This past week I attended the Brigham Young University science fiction symposium and moderated each of the four panels I was on (I don't mind moderating, in fact, I rather enjoy it, so I get to do it a lot), and I also commented on a few other panels from the audience. Because the symposium is at BYU, there are always a few discussions of religion and especially of LDS (Mormon) intersections of one kind or another with speculative fiction.
One of the things I noticed was that this year I seemed to be more into the LDS aspects of these questions than I think I have been in the past. For example, from the audience of a panel on blogging for writers, I asked if the panelists ever talked about being LDS when they posted on their blogs.
As another example, on a panel I moderated on creating religions for fiction, I cited an LDS novel by a nationally published LDS mainstream author who was telling the story of an LDS character as she struggled with a nasty divorce. Though she talked to family members and friends about her struggles, she never (in the book) talked to God.
Well, LDS people are urged to pray continually, so my point was that this LDS character had not been portrayed as being true to her religion because the author did not show her doing something that should have been almost automatic to her, given her upbringing in her religion as presented in the book. I found the story particularly irritating for that reason. (And I told the audience that when you use a religion in a story, you need to make sure your characters behave consistently in connection with their religion, or it doesn't work.)
Another example (and I will stop the examples with this one), from the audience on a panel discussing why there seem to be enough LDS writers of fantasy that people are noticing and remarking on it, I pointed out that most people don't seem to self-identify by their religion the way we LDS do. It seems to me that, for the most part, only Jews and Muslims self-identify as much as LDS people do. So most other writers are not particularly known by their religion, nor are the religions of most other writers even mentioned, so far as I have noticed.
So why am I giving these examples? Because I have decided that because I self-identify as LDS I need to include that aspect of myself in my blog. And I hope I can make it interesting when I do.
I'm trying to be like Jesus. That's pretty central to how LDS people define being "Christian." And He shared what He believed because of His love for all creation. He served others, He was humble and submissive to His Father's will, and He loved.
I've had the opportunity for over a decade to serve as an online moderator of one kind or another. I was asked to be an "assistant sysop" on the late, lamented GEnie bulletin board system (one of the few casualties of Y2K), and I have since gone on to moderate the Hatrack River Writers Workshop forum on Orson Scott Card's www.hatrack.com website. I have learned, I hope, to serve other writers. I have tried to be humble in my interactions with them online. And I have loved doing it.
And that is part of who I am.