As I end my two weeks of guest blogging, I would like to take a look back. In the first place I have never done anything like this before. I have also come to a time in my life where I can stand up for my opinions, and not hide behind any sort of anonymity. This does not mean that I canâ€™t be persuaded or change my views, or that I always think or assume that I am right, it just means that I have enough confidence not to roll over and play dead if challenged. I loved it when people agreed, of course, but I was always also interested in times when I felt what I had been saying was missed or disagreed with. I have given a lot of thought about how to be more clear and also considered the times when I may have misstated or overstated my position.
It was also very interesting to realize that there is a large and unseen audience out there â€œlurkingâ€. I met and heard from some of these â€œlurkersâ€, both on and off line. In several cases they were colleagues. One was a former teacher in my Primary, before he moved away to attend graduate school. One of my sons spoke out in his own defense as â€œone of the complainersâ€ in my cautionary tale post. I have also made tentative arrangements to actually meet one of the commentators on the blogs next month, after the holidays.
I always stood in awe of Ardis, what she said and how well she said it. I frequently had to talk myself down from being intimidated by having my posts inter-leafed with hers. I especially loved her post about â€œthis much I knowâ€. The discussion that followed was one of the most significant exchanges I have seen on T&S. I just listened to people whose life experiences and struggles were so far a field from mine and found a new empathy for their struggles. Thank you.
I was surprised that my ward history post got hijacked to a discussion about whether the Sacrament Prayers were still scriptures. I was mostly trying to make the point that remembering and witnessing were central to our lives as Latter-day Saints and to the concept of sacred history. I wouldnâ€™t have even minded the threadjack, if we had somehow been able to get back to a discussion about sacred history and its uses both in our own lives and for the Church.
I dug out my â€œsocial-scientist-participate-observer-hatâ€ and plunked it right down on my head as I watched the comments on Santa roll in. It received the most posts in this last two week period. Obviously, a nerve was hit, even though apparently it had all been said before. I was equally surprised that my Sacred??? Santa post had so little feedback (since I bet that hadnâ€™t all been said before on T&S.) I had hoped for some rebuttal from the plethora of Santa defenders. I really was wondering how they would defend or repackage materialism as the state religion of America and Santa as God. Ultimately, Santa as God may have been why so many felt so attacked by us non-believers in the original Santa post. Perhaps we could build a fire out of those lumps of coal to shed more light on the subject.
I also wondered if many believed or even noticed when I claimed not to be Scrooge, nor stingy, nor anti-creativity nor anti-wonder. I am pro â€œtruthâ€ and â€œsignificance.â€ I have a dear friend who frequently reminds us in scriptural discussions to be careful about â€œWhat does the text say?â€ (Not what we think is says, what we have always heard that it says, or what do we want it to say.)
I have especially appreciated the comments on the Relief Society post. Since I have mostly talked to myself and then given talks on the subject, it was actually nice to get some push back. Hearing other viewpoints and even other pieces of honest to goodness data was one of the things I have most enjoyed about T&S in my â€œlurkingâ€ days and now as a direct participant.
This has been a fun and enlightening two weeks. I now return to â€œlurkingâ€ and occasionally commenting.