Top Five

Someone has linked to a couple of my blog posts (both retreads from the old JLO blog) from something called stumbledupon.com. Suddenly I’m getting thousands of hits on my blog, and I’m listed as number five on the fastest-growing blogs on WordPress.

My blog has always been a rather small-time affair, and only a few friends and family have spent any time here. My wife, after reading my posts here, wonders if part of the reason I blog is the need for validation. And of course, that’s part of the reason. I can’t even remember who suggested that I start blogging, but I think it was probably someone from the exmormon.org message boards that I used to post on frequently. Anyway, this has been a relatively safe and benign place to write out my thoughts and start conversations about things that are important to me.

Mormonism, for whatever reason, is still important to me. I don’t think I would have spent six months writing and rewriting a missionary memoir if Mormonism weren’t still a big part of my life. But it is. I hope I’ve reached the point at which I can think and write about it without animosity and too much emotion. But the emotion will always be there. When I think about the LDS church, the emotions are mixed. I think of all the wonderful LDS people I have known and loved in my lifetime. I think of the values I was taught (faith, integrity, kindness, service), and I wonder if I would have internalized those values as much had I not been part of the LDS church. But the other part of me feels more than a little betrayed. The religion I pledged my life to (literally) turns out to have grown out of a poorly executed nineteenth-century hoax. I suspect I would have figured that out earlier on had the church taught its own history honestly and openly.

But there’s really nothing I can do about any of that. I am trying to live my life to the values I have been taught while rejecting the baggage of falsity and deception. I don’t know how well I’m doing, but I’m doing my best.

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8 Responses to Top Five

  1. Aubuchon says:

    #5 eh. 🙂 From my understanding of those who leave the church their is a grieving period. I too am finding writing about my feeling and thoughts are helpful. As you know I am a TBM as you would say. I appreciate that although you do not believe the same things I do, you respect my faith. And it is important to recognize that there are wonderful LDS people, as well as Catholic, Jewish, etc. I can see that you have really worked through a lot. I admire you.

  2. runtu says:

    I do respect your faith. I’m glad that you respect my lack thereof. 😉

  3. Ray Agostini says:

    Runtu, number 5? What happened? Did you slip down from number one? 🙂

  4. runtu says:

    Hey, Ray,

    How have you been? Haven’t seen you in a while. I hope all is well down there. I don’t worry about my ranking, as long as I have people like you still reading. 🙂

  5. Todd Wood says:

    “I think of the values I was taught (faith, integrity, kindness, service).”

    Sounds like qualities in the boy scouts.

    Runtu, I just became involved this year in the scouts as a tiger cub den leader (working my way up from the bottom).

  6. Ray Agostini says:

    I’ve been reading, just not commenting much. Your thoughts and progression are always of great interest for me. Good to hear about the book, too. I’m doing very well, and still working as a garbage collector (read: drunks from nightclubs).

    Cheers for now, and even if I don’t post, I’m reading.

  7. Congrats on coming up in the world, John. When you’re on top of the world, don’t forget about us little people.

  8. aerin says:

    That’s why I blog. And LDS (and former LDS) are just so darn interesting. Stop being so interesting people!!! 😉

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