Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who's on the Lord's Side, Who?

There seems to be a growing trend among LDS bloggers to attempt to be scientific or neutral in their posts. Perhaps we hope in this way to make our blogs appear more credible, less biased or more attractive to a nonmember audience. Speaking of blogs generally rather than individually, I suggest this is not the correct approach.

Elder Packer taught, "The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe." He continues, "We should not be ashamed to be committed, to be converted, to be biased in favor of the Lord" (The Mantle Is Far, Far Geater Than the Intellect, 22 August 1981).

Elder Packer warns, "In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary."

Might I be so bold as to suggest Elder Packer's advice applies to those of us blogging under the name of Mormonism or as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We know we cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). We know the Lord spews the lukewarm (Rev 3:16). So let us then no longer be lukewarm.

As you and I try to improve our blogs, we can easily reference this talk by Elder Ballard. Both Elder Packer and Elder Ballard's talks are worth reading in full. Among other things, Elder Ballard teaches:

Every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior. Discussions focused on questioning, debating, and doubting gospel principles do little to build the kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be “ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world.

As you participate in this conversation and utilize the tools of new media, remember who you are—Latter-day Saints. Remember, as the proverb states, that “a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). And remember that contention is of the devil (see 3 Nephi 11:29). There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs. There is no need to become defensive or belligerent. Our position is solid; the Church is true. We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the prompting of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven.

This is sound counsel. I hope my blog, as my life, will be seen as an example of a believer (1 Tim. 4:12); that you and I will let our light so shine (Matt. 5:16) and help edify, inspire and uplift a downtrodden world.

Happy blogging!


  1. Dallin,

    Not sure the trend is growing or not. Clearly there are some blogs which do attempt to discuss multiple facets of an issue, even some issues around Mormon teachings and culture. And those may or may not be striving to follow Elder Packer and Elder Ballard's counsel.

    It may be that some of those blogs do provide a valid forum of discussion for some.

    That said, it was Elder Ballard's article that set me a-blogging in the first place. And I share the view that there is also a place -- and an important one -- for the type of blogging Elder Ballard describes.

  2. Perhaps it is only my exposure to these blogs that is growing, but I'm surprised at how many of the blogs by LDS people are proudly targeted at anarchy, jack mormonism, "neutrality", defending Church opponents, dissension or heretics.

    Seriously? That's how they choose to represent the Church? Maybe I am judging too harshly, but whose side are they on?