Our Times, Your Seasons

November 19, 2004 | 33 comments
By

A retrospective, an announcement (or two), and a thank you.

One year ago today, four Mormon lawyers–Matt Evans, Adam Greenwood, Nate Oman and Kaimi Wenger–began this blog. They liked to talk: about the law, of course, but also about God and children and jokes and work and marriage and politics and movies and philosophy and the scriptures (just like all of us, and just like all of you, or else you wouldn’t be reading this). They talked via the internet, and as they saw what was happening to the internet around them they decided to become a (bigger) part of it. So they started a blog: Times and Seasons. The blog was a way for them to cease talking solely to one another, and instead to record their talk for others to share in, to agree or disagree with, and most importantly, to expand upon, to reach outward and upward. They were only four lawyers after all; even they could only say so much, hear and learn so much, entirely on their own.

There were plenty of Mormon blogs around already, of course, but no large group blogs, recording and linking to all sorts of Mormon discussions throughout the internet. And getting a large group together was the one of the primary goals of the founders. Almost immediately, invitations to join were extended to Greg Call and Gordon Smith, who both accepted; Russell Arben Fox and Jim Faulconer joined soon thereafter, and Kristine Haglund Harris and Julie Smith followed in relatively quick succession. With every addition, the blog grew, in breadth as well as in readership. (First 15 readers a day, then over 150 a day, and now, often well over 1500.) We realized to our gratification that the work we all put into the blog (the writing of posts, of course, but also the editing and other administrative work, the designing, the sharing and spreading of conversations through links and guest-bloggers) was being amply rewarded: not only were ever more people reading us, but online communities (some complementary, some mildly–and we trust always humorously–antagonistic) were forming around and near us. Of course, we were hardly alone in inspiring the growth of what some dubbed “the Bloggernacle” (a name which caught on, mostly). Yet still, even with the all the surrounding activity, Times and Seasons stood out and grew. The blog melted down, we relocated, and yet the momentum continued. Through all of you–reading us, thinking with us, and on more than a few occasions correcting us–we managed to do something valuable, something appealing, perhaps even edifying . . . and most of all, something fun.

To celebrate our one-year mark, we decided that an expansion was in order. As things stand, there is too much to Mormonism, too much to the Bloggernacle (which, like Mormonism itself, is increasingly diverse, engaged, and international), for us to do our readers and the issues and events and ideas around us justice, or even a close approximation of such. So, we’re delighted to announce a major leap forward in our line-up: as of today, Wilfried Decoo, Benjamin Huff, Frank McIntyre, Melissa Proctor and Rosalynde Welch (former and current guest-bloggers all) officially join us, to contribute to talking about, listening to, and learning from all that the internet brings us (which, again, includes all of you as well). This expansion certainly won’t automatically make Times and Seasons all things to all Mormons, but it’ll help immensely all the same. In the near future, you can also look forward to a (moderate) redesign of the blog to make it more accessible and user-friendly, especially for those who come to Times and Seasons from more traditional church and media outlets, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Blogging takes a lot of time, but we give our time because we like to. We like talking about our thoughts, and hearing others’ thoughts, and (most of all) reading all the thinking and talking and agreeing and disagreeing which invariably follows afterward. Some of you come here for theological speculation, some come for scripture study helps, some come for practical advice, some come for a sounding board regarding new ideas and old complaints. Some come with serious issues, some come to blow off steam. It’s all good. Times and Seasons may be a product of our time, as well as a reflection of our times, but the goal is to provide all us–especially you, our readership–with some seasons to sprinkle on your daily stew. This blog doesn’t aspire to be the salt of anyone’s, much less everyone’s, earth; the work of salting is done person to person, ward by ward, prayer by prayer. We can’t, and don’t want to, take the place of all that. But there are more seasons out there than just salt (some are spicy, some are subtle, some bitter, some sweet). It is our belief that such a seasoning, that all such seasoning, can only add savor to our and your salt; perhaps, sometimes, it can even help preserve it. Not the most direct or vital work in the world, perhaps, but a pleasing and productive and good one, nonetheless.

So, from our times, we bring you seasons to stock your intellectual and spiritual and personal shelves. Thanks for coming, for trying and testing and improving our wares. And please: keep coming back for more.

Tags: , ,

33 Responses to Our Times, Your Seasons

  1. […] 04

    Times & Seasons Around the World

    by Gordon Smith

    By adding Wilfried as a permablogger a few weeks ago, we not only gained an interesting colleague […]

  2. quinn on November 19, 2004 at 6:07 am

    that´s great that there are going to be some more voices here at T&S. im hopping that dr. decoo will address some issues that deal with mormonism and europe. i think that it will give a better look at the international church that we are. now all you need to do is find someone from latin america.

    as for frank mcintyre, im currently living in portugal, torres vedras to be more exact, which is part of what used to be the lisbon north mission. if you baptized anyone in or around the santarém district(which now includes: Caldas da Rainha, Peniche, Santém, Carregado, Tomar, Abrantes. torres vedras(my town) torres novas, entroncamento are all closed), i would like to know, perhaps, i could visit them in your name.

    as for rosalynde welch, i, and my wife, studied at the universidade de coimbra, and go there often to visit friends. i make the same offer to you, if you served in that stake, coimbra, figueira da foz, leiria, viseu, aveiro, (which at the time was not a stake) and taught some people, let me know, and i would like to visit them in your name.

  3. Logan on November 19, 2004 at 7:48 am

    This is it?! This is the MASSIVE something? You’ve certainly added some fine, fine, contributors — some of my favorites — but after hearing all the hype, I was saving my pennies for the IPO.

    I guess I can live with this instead. ;)

  4. Ian R on November 19, 2004 at 8:08 am

    As a long time lurker, and occasional poster, let me offer my sincere thanks to those of you who spend so much time and energy on T&S. I am a smarter chap because of it.

    Happy B-Day T&S. Root and Ginger Beer all around.

  5. Frank McIntyre on November 19, 2004 at 8:11 am

    I spent seven months in Peniche in 1996. So I would be quite interested in knowing how that branch is doing. When I got there, no one was attending. The branch was doing slightly better when I left.

  6. Gordon Smith on November 19, 2004 at 8:29 am

    Logan, The IPO required disclosure of our five highest-paid executives, and we simply were not willing to share that information with the public. So we added five new commentators instead. Now we are thinking about franchising as a growth strategy. Any tips?

  7. Gordon Smith on November 19, 2004 at 8:40 am

    I have already done this privately, but I want to give a hearty public welcome to our new bloggers, Wilfried, Ben, Frank, Melissa, and Rosalynde. T&S has not seen the addition of a group like this since the earliest days, and I know that we will all be enriched by their presence here.

  8. Steve Evans on November 19, 2004 at 9:28 am

    Good luck, guys. Happy birthday!

  9. Ryan Bell on November 19, 2004 at 9:52 am

    Happy birthday, T&S.

    Quinn, let me know if you ever get up North. That’s where I served, and I’d love to hear about the status of wards in Porto I and II, and Maia and Braganca.

  10. CB on November 19, 2004 at 10:57 am

    No, thank YOU.

  11. Steve Evans on November 19, 2004 at 11:01 am

    “thinking about franchising as a growth strategy”

    Why not just continue the policy of shameless poaching of other sites?

  12. Frank McIntyre on November 19, 2004 at 11:08 am

    No No No, Steve. We’ve got that part down. Now we need to grow beyond shameless poaching. I think a theme park might work.

  13. john fowles on November 19, 2004 at 11:22 am

    Happy Birthday T&S. I have learned a lot and it has been lots of fun. Thank you for your thoughtful contributions and for all your work providing us with this forum. Congratulations are in order for the new perma-bloggers, and especially to Rosalynde. I look forward to reading a lot more from all of you.

  14. William Morris on November 19, 2004 at 11:32 am

    As an official blog child, I have to say — I’m not going to play favorites, but don’t be surprised if I whine for attention from my new parental units first.

    Oh and: this isn’t going to be an excuse for you older T&Sers to slack off, is it?

    I expect the amount of content to go up 20-30% :-)

  15. Steve Evans on November 19, 2004 at 11:39 am

    Frank, just because you’re a permablogger now, don’t assume that I will start paying your comments any heed. Same goes for all of you newbies! I will snark and mock you all! *

    * except Rosalynde.

  16. Frank McIntyre on November 19, 2004 at 11:43 am

    Steve, I thought snarking and mocking were how you paid heed. Do you have some non-snarky alter-ego that you use to post regular comments?

    Are you actually obi-wan?

  17. danithew on November 19, 2004 at 12:08 pm

    Nice! I’m excited to continue reading posts from the new expanded T&S permabloggers.

    It should be interesting to see as well how the redesign goes. I think somehow I caught a minor glance of it and it looks like it could be something special. Keep up the good work here folks. :)

  18. Steve Evans on November 19, 2004 at 12:12 pm

    Touche, Frank. Perhaps you do belong here after all.

    Obi-wan

  19. quinn on November 19, 2004 at 12:21 pm

    ryan bell,

    if you served in bragança you might know my wife, or atleast her family, ofcourse that is if you served there about 5 to 6 years ago. they were a luso-brasilian family that lived in there for awhile, the branch pres.(my brother in law) josé, and my father in law, abílio( a short bald guy) were the ones that lived there the most.

    frank, as for peniche, it is still the same, there are 4 members, a women and her 2 daugthers, and another lady…its tough, im responsable for that branch (as one of my duties in the district pres.) but it is tough, cause the elders are just not ever able to find men to baptize, but we kept working.

  20. The Only True and Living Nathan on November 19, 2004 at 12:57 pm

    No Bryce Inouye???? I am dejected, I tell you!

    (You offered and he declined, right? Right?)

  21. Rosalynde Welch on November 19, 2004 at 1:44 pm

    Steve wrote, “* except Rosalynde. ”

    Is it to my peerless intellect, my disarming charm, or my relentless blackmailing of you that I owe my exceptional status?

    And thanks, John, for your kind comments. I want to see more of you around here!

  22. Frank McIntyre on November 19, 2004 at 2:00 pm

    Quinn,

    Do you recall the name of the woman who attends (or the age of her daughters)?

  23. Steve Evans on November 19, 2004 at 2:01 pm

    “Is it to my peerless intellect, my disarming charm, or my relentless blackmailing of you that I owe my exceptional status?”

    It’s the blackmailing.

  24. quinn on November 19, 2004 at 2:05 pm

    frank,

    her name is sara, and her daughter’s names are norma and (ah ) i forgot the youngest ones name, but norma is 16 and the other one is 12. she is married and her husband isnt a member, but he is a nice guy.

  25. Silus Grok on November 19, 2004 at 2:37 pm

    Happy birthday!

    (If you’d like any help with the redesign, don’t hesitate to ping me!)

  26. Frank McIntyre on November 19, 2004 at 3:33 pm

    I am sad to hear that the branch is still struggling, but very happy to hear that Sara’s family is still active. Frankly that branch sometimes did not have the best of luck with the missionaries sent there. Sara was converted about a year before I got there and I remember her and her daughter Norma well ( I remember the younger daughter too but can’t recall her name). She probably does not remember me as she has seen so many missionaries come and go, but it is good to hear that she is still active. And yes, her husband is a very nice guy.

    Thanks so much for the update!

  27. Joel D. on November 19, 2004 at 4:15 pm

    Having only recently discovered the blog, let me represent any other newcomers and wish T&S a very happy anniversary!

    [raise your glasses of sparkling cider]: A toast to T&S. May your server never fail you, may your bloggers keep expanding, and may the light of truth and humor continue to break through from time to time!

    Cheers!

  28. Ryan Bell on November 19, 2004 at 4:52 pm

    Quinn,

    Wow, you just described the entire Braganca branch during the time I was there. And Jose is still branch pres? Sheesh, poor guy. He was just entering his second stint as I left, I believe.

    Yes, I remember the family well. I remember Jose, Cesar, Abilio, and a daughter…..Francisca? Is that your wife? I know I’ve got the name wrong, but I do remember a dark haired girl that was nice to us. We taught the discussions to Cesar’s girlfriend Eduarda, who, as I recall, got very close but didn’t make it all the way (this is all very vague memories from 1995). We did spend plenty of time in their home though, eating and chatting and teaching and things. I still have a very vivid memory of their kitchen (Cesar would tease the greenie American about drinking their punch, claiming it was tea). I doubt they’d remember me as it was my second area and I still didn’t speak very well, but they might remember my native companion, Elder Carvalho, who was there quite a long time, working with them.

    Anyway, say hello to all your in-laws, who I remember very fondly as the only bright spot in a very difficult time of my mission (see above-mentioned companion). Do they still run that company of theirs up there?

  29. Adam Greenwood on November 19, 2004 at 5:37 pm

    We didn’t want to distract Bryce from his behind-the-scenes work at technical resuscitation.

  30. M. Buxton on November 19, 2004 at 7:08 pm

    Congratulations on your first year! It seems strange yet somewhat fitting to me that I would happen upon your site on this day. I am new to the bloggernacle–although I have read enough in the past day or so to know what the word means. If you would have asked me last week, I would have had no idea. Having more free time than I usually do at work in the past week, I started exploring the internet for Mormon related sites and came across yours and some of the other related sites. I have never blogged before (I must admit the idea had struck me as a bit of a waste of time), but at the same time I longed for a place where I could engage in an intellectual discussion with fellow Saints (I must also admit that I still think a dinner party would be my preferred forum, but there is the problem of distance, and there is something to be said about writing down your thoughts). So here I am.

    Like many of you, I am a young lawyer, from the West but schooled in the East. Now I am in the middle of a one year jaunt (a.k.a. clerkship) in Los Angeles.

    I look forward to some interesting discussions with you all going forward. From what I can tell, this and some of the related blog sites will be a great place for me to put in my two cents and engage in some meaningful exchanges.

    (I am also excited to use my middle name as my blog identity. The name does have a pretentious sound to it, especially combined with my newly acquired hyphenated last name, so I hope you will not hold that against me.)

    M. Buxton Archer-Beck

  31. Greg Call on November 19, 2004 at 7:20 pm

    M. Buxton Archer-Beck,

    Welcome, your majesty. You haven’t missed much, but feel free to peruse the archives and resurrect past conversations. Except those with “Signature” in the title.

  32. quinn on November 19, 2004 at 7:42 pm

    ryan,

    josé moved back to brazil about 6 years ago, and since then bragança hasnt had any real branch. Lúcia, that´s my wife´s name. that girl eduarda did get baptized, but she later moved and went inactive. they pretty much didnt like bragança that much, and all moved back to brasil, except my wife who did medical school here in portugal. i´ll talk to them and see if they remember you, im sure abilio will, cause that guy has got a great memory.

    hope that this has been a nice reminder of the mission days

  33. Aaron Brown on November 19, 2004 at 8:26 pm

    M. Buxton Archer-Beck,

    Hey! You and I are in the same ward! I’m a Bloggernacle regular who likes to complain about how nobody else in the Bloggernacle lives in Los Angeles. My wife and I will have to have you and your wife over for dinner, so you can have your “dinner party.”

    You and I have spoken a couple times about law school; I’m the HLS grad who taught the Word of Wisdom lesson last week in Priesthood. I will probably be singing in the choir with you too (Bishop’s orders).

    If and when you get sick of the heathens and wanna-bes at this site, you’re always welcome to come on over to By Common Consent (click the link on the sidebar), where the real intellectual firepower resides.

    See you on Sunday.

    Aaron B