1. Before you react, ask yourself “Are they attacking me, or are they attacking a belief?”
2. If they are attacking you, walk away.Turn off anon, block the exmo tags (for those decent enough to tag it), just ignore it, whatever you have to do. You don’t owe them an explanation.
3. If they are attacking a belief, then frame your response as a discussion on said belief. Do not attack them personally even if they phrase their views in abrasive, jarring ways.
4. Use the Holy Ghost in your response. If you feel yourself compelled to send out a passionate anon message as quickly as possible to convince that person that they are wrong, then you probably are not responding with the Holy Ghost. Take your time, pray, and remember that there is a real person- another child of God- on the other end. They, at one time, also made the decision to follow Christ, and His light still resides in them.
5. If they are attacking a belief, ask if they are attacking at all. Questioning is not the same thing as attacking. Someone who is merely questioning or looking for a respectful discussion is probably going to be more rewarding to engage with than someone saying crude insults along with their arguments.
6. Telling them to stay off the LDS tags won’t work. They want to have discussions/get reactions from members, and the tags are how it’s done. Would you rather them do it in a sacrament meeting? When utilized properly, the internet is an equalizing platform for these discussions to be had in a non-disruptive manner.
7. Respond with love and understanding(goes hand in hand with #4). Just as you might have that gut-wrenching, defensive response to anti-posts, there are reasons these people feel the need to speak out against the church. They might have been hurt by imperfect members, struggled while learning about church history and doctrine, or have a hard time living the commandments and thus see them as restrictive and brainwashing because they do not see the blessings they offer. These are just a few reasons, but my point is that very few of them wake up like “Yesssss, even though I know the church is true I’m going to get online and drive a few more people away from the Celestial kingdom to make me feel more justified in my sins! HAHAHA!” Like…no. Let them know, in genuine, non-passive-aggressive ways, that you care for them as people. Send them kind messages, parts of doctrine that you find inspirational/helpful to their plight, and pray for them.
8. Know your stuff. I’m not saying you have to be a Mormon apologist with years of research into every anti-argument, but don’t say things out of turn. If, for example, someone thinks General Authorities are paid too much (which…no), then look up how much they get paid, why they are paid, etc. Use this information to bolster your testimony in your response.
9. Be genuine in your online representation of yourself. You don’t always have to be positive and uplifting to be a “good Mormon blog.” Sometimes you will have rough days and trials. Share those along with the more lighthearted moments. It can show people that Mormons aren’t just painted-happy robots, and that God can lift people out of despairing times. Above all else, bear testimony of Christ, at all times, in all things, and in all places.
10. Know that you don’t have to respond to everything. If you feel that someone is just looking for a fight and you don’t have a good feeling about responding, then don’t. There are plenty of positive, knowledgeable, and kind members to interact with on Tumblrstake instead. Not everything has to be your fight, and if they are not open to other viewpoints then you don’t have to exhaust your spirit by offering yours.