Bloggernacle Back Bench: Introducing three new blogs, a travel site and a comedy web series

Published: Tuesday, April 10 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

I love highlighting new blogs. And spotlighting new and fascinating blogs doubles the excitement. Here are four new, fascinating blogs for you to bookmark, ranging in subjects as being Mormon, being peculiar, traveling, provident living and more.

Peculiar people: Mormon should gladly accept the title “A Peculiar People,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, and this blog, which touts "culture, politics, the humanities, sports, the arts and so on through the lens of Mormonism.” Matt Bowman explains further: “The title is elaborated in the subtitle: Mormonism through the world and the world through Mormonism. Here we hope to unpack all three aspects of the term ‘peculiar.’ How does the world see Mormonism? How do Mormons see the world? How might we explore the world through the lens of Mormonism, and see ways in which this particular peculiar gaze might illuminate life in the United States, from the grand drama of presidential elections to the weird fascinations of reality TV?” It’s a blog that scholarly takes on this “Mormon Moment” with finesse.

Mormon explorer: What is Mormon Explorer? In a sentence, “Mormon Explorer is a global community of travelers sharing their culture, food and home with other Latter-day Saints.” And with just a few clicks, you can become a part of this community. When click in, you see a search box, which you then use to put in your place of travel. Try “Salt Lake City,” for instance. Then see what the community says about traveling there as a Mormon. It’s quite awesome and will get bigger and bigger as more people join. Find out more information in this blog post describing the site's launch. And then check it out, or login as a Mormon explorer yourself to expand the global network of LDS travelers.

Mormon neighbors: Brother and sister duo, Joshua Pettus and Johanna Pettus Brown, are the brains behind “Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor,” a blog that seeks to dispel myths about your local Mormon neighbor with friendly posts that testify and entertain. Joshua's most recent post describes being diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease. In “The Difference Between Life, Death and Polycystic Kidney Disease,” he movingly connects his diagnosis with the Easter weekend: “And now at the end of this beginning, I’m realizing that I have many things to be thankful for. What lack of gratitude would I be showing God if I forgot all of those numerous blessings and only began focusing on how dreary my condition is going to be? What a blessing to know that, even though PKD may be incurable, my faith, my hope and my spirit may be renewed and revived. As hideous as polycystic kidneys may be, Christ has made it possible that I may one day be resurrected, perfect and disease free.” Click in for more.

Provident homemaker: Rhonda Hair sent me her site, “The Provident Homemaker.” I, of course, had to first check out the accompanying blog, where I found all sorts of Easter ideas and April Fool’s desserts. Hair explains why she started the site: “It began when I was the ward and stake food storage specialist and sent weekly newsletters to my ward sisters. I've had a different calling during the last year, so the site has changed somewhat over time. The first year of archives have a lot more information on storing and using food, but the site's purpose has remained essentially the same. It's branched into homemaking projects as well as practical, inexpensive and easy food. I hope you like it!” And from what I see, I do. Check it out yourself!

Now check out these awesome posts from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Speaking of new, have you heard about “Pretty Darn Funny”? You will. This new comedy web series from Deseret Book follows Gracie Moore, a mom who decides to make her own comedy troupe with the goal to be both funny and clean. Each episode runs between 6-8 minutes and are released each Monday. You can watch the first two here! I love that the Modern Mormon Men via blogger May Jones sat down for a “Pretty Darn Funny Interview with Lisa Valentine Clark” (who plays Gracie Moore) to get the inside scoop. Here’s a sample. May Jones: "You’ve been doing some producing as well as offering input to the writing on the show as well. How does that compare to just showing up and acting?" Lisa Valentine Clark: "It's really different to be on the producing side of things, but I loved giving my opinion and point of view because it is a show, after all, about women in comedy, and I have a lot of experience and opinions about that. I appreciated the fact that Jeff Parkin and Jared Cardon asked me on to this project as an actor and producer. I learned a lot, and I think it adds legitimacy to the project, because I'm a super Mormon-y mom to a lot of kids who wants to laugh, and that's a big part of our demographic. I didn't want Gracie to say or do anything I really wouldn't do or say.” Click in for more and to watch the trailer.

Techie tip: Did you know that you can find a Bible Videos App for Android mobile phones and tablets? It is free and found in the Google Play marketplace. Click to install it today!

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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