Blogs are everywhere now, and the number of people who have their own personal blog grows constantly. Its only logical that the subject matter on blogs should by now cover virtually every topic imaginable. Search any imaginable term in Google Blogs, or your search engine of preference, and undoubtedly someone’s blog will come up talking about it.
It is only fitting then that the amount of people blogging about the Community of Christ is growing. This site is merely just one example of people, some members/friends/associates/curious observers, blogging about their views and opinions on issues related to or involving the Community of Christ in some form or another. Many of the bloggers on Saints Herald blog elsewhere, too. Even Grant McMurray has his own blog:http://grantamused.blogspot.com/ Will it ever stop? Does it ever need to?
Community of Christ blogs are not only about the church from the inside, but growing more and more prevalent are blogs of others looking in on the church and examining it to varying degrees from their own set of life experiences. Personally, I see this most often in blogs from visitors to Community of Christ historic sites. People visit Nauvoo or Kirtland (mainly) then go home and blog about their experience with Community of Christ guides, or about their attempt to understand us. In a bizarre phenomenon, many of these visitors seem far more willing to pour their inner souls out to the entire world over the internet than they ever would on an anonymous comment card or simply to one volunteer.
I guided at Kirtland Temple for two summers. I’ve worked now in Nauvoo for nearly two and a half years straight. I’ve met thousands of visitors from all over the world. I’ve also been blogged about more times than I could ever locate. A surprising number of people will comment about “Kevin from the Community of Christ” and terms like that as they explain how they liked me, or disliked me, whether I was good or bad, and how naive or brainwashed I am. And these blogs are not just about me. Virtually anyone who has volunteered, interned, or guided in the last few years can probably find a blog about themselves if they are willing to sort through the search results. For fun, just try CofC’s Historic Sites Director Lachlan Mackay in a search. Blogs about him will pop right up, with some name misspellings and the like.
Regularly I’ll search to see what visitors are saying about tours they took in Nauvoo and Kirtland in the previous few weeks. As expected there are posts all over the spectrum. Some we blow away with awesomeness, some we depress with our evident apostasy. Some we wow for our historical knowledge, some we frustrate with our historical manipulations and lies. But rampant among blogs, particularly those done by Mormon visitors are all sorts of stories and tales about our inner hidden workings. John Hamer has tackled the subject of a few LDS myths about the CofC other places, here, and that’s not my goal anyway.
–But do read it if you haven’t already–
I wanted to specifically point out one blog in particular that I’ve recently come across. Now, I have no clue who this person is nor who she went on the tour with, but I suspect she was not really paying attention that well–because as someone who has given Nauvoo tours for years and knows very well every guide currently giving tours in Summer 2010, no guide would have omitted as much as this person is claiming. Virtually all of that is discussed as a part of the normal tour anyway.
While the blog itself is not all that unusual for the type I routinely come across, I decided to do something I usually don’t–and comment. 99% of the time I don’t even bother because it feels like tossing pebbles into the ocean hoping to make a change, but I commented on this blog. I offered a correction and point of clarification in the comment, which you can read if you want. What really surprised me was in the next response the question of money being donated, so I probed a little further and the July 30th response was one of those that you just kind of have to laugh at.*
What causes this stuff? Why are these stories so pervasive? Why do “LDS missionaries mention it”? (Granted most do not, probably knowing it to be complete bunk, but I’ve had other visitors tell me they heard this too) If it were the Catholic church that owned Kirtland Temple, or the Nauvoo Mansion House, do you think there’d be crazy stories told about them? Is it something just in the Community of Christ…are we annoying simply because we exist and own some property? How would visitors respond if the Kirtland Temple was run by the National Park Service, or any number of other professional organizations? Better/worse? Why have historic sites become these modern theological battlegrounds for some, but unifying places of diversity and common understanding for others?
*As a side note for those who aren’t sure, I can state definitively: the LDS Church donates NO money to the Community of Christ Historic Sites.