Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who I am, why I write, and my intended audience

I am not an expert on LDS culture or Mormon fine arts.  I am a relatively everyday member of the Church striving to be a valiant disciple of Jesus Christ, defend the faith, and build Zion in the ways I can.  I am unabashedly failing miserably on all accounts- I would be lost without continual repentance.  I have enjoyed music and the performing arts all my life both as a performer and amateur connoisseur but that is my only expertise, my own experiences.  So that is my first motivation: pure personal interest and love of the subject.

Second, I experienced a major paradigm shift in regards to arts and culture in the Church when I served as a missionary (many many moons ago) in one of the most culturally diverse wards in the world.  In our ward we had, in no particular order, members from various African nations, Latinos from multiple countries in Central and South America, Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cambodians, Laotians, Hmong, Vietnamese, Korean, American New Englanders with Catholic backgrounds, and Utah-pioneer stock transplants; coupled with wide ranges in language, education, and socioeconomic status.   The cultural complexity of the ward and the challenge to bring everyone together was exhilarating, daunting, and beautiful.  However, at times it was also terribly sad because the cultural barriers were so great that many members did not endure let alone thrive; the environment was a constant challenge as opposed to a home or refugee.  To me that was and is a great tragedy and ever since I have been a champion for challenging the mainstream to rethink certain cultural elements that are not necessarily connected to principles or doctrines of the gospel.

On top of it all I am fascinated by culture, history, sociology and anthropology and so when I combine it all I don't think I will ever be at a loss of words. 

My intended audience is mainly the American general membership of the Church which I think still represents the cultural core of the Church and who I think is active in the online conversation.  In reality I know my audience is largely my friends and family with a few stragglers.  Hi Mom.   But I am definitely writing to inspire an internal discussion among church members.

I decided to start my own blog as I felt the other voices online were either too extreme in their criticism or completely unwilling to examine with a critical eye, I hope I can find that fine balance somewhere in between.  I have admittedly struggled with finding that proper tone and I hope to always have the mantra playing in my head, 'beware of pride.'  My hope is to inspire conversation, critical analysis of our behavior as practicing Latter-day Saints, and to learn something about myself in the process all the while striving to help myself and my community to become a people of Zion.

1 comment:

Th. said...


It's a good goal.