Some Reflections After the First SLC Bloggernacle Gathering

My Sunday School teacher quoted J. Golden Kimball today in her lesson about pondering the words of Christ and his doctrine. In a 1926 General Conference talk, Elder Kimball said:

Think of God. How many of us think of God thirty minutes out of twenty-four hours? There is not one out of five hundred that actually thinks of God and His Son Jesus Christ thirty minutes a day. I do; but the first thing I know, my mind wanders off on something else.

Last night at the first Bloggernacle gathering, which was held at my house in SLC and which was very enjoyable, those who came discussed the Bloggernacle in meta terms, wondering about its origins and more importantly, its future. When I heard this quote in SS this morning, it turned my mind to the time I spend in the Bloggernacle. Let me explain.

In the meta-blogging discussion, there were different views on the future of the Bloggernacle but I noticed that I really only had positive things to say about the Bloggernacle sites that I visit regularly. Of course, Times and Seasons figured prominently into the discussion since I assume that it is what brought most of us that were there at my house last night together. I have very much appreciated T&S as a forum to engage in discussions about a vast array of Gospel-centered topics (even in the overtly political threads, topics are analyzed in light of the Gospel). This is, in my estimation, a very positive opportunity for anyone interested in discussion about how the Gospel might apply to all areas of life and culture from many different perspectives.

My wife expressed some of her consternation at the time that I spend participating in the Boggernacle at last night’s gathering. She lurks on some of the blogs but never comments (so far). I want to accommodate her by spending less time online and more playing with the kids. But I also want to note that the exposure to great minds and debate in the Bloggernacle is in itself valuable. Today’s SS lesson helped me realize a little more why I enjoy participating in the Bloggernacle and why the time, for me, is well spent:

(1) I spend at least 30 minutes in the Boggernacle per day. J. Golden Kimball’s quote in SS made me realize that the time I spend in the Bloggernacle each day helps me to focus of Christ and his Gospel every single day for a sustained amount of time, much like Kimball’s 30 minutes.

(2) The people with whom I interact in the Bloggernacle are for the most part faithful Latter-day Saints and truly conform to Jesus’ words in 3 Nephi 12:13. In that verse, Jesus states

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men.

As I sat with other fellow Bloggernackers at my house last night, I was struck that these people, each a Latter-day Saint with quite different perspectives and views from each other, really are the salt of the earth and I am grateful to be counted as a Latter-day Saint together with them. It was a savory evening, as are the discussions I have in the Bloggernacle.

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10 Responses to Some Reflections After the First SLC Bloggernacle Gathering

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey John! Thanks again for hosting us! It was a blast!

    Where did you hide the kids? :) 

    Posted by danithew

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha! They were sleeping in their respective rooms. We should have shown you the house. Next time.

    You forgot your scrabble pieces. Come by and get them whenever you can.

    For those not able to come: we didn’t end up playing Bloggle or Scrabble–just sat around and talked, ate cheese, did a chocolate fondue, talked, and talked some more.

    It was great. 

    Posted by john fowles

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey John,

    I’m really bummed to have missed it. We got caught up at this other party, and then headed home. We drove by Logan Ave. on 13th E., and I was tempted to stop by, but it was already 10:30, and I figured you would have closed it down by then. Now, reading how much fun you guys had, I’m not so sure.

    Anyway, I hope this happens again and that I can be a part of it. Thanks for playing host.

    (I’d be interested in others’ observations about the get-together). 

    Posted by Ryan Bell

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding me! You are telling me that the “30 min” you spend on blogging is really your introspective time to reflect on your relationship with the Savior? Sorry, but it sounds like a bit of a streach and very much a justification. I don’t mind you spending some time blogging, but don’t even try to convince me that what you are doing is for the benifit of your spirit. There may be interesting discussions on spiritually related topics, but can you honestly tell me that this is what Elder Kimball was talking about? Now, come and play with your wife and kids! 

    Posted by a fowles

  5. Anonymous says:

    LOL! John I don’t think Allison is buying your argument at all. It was a nice try though. :)

    I’ll try and drop by for those scrabble pieces sometime soon but I’ll call ahead to warn you (make sure you’re there). I hope you won’t mind if it takes me awhile to swing by. 

    Posted by danithew

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your kind words on my blog! I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. I have seen your comments in various places and it has always stirred joy in me to hear the spirit of truth and compassion in your words. I really like your stuff here on your blog; thanks for all the work you put into it (and Jordan!).
    Peggy 

    Posted by Peggy Snow Cahill

  7. Anonymous says:

    Actually I tend to agree. I find it much better to think and meditate on the gospel when I have some topic to think about. The various religious and philosophy blogs are a way to keep my scripture study fresh and thoughtful. 

    Posted by Clark

  8. Anonymous says:

    John,
    Hey, great ammunition for future discussions with my wife about my blogging habits. Thanks.

    I agree that it is strengthening and wonderful to be able to be constantly discussing the Gospel. It’s a better way of enjoying a break that standing by the water cooler discussing the game. Also, the time spent writing a thoughtful post is time that I’d otherwise be watching TV or something. Maybe not. I don’t know. 

    Posted by Rusty

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a fun time had by all. Although, I have to admit that some of us bloggernackers are possibly feeling a tad left out to only be hearing about the event after the fact.

    You wife should join the bloggernacle. :) 

    Posted by Aimee Roo

  10. Anonymous says:

    Aimee, sorry that you heard about the event after the fact! This was not an invitation-only event. It developed on a thread over at Times and Seasons, so I guess you would have had to see it there to know about it. 

    Posted by aw fowles

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