like to blog online?
- Has blogging changed you (good or bad)?

I'm interested to hear from many of the lurkers who read, but are content to not join the conversation, but keep coming back to read.
- What brings you to read other strangers' thoughts?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Holy Cow
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by Holy Cow » 25 Feb 2015, 11:41

Heber13 wrote: I'm interested more on why many of you find value in coming here to blog?
- What brought you here at first?
- What keeps you coming back?
- Why do you like to blog online?
- Has blogging changed you (good or bad)?

I'm interested to hear from many of the lurkers who read, but are content to not join the conversation, but keep coming back to read.
- What brings you to read other strangers' thoughts?
H13, What an awesome idea! I'm sure we're all here for similar, but still different, reasons. It will be interested to see some of the responses. For me:
--What brought me here was the search for people who are willing to recognize that there are troubling issues in the church, and yet aren't full of hate and anger as a result of those issues. It seemed like everywhere I looked before finding this site was full of people who were either trying to justify those issues and make excuses for them, or people who were trying to tear down the church and pull people away from it. It was refreshing to find a site where people can accept your perspective and be respectful of each other's differences, while also being supportive of complete strangers who are going through some difficult decisions.
--What keeps me coming back is the face that people are asking the same questions I've had (and more), and there can be a well-thought-out, non-judgmental conversation, where everybody is welcome to their own opinion. Nobody is being pushed into believing a certain way. It's nice to have a guilt-free zone!
--Why do I blog online? Really, because this is the only place where a group like this could get together. The anonymity brings out some who wouldn't be comfortable otherwise. And also, it's hard to find enough people to build a real support group in one geographic location. The people on this site are all over the country, and yet we can get together in one place, and share our thoughts at any time of the day from anywhere in the world. Three cheers for the internet!!
--Blogging hasn't changed me for the good or bad. But it has given me a voice where I can be heard, and also a place where I can hear other people.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

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SilentDawning
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Feb 2015, 14:45

My reasons have changed over the last 5 years or so.

Early years Came for support and empathy after experiencing leadership abuse. Also found this a place to get advice on church relationship matters.

Middle years: -- came to re-evaluate my beliefs about the church. Got feedback, and eventually developed my own beliefs about tithing, temple, service, women's role in the home and workplace, church history, relationships with local leaders.

Recent Years: Am in a steady state with the church. Have own belief system Post mostly to spark interesting discussion, share my own thoughts with people who are in some form of crisis. Occasionally, to present church conundrums that are suitable for a public forum.

Throughout all years, found I could send private messages to certain individuals. Particularly on matters not suitable for a public forum. This has helped me navigate through a number of problematic relationships with the church and sometimes, my family.

The "immune system" of this forum, which prevents me from leaving is the great respect everyone here has for other people's perspectives -- even when people don't agree. The non-judgmentalism, and the moderation mastery of people like Ray who manage to keep the tone where it should be, have kept my relationships here intact. At other forums, disrespectful members, or unbalanced moderation has pushed me away. Never been banned, never been moderated in any significant way on these sites, but the tone of moderators on other sites has prompted me to leave them. But not here.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 25 Feb 2015, 15:01, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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mom3
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by mom3 » 25 Feb 2015, 14:51

Because I am an Athenian.

I just finished a book about Socrates. His life ended tragically. He was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. Put death with hemlock. In the months leading up to his trial, conviction, then punishment many people offered to help him gain asylum. Each time he refused. He knew he was innocent and that he would be convicted. Most of all he was an Athenian. Even as Greece was crumbling and it's great democracy failing, he loved it. Athens especially.

I am Mormon in much the same way. My church though has changed, at least from what I imagined it to be, but I don't want to leave. I love its people, its intent, its warts. I came here as a guest. I stay now because it heals me. To me this is a spot in Zion. I blog here so I can carry Zion back out. I get ideas here, ways of presenting my heart, I can cry here and not be judged, I am inspired here. I also hope I can give back in some small way by participating.

I want this spot to stay active for a long time. I believe the painful faith transitions will continue and that havens like this will be needed for lives and families to come to.

Holy Cow wrote
the search for people who are willing to recognize that there are troubling issues in the church, and yet aren't full of hate and anger as a result of those issue
I want to be a part of that for others.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Roadrunner
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by Roadrunner » 25 Feb 2015, 15:32

I participate here for two basic reasons.
1. To stay grounded. I am surrounded by Mormons and I believe that eventually I would either blow off the church entirely to the detriment of my family and relationships or I would become a full fledged Nazi Mormon.
2. To keep my sanity. This site provides me with neutral third parties who help me differentiate between fact and fiction and to remind myself that there's nothing wrong with me (well... nothing *very* wrong with me).

Plus it's kind of fun to hear all your ideas.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Feb 2015, 17:05

Trying to be concise:
- What brought you here at first?


I was asked to be an admin / moderator early in the process (almost 7 years ago), because I was seen as someone who fit the mission of the site. I can't begin to estimate how many thousands of hours I've spent here since then.

It's been worth it.
- What keeps you coming back?


You. A desire to help people. A love for this type of work that has kept me here this long. A feeling of mission or calling. You.

Also, the support of my wife and children, who have had to sacrifice more time than any of us imagined in the beginning of this endeavor. I will be grateful for that forever.
- Why do you like to blog online?


I am a writer by nature, and I love to get multiple perspectives. I like to chew on ideas, and that can happen online at an amazing level.
- Has blogging changed you (good or bad)?


It has broadened my vision in a wonderful way. I hope my blogging has helped change others in positive ways.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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LookingHard
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by LookingHard » 25 Feb 2015, 17:21

I am here mainly because there is no place like this and it allows me to work some things out and get interesting views.
Holy Cow wrote:the search for people who are willing to recognize that there are troubling issues in the church, and yet aren't full of hate and anger as a result of those issue
I do really appreciate this aspect. You can go some places where you will be jumped for saying "I have a doubt about JS being perfect" and there are other sites that are just full of hate, anger, and nothing good to say about the church. That has never been me. I really like the fact that this site is very non-judgmental and could handle a mature TBM and a mature ex-mo in the same thread. Not many other sites like that.

Ray - thanks for those thousands of hours of service to others like me. I do appreciate it.

StoneGypsy
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by StoneGypsy » 02 Mar 2015, 08:46

I'm interested to hear from many of the lurkers who read, but are content to not join the conversation, but keep coming back to read.
- What brings you to read other strangers' thoughts?
That's me. I come lurking around about once a week or so, but rarely comment. I don't feel like I have much to add, as I'm a TBM, but I like to come and read.

I started (and posted an intro) a few months ago, when my husband and I were dealing with his FC. In the wake of some other big life changes and decisions, he deliberately put it on the back burner soon after that. It was just too much to deal with, and neither of us wanted to feel pushed into choices we weren't ready to handle. I still come now because I'm sure it's not over. I know he still doesn't believe, and of course it will come up in the future. It's something that I still think about a lot.

Because we don't want to bring it up again until the rest of life has settled down more, I come here sometimes when it's on my mind. I like to read the intros and other posts that let me know how people deal with these changes and issues. The perspectives shared are so varied and interesting, they help me feel comforted that my own family will get through this. I know you're all strangers to me, but your problems/views/advice/etc. remind me that neither my husband or I are crazy, and neither of us is alone in how we feel.

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Heber13
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by Heber13 » 02 Mar 2015, 09:37

StoneGypsy wrote: I still come now because I'm sure it's not over. I know he still doesn't believe, and of course it will come up in the future. It's something that I still think about a lot.

Because we don't want to bring it up again until the rest of life has settled down more, I come here sometimes when it's on my mind. I like to read the intros and other posts that let me know how people deal with these changes and issues. The perspectives shared are so varied and interesting, they help me feel comforted that my own family will get through this. I know you're all strangers to me, but your problems/views/advice/etc. remind me that neither my husband or I are crazy, and neither of us is alone in how we feel.
[Emphasis added]
I am so glad you took time to share that, StoneGypsy. I know there are many more like you out there, and it is good to get YOUR important perspective for us to see that. You don't have to agree with others in order to read and try to understand their point of view.

I do think your example is a good one of how to feel support, just knowing you're not the only ones going through something like you are, and not feel so crazy.

In church, it can feel sometimes like everyone else just has it all figured out, and cruises through life faithfully, and we wonder why we struggle alone...when likely so many of the wards we are in have many others sharing the challenges we share.

I believe that is one of the benefits of the online forum support group. Anonymity makes it a place to open up, and more people can feel a sigh of relief, adn then really focus on the real important things....like keeping families together when possible, working through pain, and understanding real issues from folklore or cultural traditional things that can be dismissed without dismissing gospel truth in our lives.

Thanks for sharing why you stop by and read!! :thumbup:

I hope more people who feel they are TBM can join our conversations, and strengthen the forum through sharing their views!!! It helps us all know how to better talk to each other.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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LookingHard
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Re: Why blog at StayLDS.com?

Post by LookingHard » 02 Mar 2015, 19:54

Heber13 wrote:I hope more people who feel they are TBM can join our conversations, and strengthen the forum through sharing their views!!! It helps us all know how to better talk to each other.
I agree. I know many TBM's immediately feel a flight or fight response to much of what is said on this site without thinking about it. I am not talking about looking deep into church history. It is a shame we can't have someone in RS meeting say, "Dang - I had a hard time this week reading the church essay on Polygamy - it just makes me want to cry." Sometimes it might make some more "frail" members shudder, but I think the church over all would have less people having faith crisis' and leaving.

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