Welcome back to the Bloggernacle back bench: a comfortable place to observe, learn and discuss.

As your guide to the world of LDS blogs, I thought Id begin this weeks installment with a main reason why the Bloggernacle is so amazing.

Voice.

Voice?

Yes, voice. Not only is the Bloggernacle a voice for change and an outlet for conversation, but it can include your voice. You can go in and make suggestions, talk about issues, bring up new topics, be artistic, etc. You can even have an anonymous voice if you wish. But your voice can be heard.

It isnt always heard, comments can be deleted — although if you REALLY want to be heard you can create your own web space, but that is a discussion for a future column.

Nonetheless, I know of no other outlet where your voice can combine with voices from around the world in dynamic dialogue.

Voice.

Here are some especially compelling Bloggernacle voices from the last week:

Power Pick: "Sagging," "grime," "rickety" or even "crackhouse." Do these words describe your ward? "Portrait of a Ward" skillfully describes one unnamed ward somewhere in the world. Do you remember attending a similar ward? Does this describe your ward? Do those benches in your heated building seem a bit softer now? Check out this potent post at Nine Moons.

Poignant Pick: "The Childless Ones" post at Times and Seasons highlights an article of the same name from a 1916 Relief Society Magazine. With beautiful, intuitive, and delightfully-dated language, it comforts those who are unable to have children, and advises others to curtail judgment and instead offer support. Favorite line: "Let our tongues be wise and our comments slow." And skim through the comments for some heart-touching personal experiences and insights.

Background Check: Title: Mormon Mentality. Subtitle: Thoughts and Asides by Peculiar People. Tags: humor, humanity, politics, history.

On October 3, 2006, Mormon Mentality uploaded its "Welcome" post. Born from the ashes of The Banner of Heaven experiment, Mormon Mentality is "an open

place, and that's the way we like it."

Naomi Sloan, one of the perma-bloggers, explains that Mormon Mentality differs from other Bloggernacle members because "we invite a wider array of commenters. In fact, I think we've developed a reputation in the Bloggernacle as being a place that won't necessarily censor or shun commenters that go against the grain." David King Landrith (aka "DKL"), another perma-blogger, adds: "There's certainly a place for blogs that focus on academic viewpoints or issues of liberal vs. conservative doctrinal interpretations or gender issues, but that's not us. We think that Mormons — everyday Mormons, from all walks of life — rock, and we want to engage them creatively on a personal, intellectual, and emotional level."

Check out some of Mormon Mentality's recent posts including "Mitt, looking relaxed and presidential . . ." or "More Data on Anti-Depressant Use in Utah" or even "Happy National Pancake Day".

Fitting February: Not only did we have National Pancake Day this last week, but we had President Lincolns birthday. Check out the fitting blog post, "Of the People, By the People, For the People". And did you know that February is Black History Month? "The First Black Apostle of the Restoration" is a hat-tip to the observance, as is "Black History Month at Church". And finally, you can think about February's reddest, most heart-shaped day in "Happy Valentines Day!"

Interactive Items: So in your deepest heart of hearts, you have likely pondered over the mind-numbing question of "Which Theologian Are You?" Well wonder no longer. The Juvenile Instructor links to a quiz that could very well solve your burning curiosity. Joking aside, this is a fascinating little exercise and I echo the comment of calling for a Mormon version.

Techie Tip: THIS IS MORE OF AN ALL-CAPS SORT OF TECHIE TIP TO WHICH EVERYONE ON THE COMPUTER SHOULD PAY ATTENTION! "You Have the Right to Remain Visible" is an incredibly helpful explanation of the privacy dangers in this information age. The post and the comments have important advice and tips for protecting your info.

And with that, Ill be clickin away!

(Emily Warburton Jensen juggles writing and editing while mommy-ing four mostly delightful children. She returns to the Deseret News after seven years, excited to cover the Bloggernacle. She loves to ski, horseback ride, sing, travel and enjoy dark chocolate.)