Three things you’re probably starting to come to decipher about me by now:
(1) I’m not a great writer. I mean, I try and I do alright. I do enjoy writing and think I have a bit of talent. (Like many, I have aspirations of writing the Next Great American Novel someday). But, writing takes talent (of which I have little) and, even more so, good writing takes time (which is one thing I just don’t have very much of these days, I’m afraid). With five children, a busy business, my marriage, and assignment at church, etc., it all adds up—fast. I will tell you this: it takes a lot more than you might realize to maintain a blog like this … especially daily. It’s always sitting there, waiting for you to come back, rain or shine. It is a labor of love, for sure, but one I’m committed to maintaining … for as long as I can.
(2) If you haven’t noticed, this blog and my approach to this project in general, are really a “collection of content” more than anything else. You could call me a “curator,” I suppose, like in a museum of art. While I write as much as I can and I do try to share with you my thoughts and feelings (and a few tips) along the way, that really isn’t my primary goal. My objective with The Daily Mormon is to share with you a variety of views on what it means to be Mormon. Call it a “Synopsis of the Mormon Experience,” if you’d like to. At least that’s what I mean for it to be. It might come to you in various forms—as you’ve seen—videos, articles, teachings from Church leaders and other members of the Church, other “guest” blogs, news reports, music, and more. Personally, I look at it like this:
There is a lot of great material out there that chronicles and catalogs what it means to be Mormon (and not just according to the anti-Mormonism movement). I don’t personally have the corner on it and I really don’t think any one person does. And that’s okay. We don’t have to. (I certainly don’t have all of the answers myself). But, as a whole, together as one, I think we can collectively come pretty close. If you are sincere about learning, I’m confident, you can gain a really good perspective of the essence of Mormonism in the process (both from this Daily Mormon blog as well as from the lives of all the real, normal, “ordinary-but-not-extraordinary” members I plan to highlight—members just like me. Call it a “celebration” of the Church and its people. Whatever it is, I hope you’re enjoying it. I would really love to hear your thoughts on this and any post, as long as they are positive and encouraging.
(3) Along these same thoughts, while there are many different, sincere, authentic opinions about the Church and the message I’d like to share, and while there are many good, run-of-the-mill people to whom I’ll keep turning to, to help me tell this story, there are also many experts and scholars far more qualified than the rest of us to do so. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m trying to share their insights and “expertise” in my posts as well. I talk quite a bit about “going to the source” in your searching, and I personally have to do the same thing. Even though I’m just around the corner from 50, even with my rich Mormon heritage and 40+ years of experience … as a returned missionary for the church (I served in Italy-Rome), a former gospel doctrine teacher, seminary teacher, temple prep teacher, and more … I’m still learning too! We all are. And, while I do know a fair amount, there are a lot more, better-qualified members, all over the world than me. And, while there are many of us with sincere testimonies, great insights, and our own share of stories and strength for you to draw from, there are a number out there more accomplished, more educated, and more interesting than I. Hence my ongoing curation of their thoughts and stories. I’ll collect and share them; you try to absorb. I’ll do my part; you enjoy the ride.
This picture (above) is a good example of what I’m talking about: a great shot of our last prophet, Thomas S. Monson, his predecessor, the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, and United States President Ronald Regan, all visiting like pals at one of our Bishop’s Storehouses (a few years back). Don’t know about you, but I never met President Regan. Did you…?
Don’t take me wrong. A testimony is a testimony and the Spirit can change a man or woman—no matter how accomplished, famous, or well-known they are (or aren’t). We’re all the same in our Father in Heaven’s eyes and I know He loves us all. You understand me, though, right? You don’t want to just hear me and my ramblings day-in-and-day-out. I certainly hope not. I plan to keep sharing and every now and then might “dazzle” you with my personal thoughts and insights. But, for the most part, I just want to be your “tour guide,” your friend, your “compass” along this path—your “Curator of Mormonism” as we’re traveling together. If nothing else, allow me to be your “map holder” and your personal “sounding board,” if you’d like. As long as you “play nice,” and don’t throw stones at me or my faith, we’ll get along just fine. I do appreciate your readership as well as your Likes, Shares, and Follows. Thank you for stopping by. It’s much appreciated.
Speaking of President Hinckley (and of other “experts in the Church” in general far more qualified than I) … I thought you might enjoy hearing this testimony from President Hinckley, the prophet, himself, and former president of the Church (from 1995-2008). Known as the “Temple Builder,” he’s graduated/passed on now, but he left an indelible mark on the world throughout his life. (You heard from him before if you listened to his video in my previous post, The Stone Cut Out of the Mountainside; also powerful). This video, below, is one of his last times speaking from the pulpit, to my understanding, and it is his simple, powerful testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t know about you, but I was touched by his words. You can’t help but feel the spirit as he speaks. I really hope you too enjoy it.
Click the Box Below to Watch this Video:
I wish you the best … in your search and your journey.
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA