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Content I want to work on next
- Work more on commentary about scriptures with a promise to see God (e.g. D&C 67:10, D&C 93:1, D&C 97:16, Ex 33:20, Ex 33:21-23, D&C 88:46-50, Job 19:26)
- Look at examples in the scriptures of how hatred of evil can help people and how it can hurt people. (See commentary and discussion on Gen 3:15 and 3 Ne 7:11. See also similar concept where the Lord makes the Lamanites loathsome to the Nephites 2 Ne 5:22). Other scriptures: Rom 12:9, Rom 12:19-21, Prov 20:22. See also TG retribution and forebearance.
- How are we to understand cases where a scripture is given and in that scripture a word is used that has meaning in the language of the people to whom the scripture is given; but then, through revelation a different definition of the word is given later? (examples, son of man, eternity, endless) Maybe the prophecy about Elijah coming is another example of this since the prophecy is fulfilled through the coming of John the Baptist. Also Christ redefines the law of Moses--that seems related. Also maybe Christ redefines the meaning of neighbor in the parable of the Good Samaritan. I assume that originally neighbor doesn't mean everyone.
- Look at those scriptures that suggest we shouldn't prepare ahead, that we should be dependent on the Lord. Compare those with scriptures that say or show we should work for the things we pray for. Also, the scripture in the D&C about how Christ learned grace upon grace might be helpful here. Also see Jacob 4:7.
Site issues I am thinking about
If the site weren't going well, I wouldn't want any new users to come to the site. I'd be afraid they would only further cement the problems we have. But the site is doing well and I am glad to see new faces showing up. Still, I have been thinking of ways to make the site better.
Here are a few things that I am thinking about to make the site better.
- Issue: people aren't really sure where we are going with the site.
- Possible solution: A timeline
- I am thinking of a timeline that shows the things we plan to do (e.g. create a non-profit) without attaching specific dates to those things. Instead of dates there would be hurdles (like reaching a certain number of page views). This will help everyone know where we are headed. The con of putting a timeline out there is that it could reduce flexibility in the future. As we learn more, we will know better what our next steps should be and when it should be taken.
- Issue: the proper use of experts
- Though it is true that this site isn't a place for original scripture study research, it would be good to have participation from people who studying the scriptures as part of their profession. The content here should not become academic. Unlike the contents of a well-respected academic journal, the content here should be widely accessible. Even so, contributions from academics speaking on their own subjects would be good for the site. How do we create a culture or process that encourages these people to contribute more?
- Issue: preventing arguments
- Whether you call a conversation "discussion," "debate," "argument," or "contention" reflects both what was done and how you felt about that. I hope, among other things, this site becomes a place for honest discussion--where people can help each other work their way toward better understanding. But if such discussions slip into anger, resentment or sport (i.e. winning the debate is the real motivation), I don't want to help facilitate that.
- To date we have had little problem with contention. What, if anything, should be done to guard against it?
- Issue: encouraging participation on the commentary pages
- How do we encourage people to participate more on the commentary pages? Some participation we do get on the commentary pages doesn't belong there. I don't think that is a big deal as long as people aren't willfully disregarding the Site:Policies and are cool with their content being moved to the proper place. But at the end of the day such content doesn't end up adding to the content on the commentary pages since it gets moved off. How do we build more content on the commentary pages?
A little about me
- I am married with 2 kids.
- I work at Wells Fargo. I manage a smattering of projects related to internal websites and transactional data.
- I graduated with an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001
- I graduated with a BA in Philosophy from BYU in 1997
- I am an admin for this site.
Why I started this site
There are several reasons that came together at once.
- Wikipedia was an inspiration. When I first learned about Wikipedia I figured that a site where anyone can edit anything would lead to total chaos. But as I played around with Wikipedia I found rather orderly encyclopedic articles. I was amazed at what Wikipedia had to offer. But, I quickly realized that though I was enamored with the concept of a Wiki, I wasn't as interested in the content wikipedia provides--a bunch of encyclopedia articles.
- I thought a lot about (and read some about) the difference between blogs and wikis. The only blogs I read were LDS blogs. I found them to be often very interesting but they didn't provide exactly what I was looking for. So, partly I created this wiki hoping to provide something that I felt I wanted but didn't find anywhere. Particurly I want this site to be:
- less focused on people's opinions
- more focused on the gospel
- less about day-to-day chit-chat
- more about creating something lasting
- less a tool to aid in analyzing the Church (e.g. leadership, members, beliefs, politics, habits.)
- more a tool to aid in understanding the scriptures
- less introspective
- less controversial
- less meta...(e.g. less of what this page is all about)
- more of something like: Alma 13:1-5 & 1 Ne 11:1-5
- I was heavily influenced by my father's thought questions he sent out as part of preparation for teaching his sunday school class. (See below.)
Special thanks to my dad
- For helping me put some initial content on this site
- For teaching me over the years to focus on what scripture says
- For doing a mountain of preparation for his Sunday School lessons. The thought questions he sent out on a weekly basis were the basis for my thinking that something like this could work.