Writing a blog, as others have noted, feels a little pretentious. I have a difficult time imagining that anyone is actually reading my poor musings, and this blog will always be, first and foremost, a self-centered endeavor.
My “Mormon Story” is (I have learned) rather cliche. I was raised by goodly parents, we went to church, followed the letter of the word of wisdom, abstained from the baser elements of the culture, etc. I served an honorable mission, enrolled at BYU, got married in the temple, and never seriously doubted until beginning a PhD program far beyond the Mormon corridor.
During my “faith crisis” I discovered Mormon Stories which led (inevitably?) to Mormon Expression and then to Mormon Matters. Most importantly, I learned that I was not alone. If this blog accomplishes nothing beyond pointing a few lonely doubters toward these excellent resources, I will feel good about my effort.
Although I cannot say that I have a “testimony” in any sense that would be recognizable to a true-believing Mormon (indeed, this blog is an attempt to sort through those things that I can and do believe and separate them from what I cannot and do not believe), I continue to attend Church regularly (with my faithful, traditional-believing wife). I hold a calling (nothing too glamorous), and I genuinely enjoy the fellowship and opportunities to serve that come from membership in a traditional Mormon ward (despite being driven crazy at times by sacrament meeting talks and conservative gospel doctrine teachers).
About the blog
My plan for the blog is to walk through the gospel principles manual (you can find the whole thing here). Mormon’s have been accused of lacking any coherent theology or theological tradition. I think this is a fair observation.
In place of creeds and treatises, we have a seemingly endless stream of “official publications” in the form of glossy, soft-bound manuals that arrive regularly from Salt Lake City. The gospel principles manual was recently revamped (streamlined and updated in interesting ways), and it was recently the source text for weekly lessons in Relief Society and priesthood quorums.
If I do have any readers — please feel free to engage in the discussion. I hope to post weekly.