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I shall write on

I haven't reached any solid conclusion yet.  I have considered the feedback that has been given.  To the person who wrote the anonymous comment on my previous post, I would like to continue the discussion anytime that you're available to do so.  I do allow anonymous comments because I would rather hear from someone who has something they'd like to say but doesn't want people (even me) to know who's saying it.  However, I would prefer that you identify yourself if I do know you personally because I often do want to converse about your comments--either here or in private.  I'm asking for feedback again--any thoughts anyone might have concerning what I said in my last post or here.

Anyhow, the main purpose of this blog has always been for me to share my musings with other people and I mean to keep that as my main purpose.  I don't mean to have a scientific blog where I post only things which are solid fact.  Yes, I do mean to refrain from posting false things--anything that is demonstrably false.  But, I don't mean to be scientific in my ramblings.  I mean only to share things I've been thinking about and things that are important to me.  And that's what I will do.

Leaving the Mormon church has been a significant event in my life, and processing all of the emotion connected with it has driven many of the posts I have made.  There may well be more posts of that nature on here.  I can't rule that out.  I am noticing--more and more--that it is silly of me to expect anyone to be objective about their own beliefs.  As one of my former ward members put it, a Mormon can be no more objective about his faith than a mother can be about her child.

I said that I want to convince Mormons that their religion is false.  And this is true.  I do want that.  And there are many reasons I want it.  In fact, even more than that, I want to convince all religious people that their religious beliefs are false and even childish.  However, trying to do so doesn't have that effect.  Every time I have tried to deconvert a person, it has only had the effect of causing hurt feelings between us.  There is little that would make me happier than to see the entirety of my family leave the LDS church.  But I think that for that to happen, I need to stop what I am doing.  As I said in my last post, this only makes them hold on more tightly to their faith and believe more firmly in their church leaders who say that all ex-Mormons are bitter and do nothing aside from attack the church.

On one of the atheist forums that I participate in, one person said "I don't talk about religion because I don't want to give it any more air time than it already gets."  I can't say that I'll immediately adopt this principle, but it does seem wise to me, and perhaps I'll decrease the amount of discussion about religion that I put on here.  I mean, how ridiculous would it be if I were to spend one out of every two or three posts refuting the existence of Santa Claus.  People would start to wonder about me.  So perhaps I'll post less and lessa bout religion.  I don't know.  I don't want to say anything final because I want to be able to just post whatever's on my mind at the moment, which is most often what I do.

I have decided that I want to shift my focus more toward helping people.  I want to be a beacon of hope for gay people who feel undervalued or depressed.  I want to reach out to people who are suffering from bullies or just from the hardships that life throws at us all.

The other day I had been arguing with my sister and it started to get a little bit personal, so I suggested a timeout.  I was immediately glad that I did because it turned out that she was extremely frustrated because she was having to deal with an uncooperative customer service department.  I just think that if I had continued to argue with her, it could easily have become a really heated fight and we would have both ended up feeling negative feelings toward each other for some time (perhaps days, perhaps weeks, not forever--we're both the forgiving type).  She still would have been having her frustrations with the store, but on top of that she'd also have a fight with her brother.  It felt much better to stop the fight and to hear about her other frustrations because then I had the opportunity to talk to her about that.  I'd like to think that I brightened her day, even if just a little bit at that point in time.

This is why I think it would be best for me to change my focus.  Not really to change my focus, because I've always had a strong desire to help other people, and it is often (not always, and maybe not even a majority of the time--I couldn't say for sure) my motivating force for what I do.  But rather, I should say that I think I need to change my approach.  I try to deconvert religious people because I feel that this will help them out.  But they may not feel the same way about it, and it may actually make things more unpleasant for them.  So, I think that I need to start doing things differently.

If I had a remote control with buttons labeled with emotions or moods and I could point it at a person and change their mood as one might change the channel on a TV, I would push the "happy" button, I would push the "laugh", "excited", "smile", and "funny" buttons.  No, life isn't always smiles and happiness, and no I don't think it's healthy to pretend that it is.  But, if someone were in need of being cheered up, I would feel privileged to be the person to do it.  I would be happy to know that I made someone smile because of something I said or did.  I don't always know how to do this.  Sometimes when I'm trying to be funny or cheer someone up, I just make matters worse.  But, if I could choose between comforting someone and agitating someone, I would choose comforting them.  (My grandpa always says that agitators belong in a washing machine.)

I have a friend and fellow blogger who seems like a great guy (I haven't met him in person, but I'm sure I'd enjoy being around him).  He's openly gay and actively Mormon.  I believe he has a column similar to Dear Abby, I think he goes by "Bearhug".  People write in and discuss maybe a problem or concern that they have, maybe just ask for some advice, and Mitch writes back.  I think it'd be really cool to be that kind of person.  I mean, I don't know.  I can't say for sure that I'd enjoy doing that on a regular basis, but the concept itself is very flattering--to think that I'm the kind of person that people would look up to enough to write and ask for advice.  I certainly do welcome any questions or comments any of my readers might have, and I even made one blog post in response to a request that I had from a reader.  If you do have any requests, I'd be happy to hear them.

Anyway, as I said before, I had a few ideas for posts based on conference talks that I listened to last weekend, but now I'm not so sure that publishing them is the best idea.  I may hold off for a while.  Maybe I'll post them, maybe I won't.  I don't know.  We'll see.

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