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 wouldnâ€™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 â€œthe 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, weâ€™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 wonâ€™t automatically make Times and Seasons all things to all Mormons, but itâ€™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 othersâ€™ 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. Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™t aspire to be the salt of anyoneâ€™s, much less everyoneâ€™s, earth; the work of salting is done person to person, ward by ward, prayer by prayer. We canâ€™t, and donâ€™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.