You don't have to go far to find a creative idea for cooking, crafting or motherhood as long as you've got the Internet.
In the past few years, it has become popular for stay-at-home moms to write blogs about everyday life with their kids.
Several LDS women have created successful blogs that inspire readers around the world — regardless of readers' religious beliefs.
Last September, Mariel Wangsgard, author of Or So She Says , got the idea to contact more than 30 other LDS bloggers and start a project to educate people about the Mormon Church.
Wangsgard wrote a blog post about her project in response to the question, “Why are so many mommy bloggers Mormon?”
In an effort to answer that question, Wangsgard asked her blogger friends to write out their testimonies so they could compile a packet of their beliefs.
Wangsgard informed her readers that if they were interested in learning more about the church, she would send them a Book of Mormon along with the packet of testimonies for free.
Shawni Pothier, author of the 71 toes blog, is one of the participating bloggers in the project.
When Wangsgard contacted her, Pothier was excited about the idea.
“I get a lot of questions from people about my religion, so it was perfect to be able to explain and give them the real deal, the Book of Mormon, to figure it out for themselves,” Pothier said.
Because some people seem to be incredulous about how Mormons can enjoy a life centered on commandments and obedience, Pothier wanted to convey how the gospel is the happiest part of her life and her family members' lives.
“I have a little girl with a syndrome that causes a lot of health issues, and the gospel helps us to stay happy,” Pothier said. “I think people can relate because they have their own trials, but they don’t know how to get through them. That’s why I’m so grateful for the gospel.”
After posting about the project on her own blog, Pothier received about 120 responses from readers who were interested in recieving a Book of Mormon, along with the testimonies.
Many readers ask Pothier a lot of questions about Mormons ranging from homosexuality to if it’s realistic to have kids participate in fasting.
“I think the biggest misconception that I’ve come along with is that Mormons think they are the greatest,” Pothier said. “A lot of people who’ve written on my blog have been amazed how accepting we are of everybody.”
The project not only affected the readers who received the Book of Mormon, it also affected the bloggers.
“Having the opportunity to sit down and write my testimony has been the best part of the whole thing,” Pothier said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to share about my mission and raising kids, but it’s different expressing that to a blog world.”
Since the group of women began the project, two people have been baptized and another is preparing.
"This isn't really a program to get people to be baptized, although, of course, that would be great," Pothier said. "If people are interested, we want them to have the information from us, people who know and live it and love it, rather than from some weird site on the Internet or someone who may have left the church and is bitter about it. I'm just so grateful for the gospel in my life, and I'm so glad to have an avenue to share it if people are interested."
The women's offer to share a copy of the Book of Mormon and their testimonies with interested readers never expires, according to Wangsgard's original blog post. Other LDS bloggers who are interested in participating in the project can contact Wangsgard.
Megan Marsden is an intern with the Deseret News writing for the Faith & Family section. She is currently a junior at BYU-Idaho studying communication. The views of the writer do not reflect the views of BYU-Idaho.
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