2012 in review

2012 has been a year of blogging – I’ve started five blogs this year (OK, so . . . maybe six or seven), but have only consistently contributed to two: The Accidental Atheist and The Weekend Philanthropist.

I’ve found a lot of joy in learning to express myself more clearly and look forward to another year of writing in 2013.

As a cap to the year, here are the 2012 articles from this blog I’m the most happy about, along with an annual report from WordPress down below.  Enjoy!

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1) A Mormon Boy’s Mission to Save His Father.  In this article I show six snapshots of my life, how I developed the need to save my father from being gay, and what it was like.  Beyond starting (or continuing, really) an important conversation within my extended family, a lot of other readers liked this article’s approach and honesty – it wasn’t an argument, I was just saying what happened.  A version of this was published in Wells Fargo’s Pride Team Member Network along with my face and the subtext, “I am Wells Fargo, and I am also an LGBT ally”, a blogger or two included it in articles they wrote, and I made a lot of new friends.  Because of this and another post about homosexuality, I’ll also be involved in a new Mormon podcast that focuses on gays within the Church – I’m very excited for it!

2) The Day I Left the Church and 2 months before my mission ended.  More than any other posts I wrote, readers enjoyed seeing journal entries from when I was struggling with doubt.  Journals were written for myself and to myself alone, distanced from any need to convince other people – I was bluntly honest in a few of my entries and included them without edit for readers to view.  People have related with and connected with my experience, and I’ve had great phone conversations and meetings as a result.  I also think it helped readers see my sincerity of purpose.

3) Rea’s Story (Mom).  Probably the part of the blog I’m the most happy about, however, is something I didn’t write at all – the Story Series.  Wanting to have the same impact I saw from John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories Podcast, I opened up my blog to family members and friends so they could tell their stories: what it was like for them when they left, or when they returned to the Church, or why they’ve stayed.  I wanted to keep it balanced, showing each of these three perspectives, and the result was great.  The most-read story, and one which readers have really connected with, was written by my mom.

4)  Mormonism and Polygamy – A Call to Honesty.  Of all the posts I’ve written, this one took the most research and thought.  I wanted to express something that was central to my leaving the Church – I felt lied to by my own authorities (well, I was lied to).  I bought three new books and researched for over a month before posting this article.  It started an interesting debate, as you’ll see from the 82 comments (not counting the few I had to delete).  The conclusion to this article, the paragraph with bold text in it, is something I’m still proud of – it expresses well my sincere and extreme frustration and contains a challenge to Mormons to be more honest.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written on this blog, as I’ve been focusing on philanthropy – please check out the 2012 review for The Weekend Philanthropist as well and see what you think!  I look forward to writing more in 2013 and hope you’ll continue to be a part of it.  🙂

If you’re curious, you’re welcome to read the Annual Report from WordPress that shows some of the stats from The Accidental Atheist.

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