Personally, I’ve always enjoyed writing, sharing my testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and standing up for my religion and my faith (two different things in some ways). I decided to start this blog, The Daily Mormon, though, specifically, after reading an extraordinary book by expert-blogger, writer, and entrepreneur, Greg Trimble (check out his personal blog by Clicking Here and visit his business websites as well if you’d like to get to know him better and/or learn about his cool project/task management software, YallaHQ.com as well as his California-based digital marketing agency, Lemonade Stand).
The book I’m referring to was referred to me by my folks. They read it first, started their own blog right away (inspired by Greg’s example), then recommended it on to me. Their blog, if you’d like to see it, is https://wesuchateam.wordpress.com/. The book they referred to me is entitled The Virtual Missionary: The Power of Your Digital Testimony. It is extraordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it really did inspire me to start this blog.
If you are by chance interested in sharing your own testimony online, or any sort of faith/belief/philosophy for that matter, I strongly recommend you read this book. Click the links below to visit preview pages on this plus two others of Greg’s books and Click Here again to visit his personal blog if desired. It’s fantastic. I strongly recommend it.
If nothing else, I appreciate Greg’s viewpoint as well as his writing style. He seems like a pretty cool guy and he’s definitely a “Mormon On A Mission.” That is to say, much of what he writes and has written helps clarify the “Mormon Misconceptions” that are so prevalent these days. He’s leading the charge when it comes to members like me helping address so much of the “fog” that appears online in many Mormon-related searches, and he does it in a way that’s refreshing, down-to-earth and real. I really enjoyed it.
Here are links to the three books I mentioned:
Click Here to read a short article in the Deseret News (written back in April of 2017) that tells how Greg’s personal blog had over 7 million views at the time, how he has thousands of social media followers and a greater digital reach than many news outlets. (Talk about “fighting the good fight.” I’d say he’s definitely doing his part…!)
I thought I’d actually take a minute to transcribe for you a couple of pages from Greg’s Virtual Missionary book if you’ll bear with me. I really liked what he said and it gives you a good glimpse both at how he thinks (and I do as well) and how well he puts those thoughts on paper. I think you’ll enjoy it. [This will be a longer post than most of mine have been but hang in with me if you can. It’s insightful stuff.]
Personally, I hope to be half as good as Greg someday at this-here blogging thing.
Thanks again and warmest regards,
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA
P.S. Greg, if you ever personally read this post, just know how much we appreciate your example and your “voice.” Thanks for leading the way and helping balance the Mormon/Anti-Mormon scales a bit. We both know the message of the Church is really quite simple, not to mention beautiful and clear … despite the mud that gets thrown at it now and then. Keep up the great work. (And, great family pic. They’re beautiful….).
Excerpt from The Virtual Missionary: The Power of Your Digital Testimony
“I’ve been told I’m part of a cult, or that Joseph Smith was lazy or that I don’t worship the correct Jesus, but never has anyone offered me a better understanding of God or a logical explanation of various key passages found within the same Bible. I could walk into four different churches on one intersection and not one of them would even attempt to show me that they are the church that Christ established when he was on earth. My question is simple and honest: Can anyone give me something better than the Mormon Church, and if so what is it and how does it stack up against the structure of the original Christian church that Christ established, as laid out in the Bible?
I have always been the sort of person that likes to get to the bottom of things, and research them for myself. This is no different than Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or many other great leaders of the Church. Blind faith is not my thing. The leaders of every age whom I respect the most never settled on someone else’s word. They used a combination of logic and faith to arrive at their testimony, and then they never stopped building their testimony. They never finished acquiring their testimony; it was a continuous process. We sometimes cite Brigham Young’s testimony coming from a single event in which “a man without eloquence,” Eleazer Miller, convinced him of the truth through his pure testimony alone. Yes, Eleazer’s testimony may have sealed the deal for Brigham, but it was two years of careful observation and study that led him to a place in which his heart could be changed by a simple testimony.
I’m a firm believer in what President J. Reuben Clark once said: “If we have the truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” I’ve never felt like God has wanted anyone to display blind obedience. Some people cite Adam saying, “I know not, save the Lord commanded me,” (Moses 5:6) as an example of blind obedience. But Adam’s faith and obedience were far from blind. The guy had just been in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and was booted out of the garden. Of course he’s going to do what the Lord told him to do. We have not had the same experience as Adam. We’re looking for evidences of our faith and that drives us to obedience. God asks us to “study [things] out in our minds” (D&C 9:8), to take a step forward, and then ask Him before we ever fully accept or commit to something. I have never come across any of the Lord’s teachings in which He doesn’t want us to use our brains. For that reason, I’ve never been one to slam intellectualism in the Church. In fact, I feel our intellect is much more important than we’ve given it credit for in the past. Remember that God said He would tell us in our “mind and in [our] heart[s]” (D&C 8:1). But we spend a lot of time talking about how to “follow our hearts” or “listen to our hearts.” I feel as though God speaks to us first through our mind, and that the mind subsequently conveys peace to our hearts. It is the feeling of light cleaving unto light (see D&C 88:40) that illuminates our bodies and gives us peace in our heart. Joseph Smith once said, “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … [and] those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God.” From what Joseph Smith is describing, our mind and our associated God-given intellect is at the core of our eternal progression. It is not our intellect that deceives us. It is our agency, rebellion, and rejection of the feelings that have been transmitted to our heart through the instrumentality of our brain and the Spirit that quickens it. It’s “men’s hearts [failing] them” (D&C 45:26) that we’ve got to worry about. The intellect just conveys. It’s the heart that accepts or rejects.
Why am I saying all this? Because critics will challenge you to think about your faith. They have challenged me to think about my faith time and time again, and they will continue to challenge me to think about my faith. Personally, it has been a good thing. It has made me a stronger member. It has caused me to “search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness” as the prophet Joseph Smith taught. Joseph Smith dealt with a lot of critics.
Do you remember what he would do? He invited them over for dinner. Gave them his pulpit, and heard them out. “The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. They mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.”
Let the critics have their say. But stay positive with them, love them, and seek to make friends with them. They’re still your brother or sister. Dealing with opposition may be one of the greatest challenges you’ll run into as you publish your testimony to the world. But if you have the right frame of mind from the get-go, then you’re going to be a much happier individual and a much more effective virtual missionary.” (pp. 125-127).
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks again, Greg, for your example and encouragement.
Lots more to come, gang. Thanks for stopping by…..