Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

Well, as I begin to type this post, it's 10:45 PM on 31 December 2011, and so 2012 is just around the corner. This is the first full calendar year that Study and Faith has been up and running, so it seems like a good time for me to at least remind myself what sorts of things I've done since this time last year. Counting this post, I estimate that I've made a total of... 138 posts... since that time. The busiest month was March at 24, though that's still short of the 29 posts I made in December 2010.

I've asked some questions that never got answered (see here, here, here, here - though I'm sure answers are out there), and some that did (see, e.g., [partial] answers here and here). I've had one guest post, and I'm always up for hosting others - especially seeing the popularity of the first! I've tried to highlight a few other blogs, posts, projects, and articles/stories that I thought were noteworthy; I wrote a cursory review of the seven ecumenical councils to the best of my knowledge at the time; I started a review of Richard Bushman's Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, but I haven't gotten around to finishing it. I hope I will. I've also had much more of a focus on highlighting selections from older literature, particularly 19th- and early 20th-century LDS writings. In keeping with that, most recently I put up a late-19th-century series on gospel principles by one Daniel Tyler. This ties in with the reading project I initiated in an effort to begin working through freely available early LDS and anti-LDS literature... something I've also apparently decided to mostly set aside for lack of time, but which - like the book reviews - I'm adamant about resuming in the future. I've had some quite popular posts (e.g., here and here), including a few that - at least for a while (I haven't checked lately) were top hits on Google for relevant search terms, and I'm sure that brought in some traffic. In addition to all that, I've also extensively revised my introductory post. Oh, and I created the site banner currently in use.

Offline, I also started once again meeting with some LDS missionaries (at their initiation), but they terminated my 'investigator' status when they decided that I was a bit too tough a sell, and that their time would be better spent with easier targets, essentially. I've also read a few relevant books during the past year, including:
  • Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman
  • Joseph Smith's Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845: A Documentary History, edited by Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergera
  • Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon by Alexander Campbell
  • The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History, edited by Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergera
  • Mormonism Unvailed by Eber D. Howe
  • View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith
  • The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by John L. Brooke
  • Baptism on Account of the Dead (1 Cor 15:29): An Act of Faith in the Resurrection by Michael F. Hull
  • Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution, 1830-1915 by Kurt Widmer
  • The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century AD and in the Epistle to the Hebrews by Fred R. Horton Jr.
  • Currently reading: Early Mormonism and the Magic World View by D. Michael Quinn
Recently I haven't had a time to do much in the way of original posting here (not since November!), partly because the end of the semester and the Christmas season have been quite hectic, and partly because my computer crashed and I lost all of my data. (My back-ups are all in Kentucky, and I won't have access to my files, notes, and documents until the end of January.) I hope to resume in earnest in 2012 and to keep it up to the extent I'm able. It's been a busy year; it's been a good year, where involvement with LDS matters is concerned. I'm certain there's a great deal I'm forgetting.

I want to thank everyone who's followed, viewed, contributed, or commented here at Study and Faith during 2011. As of this year, I've finally hit the 'ten official subscribers' mark through Blogger, which doesn't include RSS feed subscriptions (I have no idea if there are any of those) or people who simply make a habit of swinging by from time to time. I hope you all have a blessed new year, and that we can continue to edify one another during it. In the meantime, feel free to celebrate by reading the beautiful poem that Blair Hodges posted at the By Comment Consent blog.

Peace in Christ be with you all,

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