Every time I hit the Post button, I imagine the sound you often hear on spaceship or first-contact-with-alien movies. You know, the one with the radio static, followed by a news reporter, and then baseball game commentary: “and so-and-so has the pitch…,” applause, followed inevitably by Armstrong’s voice, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And in my head, my blogging words stream forth to add to the noise. I can only hope with each click of the mouse on the Post button that my words will compete somehow with the din.
There is so much out there to compete with! It was in a training meeting last April that Mary N. Cook of the Young Women’s General Presidency discussed the amount of time that the Young Women were spending online, especially Facebook. And then she said that they were like a captive audience, and we should be trying to fill some of that online chatter with uplifting things. It seemed to me to be a novel idea at the time. I have wondered to myself why this is. I mean, it’s not like its rocket-science (thank you, Armstrong). Upon further reflection, I have concluded that it is actually a part of my BYU education to not mix religion with all secular things. I was taught that there are boundaries with some subjects. For instance, a good scholarly paper on the humanities should have the best sources in the field of humanities—never is it acceptable to throw in quotes from a general authority on the subject, because it is not their area of expertise and it is a random inclusion at best. Its just not professional. Also, if there is a nasty piece of artwork considered necessary for the artist or art historian to know to further their career, then you bet it will be included in class. The professor may warn the student, and it will be taken with what could be considered a spiritual grain of salt. But in the end, the boundary is drawn to the left, the art shown, and the religious view is left behind in favor of something else.
I suppose we Mormons also have the cultural problem of not trying to wear our religion on our proverbial sleeves. As far as the internet goes, I tried a few times to put something spiritual on Facebook and I felt very un-cool and awkward. Kitchy, even. It has been a great leap to even put this kind of thing on my blog. But this is the story of my cancer (kind of a big deal), and I promised myself at the beginning to tell the whole truth, and that includes my churchy self. I wasn’t sure how my reception would be to all of you if I did put it all in. But to the contrary, I have gotten so many comments about the religious posts that I would characterize you all as hungry for the spiritual. So, into the great din-filled universe, I send out my messages in the hopes of doing what I should do, and making a difference.