When I first started TempleStudy.com I wanted to be absolutely sure that this blog would not turn into a place of defamation and profanation. I take my temple covenants very seriously, and did not want detractors from posting comments that would destroy the Spirit, the Gospel message, or the insightful discussions that would take place here. Consequently, initially I turned on comment moderation for all comments, so that all comments would have to be approved by me before appearing on the blog.
After having the site for several months now, and having more experience with other blogs that hold comments for moderation, I have found that it seems to be a significant deterrent from not only commenting, but perhaps even returning to the website after an initial visit. I want TempleStudy.com to be a place where we can talk about these fascinating subjects, and where people can add their own insights. I want people to want to return to the site. I want it to be a resource for people to learn more about the temple, in an appropriate and respectful setting, within the bounds the Lord has set.
Therefore, I have turned off comment moderation, so that any comments posted will appear immediately on the site. This will allow more real-time interaction with my readers, and between readers, on the site. To be sure, I will still be moderating comments, and I still hold the right of complete editorial control over what is said and how, but it will be after the fact. If there are inappropriate comments, they will be swiftly deleted. Comments may also be edited for content from time to time.
I hope this adjustment will help TempleStudy.com grow and be a place where we can learn how to appropriately discuss, study, and share the incredible insights that modern LDS scholarship has provided us on the holy temple. And there is still much yet to discover.
I think this is an excellent idea. I’m glad you’ll be watching the comments (and editing them if necessary). Free discussion is good, but within limits.
I agree with Muslihoon. Great idea, I commend you for being willing to check this site about 100 times a day to watch the comments.
Here’s why I think opening up the comments is such a great idea – too often we shy away from in depth spiritual and inspirational discussion of the temple because we are so concerned with breaking those covenants that we commit to in the temple. While there is no shame in not going far enough compared to going too far, sometimes I think that we miss out on some of the great opportunities to learn from each other, which (I view) is a great benefit of the church.
Bravo to you…I’m excited to see what you have coming.
PS – If you could get an interview with Alonzo Gaskill, who authored “Symbolism” and “The Savior and the Serpant,” I would be most interested to see what becomes of it! He’s in my in-laws home ward, and is a fantastic wealth of knowledge when it comes to symbolism and the temple!
I’m glad you both like the idea. I hope it works out well. I actually don’t need to check the site very many times during the day because I receive an email every time anyone posts anything to the website. So I monitor the comments from my email, which I check often.
That would be fun to interview Alonzo Gaskill. I have yet to read his book “The Lost Language of Symbolism,” but KSL radio did an interview with him about the book that you can read online at this link.
Gaskill is a gas (pun intended) – I met him a few months ago
at the First Annual Restoration Studies Symposium.
His presentation was “Does Beelzebub Have a Body?
The Corporeal Nature of Satan in Early Mormon Experience
and Thought” –
Very engaging, energetic guy – we had a nice chat afterwards.
An interview would be a great idea – I’m sure he’d be open to it.
I don’t think comment moderation prevents others from visiting the site or commenting. As long as your moderation is quick, why would it prevent someone from commenting? Those that will care are those that probably want to post something you don’t want others to read…at least that is what I would venture to guess. MY concern is that opening up the comments will let someone expose sacred things to those who have not been authorized or given permission to know what goes on in the temple.
P.S. “The Lost Language of Symbolism” is an AWESOME book…very much related to what you are studying and posting here.
It might not prevent someone from commenting on the site the first time, but then when they see that their comment is moderated until approved, it may deter them from commenting in the future. I don’t want that.
No worries about someone exposing sacred things. I am hot on the trigger to delete such comments. My moderation is very quick.
I look forward to reading “The Lost Language of Symbolism.”