Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Illusion?

I read another blogger's status on Facebook the other day. The blogger commented that we "Mormon Bloggers" were producing "sparkly" blogs that tend to create an illusion that everything is perfect.  I am a Mormon blogger.  I blog about things that make me happy.  I've always figured that the problems in my life are mine and they are personal, not to be blogged about for all the world to see.  She commented that people were joining the LDS Church based on Mormon bloggers. Then when things weren't perfect according to their perception, then they became disillusioned with the Church.

Just because we are members of the LDS church and blog about happy things does not mean that bad things don't happen...that we don't still have personal struggles.  For instance, my 20 year old son was just in a serious car accident in New Mexico.  He spent a short time in the hospital.  His car is totaled because some idiot rear ended him going 40-50 mph.  As a mother I was beside myself with crazy worry.  I still am...I just made an emergency trip to California to see my dying grandmother.  Saying goodbye to her and flying home was a really hard thing.  Bad things still happen, hard things still happen.  Focusing on the positive happy things uplift me and hopefully uplift others.  There is enough bad stuff going on in the world, it is nice to have a place of happy refuge.

Let me say a few things...I would be over the top excited if someone became interested in learning about my Church because of me.  But, I would not want someone joining my church because of me.  Does that make sense?  When you make a life commitment like that, committing to a religion, committing to God, that has to be for you and no one else.  You have to know it.

Since her post, I have felt frustrated with blogging.  I feel like perhaps people are looking at me and fellow bloggers under a microscope.  I guess I'm just feeling a little frustrated and trying to pinpoint my purpose for blogging.

Have you felt these same frustrations? 
What is your purpose for blogging?


  1. Hey there!
    I haven't heard a direct comment so much about Mormon blogging, but I have had family members (I am the only member) mention when they visit our church we seem TOO happy and TOO bubbly. It can be hurtful to hear, but let's face it, we are a happy people!
    I have blogged many times about my hard times and often been given more love and support for doing so, things like my chronic illness, infertility, and ADHD. I think talking about our struggles with how we overcame them (through faith) shares our testimonies even more. No shame in that, and people shouldn't join the church because of something they read, they should join because they feel the Spirit and grow stronger in the Gospel of Jesus Christ through attending.
    Real tesimonies are born through our own faith not through the actions of others. A testimony based on a person will fail because people are not perfect, but a testimony based on the spirit felt well that is unbreakable!

  2. Great post, I like the idea of people becoming interested in the church through us but not joining because of us. I actually liked that status update.
    I think the kindest thing we can do for ourselves and for others is to be honest and authentic. But I agree with you that we don't have to post about every miserable experience we have, when we have it. I like my blog to be a mostly positive place too. I am inspired to write when I am happy and inspired to write by happy things. I don't go out of my way to make it sparkly at all but it does come across as an unbalanced view of my life. That's just the nature of blogging. Your blog is your own, ultimately. It's for whatever purpose you choose. I believe that we need to be honest in our representations but I don't believe that we should feel an obligation or responsibility to put it all out there.

  3. I like your post, too. Personal blogs may be a place to air all your trash ... but I'm not really interested in those types of blogs. The fact that I don't blog about my personal struggles just means that they are personal and I realize that ANYONE can read a personal blog. People I know might read my blog and since people are often a great source of frustration, I think it would be very trashy to vent about them on my blog. I'm not going to use my blog to degrade anyone. I'm not going to use my blog to air an issue or concern I have with my child that might violate their sense of privacy. Yes, things happen. Sometimes very difficult things happen. It might be nice to air them all out ... but it would not be classy. And it might be premature. Often, my own feelings or point of view are not reflective of the true nature of things that bother me but I can't see that until long after the fact.

    My point being, a blog maybe should NOT be a comprehensive journal to the world. Our cultural obsession with knowing everything about everyone (especially famous people) with no sense of boundaries or privacy is BAD.

    If I can find a way to blog about a struggle that I feel is productive and respects the privacy of my family and friends and people I know, then I might blog about it. Otherwise, I'm not going to.

    But everything I DO blog about is very real. There are many good, positive things about my life. And I believe that other bloggers who blog about the happy things in their life are also being real. Most people have a lot of good in them and in their lives. I also assume that most people also have their struggles and trials. I would never assume that because someone blogs about their happiness that there is no sorrow. That is a naive assumption. If anything, the fact that many Mormon bloggers blog about happy, positive things demonstrates that they are trying, in the midst of struggles and difficulties, to find something good and to dwell on the good and to create good in a world that can be so hard.

    And the Mormon church? Never join it because of the people. Ever. Everyone is entitled to receive their own witness through the Holy Ghost that the church is the Church of Jesus Christ, and through that same spirit to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Because, as we members know, often the members themselves can be our greatest trials and struggles! People are not perfect. Going to church does not make a person perfect. Trying to share the happy things on a person's blog does not make that person perfect.

    If someone claims that the happy blogs of Mormon women are leading to disillusionment about the church, I think it is a naive and bitter approach to examining doctrine and religion. People should join a church because they believe in the doctrine. Lousy people who have their own private struggles don't affect the doctrine (they simply prove the necessity of a Savior). :)


  4. I blog because it is a way to connect with my extended family and friends. I chronicle some of the things we do, and if I were a better blogger I'd make posts about the funny, interesting (interesting to me at least) things that happen with my kids or in my life. It is a blog that reflects the real nature of our family life (we have a pretty good family life) and I think will be a nice and appropriate family history. I do, sometimes, wish that I could blog about some of the struggles I personally face. But it would violate the privacy of others and be inappropriate. The name of my blog, Scatter Sunshine and Planting Seeds of Happiness reflects that happiness is a choice. You can create it and find it and cultivate it. Personally, the gospel of Jesus Christ as I've studied and been taught in the Mormon church really helps me to find that happiness in the midst of struggle. The gospel is an anchor and a light. I am grateful every day for the strength that this gospel gives me to find that happiness and dwell on that happiness instead of focusing on so many negative things in the world or even dwelling on the challenges I personally face. Our attitude in life is a choice.

    And I'm going to say that I don't think most bloggers who blog about their happy lives have deep dark secrets and misery. But really, WHO expects anyone to be perfect based on a blog? Again, that seems like a really naive assumption.


Always happy to hear from you! Comments make my day, just please keep them uplifting and positive. Thanks for stopping by!

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