Saturday, March 31, 2007

Punjabi to neighbor. Sat, Mar 31, 2007.

03/31/2007. 808. As I got into my car in the parking lot where I live, I noticed a man wearing a brightly colored turban in another part of the parking lot. I was on my way to watch general conference at church, and at first decided to keep on going so as not to be late. Then it occured to me that I might not seem him again, so I turned the car around, and drove next to where he was standing on the sidewalk.

He was from the province of Punjab, was a Sikh, and spoke Punjabi. I still had a couple Punjabi Gospel Fundamentals in the car, so I reached into the back seat and pulled one out, and took it out of the wrapper and gave it to him, along with a Punjabi edition of the Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlet. He was very grateful for something to read in Punjabi.

We chatted a bit, and then I had to pull away to let another car out. I parked, and told him I'd get the English version from my apartment. He waited for me while I ran back to my place and got an English copy of Gospel Fundamentals. I gave it to him, and he didn't want it at first as he didn't read English very well, but I tried to convey that he could use them to learn to read English, and he eventually accepted it.

He was recently arrived from India, visiting family, and he was not fluent in English. He was very friendly and humble, so I hope I didn't come on too strong. But I wanted to take advantage of the chance to meet him, give him my contact info, and get on to general conference.

In the material was an info-flyer with the addresses of the local chapels and mission office number, and a card with my name, phone number, and email address on it.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Urdu at middle-eastern store. Fri, Mar 30, 2007.

03/30/2007. 807. I stopped at a middle-eastern grocery store that I haven't been to before, and shopped a bit. I didn't have any books in my car except English, Spanish, and my Chinese/Asian bag. I still haven't fully restocked the car since I cleared it out for a trip I took on March 24th.

I struck up a conversation with the proprietor who spoke Urdu and English. I offered to get him the Book of Mormon in Urdu, and he was agreeable. So I went back later in the evening and gave him an Urdu copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon. During both my trips to the store, he kept the conversation going as he was chatty.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hindi, Gujerati at discount department store. Mon, Mar 26, 2007.

03/26/2007. Journal Entry. I was shopping at a *-mart type store. I didn't have any books in my car because I took them out for a trip Saturday, and hadn't put them back in yet. I saw two other shoppers who were speaking a foreign language, but I couldn't tell what language they were speaking. I was close enough so that I could strike up a conversation, so I asked where they were from, and what language they were speaking. They were speaking Gujerati, a regional language of India. They also spoke Hindi, the national language of India.

I took out a customized pass-along card from my wallet and offered it to the man I was talking to. I said my church has books in Hindi and English if he ever wanted some bilingual material. We don't have anything in Gujerati, but the International Bible Society has Bibles in Gujerati.

Most people who come here from India are very fluent in English already, so there is not much excitement about or demand for bilingual material.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mongolian to friend of friend. Thu, Mar 22, 2007.

03/22/2007. 806. I had lunch with the guy who joined the church in November of last year, and two of his friends who came to visit him from another city. One of his friends was already a member long before I met the guy who joined in November. The other was not a member.

After eating we stopped by an auto parts store so they could get something before they went on an out-of-town errand. I asked the one visitor who was already LDS if their non-member friend had a Book of Mormon in his language. He said no, so I got the Mongolian and English out of trunk, and gave them to him so he could present them to his friend.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Two new multi-lingual DVDs available Distribution Center.

Two new DVDs in multi-lingual format are available from the Salt Lake Distribution Center. They are "The Tesatments of One Fold and One Shepherd" and a new edition of "The Restoration."

"The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd", catalog # 01607-090, is a new item in the catalog. According to this is the movie that was shown in the Legacy Theatre in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It has audio tracks for ASL (American Sign Language), Cantonese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian. And it has subtitles for English, SDH (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

"The Restoration", catalog # 54742-091, looks like the same DVD as before, but whereas it was only in English/Spanish before, it now has more languages. It has audio tracks for English, ASL (American Sign Language), Cantonese, Cebuano, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Ukrainian. It has sub-titles in English, SDH (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish,

These and the other multi-lingual DVDs that the church offers make for wonderful door-openers and conversation starters with many immigrants in the United States.

The others that I keep on hand are:

54041092 Finding Faith in Christ. DVD, multilingual

00244090 Finding Happiness. DVD multilingual. This is targeted at an Asian audience, with Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin audio tracks. It features Asian scenes and actors, only 5 minutes long.

50047090 Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, An. DVD, multilingual

54065090 Joy to the World. DVD, multilingual

54604090 Our Heavenly Father's Plan. DVD, multilingual

54584090 Special Witnesses of Christ. DVD, multilingual

54436090 To This End Was I Born. DVD, multilingual, which is a full-length version of "The Lamb of God".

54411090 Together Forever. DVD, multilingual

Also available is, 54586090 The Lamb of God. DVD, multilingual, which is a shorter version of "To This End Was I Born".

If you buy them by the case, you get a substantially lower price, $1.18 to $1.50. Whereas if you buy them individually, most of them cost $4.50.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chinese at Restaurant. Tue, Mar 20, 2007.

03/20/2007. 805. I went to a Chinese restaurant not far from where I now live. It's in a shopping district that is convenient. Since it is within reasonable distance, and I figured I'd be back, I decided to try a recently new approach and offer material on the second visit. But I did take in the current Liahona magazine in English to read.

After eating and paying the waitress, I started to leave, and the hostess/cashier was at the cashier counter. I read something on the wall in the lobby that caught my attention, and decided to go back and strike up a conversation with the hostess/cashier.

I found out that the staff is from various places China and Hong Kong, and they speak both main dialects, Mandarin and Cantonese. The hostess spoke Mandardin and her husband spoke both Mandarin and Cantonese, so I offered the couples video "Together Forever" to her since it has a Cantonese audio track. She said she didn't have time to watch it, so I asked if she liked to read. She said she did, so I offered her the Book of Mormon in Chinese and English. I didn't say it was the Book of Mormon, but I did say it was from my church, and that it was Christian.

She agreed to see the book, so I went out to my car and retrieved three copies of the Book of Mormon, one each in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and English. I also brought in a "Finding Happiness" DVD and a "Together Forever" DVD, just to show her the cover. She accepted all three books, plus the "Finding Happiness" DVD, which is only five minutes.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

There are no coincidences. C.S. Lewis' thoughts.

"But in Friendship... we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting – any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,' can truly say 'You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.' The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others."
-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spanish at laundromat. Thu, Mar 15, 2007.

03/15/2007. 804. There was a cute little hispanic girl, only 18 months old, wandering around the laundromat. She walked between me and the man who was using the next folding table over. I asked the man if she was his, and he said she was his niece, and pointed to her mother a few tables over. I asked the little girl what her name was, but she was too young to respond. The man then continued the conversation with me, complimenting me on my Spanish. I said I learned it in high-school, and while serving a mission for my church in Ecuador. I asked if he'd heard of the Mormons, and he said yes. I asked if he had read the Book of Mormon and he said no. So I reached over and grabbed the Spanish Book of Mormon and Spanish Bible that I had on the folding table. I always keep a copy of each in my laundry basket, and put them out on the washer, or on the folding table when I'm at a laundromat. I offered them to him, and he accepted them, and started flipping through the Book of Mormon. I pointed out the Spanish branch listed on the info flyer inside, and gave him a card with the phone number of the Spanish-speaking missionaries who live just a few blocks away. He was ready to go, and one of my dryers was done, so we didn't chat much longer.

I didn't give him any English material, just the Spanish Book of Mormon, and an inexpensive paperback Spanish RVR-1960 Bible from American Bible Society.

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French and Fulani declined at laundromat. Thu, Mar 15, 2007.

03/15/2007. 803. Late evening at the laundromat. A lady came in with four small children speaking a foreign language. She spoke French and Fulani as well as English, being from a country in Western Africa. Usually, Fulani speakers are also Muslim, but I thought it was worth a try to offer her material. There is no Fulani Book of Mormon, but I thought I had a Fulani translation of Gospel Fundamentals (aka Gospel Principles Simplified) in the car.

I went out and retrieved French and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and the Fulani Gospel Fundamentals. At an appropriate time, when she was just waiting on the dryers, I approached and presented them, but she said she was Muslim and politely declined.

We were able to casually chit-chat a few more times as our paths crossed. I learned that she was teaching her children to speak not just English, but also French and Fulani.

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English to hitchhiker at gas station. Thu, Mar 15, 2007.

03/15/2007. 802. I do not recommend giving rides to hitchhikers after dark, but I did it anyway. This guy hit me up for a ride as I got out of the car and going towards the front door to pre-pay at the gas station. He was walking away as to leave the station, and called after me, so he played it correctly by being non-threatening to me, and not blocking me as I walked towards the cashier. (I was between him and the door.) Where he was going was on my way anyway, so I did a quick calculation and decided that since he was polite, non-threatening, and not manipulative I would give him a lift. I asked him if he had any drugs on him, which he denied. I didn't expect him to admit it if he did, but I did that to let him know that I didn't want to know about any if he did.

After gassing the car, I rearranged my books and laundry so he could sit in the front seat. Before we even pulled out of the gas station I hit him up with an offer of a free Bible and a free Book of Mormon. He said he could use a Bible, and he knew what the Book of Mormon was, and accepted my offer of that too. On the way to his destination, he gave me his sob-story, stating his need of a hand-out, but not directly asking for one. I could detect a little alcohol on his breath, too.

We got to his destination, and I parked in a well-lit area. I asked whether he wanted a King James Version or a modern translation. He wanted a King James, so I got that from the back seat, and got an English Book of Mormon from the trunk. He thanked me, and we said good-night. After he got a few yards away, I figured I might as well give him a couple bucks anyway. So I took $2 out of my wallet, and called after him. As I gave him the money, I said "Don't buy alcohol with it" and he smiled. I probably should have said, "Go ahead and buy alcohol with it if you want, just don't use it to buy drugs."

The cynic in me says he'll try to sell the Bible and Book of Mormon. But even if so, the testimony of giving him scriptures was given.

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Urdu and Telugu returned. Thu, Mar 15, 2007.

03/15/2007. Journal Entry. I stopped at a gas station where I stopped January 11th of this year. I pre-paid for some gas, and the cashier was the same one to whom I had given Hindi, Telugu, Urdu and English copies of the Book of Mormon at that previous visit. I think I've also been there in between too.

After paying, he wanted to give me two of the books back, saying he didn't have time to read. He gave me back the Urdu and the Telugu, but not the Hindi and English. I wasn't sure if he kept those, or had given them away, but either way, those two were still out there. And if not, the testimony has been given, and at least he and his coworker know of their existence.

Chinese at restaurant. Thu, Mar 15, 2007.

03/15/2007. 801. I had lunch at a Chinese strip-mall restaurant that I hadn't been to before. This is in the NE section of town, and is located in my new ward. I probably could have gotten the ward mission leader (WML) to go with me for lunch here on his day off. Maybe we'll do a follow-up together. One of the cooks, probably the owner's wife, brought my main plate out first. She was polite, but was so quick I didn't have time to say anything. When the owner/cashier brought out my egg roll, he glanced at the books I had on my table (Chinese/English bilingual New Testament, Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, English Book of Mormon, and Traditional Chinese Book of Mormon.) I used that as my opportunity to make a presentation, and he was both polite and showed genuine interest. One of the cooks was out front, and also expressed interest. The owner/cashier accepted the Simplified Chinese/English New Testament, the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, and the English Book of Mormon. I gave the cook the "Finding Happiness" DVD. I asked the owner/cashier if the cook wanted some books too, but he indicated they were all one family and could share. The owner/cashier seemed genuinely grateful and interested.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arabic to sister missionaries. Wed, Mar 14, 2007.

03/14/2007. Journal entry. The sister missionaries from my old ward called me to see if I had a Book of Mormon in Arabic. They found a family from Sudan and had an appointment set for them for this coming Sunday. I was going to be in their part of town, close to their apartment anyway, so I told them I'd drop one off at the apartment, and if they weren't home, I'd just leave it at the front door.

I ended up leaving them an Arabic copy and an English hardcover copy of the Book of Mormon, an Arabic Gospel Principles, and an English Gospel Principles. Gospel Principles should be better to use when teaching by topic.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Chinese x2 at restaurant. Sat, Mar 10, 2007.

03/10/2007. 800. I went to see a client in a town East of Indianapolis. On my way back, I stopped at a town that I thought was big enough to have a Chinese restaurant. I found a buffet not far from the Interstate.

I was seated, went to wash up, and then grabbed some food from the buffet, and sat back down. I then put out some books on my table, English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese copies of the Book of Mormon, a bilingual Simplified Chinese/English New Testament, and a Chinese Liahona.

As the waitress passed by a few times, she stole glances at them, but she was moving so fast I didn't have a chance to initiate a conversation.

Eventually, on one of her trips by, she did stop on her own accord, and she initiated a conversation. Her English was very limited, but she said she was a Christian. She flipped through the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, and the bilingual New Testament. She asked how much they were, but I said I wanted to give them to her.

She accepted the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, the English Book of Mormon, and the Traditional Chinese Liahona. (There's no Simplified Chinese Liahona yet.) She came back later and accepted the bilingual Simplified Chinese/English New Testament.

When I went to pay, I told the cashier/owner about giving the books to the waitress, and as she was not busy, I engaged her in conversation. She accepted my offer of a Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon, English Book of Mormon, and another bilingual Simplified Chinese/English New Testament.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

The Book of Mormon is revelation from God.

To me the Book of Mormon is about revelation, powerful miracles, and miraculous power. The central figure of the Book of Mormon is Jesus Christ. The story is developed around a people, the Nephites, who believed in Jesus Christ as the son of God.

The actors (that is those who took action) in the Book of Mormon, did so by revelation, by the command of God, from Lehi leaving Jerusalem, to Nephi building a ship, to Mormon making an abridgement, to Moroni burying the plates. They provided the hands and feet, but it was the power of God that effected so much.

The authors and compilers wrote by revelation. They wrote as they were inspired, by revelation. And they wrote the doctrines that were given to them via revelation.

It was brought forth to light by revelation, and the power of God, revealed by an angel, under the direction of God.

It was translated by revelation, and the power of God.

It was, and continues to be, promulgated by revelation; preached and distributed under direction by God, via revelation, and by his power.

The truth of it is given by revelation to the sincere investigator.

The meanings of the doctrines therein are communicated via revelation to the sincere student of it.

There is information hidden in it, “written between the lines,” which is revealed to the sincere seeker.

The book is a lightening rod for revelation, bringing further light and knowledge concerning all areas to those who strive to live its teachings.

God’s hand and miraculous power are evident throughout the book, its contents, the events it describes, and the mere continuation and preservation of the book and its source documents, throughout the 1000 year Nephite dynasty. Very few other dynasties in the history of the Earth have maintained a 1000 year compilation of records in an unbroken chain. What other object of such detail and such divine information then lay hidden for another 1400 years, untouched by human hands?

Please excuse the use of a profane word, but the word “magic” is the closest word I can muster to describe the powerful awe and amazement that the Book of Mormon both merits and generates. “Divine” and “miraculous” are more appropriate, but those words are not unique or powerful enough due to being overused and diluted in a religious context.

Of course it's not magic, but somehow it attracts, focuses and outputs revelation for those who read it, study it, and try to live accoridng to its teachings. It's both an instruction book, and a doorway. It's an access point to the divine.

As others have pointed out, the fact that the Book of Mormon exists can at times be more powerful and influential than the teachings it contains. Its existance means the heavens are opened, that God communicates with man, that prophets walk the earth, that the canon is not complete, that miracles have not ceased, that God is not silent, and he has not changed.

My life has been changed, redirected, uplifted through my discovery of the Book of Mormon 25 years ago. I already had the Bible, and believed in it. But the Book of Mormon is along the likes of what the Bible was originally meant to be.

The Book of Mormon seems to have its own Law of Attraction. People are attracted to it, and come unto it, in miraculous ways. The book also seeks out people. Put a few extra copies in your car, office, home, school locker, and see what happens. Seek out a few opportunities to place copies of the Book of Mormon, and see if the windows of heaven don’t open and the Lord blesses you with more opportunities. Do a little, and the Lord will teach and empower you to do more. Exercise faith with the Book of Mormon, and the Lord will confirm it with testimony, and point you to a higher level of faith.

If you do so, I believe the deceased ancestors of the people within your sphere of influence will petition the Lord to inspire you to use the Book of Mormon to initiate contact with their descendants. Such is the excitement and efforts that the Book of Mormon creates on both sides of the veil.

The Lord has sent missionaries all over the world with the Book of Mormon. And because there aren’t enough missionaries, and because some countries won’t accept missionaries, he is bringing his sheep from all over the world to the United States to get the Book of Mormon. I recently witnessed a professor from mainland China get baptized before going back to China.

Possession of copies of the Book of Mormon, and a willingness to distribute it, and testify of it, will bring further revelation to you on how to carry that out, and empower you to do so.

It’s a book about ancient revelation from the Lord, his miracles and his power. The book itself is revelation, miraculous, and powerful. The study of and the effort to live the book brings you the Lord's revelation, miracles and power. One’s willingness and efforts to promulgate and distribute the book also brings about the Lord's revelation, miracles, and power.

Knowing that a book, just printed words on paper, can bring revelation, miracles and power, it should be no surprise that the Savior, Jesus Christ, the source of all light and energy in our universe, has as one of his titles “the Word”.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Spanish to street vender. Mon, Mar 5, 2007.

03/05/2007. Journal entry. After attending the singles Family-Home-Evening, I headed towards the Spanish-speaking missionaries' apartment on that side of town. I had some custom-made Spanish language pass-along cards that had their phone number on it, that I wanted to give them.

When I pulled into their apartment complex they were talking to an Hispanic street vendor, and buying some of his food. I parked, and took over a Spanish New Testament, an English New Testament, a Spanish Book of Mormon, an English Book of Mormon, a Special Witnesses of Christ DVD, and an Our Heavenly Father's Plan DVD which have Spanish audio tracks.

Okay, that may have been a lot to give one person, but the missionaries don't have Spanish Bibles to give out, and I like to give out Bibles to illustrate that we believe in the Bible. The missionaries are also afraid to give out any English Bible other than the KJV. However, I think it unfair for us to expect people who are trying to learn English to read the English Bible in King James (Jacobean?) English. Therefore, when I give an English Bible to someone who is not fluent in English, I give them the NIV (New International Version) Bible or New Testament. Remember that part of this project is the bilingual aspect. If that person joins the church, or seriously investigates, we can always get them a KJV Bible at that time.

The vendor can always give the two DVDs to someone else if he doesn't want to watch them, or when he's done watching them. Or he could give them back to the missionaries. I also don't mind at all if he just keeps them. I just really want gospel material, of whatever sort, Bible, Book of Mormon, Gospel Fundamentals, Gospel Principles, videos, DVDs, Liahona magazines to be "out there" so that Heavenly Father has "touch-points," so to speak, to use when people are ready for the gospel or even if they are only ready for some kind of contact or information.

I gave the business-card sized pass-along cards to the Elders, too. The generic Book of Mormon pass-along card I made in English has the local mission office number on it, but no one at that office speaks Spanish. So I wanted the Spanish speaking missionaries to have something with their apartment's phone number on it to give out. There will very likely always be Spanish-speaking missionaries in that apartment, so that number should be good for a while. Also on the same card was the phone number for the Spanish speaking missionaries on the East side of town. (Example: Indianapolis (East) call ###-####. And: Indianpaolis (West) call ###-####. And it's in Spanish, of course.) So I'm giving half the cards to the other Spanish speaking missionaries too.

I realize I interrupted the conversation the missionaries were having with him, but it was a quick in-and-out. And it provided them material and more talking points to have with the gentleman, even if the only benefit was him asking the elders "Who was that crazy guy, and what's this stuff all about?"

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Amharic to sister missionaries. Mon, Mar 5, 2007.

03/05/2007. Journal entry. I was on the West side of town doing errands and decided to go the single adults family-home-evening that is regularly held at a chapel just west of downtown. At the chapel I met the sister missionaries who serve in that ward. I had met the one, and the other had heard of how I give out copies of the Book of Mormon. The newer one asked me if I had a certain translation in a foreign language, checked her appointment/note-book, and asked for an Amharic Book of Mormon.

I said "sure," and went out to my car and retrieved an English and an Amharic Book of Mormon, an Amharic New Testament (which I bought at International Bible Society, but is no longer carried by them), an English New Testament, and an Amharic copy of Gospel Fundamentals. I looked for an English edition of Gospel Fundamentals in my car, but didn't find one.

The sister tried to give the hardcover English Book of Mormon back to me, saying they had some, but I wanted her to keep it as the missionaries don't have enough. They only get 10 copies of the Book of Mormon from their mission office every 6 weeks.

For some reason, some missionaries think their 10 books per 6 weeks is a maximum, or a quota from which they should not deviate. I hope missionaries think outside the box, and realize they too can flood the earth with the Book of Mormon, giving out as many as the local members will pay for or provide. Parents can also send extra Books of Mormon to their sons and daughters serving as missionaries. If they are serving in the US, you can order books for them at, and have them dropped ship anywhere.

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Hindi at convenience store. Mon, Mar 5, 2007.

03/05/2007. 799. I was driving home from helping an acquaintance move, and felt inspired to stop at this convenience store as I approached it. It's as if service projects make one more sensitive to the Spirit. I consider book placements, especially if they are prompted or inspired as this one may have been, as blessings to me. It's an honor to be the delivery boy for the scriptures.

I don't remember being at this particular store before, but I wasn't sure. I bought some soda pop and a newspaper, and struck up a conversation with the cashier. He was from India and spoke and read Hindi. He cordially accepted my offer of a free Book of Mormon in Hindi, and he accepted the English edition as well.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Deleted blogs get "hijacked".

03/03/2007. If you delete your blog on a publicly hosted blog service (such as, and not just delete the entries but delete it entirely, it's likely that some other individual or organization will re-register a blog with the same URL, and use it to point to their spam or "ad farm" web site.

They do this because many other websites/blogs have linked to your blog, and they (the ad farmers) want to profit from your old score/ranking on search engines. And they hope to get ad revenue from people who follow the "old" links to your blog.

Moreover, if a highly ranked website/blog links to you, then that incoming link scores even more points in ranking your website/blog.

An axample of this was the blog "Must Love Books" aka "Someday Saint", which was given links at a multitude of other blogs, including popular ones and

When the "Must Love Books" (Someday Saint) blog was deleted, someone went to and registered/reserved the same URL (, and used it to point to an ad farm.

If you have a blog, and want to delete it, I would suggest deleting the entries, but keep the blog URL. Or if you put up a new blog somewhere, post an entry on your blog directing people to the new blog. If you want to totally wipe out your old blog, delete it, but register/reserve it again, so it remains empty. Hopefully, that will avoid the frustration of people following links to your blog only to be disappointed with a bunch of crass ads.