Tips for LDS bloggers from the 'ultimate blog' — the Book of Mormon
3 Nephi 23:4 — "Write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles."
3 Nephi 27:23 — "Write the things which you have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden."
Honest stories, positive resolutions
There are two things that Wilcox loves about Book of Mormon stories.
First, they are very honest.
Consider numerous examples, Wilcox said. Nephi writes that his brothers want to kill him; Sariah complains about her husband; Alma the Younger tries to destroy the church; and Corianton has to come home early from his mission because of immorality.
“I love the fact that the stories are real. It’s not all perfect. Sometimes in our culture we want to appear like the perfect family or ward. We want to portray the image that all the children are cheerfully doing chores and we all sing hymns as we wash dishes together,” Wilcox said. “I think as we share things on blogs, we have to be willing to be honest. Some things don’t always work. The kids don’t always respond. We’ve got to be willing to put our honest selves out there as the prophets in the Book of Mormon did.”
As an example, Wilcox cited Nephi’s famous lamentation: “O wretched man that I am” (2 Nephi 4:17).
“It sure makes me feel comforted when I see Nephi sharing those honest feelings because I can relate to him. There are times when I can’t relate to ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded’ (1 Nephi 3:7), but I can relate to ‘O wretched man that I am’ why am I so easily beset with sin?” Wilcox said. “If we are looking at the Book of Mormon as a model, we need to be willing to share when our family isn’t perfect or some of the struggles we are dealing with.”
Second, the Book of Mormon stories typically end with a positive resolution, Wilcox said.
“The story of Nephi’s family doesn’t completely end with a dysfunctional family. You see how he tried to teach his brothers, how he tried to be a good example for them. We see Alma the Younger say he was in the ‘gall of bitterness,’ but then he says how sweet was my joy (Alma 36:18-20),” Wilcox said. “Sometimes people throw out doubts and questions, but they don’t tell how they came to a resolution. You had a fight with your wife, how did you resolve that? You had a question about the church? How did you find the answer? I love the Book of Mormon because you have so many real solutions. I don’t want to say happy endings, but we do see stories resolved. If someone is writing a blog, teach us something, resolve something.”
In the Book of Omni, brothers Chemish and Amaron (Omni 1:4-9) didn’t appear to put a lot of effort into recording their experiences, Hilton said.
“They may have had good reasons for doing so; nevertheless, it seems like they put off writing until the last minute, and did not get a lot of significant things accomplished,” Hilton said. “Bloggers today can do the opposite.”
Bloggers would be wise to learn from the writers in Omni, Sweat agreed.
“Don't blow your chance to bless a life like Chemish and say nothing of value (see Omni 1:9), or be arrogant in your comments like Abinadom (Omni 1:10) and brag about how many Lamanites you slew,” Sweat said. “Be inspired like Amaleki (Omni 1:12-30) and give us something useful, something good, something beneficial to think on and learn from.”
Another blogging tip can be found scattered throughout the Book of Mormon, Wilcox said.
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