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Blog Aggregators & the Dynamic Gospel

D Christian Harrison - July 15, 2008

The brouhaha ( I, II, III, IV ) over J. Max Wilson‘s recent expulsion from the Mormon Archipelago — and Wilson’s decision to start an aggregator of his own (which, presumably, won’t send him packing) got me to thinking…

What kind of role do these Mormon blog aggregators play in the dynamic gospel?

Oh… you’ve never heard of the dynamic gospel? My apologies. It’s a personal theory that I’ve yet to fully flesh-out. But, in broad strokes, it posits a couple of things:

  1. The first is that just as individuals may grow closer to God in both understanding and comportment, His church does as well. This shouldn’t be a ground-breaking idea. We’ve all thrown out the phrase “line upon line, precept upon precept”. Now whether we actually believe the church progresses from vaguaries and innacuracies towards clarity and Truth™ is an entirely different matter… but surely you’ve used the phrase. Were we to graph this progression, we’d see a line that moved like the graph of a stock exchange… and were we to zoom in, closely, we’d see that the line was comprised of myriad lines — each with their own paths. Unlike a stock exchange, however, the moving averages are always positive — we are, inexoribly, working our way towards God. And this, I believe, is the truth behind Wilford Woodruff’s sentiment found in Official Declaration 1, that “[t]he Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray”.
  2. The second is that in deciding what they do or do not believe, members of the Church must contend with a number of factors: the canon of the Church; the words of the prophets; the whisperings of the Spirit; and Church policy… and each of these must be weighed against both a personal and corporate ( I can’t think of a better term for the Body of Christ ) understanding of what they each mean. Each of these factors acts as a dampening agent against both true inspiration and counterfeit — slowing and enabling the progress of the Church, simultaneously.
  3. The third is that this slow and deliberate process brings notions to the surface quietly, most times. Bubbling, as they do, to the surface of the group’s consciousness… ideas of little value disappear over time, while Truth™ (or a semblance of it) remains.

So what does this have to do with aggregators? At its root, this process of percolation is about memory… what remains, after time, survives to join the Gospel. It’s mainstreamed through the nurturing and care of the members of the Body of Christ. Like sleepwalking stewards, we slowly (slowly!) clean the Lord’s vineyard. And memory is very much determined by writing… the Canon is entirely written — it is scripture; the words of the prophets are also entirely written; if we follow the words of the prophets and keep jounals, then the whisperings of the Spirit are also written; and, finally, Church policy is almost entirely written.

Unlike personal or even organizational libraries, digital libraries are “easy” to search and diseminate… as such, their reach is both broader and deeper. Never before has so much been so easily accessible. Aggregators — especially those that purport to speak for the Bloggernacle or Mainstream Mormonism play a role in dictating what people read… and, in turn, what people remember. This will, undoubtedly, have an affect upon the process described above. But to what extent, I do not know.

This conversation is part of a larger one, I think. One about Correlation, one about the Church’s online tools, one about the PR efforts of the Church… each facet playing into the larger process of memory and acceptance… and our eventual arrival at a true understanding of the mind and heart of God.

So there you go… I’ve set the stage for a discussion… here’s my question again: what kind of role do Mormon blog aggregators play in the dynamic gospel?


  1. My apologies to Rusty… I started working on this post around 6pm, and didn’t finish until midnight. In the interim, Rusty wrote a tangentially related post. If you wish to comment on the particulars of the debacle or the value of Adam Greenwood’s Times & Seasons post, please do so over there.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 15, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

  2. I still think my other comment prolly works here too.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 15, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  3. Silus,

    I started zoning out at “comportment”. Rusty’s sentence and a half is much more appealing. :)

    Comment by cj douglass — July 15, 2008 @ 11:24 pm

  4. Hehe.

    I can’t help it: the words just come to me!


    Comment by Silus Grok — July 15, 2008 @ 11:26 pm

  5. Nice post but I don’t think any of that stuff is actually related to blog aggregators Silus.

    People seem to forget that blog aggregators are nothing more than fancy blogrolls. That’s it. (No, seriously — that’s it)

    Sure fancy blogrolls sometimes get used more than blogrolls in blog sidebars but they are the same thing in essence — lists of favorite blogs with links. With regular sidebar blogrolls blog owners add links to blogs they think are cool or interesting and delete blogs they decide are boring and lame.

    That’s all we do at the MA. If we add a blog it is because we think it is cool and interesting. If we delete a blog it is because we think it is boring and lame. Period.

    If people like the blogs we include they might come back and use our fancy MA blogroll. If not they might not come back. I don’t think that requires a lot of analysis. (I do admittedly laugh at the ludicrous cries of “censorship” that some dimwitted folks throw around when we remove a blog from out blogroll though. As if we somehow removed the blog from the internet itself… sheesh)

    Comment by Geoff J — July 15, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

  6. Hey. I actually think the membership benefits from the blogs (as evidenced by myself). I’ve had struggles w/in the context of LDS Culture vs. the Gospel, if that is possible or makes sense. Not to be controversial, but I have often felt there are ‘false doctrines’ the membership has followed; not the teachings of the Prophets or Scripture (canon), but social norms people follow in the name of the Gospel. To name a few, just to illustrate the context of my thoughts and not to stir the pot, I was taught suicide is a straight ticket to hell, you have to dress a certain way to be a ‘Mormon’, etc. Those are the easy ones; it goes much deeper. So, I’ve often wondered about my place w/in the Church. My testimony has never been stronger, but I felt like an outcast in the Church because I didn’t perceive as the majority of my particular ward. I admit that may be due to my own immaturity or insecurites. But, alot of those perceptions I’ve had have been addressed w/in the ‘aggregators’ and other Mormon blogs, which helps my own progression; it helps to know I’m not the only member feeling the way I do. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Isn’t there a Scripture in the D&C stating “…let us reason together?..” The blogs for me are very similar to having “real time” conversations. Does this make sense?

    Comment by Louis Gardner — July 16, 2008 @ 1:52 am

  7. I don’t use any of the “Mormon Aggregators.” Before yesterday (when I checked out Wilson’s blog) I hadn’t even looked at one in probably four months. I prefer other blog aggregators like Sage, or Bloglines, or FeedDemon. I can customize those however I want. Why would I want to use someone else’s?

    Comment by Seth R. — July 16, 2008 @ 6:42 am

  8. J. Max Wilson’s aggregator provides some significant improvements over the previous ones that have been released. It’s worth examining simply for those particular features. Whether or not the other aggregator hosts despise JMax or not, they ought to take some notes and make improvements. He’s done a great job of coding and designing an aggregator.

    By the way, it is quite possible to have a huge list of RSS feeds in an aggregator if it is non-hierarchical in nature. It’s the “isles of the sea” approach that is limiting Mormon Archipelago’s ability to add as many LDS bloggers as it wants – but a non-hierarchical approach would obviously undermine the self-promotional purposes for which MA was created.

    Maybe it’s time to say something out loud that I’m sure isn’t really going to shock anyone. The Bloggernacle has been quite elitist and snooty and it’s been that way for a long time. There are many wonderful, intelligent and talented people who are blogging about interesting topics- but the overall trend in the ‘Nacle has been much more about self-promotion and “being cool and interesting” and less about supporting the LDS Church or LDS values. We’re also guilty of too much self-congratulation and an unwillingness to at least listen to honest criticisms and acknowledge levels of truth that there may be too them. I’ve been guilty of almost all the same offenses, I should add – I’m just less successful at self-promotion than others – probably because I’m uncool and not interesting.

    It may be that people find JMax’s up-front confrontation with BCC: to be obnoxious. He does not hide his contempt for them or for the larger Bloggernacle. So it’s not surprising that these blogs (especially BCC:) and those who identify/affiliate with them are contemptuous and scornful in return. But when JMax refers to the bloggernacle contemptuously as “the Murmurnacle” maybe we ought to be willing to ask how much murmuring we’ve tolerated and how little we’ve tolerated those who have criticized the murmurers, so to speak. Too often those who are openly disrespectful of LDS standards (by the lifestyle choices they make or in other ways) are awarded permablogger status while those who criticize them are ridiculed and shunned.

    It’s interesting to see sometimes how much the Bloggernacle seems to be completely sensitive and tolerant towards those who openly watch (and write about) R-rated movies, drink coffee, practice homosexuality, marry outside of the temple, etc. and etc. – and simultaneously are completely intolerant of those who are critical or condemnatory of these same things. Overall, from that perspective, I don’t think the ‘Nacle culture does a very good job of representing the Church and it seems obvious that the Church is reticent to support the ‘Nacle as it currently stands. My impression is that the Church leadership is hoping a whole bunch of new bloggers will miraculously emerge and do a better job than we’ve already done. Maybe I’m wrong – I’m not in touch with any general authorities on that subject – but it’s just the impression that I have. The instruction to members that we ought to use “new media” to promote the Church does very little to praise the blogs that are currently out there – except for the blog “Flooding the Earth With the Book of Mormon” – which did seem to get a reference. The overall silence from the Church about the current Bloggernacle crew isn’t very encouraging. Again, I’m including myself in that criticism.

    Lastly, I’ll just say that I’ve met JMax personally on a number of occasions and I like him. He’s not at all the monster that some people depict him as being. In fact, he’s hugely under-appreciated. From what I’ve seen, and what I know of him, he’s one of the more faithful and caring members of the LDS Church who is involved in blogging.

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  9. daniel,

    In response to some of your concerns, I’ll repeat what Seth R. stated on the other post:

    The current MA and LDSSelect blogs get a lot of traffic and interest because they offer discussion on a topic that people are intensely interested in, that cannot be had anywhere else. People who come to the “bloggernacle” (as the word is being used in this debtate) come here because they feel isolated and disenfranchised at Church. It’s not necessarily a matter of righteousness, they just don’t feel like there’s a place at church for what they want to talk about. This creates a very committed base of participants and explains the staggering traffic figures at blogs like Times and Seasons.

    Comment by cj douglass — July 16, 2008 @ 10:47 am

  10. danithew,

    First off, the premise of the bloggernacle is not to gain endorsement from LDS General Authorities.

    Secondly, I find the mere fact that they’ve chosen to remain silent about this community plenty encouraging, in and of itself.

    Thirdly, if you provide no outlet for “loyal murmuring,” you polarize the field. The only two options are either shut up or parrot the LDS lowest-common-denominator PR line, or join the DAMU (who tend to make the murmuring here pale in comparison).

    Do you really want to force that choice on people who are struggling with their Mormon identity?

    Obviously J-Max does. He’d rather be surrounded only by the “suitably righteous,” and everyone in between should either step-up, or go to hell. But is this really the only options we should be offering to people?

    Comment by Seth R. — July 16, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

  11. Danithew, CJ, and Seth: I’m going to do what I should have from the start and wait a few days. Your comments are really insightful, and I think they’d be a real asset to the discussion on Rusty’s post. Please copy and paste your comments into that thread. This post will disappear in a couple hours and reappear without comments in a few days.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 16, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  12. Seth and CJ,

    There ought to be a solid core of Mormon bloggers out there that do not fall into isolated/dissatisfied/disenfranchised category – and that they ought to be the core of a healthy, faithful LDS blogging community.

    The need to discuss things that cannot be fully fleshed out in the context of church is a real one – but I question whether that is a de facto negative or “loyal murmuring” thrust to it.

    It could just as easily be positive and faithful.

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

  13. Silus, I think you and Rusty need to chat (see his last comment on his post thread – where he encourages people to continue to comment here).

    Maybe you could just leave the comments where they stand?

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  14. @danithew: Yes… I just saw his post and I have him on the phone… and we’ll leave everything as-is.

    @all: again, the topic here is the _role_ of aggregators in the Mormon dialog. Please keep comments topical.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 16, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  15. @Geoff… I think you understate the popularity of aggregators — especially among the less technically savvy.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 16, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  16. If we’re talking about the purpose of aggregators, then I think there’s one primary purpose – the aggregators drive traffic to your blog. I was de-listed from Mormon Archipelago and LDSelect went on the fritz. I saw a downturn in comments and overall traffic – although I must say that I never got much commenting in the first place. Still, I noticed a negative difference.

    I agree with Silus that aggregators offer the assist to less technically minded readers. Those who understand and use RSS readers probably rely on aggregators a lot less. I hardly used them until Nothing Wavering came around … the reason for that being …

    Nothing Wavering provides separate RSS feeds for the three categories of links it sponsors – LDS blogs, LDS bloggers and official LDS. Having subscribed to all three – I don’t have to subscribe to all those blogs individually. So that works for me …

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  17. The interesting thing, though, danithew is that subscribing to NW’s “LDS Bloggers” feed makes it less likely that you’ll come across or even look for other LDS bloggers out there. There’s just too much overhead.

    So unless NW’s policy is to include _all_ bloggers that happen to be LDS, then you are going to experience a narrowing of your discussion horizon.

    I don’t know if that’s good or bad… but it’s a reality.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 16, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  18. Dan (#8), I’m pretty surprised to hear you talk about BCC and the bloggernacle that way. If I didn’t know you, I’d say you had it in for some of us personally. You definitely seem to share some of J. Max’s contempt, which ill suits someone as naturally kind and understanding as yourself. To hear you parrot so much of his vitriol really disappoints me, and makes me wonder what I or the other friends in the Bloggernacle you have did, exactly, to cause these feelings.

    PS – you’re quite wrong in your read of the Church leadership’s approach to the Bloggernacle. Just FYI.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 16, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  19. I don’t mean to be a bother or to go off topic, but what commandment is being kept by criticizing murmurers? While I may agree that speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed is unseemly and goes against the will of God, I don’t understand what ought to compel the Saints to hound those struggling in the faith from our midst.

    Comment by John C. — July 16, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

  20. Silus: I think you understate the popularity of aggregators — especially among the less technically savvy.

    I’m not sure what popularity has to do with my point. So our fancy blogroll is popular — it is still nothing more than a fancy blogroll. All sorts of problems arise when people forget that fact.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 16, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  21. Dan,
    A few things. First of all, I’ve looked at both posts here at 9M and all of J-Max’s posts and can’t for the life of me figure out where you get the idea that he is being portrayed as a “monster” (or as Adam portrays him as a “boogeyman”). From what I can tell from the blogs people have been extremely respectful of him and his project. There are those who have opined that his project is a poor idea or that it won’t work, but nobody is making him out to be a monster (or boogeyman). It seems that you are making this a personal issue rather than discussing the substance of the arguments.

    Secondly, I don’t think anyone has a problem with him creating his aggregator. From what I can tell, the objections revolve around the language that he is using to determine who’s in and who’s out.

    “Too often those who are openly disrespectful of LDS standards (by the lifestyle choices they make or in other ways) are awarded permablogger status while those who criticize them are ridiculed and shunned.”

    This is simply not true. You could probably find a couple one-off incidents of this, but it certainly is not the pattern and definitely not accurate. What permabloggers are you talking about that are openly disrespectful of LDS standards?

    “It’s interesting to see sometimes how much the Bloggernacle seems to be completely sensitive and tolerant towards those who openly watch (and write about) R-rated movies, drink coffee, practice homosexuality, marry outside of the temple, etc. and etc. – and simultaneously are completely intolerant of those who are critical or condemnatory of these same things”

    What are you advocating for here, Dan? That we are more condemnatory of coffee-drinkers? That we are more tolerant of the condemnation of others?

    Comment by Rusty — July 16, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  22. Silus, my RSS reader is subscribed to “A Soft Answer” – so I do see listings of new Mormon blogs being announced on that blog. I can’t think of a better source for that sort of thing.

    Steve – my vitriol is my own. I’m not parroting J. Max – I have my own objections and concerns to many things that go on in the Bloggernacle. I mentioned BCC: a number of times in my earlier comment – but I thought I kept what I said about BCC: more specifically to a description of the interactions between J.Max and BCC: and the obvious reciprocal contempt being expressed by both sides … perhaps you thought my successive comments were aimed directly at BCC: when I was referring to the Bloggernacle more in general. BCC: is obviously a leader in that community but those comments were aimed at the group – not solely at BCC:. You may find that clarification less than useful – but I think it’s still a significant distinction.

    John C., I am not interested in anyone being hounded, whether struggling with the faith or not. I would like to see a little less blogger enthusiasm for opinions/practices that plainly clash with LDS values or principles.

    I think that the perspective Seth offers of the Bloggernacle “premise” is useful to a point but is incomplete. I’ve already talked about that in an earlier comment.

    Rusty, I’m not really interested in naming permablogger names. Many of the people I would think of are actually good people who I’ve met and liked. My concern is simply that we have blogs that identify themselves as Mormon and bloggers that identify themselves as Mormon – but in actuality some of these blogs/bloggers are expressing or sharing or representing opinions/thoughts/practices that are blatantly contrary to the gospel principles and Church policies.

    [I'm a bit hypocritical in some ways because I've on occasion done the same thing. It's something I worry about and feel bad about ... just how much love and affection should I express for popular culture when it is so often plainly at odds with the gospel? I have never resolved this problem in my own character. I happen to have liked and blogged positively about music written by drug users, serial fornicators/adulters, etc. ... if you want to look at it that way. I guess I'm promoting evil. So who am I to judge anyone? I'm aware of the potentially accurate hypocrisy accusation.]

    Getting back to the point – the objection I have is perhaps less to what some bloggers are doing and more to the fact that they are doing it under the “Mormon” sign, so to speak and then other “Mormon” commenters are coming along and expressing enthusiasm for these same opinions/thoughts/practices – and frankly, it feels wrong to me that we are using the online LDS blogging community to do this sort of thing.

    Maybe what I should say is that I often feel that the Mormon blogging community is not Mormon enough and I feel with his criticisms, J. Max is pointing that out as well. I too would like to see a Mormon blogging community that is more mainstream and orthodox. I’d like to see a sort of Zion blogging community come into being – which I don’t think really exists yet.

    Having said that, I’m not entirely sure how one would begin building that community.

    I know my comments are too long – and in the end, by expressing myself as I have, I’m probably just hanging myself out to dry. It provides a lot of material to criticize, to skew one way or the other, to hold up to the light and show the holes therein. I’m trying to be straightforward and forthright in what I say and to any degree that I’ve mis-spoken, I’m sorry about that.

    In general, I’ve tried not to talk about or criticize individuals – or specific blogs – but rather to address generalities that I have observed over time – for what that is worth.

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

  23. danithew #8 -

    There are many wonderful, intelligent and talented people who are blogging about interesting topics- but the overall trend in the ‘Nacle has been much more about self-promotion and “being cool and interesting” and less about supporting the LDS Church or LDS values.

    I agree with the general idea of your post #8, but this comment struck me as worth exploring. See – I think a lot of this is about hits and comment numbers.

    Take where I blog (at M*), for example. I’ve been running a series on “giving a great sacrament meeting talk” that is clearly aimed at “supporting the LDS Church or LDS values” – but I get, at most, half a dozen comments. On the other hand, the controversial Wall-E post attracted quite a few comments and commentators.

    It’s the nature of the beast. I understand my series is not controversial and isn’t intended to spur debate, so I understand why I get so few comments. On the other hand, contentious posts that argue for a strong point of view tend to get the most attention. Therefore, those who blog will tend to blog in ways that attract attention and debate. It seems quite obvious a lot of the bloggers in the ‘Nacle are very interested in getting lots and lots of attention. That’s the way it goes.

    Comment by Ivan Wolfe — July 16, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

  24. Danithew,

    I think everybody would like to see the LDS online community progress in the direction of Zion. Our differences come down to how that is to be done. I disagree with you about the NW aggregator. I think it is a giant step backwards. The last time I saw this much self-righteousness on display was in the MTC when 19 year-olds were practicing the smackdown techniques they planned to use on JWs. “Booyah! I made the cut at NW! I’m not prideful like those fringe apostates at BCC!” It’s pretty childish, and if that is what passes for mainstream in the church today, well, we have a lot of work in front of us.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 16, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  25. Ivan,

    I just wanted to say that I have appreciated your series, even though I haven’t commented.

    The comment box make blogging a community event by nature. It is the interaction which draws people in. We simply have to find ways to interact successfully with others who are different. As long as people who fancy themselves to be mainstream also wear a t-shirt that says “Does not play well with others”, they are failing the community.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 16, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  26. Dan: In general, I’ve tried not to talk about or criticize individuals – or specific blogs – but rather to address generalities that I have observed over time

    I don’t find this approach useful at all. It is about as useful as getting up to the podium in a sacrament meeting and saying:

    “I don’t want to name names but some of you people are not living the gospel right and some of you people are ok with opinions/thoughts/practices that are blatantly contrary to the gospel principles and Church policies and I think it is reprehensible. But as I said, I’m not really interested in naming names. itnoJC Amen”

    You think that would be useful in improving the righteousness of the congregation?

    Comment by Geoff J — July 16, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

  27. Geoff (#26), maybe not, but that sacrament meeting would be LEGENDARY.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 16, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  28. Hehe. It would be truly awesome wouldn’t it?

    Comment by Geoff J — July 16, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  29. Hah. I was typing in the url for this blog and typed in: “nine-moos.com”

    In general, I think my postings on this only solidify my oft-forgotten then oft-remembered realization that open criticism of others (whether general or specific) doesn’t change things – it just leads to arguments that further solidify the various parties in their original positions. This is just as true or possibly more true in the Bloggernacle. The process is also wearisome and leads to feelings of resignation and regret.

    If I forget that again – someone smack me in the head.

    Comment by danithew — July 16, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  30. danithew,

    All other disagreement aside, I actually agree with you on quite a bit.

    I was rather disturbed when I started dabbling in Mormon-Evangelical debate and dialogue to find obviously dedicated anti-Mormon blogs parroting material they’d found by lurking on the bloggernacle.

    I imagine that some of this new generation of anti-Mormons and counter-cultists have discovered that their own trusted material has become hopelessly outdated and suspect.

    Lacking anything resembling original thought or intelligence, they come here trolling for new content. I’ve seen several of the bloggernacle’s favorite complaint topics emerge in twisted form on one-sided Evangelical sites.

    Made me rather angry of course. Like having a private family conversation and finding out that others have been spying on you. It’s one thing to criticize each other when it’s just us talking, it’s quite another to do it in front of outsiders.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’ve seen even the most critical and radical of us close ranks when we feel like our own are under attack. None of us care to put up with anti-Mormon crap. And I’m sure any of us would stick up for J-Max if some jerk from the outside was attacking him.

    So I am aware of the problem. I might not agree on the solution, but I am aware we are occasionally providing fodder more than solutions.

    Comment by Seth R. — July 16, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  31. Discussion like this one will probably make the Bloggernacle better. But I think the importance of aggregators and especially the importance of a new aggregator is being over played.

    We all have our own discussion limits. Personally I do not like to see the brethren openly criticized and occasionally I worry about those who may be struggling with a weak testimony.

    But censorship is going to be very difficult to implement and manage without eventually creating a “correlated” Bloggernacle with basically Sunday school content.

    Multiple aggregators may be a benefit, some with training wheels and others without.

    Comment by Howard — July 16, 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  32. in the end, by expressing myself as I have, I’m probably just hanging myself out to dry.

    You’ve made excellent points. I’ll twist in the wind with you.

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — July 16, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  33. You think that would be useful in improving the righteousness of the congregation?

    I think Danithew’s point is that attacking the guy who said that doesn’t do anything to improve the righteousness of the congregation either, especially if you actually don’t otherwise seem much concerned with it.

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — July 16, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  34. Adam,
    “attacking the guy who said that doesn’t do anything to improve the righteousness of the congregation either, especially if you actually don’t otherwise seem much concerned with it.”
    Fair enough, but being willing to talk with people directly about issues you find problematic prevents yourself and your “adversary” from becoming stereotypes and plot points. If I offend someone, or have stated something that someone believes could be helpful to the great “Adversary”, I am not opposed to someone dropping me a line to that effect (a polite line). As an example, you and I crossed wires this morning because of an unwillingness to pursue communication on our own (mine in not further seeking to contact you, as I assumed you weren’t interested in my opinion; yours in not checking the filters in your email account).

    One of the benefits of commenting is that one can actually say “I find your sentiment or your thesis objectionable.” In fact, the poster practically demands this sort of response by demanding response at all. That sort of specificity can be helpful, especially in cases where the author needs to be gently reproached. No-one enjoys it when it is directed at them, but no honest person ignores such in the long run.

    We are, as a community, very touchy. Perhaps this is just the nature thereof; we are often locked in ideological combat with each other. So when someone says, “I see a trend in the bloggernacle of people criticizing the Brethren” (which isn’t exactly what Danithew said, but I’m making it up so that’s okay) many people wonder if they are being referred to. Not because that is what they are doing, but because they are unsure what the assumptions about them are in the mind of the vague accuser. We throw “Apostate” around as if it is going out of style, but it isn’t a self-evident term, least of all to the Apostate. I remember vividly conversations with people who preached against the church, arguing that it is a force for evil, but who never stopped to consider that the term “Anti-Mormon” applied to them (as they were noble truth-seekers, natch).

    What makes JMax’s aggregator is objectionable is that JMax is clearly engaged in the same sort of vague accusation. But since he won’t come out and say what his criteria are, we can’t tell what he means. He may have a meaningful definition of “orthodox” that others could learn from, but he won’t share. At the moment, for those not included, it is doubly maddening, because it is hard to know who was excluded because of his criteria and who was excluded because of his time constraints, so we can’t reconstruct his criteria. That is, aside from BCC, which may have been excluded for any number of reasons, most attitudinal (on both BCC’s and JMax’s part).

    I generally agree with the notion that blog aggregators are bigger than individual blogrolls. They give the appearance of objectivity. The MA blogroll has come to assume the mantle of a best of list. To a great degree, this is what the founders wanted. If there was an official church blogroll, can you imagine what would happen to ldsblogs.org (or nothingwavering.org)? In the absence of that, we all muddle through as best we can.

    I agree with your concerns regarding content on the nacle. However, presumably, some of it actually helps people. I just hope and pray that the good outweighs the bad in the long run.

    Comment by John C. — July 16, 2008 @ 7:10 pm

  35. Y’all ought to quit reading this stuff and instead read Yossarian’s court martial from Catch-22. It makes more sense, is a whole lot funnier and it will, as you all hope your food will, do you the good you need.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 16, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  36. Uh-oh. Nothing Wavering might waver and collapse from its own internal contradictions within the first 48 hours.

    One of the blogs it lists just published a positive review of a book written by a notorious Sunstoner and disaffected Mormon who was slated for excommunication by his stake president before Pres. McKay intervened. McMurrin is famous for openly criticizing the prophet and publicly announcing his non-belief in the Book of Mormon, and here JMax is handing him the open mic, leading people astray. I wish there were somplace where we mainstream, orthodox people could go and not be subjected to this sort of fringe stuff. I feel so persecuted.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 16, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

  37. Sorry, Mark B. Catch-22 contains too much profanity for us mainstream orthodox humble followers of the brethren.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 16, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

  38. I was, myself, expelled from the Archipelago, a long time ago. (Former author of “Mormon Gnostics”) So I figured I’d weigh in here. Since that time, I actually build a Blog Aggregator of my own, from scratch, on another subject of interest to me (Freemasonry). It has since become the most popular source for accessing Masonic blogs online, and recently gained a mention in the Scottish Rite Journal (which is a national Magazine, I would jokingly call it the Masonic equivalent to the Ensign.) I have also expanded the use of my aggregator software out into other areas, as well, hosted on different domains.

    When I started with the Masonic one, there were only a couple handfuls of applicable blogs out there. Now there are closer to 100. I believe the aggregator provides a sort of central hub that faciliates the quick exchange of ideas between the various blog authors in a nicely compiled format, with all the best blogs located through the collective effort so that the individual reader doesn’t have to seek them all out, or subscribe to them individually. It has really helped our communication move forward. I’m sure the Mormon Archipelago has done similar things. I’m all for aggregators. For the record though, I’m against censorship when the posts are on-topic.

    Comment by Jeff Day — July 16, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

  39. Wow, that’s awesome Jeff. Way to go out there and find a niche!

    Comment by Seth R. — July 16, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  40. I went to read what J. Max has written on his aggregator announcement. Given the kind of strong and critical responses that are here and elsewhere, I was expecting to see some sort of long, pointed diatribe on his blog about his feelings about the ‘nacle or something. Good grief, people, he used the words ‘orthodox’ and ‘mainstream.’ Is that really such a crime? He has opinions about what that means, as do all of us, no? (Those two words spark more debate, defensiveness, and freak-outedness than about any two I have seen on the ‘nacle.)

    While I understand some of the underlying concerns, and I realize that drawing “lines” can be problematic, and I realize that there is a history there (although I wasn’t here for much of it), I think that in the end, we all know that no aggregator is going to keep everyone happy. And no aggregator is either a panacea for traffic draw or for consistent filtering or accurate labeling. Blogging is by definition personal, subjective, variable, and incomplete. Do any of us like or agree with everything on the MA? I can’t fathom that is possible. Will those who use NW will like everything there? Highly, highly doubtful.

    I don’t envy him (or anyone trying to draw “lines” with an aggregator, for that matter) with the task of trying to decide what should be included. I think he has bitten off something that I myself wouldn’t want to do; he has created an extra-difficult task for himself by defining his aggregator as “mainstream” and “orthodox.” But it seems to me that he is entitled to make that attempt if he wants to.

    No matter WHAT he has done, NO ONE deserves the kind of pointed and personal attacks he has gotten here and elsewhere. It’s those kind of personal attacks that can make all of us as Mormon bloggers look bad, imo. We have been reminded repeatedly to be careful and kind. I’m not saying J. Max has always followed that (I really don’t know all the history), but that doesn’t mean that anyone else is justified in attacking him.

    Besides, for those who are concerned about what his aggregator might suggest about blogs that aren’t on the list, why not do what bloggers should always be doing anyway? Let the content speak for itself and give the guy some space to do what he wants. Even if you think he is doing it wrong. Which of us does it all right in this sphere, anyway? Which of us hasn’t, intentionally or not, offended or been divisive or whatever?

    Seriously, this is a bit mind-boggling to me that there is such strong and unkind response to what he has done. To me, it’s all evidence that Mormon blogging in general has a long way to go. And that most certainly is not all J. Max’s fault. :)

    Comment by m&m — July 16, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

  41. m&m, you say that you don’t know the history and aren’t that familiar with J. Max or the things he has said. Perhaps such information would be important to consider before making the claims you do?

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 16, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

  42. That said, I agree entirely with the spirit of what you are trying to say, and I agree that we should all try to be nicer to each other.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 16, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  43. m&m,

    Pointed personal attacks? Can you share the specific quotes you have in mind?

    Comment by Geoff J — July 16, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  44. Geoff, going back and reading them all, I probably jumped the gun to talk about “pointed personal attacks,” although I do think there is some unnecessary unkindness and a lot of unnecessary drama on both threads.

    Steve, FWIW, I think that it’s unfortunate that he brought BCC into this at all. I don’t like pointedness in either direction. I think the fact that he brought you and the history into it takes away a bit from what he’s trying to do.

    That said, I think that his effort has some merit, technically and philosophically (not everyone is going to be the BCC or whatever-else-may-not-make-it-on-the-list type, and you guys know and have admitted that, and accept that most of the time). The MA is dominated by the bigger blogs simply by layout and by traffic, and there are people that just don’t get into their content or approaches. That shouldn’t be so threatening or surprising, though, should it? Not everyone is a feminist, intellectual Mormon, or lawyer. :)

    I want to say, though, that the fact that there is some significant overlap between the MA and his aggregator itself illustrates that there isn’t such a clear-cut line here.

    I also want to say that I think that danithew’s comments are worth reading and considering, because I know he reflects what I have heard many say about the ‘nacle. Most people really do equate the MA with the big blogs, and those big blogs really aren’t for everyone. (Note SilverRain’s comment about an audience she recently taught about blogging…a lot of people really DO want more Sunday-School-like content without intellectual musings or debates (let alone the contention that often is on the blogs), and that shouldn’t be criticized or minimized.)

    Part of what made me feel like there were pointed comments about J. Max was when there were reactions to danithew, assuming that only unkind, vitriol-filled people would actually have concerns or issues with some of what goes on in the ‘nacle. That seems unfair and reactionary to me.

    [Soooo, just to lighten things up for a minute.... Maybe I'll start an aggregator called the True Mormon Peace-a-nacle, designed to include only blogs that don't ever have any contention.

    Of course, we know that it would be essentially empty. Either that or include blogs that are commentless. :) ]

    Here’s my bottom line: I’m trying to remind myself as I interact in this sphere and in my “real life” that ultimately, our religion is really first and foremost about Christ and His example of mercy, forgiveness, and compassionate love that we are commanded to follow. If pained and strained history always determines how we behave and interact (REact), we just undermine what we claim to care about and all do damage to what “Mormonism” is and can be. And at that point, doesn’t that make our “Mormon blogging” counterproductive?

    Comment by m&m — July 17, 2008 @ 12:45 am

  45. I also wanted to include this from his blog post:

    “Exclusion from Nothing Wavering does not necessarily mean that a blog is not worthwhile or faithful by official standards. To a certain extent Nothing Wavering seeks to live up to President Packer’s analogy of hiring truckers. I want blogs that steer far from the cliff’s edge rather than try to see how close they can come without crossing the line.”

    I think in the end, that he’s entitled to decide where that line is. I also think he actually did a pretty good job explaining in the comment (#3) what kinds of things he considers and will consider when deciding if a blog can appear. So the complaints about not having explanations of what might ‘make the cut’ seem unfounded to me (or perhaps they just came before that comment was included).

    Comment by m&m — July 17, 2008 @ 12:49 am

  46. One more thing I want to reiterate — when I mention danithew’s comment and the people I have heard say similar things, I think it’s important to add that I know that for some, the big blogs are exactly what they feel they need. Again, this is the point — different people will gravitate to, resonate with, agree with, enjoy different content and approaches, because they have different personalities, experiences, weaknesses, strengths, interests, etc. So in my mind, it shouldn’t be so unreasonable for someone to come up with a new mix of Mormon blogs with an attempt to appeal to a different audience (or sub-audience, because again there is overlap), whatever that may mean.

    Now I am probably just repeating myself….sorry, late.

    Comment by m&m — July 17, 2008 @ 1:10 am

  47. Just wanting to say – I can be intensely critical and cranky at times in the way I relate to the Bloggernacle – but I’m just as intensely addicted to the thing. I pretty much know that I couldn’t quit it if I tried.

    I’m basically married to the Bloggernacle and sometimes I get in a fight with it and slam a door for a minute – but after a brief cooling period (that usually lasts about a minute or two) I always come back.

    Please don’t stretch the marriage analogy any farther from what I’m saying, or I’ll have to come back and kick your butt.

    Way back in comment #23, I thought Ivan Wolfe offered some valuable input. If I (or others) want a “more Mormon” Bloggernacle, we probably should be more interested and supportive of posts like the ones he is talking about (that often don’t receive many comments).

    Comment by danithew — July 17, 2008 @ 5:02 am

  48. At FPR, we have come to accept that we are a low-traffic blog. We rarely stir up real controversy and we don’t expect a lot of comments. Often, it is the well-thought out posts that generate the fewest comments, as only so many people are going to pat you on the back. Another example is the Mormon Wasp which never generated many comments, but consistently had excellent material. Comments are only one element of success in the nacle.

    The reason we are confused by JMax’s description is that we (speaking for BCC) ARE mainstream and orthodox, no matter what JMax thinks of us. Nor do we believe we are staring into the abyss as we drive our ambulance along. Therefore, we feel like we meet his stated criteria, but we obviously don’t.

    Often in the nacle, we speak of the importance of tone to what we say. JMax, danithew, and others often complain about content at BCC (and other blogs) when what they really mean is tone. There is nothing (nearly all the time) in our content that is objectionable, but because we are perceived as “liberal Mormons” it is assumed that we are sneering or insincere in our attitude to the church. It simply isn’t so. When JMax or others imply that this is all a joke to us or that we represent something other than the mainstream church, we consider it a slight to our selves and our project. Sometimes talking to JMax about the blogs, I get the same impression that I get talking to certain Anti-Mormons, that nothing I say will make a difference because I am obviously either lying, confused, or duped. It’s very, very frustrating.

    Comment by John C. — July 17, 2008 @ 6:41 am

  49. There is another side to this issue that needs to be pointed out. Both Danithew and Adam (if I make call him that, even though we are not friends) know Wilson personally. While they may also be in agreement with his broader goals, the personal friendship factor must also be taken into account. I could even accuse them of forming a clique, but instead I’ll be big about it and just point out that everybody has networds in which they move and which they are inclined to support. In the same way, when Wilson singled out BCC as detrimental to the gospel, he wasn’t just attacking a blog, he was attacking me and some of my friends. There is a social aspect to blogging and it cannot be ignored, even though it can often be mistaken for cliques. I don’t know a way around it, though. If all we are looking for is content, why even allow comments?

    m&m, good grief. Most of the hyperbole on this thread is coming from people who support JMax. Adam (if I make call him that, even though we are not friends) imagines himself to be some kind of martyr twisting in the wind, LOL! It is almost, but not quite, as funny as the time he compared himself to Abinadi.

    DKL is right. The bloggernacle is a lot like TV. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes its inspiring, sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes it’s entertaining, but at any one time, 80% of what’s on is pure dreck, and the NW aggregator is no different. Wilson’s assumption, that there is all this good content out there that the MA is somehow holding back, is too funny for words.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 17, 2008 @ 6:46 am

  50. Holy cow, I’m really worried about SilverRain’s blogging n00bs. A glance at the NW shows posts promoting liberal, intellectual, apostate (but I repeat myself) elitism, and ecumenicism with people of other religions. Why are they being rewarded with JMax’s stamp of approval when there are plenty of faithful, humble servants of the Lord who will never see the light of day at NW? When I go to a mainstream, orthodox aggregator, I want no truck with non-members. Who knows what they might say? Also, there is some love for the FLDS. That is an alternative voice which I am sure would meet with disapproval from the folks at 50 E. North temple. I call upon Wilson to censor and delete himself, and give Mr. Greenwood another chance to be appalled and call people despicable.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 17, 2008 @ 7:25 am

  51. JohnC #48, I dont know what you consider “objectionable content” but there is more than just tone at BCC that gives people pause. Acceptance of monogamous homosexuality and promotion of gay marriage is a common theme, criticizing CES and SS material is common, the approach to Church History is generally rather critical and so on. It isnt just tone, John. I dont question the faithfulness of you, Steve or any of the rest…well, except maybe Aaron Brown…but the content of BCC would have to be heavily redacted to qualify for submission to the Ensign, and I believe that is the kind of thing its “faithful” critics recognize. Saying BCC doesnt contain “objectionable material” just doesnt hold water and results in a fruitless debate over what is “objectionable”. If the gold standard, as Mark IV suggests to judge JMW by in #50, is 50 E. North Temple, then BCC fails. Now, thats fine, because thats what the Bloggernacle wants, and thats why they are The Big Blog, but that doesnt mean their only objectionable thing is tone, because that just isnt the case.

    Comment by Kurt — July 17, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  52. Kurt, point well taken. I’d dispute that “acceptance of monogamous homosexuality and promotion of gay marriage is a common theme,” incidentally. Although they are both topics that appear with some regularity, BCC is no homogeneous when it comes to such issues. Criticism of CES and SS is something else…. but to be honest I hear more criticism of those two institutions at Church than I do at BCC!

    I didn’t know that we were all trying to get submitted to the Ensign. If that is the gold standard then indeed BCC fails — as does J. Max’s blog, T&S, M*, and every other blog I have read on the Internet thus far, without exception, including the LDS CIO’s blog.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 17, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  53. Kurt,
    As is the norm, we continue to have differing levels of outrage and differing sensors re: objectionable content. I suppose that ultimately the reason I don’t see the point of JMax’s project is because I don’t read BCC or the rest of the bloggernacle in the same light he does. Tone can be present and it can be inferred. Clearly both JMax and I are inferring things about the tone of the blogs we read (or not, depending).

    Comment by John C. — July 17, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  54. Steve, we’re not all trying to get into Ensign, but for faithful TBMs (which Mark IV is alluding to) that is the gold standard. And, yes, we all fail that together. But, nevertheless, it is a standard we can all agree upon as being “faithful” no matter how unattainable for mere bloggers. Whether JMW fails it is irrelevant. JohnC is the one insisting there isnt anything “objectionable” at BCC, and Mark IV is the one holding that up as a gold standard. If you want to propose some standard other than that, feel free. My point is there is plenty at BCC that sane non-JMW, non-Bloggers-of-Jared, non-Connor Boyacks would find at the very least questionable about some BCC content. And you effectively admit as much. Whether JMW’s aggregator links to “objectionable” stuff isnt at issue. JohnC’s assertion is.

    JohnC, naturally there are differing levels of sensitivity, but that doesnt address the fact that there are permabloggers at BCC who actively promote views that are at odds which clearly stated official LDS Church positions, who openly criticize official LDS Church institutions and who generally have a critical view of Church History. Saying that isnt “objectionable” to TBMs makes any grounds of discussion pretty much pointless based on semantical differences. If you cannot see how a TBM would find something like that objectionable, then its time to take off your shoes and walk around in someone else’s blue ones for awhile.

    Comment by Kurt — July 17, 2008 @ 9:14 am

  55. “I could even accuse them of forming a clique,” …

    It’s been some years since … but I argued quite a bit with Adam Greenwood on subjects such as stem-cell research and abortion and accused him of being too obsessed with those topics. I liked to argue with Matt Evans in the same way … but then he disappeared.

    For the first time ever, Adam Greenwood recently showed up and left a comment on my blog. We’ve never met in person. I think I might have worn a vest once, at my wedding.

    The connection with J. Max is a different story. I’ve met him a number of times, I comment at his blog from time to time … and he’s been helpful to me with a project I am working on.

    If we want to become a clique, we’re going to have to find some more people! But honestly, I don’t think I’m either conservative or liberal enough for anyone to want to make that kind of connection. I argue with everyone.

    Comment by danithew — July 17, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  56. Kurt, sure the Ensign is faithful, no question. But I guess I have a problem with somehow making it some sort of exclusive definition of faithfulness.

    As for some of BCC’s content being objectionable, sure, I guess I can see what you’re saying. Even I, the BCC Cheerleader, don’t agree with every post that shows there. For all that, though, I don’t know that it results in the blog as a whole suddenly being falling into the ‘unfaithful’ box. If anything, BCC is in my mind similar in this respect to real life in the Church; there are a lot of different views, some more orthodox than others, and yet we’re all under this umbrella of Mormonism and we should seek to unify rather than classify and segregate.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 17, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  57. Kurt, just wondering what exactly is your objection to “Bloggers-of-Jared, Connor Boyacks”?

    All- The MA isn’t just another blogroll. Its history and structure make it much more of a community, and especially as far as the top two or three boxes go. I’m not criticizing, like danithew, I’m addicted. But I would argue that because of the length of time the MA has been around and the quality of the blogs listed there, it is the go-to aggregator for much of the Utah and mainstream media looking for quotes, etc. so like it or not, that confers a certain degree of responsibility on the bloggers in the MA community. Luckily, I think for the most part they are doing a fantastic job. I especially admire the founders for setting the tone and sticking with it for so long.

    But on the other hand, most of the more controversial stuff that gets discussed among the regulars is a lot of preaching to the choir. If you have concerns about stuff that is mainly cultural rather than doctrinal, change in the church as a whole can never happen unless the rank-and-file type people can feel more comfortable getting in on the conversations. How to do that I have no idea :-)

    Comment by C Jones — July 17, 2008 @ 9:49 am

  58. You have to admit the MA has dropped several blogs because of content-related issues though, right?

    I don’t see FLanders’ blog anymore. Dehlin’s blog was dropped which caused a similar firestorm not unlike this one, but for different reasons. I even seem to remember an instance or two when FMH has been suspended(?) because of questionable content which could be considered detrimental.

    Comment by Tim J. — July 17, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  59. Steve, I’m not proposing it is an exclusive definition, I am taking it up from Mark IV’s earlier comment and assuming it is one that all of us can agree upon as “faithful” without descending into a meaningless argument over semantics. Like I said before, if you want to propose something else, feel free. I guarantee we wont agree on it.

    Yes, sure, we should all seek to unify and actually live the gospel, without question, but the unpleasant reality is we dont and we wont. Unfortunately. The real question is how we as individuals choose to react when others sew contention. As for JMW, he should have just opened his own aggregator without the attending condemnation of whoever he excluded. As for the Moarch and the Bloggernacle’s response to JMW, you all should have given him a big yawn when he did rather than spazzing out. No way, JMW doesnt like BCC or the Moarch. Now there is a big sooprize. I guess he didnt make that clear a couple of years ago? Come on. And in a couple of years when he calls you all a bunch of apostates again, are you going to spaz out again? Awesome. Can I write the script?

    JMW: I hate you, you arent orthodox.
    BCC: You are an ignorant wacko.
    JMW: That just proves you arent orthodox.
    BCC: We are too orthodox, more orthodox than not, usually.
    JMW: Nuh uh, Adam G. hates you too.
    BCC: We hated him first, a long time ago.
    JMW: That just proves you are apostate.
    BCC: How dare you judge us you judgemental judger!
    repeat ad nauseum

    C Jones, my “objection”? I dont object to them in this thread (whether I object to them in an of themselves is another matter entirely). That list of peoples are ones who have a history of publicly complaining against BCC. My point is there are plenty of people who dont have an established history of being opposed to BCC who would find some things at BCC objectionable.

    Comment by Kurt — July 17, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  60. Kurt, just to clarfy. I don’t think what 50 E. north Temple this is the gold standard. Since JMW has laid out a standard, I am assuming that is what he thinks, although I might be wrong.

    Your point about some of the content at BCC being objectionable to some degree is certainly accurate. To tell the truth, I’m embarrassed about some of the posts and comments I’ve put up in the past. I’m also embarrassed about some of the talks I’ve given in church and some of the lessons I’ve taught, but that doesn’t render sacrament meeting or Sunday School unworthy enterprises.

    What we are left with is a subjective definition of mainstream I doubt we will ever agree on. FWIW, most of the craziest doctrines I have ever heard come from CES guys and mission presidents, and they have done tremendous damage to the church and its members, yet they are considered mainsream. Go figure.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 17, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  61. Wow, that was bad. Let’s try again.

    I don’t think what 50 E. north Temple thinks is the gold standard. But since JMW has NOT laid out a standard, I am assuming that is what he thinks, although I might be wrong.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 17, 2008 @ 10:34 am

  62. If we’re going to get rid of everything that might disturb somebody, we’ll need to start with FARMS Review and BYU Studies. My grandmother isn’t on board with all this limited geography stuff. Plus, they use too many big words, so the are open to the charges of intellectualism and elitism. Also, Keepapitchinin is self-designated as PG-13. How the hell did that ever make it past the censors? It also tries to be funny, and I’m sure humor is offensive to many people, since they are not light-minded and teh funny holds no appeal for them. Plus, it hurts to laugh when you are sitting on an upright 2×4.

    Comment by Mark IV — July 17, 2008 @ 10:53 am

  63. Whatever. You all just wish you were as cool AS WE ARE.

    Comment by Sue — July 17, 2008 @ 11:39 am

  64. Sue, I was going to make a comment about there being whole other LDS blog worlds out there, but I didn’t think anyone would pay attention.

    Comment by Susan M — July 17, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  65. Hehe. The dialogue in #50 made me laugh. Nice work Kurt.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 17, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

  66. Make that #59

    Comment by Geoff J — July 17, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  67. Susan M,

    I think the spazzing out was more me spazzing out at Adam, rather than the MA spazzing out at J-Max. Sure there were objections, but I think if you go back and read their reactions you’ll see that they were all very civil.

    Comment by Rusty — July 17, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  68. There are a ton of solo LDS bloggers out there, mostly women, like the site Sue points to shows. Big community of bloggers who for the most part totally ignore the big group blogs.

    Comment by Susan M — July 17, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  69. Susan M,

    Comment by Rusty — July 18, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  70. Thanks for the comment Seth. I am interested in the cosmology of the LDS, and would love an explination of the Hitler scenario. As for the conclusion,a bit of embellishment for dramatic effect, but the point stands.

    Comment by william walker — July 18, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  71. Oh. Hi William. Email me privately, and I’ll give it a shot. You should have my email address on your blog. Thanks.

    Comment by Seth R. — July 18, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  72. I think if you go back and read their reactions you’ll see that they were all very civil.

    “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” is very civil?

    Comment by Ivan Wolfe — July 18, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  73. Ivan,

    What or who are you quoting?

    Comment by Geoff J — July 19, 2008 @ 12:57 am

  74. I agree that 50 E. North Temple St. shouldn’t be the gold standard.

    But 47 E. South Temple St. should.

    Comment by Eric Russell — July 19, 2008 @ 6:21 am

  75. Geoff J -

    I think it was this.

    Comment by Ivan Wolfe — July 19, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  76. I believe that the time for this post has past.

    Thank you, one and all.

    Comment by Silus Grok — July 19, 2008 @ 4:47 pm