Tips for LDS bloggers from the 'ultimate blog' — the Book of Mormon
“The Book of Mormon prophets were not afraid to quote other prophets. Look at how Nephi quotes Isaiah? Jacob quotes Zenos,” Wilcox said. “In our blogs we don’t have to rely on ourselves, we can quote the brethren, scripture verses, good phrases and good books that we like and which have influenced us. As we do this it gives us authority and credibility.”
‘And thus we see’
A principle or the moral of a Book of Mormon story is sometimes introduced by the familiar words, “And thus we see.”
“And thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ,” (Hel. 3:28).
"If we are going to blog about the church and share our testimonies, throw in the phrase ‘And thus we see’ to show the key point," Wilcox said. "These key words and phrases draw attention to something specific."
Good blogs usually have a consistent theme, whether it's food, politics, sports or otherwise, upon which all their posts center, Sweat said. The central point of all the writers in the Book of Mormon was to “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” (Title page).
“That theme is more evident in the Book of Mormon than perhaps any other book,” Sweat said. “Have a point, have a theme, have a message, have a mission, have a purpose.”
One recent Deseret News article reflected the sentiment that millions of people are searching for the truth but don’t know where to find it. They have questions about the existence of God, the purpose of life and what happens after death, among many others.
“Those are questions that really matter,” Wilcox said. “One thing I think the Book of Mormon does well is focus on questions that matter.”
When blogging, consider addressing questions like "If I met God, what would I ask him? What would I want him to tell me? If I could speak to a prophet, what would I ask or want to know?"
“As you start conversations with heartfelt questions, you can find out what really matters to people. Why did my uncle have to die? Why did my aunt get cancer?” Wilcox said. “The Book of Mormon helps us focus on questions that really matter in our lives.”
“One way that blogs connect with the Book of Mormon is that they often connect people with causes," Hilton said. "The Book of Mormon repeatedly condemns those who neglect the poor and encourages us to help the poor and needy. This is a worthy effort with which many blogs are engaged.”
Another question Hilton likes is "Know ye not that there are more nations than one?"
“We live in an interconnected world," he said. "Blogs help us hear individual voices wherever they might be around the globe. This can help expand our horizons.”
Who will read it?
The Book of Mormon is full of warnings. Along the same lines, Sweat, an assistant professor of church history at BYU, cautioned bloggers to remember digital media is forever media, so be careful what you post.
“Remember, your ranting blog about politics or your post about your family trip to Disneyland, now that it has been published — like the Book of Mormon — will never go away. Its message will always be available to those who want to find it and read it,” Sweat said. “Don’t forever sow seeds of discord. Don't eternally post about things you'll later regret.”
And like the Book of Mormon, you never know who will end up reading it, so share a message that will make a difference in someone's life.
"You may be posting your sepia-toned photos of your latest camping trip for your grandmother in Wisconsin, but someone in Florida might stumble upon your blog, read your entry, love it, read more entries, start blog-stalking you, and be totally influenced for good by it," he said. "They didn’t anticipate stumbling upon your blog, and maybe they didn’t anticipate stumbling upon the Book of Mormon, but both of them are out there and can change lives.
"The Book of Mormon is like a blog in that you don’t really know who will read it, and how it will affect them. It was written to 'the Lamanites and also to Jew and Gentile' (Title Page) in the last days, but its content can be picked up and read by anyone, anywhere, anytime," Sweat said. "Make your blogs public. Write to the public. Let your light so shine."
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