Well, to really understand, you’d have to read “an interesting past“.  If you do, you’ll appreciate why I am so passionate about encouragement, inspiration, hope, and motivation. 

I guess you could sum it all up with the phrase “because I have been given much, I too must give”.

First and foremost, I have a burning testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and find the utmost joy in teaching and testifying of its principles – especially on such a regular basis.  This blog lets me be a kind of pioneer, with an opportunity to “brave new frontiers to spread the gospel”. 

But I also have a deep sympathy for the trials of life that create such heavy burdens that people bear, and want to be that voice to offer comfort, hope, encouragement, motivation, and inspiration.  It has a lot to do with my belief in “emotional supply lines“.

Finally, I believe it’s very important to speak up.  The world is having conversations about Mormonism using new media (particularly the internet), and increasingly people are turning online for research.  It’s important that when to do go online, they find the right information, and they find that information being shared and testified by real people.

Not many years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The tipping point“, a fascinating exploration of what makes ideas grow ubiquitous.  What takes them from just “an idea” to becoming a social phenomenon?  He talks about the linear impact that highly influential people can have on pushing an idea to its tipping point, where suddenly it becomes colossal. 

Then more recently, a researcher by the name of Duncan Watts suggested that the spread of social ideas was highly driven by cumulative word of mouth influence (more than by any one person).

The point is, the more people there are that are willing to invest in speaking out, sharing their ideas, and testifying, and the more successfully they are able to do it, the more those ideas become heard.  Increasing the frequency of the “pro” message, is an important step in shaping the larger social opinion, and reaching those individuals out there who are really seeking to discover.

To this point, on December 15, 2007, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a speech to two hundred graduating students at Brigham Young University – Hawaii, wherein he states:

” We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches.  While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”

He said that there are too many conversations going on about the church for church representatives to respond to each of them individually, and that church leaders “can’t answer every question, satisfy every inquiry, and respond to every inaccuracy that exists.”  He said that these students should consider sharing their views on blogs, responding to online news reports, and using “new media” in other ways.

So I’ve decided to be a pioneer in my own way, in the hopes that just maybe somebody might find hope in my words… or truth, or faith – in which all my efforts would have been worth it.

Rusty

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