What is Your Goal?

MCQ - September 30, 2008

We are a goal-oriented people.  Personally, I like setting goals and writing them down.  I think it’s an exercise that shows we’re progressing (or not) in our lives.  It shows that we believe in eternal progression and repentance and we’re actually living in a way that demonstrates faith in those principles.  Nothing gripes me more than those who deny the possibility that people can change.  I will admit that often, people choose not to take the hard road that ends in real change.  But we cannot, as members of our Church ever deny that the power exists in each one of us, through the atonement, to change and become better.  This is, in point of fact, the primary purpose of the Church itself.

For this reason, I’m frustrated when people express cynicism concerning goals and resolutions.  I think, as members of our Church, we should be more optimistic than anyone else about the chances of our success when we set goals.  But how does this apply to our activities on blogs such as this one?  Is this an activity that lends itself to goal-setting?  Is it possible to be blogging toward some objective?  Are we capable of engendering some sort of real change in ourselves, others, or the world in general as a result of blogging?

I pose these questions, not because I have any answers, but because I want to hear yours.  After Elder Ballard gave his recent talk, it seemed that more members began participating in online discussions such as what we have here at Nine Moons and elsewhere.  But I wonder what purpose is being served by all this activity.  Elder Ballard’s suggestion seems to point at performing missionary work.  But is that really the purpose of what we are doing?  Is it your purpose, or do you have some other goal?  Is all of this activity good, or is some of it counter-productive or even harmful?

In an attempt to analyze this, I want to ask some questions.  Feel free to answer as many as you wish: 

Do you consider yourself a ”Mormon Blogger?”  If so, is that because you have your own blog, where you post about Mormon issues?  Or because you post on a Mormon-themed group blog?  Or because you comment regularly on a Mormon-themed blog?  Or because of some other activity you pursue online?  What are you trying to achieve as a “Mormon Blogger,” if anything?  Do you consider yourself to be doing missionary work?  Defending the Church in some way?  Bettering yourself in some fashion?  Bettering the world by sending your pearls of wisdom out into cyberspace for the improvement of all who listen?  In short, What is your goal?

 

8 Comments »

  1. For those who may be interested in my experience, I became acquainted to blogging through the nacle. I stumbled onto BCC one day completely by accident and instantly became a regular reader of many of the group blogs in the nacle.

    I did not feel compelled to comment on any of them for a long time, but over time, I came to feel that I knew and really liked several of the bloggers I ran into here, though I had never actually met them. Now that I have met a few, and interacted with some of them more, I find I like them more than ever.

    If I have a goal as a blogger, it’s to simply continue to enjoy your company, and to discuss things with you here that I rarely get a chance to discuss with anyone in real life. I don’t think I’m doing much missionary work, except poorly and by accident, but I think what we do here is important. I feel better and stronger as a member of the Church because of reading the things you say here. You make me love the Church more. You make me want to be a better member. So, if those are your goals, you’re doing a great job. I guess what I really want to say is, Thank You.

    Comment by MCQ — September 30, 2008 @ 1:15 am

  2. I just want to increase the amount of “faithful” discussion on blogs & message boards. I was involved years ago, before the word “blog” was thought up, and participated in discussions online.

    At some point I got disgusted with every discussion deteriorating into an anti-Mormon group attack and I dropped out (I also had some personal issues I had to work with). The good thing about the “Bloggernacle” is that it apparently has increased availability of correct info about the Church. I just wonder how many people read these, or if any find them helpful. To me, it is interesting to see how heterogeneous the participants are, and the different views expressed.

    I have also approached blogs that are not “friendly” and tried the “soft answer”. Sometimes I’m drowned under a deluge of negative responses, sometimes there is a genuine exchange of ideas.

    I have not had a very encouraging history of setting goals. I do believe that it is important that we have them, though. It’s one of the things I still have to learn.

    Comment by Velska — September 30, 2008 @ 2:30 am

  3. Not a mormon blogger. My blog is not really focused on the church or its teachings, but I am sure all of my readers know I am a participant in our church. I don’t really bother trying to explain things that I know to be true because 1) I am not very articulate and 2) that is not the goal of my blog.
    With that said, I do enjoy reading the blogs of those who are more articulate and have a blog more focused on religion (ours and our neighbors)

    Comment by Britt — September 30, 2008 @ 5:25 am

  4. I began blogging because my aunt started a community blog (TFtC) and I found it an interesting concept to write in a public setting. I used to be an avid journal writer and scrapbooker, and then I had children. So, of course, when I needed to do those things the most, they were the first things to fail. I decided to write my own personal blog and it has become my journal and my scrapbook. It is also a way to communicate with my family, meet other people like me, and practice writing (since I’m going to be published one day. How’s that for a goal? Yes!).

    What started out as a perfectly shallow and rambling blog has now turned into my lifeline. Like Velska, I was so tired of reading community forums where the Prophets were ridiculed, Doctrine questioned at every turn, and contention was the status quo. I’ve tried to stay away from those communities now because they did nothing but hurt me. Also, because of this, my blog has transformed into something better and better and has become a definite missionary tool.

    But I do it differently.

    My blog represents a real live woman who lives and loves the Mormon faith. I make no apologies for my religion; I don’t try to hide it. My thoughts are real and raw; my experiences are never watered down. I suffer from depression and so I blog about how the Gospel has helped me through the darkest times of my life. I’m a mother, so I blog about how lifted I feel when I apply the principles of the Gospel and obey the commandments, even when it sucks. I’m a wife, daughter, friend, and sister, and so I take every opportunity to declare truth, but in a way that doesn’t ostrocize (how do you spell ostrosize?).

    So, yeah. I’m a Mormon blogger. Totally.

    Comment by cheryl — September 30, 2008 @ 6:00 am

  5. This is a great, sobering post, MCQ (especially in light of the trifle I threw up here yesterday).

    I originally created my blog as a part journal/part LDS slice-of-life exercise. I wanted to share my testimony of the Lord’s participation in my and my family’s journey, but also offer observations of many of the “isms” in LDS life– the characters, the music, the “way things are done,” etc. My mood ebbs and flows, though– as does my expendable time– and too often that seeps into my writing (the class clown, for example).

    As to the purpose of blogging, I appreciate and admire the members who consistently keep a spiritual timbre in their blogs and those who strive to reach out to those not in the Church. They may have all the success of SETI, but it’s a noble endeavor. I believe, though, that the garden variety Mormon blog is more of a social environment for members (plus a few nons, a few ex’s…). As part of our earthly missions to “strenghten the saints,” the blog is a potentially great tool, allowing us to exchange thoughts and helping us crystallize own own beliefs.

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, beliefs and concerns, and for helping me crystallize mine.

    Comment by David T. — September 30, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  6. Yes, I consider myself a Mormon blogger because the majority of my essays are about LDS doctrine or current events in the LDS community. Yes, this is because I have my own blog, where I post about Mormon issues. I do not post essays on LDS group blogs. I also rarely comment on LDS group blogs because frankly, the comments are mostly light and fluffy, with a lot of banter and one-upmanship. I prefer in depth-comments on the smaller solo blogs.

    I started my blog before Elder Ballard invited us to participate in the online discussions taking place. Yes, my original intention was to provide an alternative positive voice to all the negative things you can find out about the church through a simple Google search. My focus is to provide positive content that ranks high in Google searches. So yes, I do consider my blog to be my contribution to missionary work and yes, I do try to answer criticism of the Church.

    My goal in blogging is to provide myself a somewhat formal vehicle for regular study of the gospel. I find that my motivation to study each day increases with the prospect of sharing it with others. I always study the gospel more if I have a church calling such as a teacher or if I am speaking regularly in church – as a High Counselor, for example. Right now I am a ward clerk so there is no regular required gospel lesson prep each week. Blogging fills that need for me.

    Comment by Tim Malone — September 30, 2008 @ 9:06 am

  7. I think I fall in line close to what Tim said. It’s been an engaging hobby to be able to discuss things I’m passionate about or think about often with people I would never be able to have a conversation with otherwise. My motives have evolved the longer I blog, but through it all I realize how much I keep learning and I love that aspect the most.

    Comment by Clean Cut — September 30, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  8. [...] the gospel.  We set goals every month and we were expected to meet them or know the reason why.  I believe in goals, and enjoy setting yearly goals for myself and trying to meet them.  Even if I don’t get [...]

    Pingback by Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Psychology of Goal Setting » The Psychology of Goal Setting — November 16, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

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