This upcoming Thursday and Friday (April 2-3, 2009) there is a going to be an annual event — the Mormon Studies Conference at Utah Valley University, in Orem, Utah. I just became aware of this a few days ago, and it looks like it’s going to be very good. The theme of the conference is “Mormonism in the Public Mind: Perceptions of an Emerging World Faith.” The keynote address will be given by Michael Paulson, Pulitzer Prize winning religion reporter for the Boston Globe, on the topic “Far From Zion: Meeting Mormonism on the Religion Beat.” Other participants will include [Read more…]
I’ve updated the ways that you can read posts and subscribe to TempleStudy.com. So you now have multiple methods of reading posts here:
- TempleStudy.com – this website, of course
- Full Post RSS Feed – full articles in your RSS reader
- Summary RSS Feed – introductory snippets of articles in your RSS reader (with a link to the full post)
- Comments RSS Feed – allows you to read the comments on all posts sitewide
- Subscribe by email – receive TempleStudy in your inbox
I’ve also added support for Odiogo, which converts TempleStudy.com posts into audio podcasts. It’s a computerized voice, and isn’t always pretty (because it reads every footnote and related post text), but could be useful for those who don’t have time to read, but could listen to the articles while exercising or commuting to and from work. It could also be a way for those who are visually impaired, or have other disabilities, to access TempleStudy.com:
- Odiogo Podcast of TempleStudy.com (viewable in most RSS readers)
- Other ways to subscribe to the podcast include iTunes, Juice, Zune, MP3 playlist, etc.
TempleStudy.com is also now multi-lingual! If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see a widget in the sidebar titled “Translate This Website.” You can now choose from any of 40 different languages from the dropdown box, and this entire website will instantly be translated into that language. Translation is provided by Google Translate, so it won’t be perfect, but it works.
I’ve also made a change to the homepage. As I noted a few days ago, I changed the homepage to be a full-page embedded video of “Between Heaven and Earth.” It is a great introduction to LDS temples and what our temple worship means to us. I’ve changed that slightly now. Now the video will only be displayed to new visitors to the website. Returning visitors will not see the video. (Thanks Naomi!)
Thanks again for everyone’s support of TempleStudy.com. You’ve greatly blessed my life, and the lives of many others. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, please see this great intro YouTube video called “RSS Feeds in Plain English.”
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!
Every once and a while I discover things that I think are so relevant that I will share them here, even if they are not directly related to temples. The new LDSJournal.com website and service is one of those things. It stands out to me as something very useful and timely. (No, I wasn’t paid to post this.)
I saw an ad in an LDSLiving email about this website, and I was interested so I visited the site. I was immediately struck by how well put together the site is. The design and development of the site are top notch. It is rare these days to come across such a well-designed site, but congrats to the LDSJournal team for accomplishing the feat very well. I also appreciated the respectful use of quotes from the General Authorities on the subject of the importance of journaling, and other reasons why journaling might be beneficial to you spiritually, physically, and for your family history records on the “Why LDSJournal” page. [Read more…]