Mormon Moment Series on

Ahhhhh! The smell of fresh, juicy, slightly wrong Mormon blog posts. It must be Sunday!

I have been doing a series of posts related to Mormon and Post-Mormon issues that seem to be *hot* this year. With more and more people interested in Mormons, and now the change in rules for when male and female missionaries are allowed to serve, the Bloggernacle keep heating up! So, if you missed the first posts in the series (because I was a slacker and wasn’t cross posting) here is your chance to catch up. If you have been catching them on my blog, you will notice they are a little different. Thanks to Kevin who suggested that I should include the topic of the post in the title, and not jsut which post number it is. Ahhhhh, aren’t friends great for helping you see your blind spots? I am glad I have so many friends looking out for me.

I am using the same introduction for each post, both because I think that it helps keep them uniform, but also so I don’t have to try to come up with 20 ways to say the same thing!

What this series is about:

If you are Mormon, you are probably sick of hearing about the Mormon Moment. There are so many people who are suddenly interested in Mormon culture, and there are lots of Mormon bloggers that are cashing in and sharing their stories. Some of the stories end up being kind of silly, but if you are simply trying to get people to read about what is important to you, the Mormon Moment is one way to draw people in.

I do not want people to think that I don’t respect the bloggers whose posts I am sharing. All of them are good bloggers, and most of them write about Mormon topics all of the time. I have no doubt that they would have shared these thoughts and stories at some point, but as one friend told me the other day, “in the race to the election, bloggers are pushing hard to attract new readers before the Mormon Moment is gone.” So, to help you, I sifted through hundreds of posts to share the ones that I still remember. (This group of posts are nowhere near a complete view of Mormon bloggers. All of the bloggers are either Mormons, post-Mormons, or write about Mormon issues, even when it isn’t election time.)

So, what have you missed?

Mormon Moment Series – Part One – Mormon Mind Control?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Two – Ayn Rand and Quirks in Mormon Culture

Mormon Moment Series – Part Three – Modesty, Perfection and Secrets

Mormon Moment Series – Part Four –Why can’t we seem to say what we mean?

Mormon Moment Series – Part Five –Fasting For Followers!

Mormon Moment Series – Part Six – Who is a Mormon?

While it is not officially part ofmy Mormon Moment Series, please take a minutes and check out this post about Mormons, Masterbation, and the story of a teenager driven to attempt suicide, because of his wet dreams.

But for the Grace of God….

This post is about a teen suicide attempt and some of the actions that led to it. The language is not vulgar, but it is specific. Please read only if, it is emotionally safe for you. A few days ago, I sent an email out to several family members and friends about a post on the Mormon Therapistblog. It deals with a sensitive subject, so please understand that this particular linked post is not g-rated, although it will not include any explicit language either. If you are uncomfortable with discussions about sexuality, masturbation, how to teach adults and children healthy sexual attitudes, or the negative impacts of shame, I suggest you skip this post, and not click onto the linked article.”
You can go here to read the entire post, including the responses from TBMs who are supportive of Mormon Therapist’s view, who also explain how the email about this young man touched their lives, and the lives of their children. This is a bold stand from all sides, as Mormon Therapist boldly proclaims, “Masturbation is not sinful behavior in of itself nor is it a transgression.”
We live in a time of great turmoil, and out youth especially need to love and support to deal with a variety of challenges. From masturbation to Coke, homosexuality to the age of sister missionaries, the church is changing or softening on a number of important issues. I believe that we need to support those who are members of the church, who continually ask questions and look for answers. I also believe that current and former members need to find common ground, in as many areas as they can, and work together on those shared goals. Almost every post-Mormon still has family or friends who are members of the church. Almost every member of the church knows someone who has left, been kicked out, or is inactive. While there are very real hurts on all sides, I believe that coming together and being the chance we want to see in our own lives, the lives of our family members, and in the lives of all of the children we love, can make that change a reality.
Whether you are celebrating General Conference today, or are in mourning because of it, there are always ways to find a little common ground, a little place of friendship, a little piece of shared light. We do not have to change our minds about our belief or lack thereof. What we can do is put the first brick into creating a bridge, that will help span the gap between us, and the children and youth who need to know that it gets better, no matter what your sexual orientation or habits!

One last link. If you have a talent to share, leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner of a pair of pearl stud earrings!

Mormon Intra-faith Dialogue Under Controlled Circumstances

Picket Fence

A week ago, a number of bloggers from across the Mormon belief map joined together answer the following question- do good online fences make good LDS neighbors? My co-panelistchanson has posted some remarks here, andRachel Whipple has posted her remarks at Times and Seasons, andyou can also readHolly’s post herefor thoughts from a non-panelist.

I have written frequently on the topic, but I wanted to address things again here. For our panel, we had wanted to have members of the orthodox, believing Mormon blog aggregator Nothing Wavering. However, both Bruce Nielson and J. Max Wilson declined our invitation, but they did provide reasons for why they declined our invitations to Sunstone (Bruce’s reasons for declining Sunstone detail this idea that the different blogs are “safe zones” for different communities, whereas J. Max Wilson’s reasons for declining talk about the need not to give Sunstone or the Bloggernacle any legitimacy.)

With J. Max’s and Bruce’s posts publicly available on their blogs, I thought that I could present their pointson their behalf — kinda like a devil’s advocate (can you taste the irony?) I don’t know how J. Max feels about this, but Bruce, at the very least, had said explicitly in his comments:

…if you wanted to express my views of boundary maintenance at Sunstone on my behalf just for kicks and giggles and then let your panel shoot it down, I really wouldnt mind. (Not being present, I can hardly be socially rejected now can I?) I might even take this email and post it on M* one of these days and see if it generates any discussion while Im in my safe zone so to speak. But this is up to you.

So I guess his post was fair game. But there was a funny thing that happened after I presented both of their positions.

Continue reading “Mormon Intra-faith Dialogue Under Controlled Circumstances”

Why do you blog? How do you choose what to include, or focus on?

(This is part of a post that is on my personal blog. To see the entire post you can go to

When I startedmy currentblog, there was a lot of”legal “crap” going on in my life, thatlasted over a year, beforea judge finally dismissed the case for lack of evidence. My lawyers didn’t want me to continue posting to my previous blog(s) since they were coming under a lot of scrutiny. However, since I didn’t have anything to hide, they didn’t want me to delete those blogs either.

For a while I didn’t blog at all. I read and commented on other people’s blogs, but didn’t post anything.

It drove me nuts.

I wanted to stop having my only real creative talent, writing, to be bottled up on my hard drive, with no way to share it. The compromise, with my lawyers, was to create a poetry blog that did not focus on specific aspects of my life. So, initially it was about finding a way to be me, but not the me that was being attacked.

As the legal stuff calmed down, and then was dismissed, I considered going back to my original blog. Emotionally I didn’t want to go backwards, and that desire to go forward, but cautiously, is what inspired the “My New Favorite Blogs” series.

The contests came from several conversations with several people, about how sad it is that personal blogs get so much less attention than group blogs. Lots of people know and read larger blogs like BCC, Cake Wrecks, or Wheat and Tares.

As I started looking around even more, I felt even more strongly that while there are blogging communities that are successful, there are very few personal blogs that have large followings. My goal was not to make a blog with a large following, but to have fewer bloggers who have very few or no comments left on their blog(s).

Pintrest seems to have made this even more common. Even personal blogs that have lots of followers are getting more hits from Pinterest, but fewer comments. While comments aren’t everything, they do help personal bloggers keep motivated to move forward when they are frustrated, or lonely.

While my contests don’t have huge prizes, and don’t always have a lot of entries, they all focus on expanding the number of blogs that readers are exposed to, and/or giving incentives to people sharing a little slice of who they have been, are, or want to be.

If nothing else, having that focus has pushed me to spend time finding new blogs and meeting new people. Almost all of my “guest bloggers” are people who have personal blogs that I have connected with. I wouldn’t have found them if I had spent a lot of time lurking before I jumped in and commented, which was what I used to do a lot of. I realized that if comments on MY blog meant a lot to me, that most people probably felt the same way!

Does that make sense?

Why did I choose to have guest bloggers write on my blog, instead of just letting everyone know
I was going to be gone having surgery, and I wouldn’t be blogging until I felt better?

I wanted to have guest bloggers while I am “taking a break” for two reasons. First, I am hoping that I will get some different perspectives,(which certainly is ending up being the case)since a lot of the blogs and bloggers I have found, and connected to, are very diverse. I want to have that diversity evident, because I think that it helps everyone, to hear new voices, that may be outside their immediate comfort zone.

The second reason is that I had time to plan ahead, and I don’t want my blog to go “dark” for a week or more. If I had an unexpected emergency, not having any posts would make sense. Several bloggers I know have left a post that essentially says, this is happening all of the sudden, so I won’t be able to blog for a while. While I won’t be able to blog, I do have the time to set up interesting things for me, and my readers to learn about.

I am not super smart about how blogs work, but recently I figured out how to find out, how many people have me on an RSS feed, who follow me privately, and who have my posts emailed to them when a new post goes up. Since I only have five official followers, I was really surprised that when you include those other forms of “following” the blog, I have almost 90 additional people who have signed up, in some way, to hear what I have to say. With each contest I hope to engage those readresa little more, and maybe they will take the challenge to find and listen to other view points. I also hope that new people will be interested in what I and my guest bloggers have to say! I guess I see guest posts as another way to do that.

If you are interested in seeing how the Guest Posting is going, feel free to check out my blog over the next two weeks. A fwe posts I wrote ahead of time, but most of them are posts with unique perspectives, and while you may know some of the authors, you may be surprised at some of the things they wrote for my blog, since it didn’t realy fit with the theme of their blog! So, stop on by, and answer these questions here in the comments section!

Why do you blog?

Do you like finding new blogs, or do you find yourself staying to the same several blogs?

Do you add more bogs to your blog roll, if you have one? How often do you add new blogs?

What do you hope people learn about you when you blog or comment?

I know they are deep questions, but you guys are smart! So, let’s hear it!

Julia –


Exmo/DAMU history collaborative timeline!

Tolworthy wrote me the other day to point out that there’s a discussion thread on the old foyer that has been continuously running for more than seven years, and asked if there are any to top it. Does anyone here know?

Then he waxed philosophical:

Next year the thread reaches the age of accountability, an there’s probably some symbolic blog mileage there. The ex-Mormon community coming of age? While 2004 was hardly the start of the Internet or even the DAMU, it was pre-FLAK, pre-PostMormon, pre-billboards, pre-YouTube, and pre-lots of other stuff. The exmo community was then still largely transient, and a seven year thread is a reminder that we are settled and established.

True, and it got me thinking that it might be fun to do a collaborative timeline of the major events in the exmo online community. I got started, but I mostly know my own little corner of the exmo-Internet. Do others here have dates to contribute?

(Look here for the timeline if it fails to imbed.)

(If you want to have editing rights to help out with this timeline, just ask!)

New features and an invitation to guest-post!

Since Main Street Plaza is growing, we’re thinking of adding some new features — maybe even a fourth column! But since this is a community blog, that’s where you come in. What do you think of the features we’ve added to the sidebars? What else would you like to see? Would you like to post your own article(s) here?

Note that posting at Main Street Plaza doesn’t have to be instead of your current blog — rather it can be a way to increase your blog’s visibility! Have a look at some of our recent stats:

Also, you don’t have to feel limited to words on a page. For example, have a look at this silly video series I made with a certain BCC permablogger brother of mine many years ago:

Your turn!

No more humoring violence-infatuated Mormons

Back in October 2008, I posted a public response to an email that a Mormon friend of mine received and then forwarded on to me for comment: Enough with the Emails from Mormon McVeigh Wannabes.

An excerpt from my message to the Mormon author of that email rant:

I’m very concerned, Brian, by the lack of daylight between what you’ve written above and the words Timothy McVeigh used to describe the “why” behind his hatred of our country.

And my plea to the LDS leadership:

Many members have become increasingly disturbed by the tone and rhetoric that’s being adopted in Mormon email forwards like the one above, but so many members feel so browbeaten at this point that few bother to mount a challenge.

I believe it has become your responsibility to address the problem of paranoid and bellicose email forwards like Brian’s that are now in such heavy circulation among your members.

Admittedly, I’m under no illusion that anyone of importance at LDS HQ actually bothered to notice my 2008 request, but here’s a fresh 2011 request that I sincerely hope might have some chance of being taken seriously by the muckety-mucks of both the Mormon and ex-Mormon blogospheres: Please stop providing a platform for this pest.

Mike Tannehill FB 1

Mike Tannehill FB 2

I suppose the above (redacted) screen grabs speak for themselves, but just in case:

Memo to Mormon Expression: enough with the wink and nod routine, let this guy find his own platform for spreading his poison and be done.

In other news: Giffords’ husband releases first statement since shooting

Acknowledgments (for prompting my choice of title):

Russell Arben Fox, Great Work, You Over-Hyped Violence-Infatuated Morons

Collecting Nominations for the 2010 Brodies!!!

Yes, it’s that time of year again!! Time to recognize the best LDS-interest sites and material posted to the Internet in the past year!!! Look here for last year’s winners — and if you didn’t win last year, this year it could be you!! (Actually, even if you did win last year, you might win again.)

Now, I’d like to start off with a list of suggested categories. This is to simplify the nomination process, but you can also write in new categories if you think I’ve missed any. To be included in the voting, a category must have at least three nominations total (and at least two people must submit nominations for the category). Like last year, it is OK to nominate your own site/post, but please, only suggest categories people would want to win (eg. no “biggest jerk”, etc.). Here we go!

  • Best LDS-Interest Site on the Internet
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Discussion Forum
  • Best Static Site on LDS Issues
  • Best YouTube Channel
  • Best Individual Video
  • Best LDS-Interest Podcast
  • Best Faithful Mormon Blog
  • Best Humor Site
  • Most Humorous Post
  • Best Philosophical/Religious Post
  • Best Political Post
  • Best LDS Church Watch
  • Best Intrepid Reporting
  • Best “Life Beyond Mormonism” Post
  • Best Deconversion/Exit Story
  • Most Poignant Personal Story
  • Best Bridge-Building
  • Best Book Review
  • Best Response to Apologetics
  • Best Post Title
  • Best Gender/Orientation Discussion
  • Randomest Threadjack
  • Best Comment
  • Other ideas?


  • Best Blog
  • Best Historical Post
  • Best Science Post

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!!! 😀