One year ago today I published my first post on TempleStudy.com, my first blog. And it has been quite a year. During 2008 I expanded my learning on the temple in leaps and bounds, and was able to share some of that with you as well as learn from you. I met countless new people and made many new friends. We shared new thoughts, interpretations, and discoveries with each other. I attended for the first time several conferences and liveblogged them. I’ve been humbled by your kindness and charity. I was blessed to touch the lives of numerous people as you sent me emails expressing your thoughts and feelings. You have touched me too, in multitudinous ways. And the growth has been tremendous—nearly 100,000 people have visited the website from 170 countries around the world generating over 220,000 hits. Over 500 people have subscribed by RSS feed, and another 254 have subscribed by email. It’s been an amazing experience. I hope your participation with me and our commenters has been fruitful for you, and has given you more insight into temple studies and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To commemorate this anniversary of TempleStudy.com my dear wife was very kind and made a Wordle of all the posts from this past year. For those of you who are not familiar with Wordles, it is an online tool that you can use to input text and generate a word collage with the most commonly used words shown larger, kind of like a tag cloud. So you can see in this image where our focus was this past year. Fun to see. My wife printed out a copy and framed it for me to hang on our office wall. She’s the best!
For those who are wondering where I’ve been the last month or so, I haven’t left. The blogging has slowed down a bit. I think I can blame some of that on our beautiful new baby boy that was born at the end of September. He’s been a joy to our family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it did shift my priorities a bit though, and gave me time to rethink things. I will continue to blog about the temple, but it may not be as frequent. I want to expand my learning into other areas, in addition to temples. Not that TempleStudy.com will go too dormant, but I like the sentiments addressed by Sharon Otterman in her New York Times article on slow blogging. Blogging is becoming a form of expression, and a channel of inquiry and thought, not a 140 character Twitter feed.
So while TempleStudy.com might not fill your daily appetite for news on the temple, hopefully the posts that are published here will be full of meaning. I look forward to sharing new insights on the temple, and learning more from you throughout 2009. Please feel free to send me your thoughts and findings. I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for a wonderful year!