President Thomas S. Monson's patriotic counsel decorated in red, white and blue.

Tomorrow the blogs will explode in Fourth of July-themed posts, joining the many Americans celebrating this day of independence. Today you can get a preview of these patriotic posts that range from the fun to the fantastic.

Having just returned home from the Mormon History Conference in Calgary (where we left on Canada Day, but not before seeing many maple leaf-decked Canadians proudly celebrating), I must start with a history-themed post. This blogger uses missionary journals to show how those serving in the “Southwestern States Mission (Celebrated) Independence Day.” Here’s one such example from 1904: “Today we have the mission building beautifully decorated with flags, bunting and pictures of Washington and Roosevelt. The missionaries went over to Independence (Mo.,) to eat dinner on the temple property. At eight o’clock tonight, we had a patriotic meeting on the lawn in front of the mission building, at which I spoke on ‘examples of patriotism,’ Elder Larson read the views of Joseph Smith on the ‘powers and policies of government,’ and songs and recitation were given. Many people were on the streets and on the lawn to listen to the program.” Isn’t that awesome?

Or if you are still searching for some Independence Day crafts, this list of “Ten 4th of July Ideas from the Crafting Chicks” should fit the bill. It includes paint projects, treat bags, printables, cupcakes and lots of red, white and blue pizazz, along with tips on how to photograph fireworks. Click in and then craft your favorite.

On the same theme, you can download these red, white and blue-themed printables from LDS Printables. One molds scripture into a flag shape: “This Is a Choice Land”; and another decorates the words of our prophet: “Freedom = Peace on Earth.” Both are magnificent. Click in, download, print and proudly display.

Finally, if you are hosting (or even if you are attending, but need to supply a dish) a family Fourth of July meal, this handy list of many, many “July 4th Barbecue Ideas” should have something to provide fireworks for the mouth to go along with the aerial fireworks. Check it out!

Now let’s see what else lit up the Bloggernacle this week:

Power pick: Oh, I think everyone should give a listen to the newest Mormon Channel Conversations: Episode 42, featuring Michael Otterson of Public Affairs. His discussion on the power of social media (blogging!) and both its awesome and frustrating aspects. He uses his own personal experiences in blogging as a template for bloggers. He implores the audience to be authentic, use clear and open answers, and use the correct terminology. Click in to listen to all 12 segments, and I’ll say it again, it should be a must-listen for everyone participating or wishing to participate in the virtual public square.

Techie tip: Did you know that the “Personal Progress Site Now Allows Leaders to Update Progress for Young Women”? This LDS Tech blogger explains how: “To view the Personal Progress site, from, go to Menu >Youth. On the Youth site menu, click Personal Progress. (Or go directly here.) Once on the Personal Progress site, sign in with your LDS Account. Then click Leader Summary in the lower-right column.” And then he provides step-by-step instructions on exactly how to fill in the gird and even includes helpful screenshots. Click in to learn more on how to use this awesome resource.

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: [email protected]