Daily Archives: 1/12/2008

Thoughts on Elder Ballard: Using New Media

Sister Dowden pointed out to me the other day this talk given at BYU-Hawaii’s graduation last month. I had heard about it, and read excerpts, but never taken the time to read and ponder it in full.

Elder M. Russel Ballard: Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church

LDS Newsroom Article: Apostle Urges Students to Use New Media (excerpts and commentary)

He asks, “How will you use these marvelous inventions? More to the point, how will you use them to further the work of the Lord?” The easiest thing to do with these marvelous inventions is to have fun and enjoy using them, but couldn’t we try to be mindful of the good news that we could be sharing at the same time? Maybe the easiest thing to do is just be thoughtful of how our actions may affect others and the example that we are setting for others to follow. Like some of the email fowards say, it is easy to forward on a joke, but will you forward something testifying of Christ? I don’t think you need to try and shame anyone into sending that message forward, but let’s be open about it.

Do you represent yourself to be a Christian, even a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Do you hide things that could be faith or testimony builders to others? I know I have had problems with some if not all of these. Today I’m proud to post on facebook and other sites that I am a member of Christ’s Church restored in these latter days. I am thrilled to post pictures from trips to Salt Lake and church activities. I know that people see pictures and things that I write and at least desire sometimes to be part of that fun. If someone reading this is interested in joining us, please know that you are always welcome, even if you don’t explicitly get an invitation.

Brooke setup an event on Facebook this morning (or late last night) promoting a trip to the temple to do baptisms. Sister Dowden beat me to saying it, but what a great use of the Internet and social networking (facebook). She took the extra time to put information on the event page about the reason we do baptisms which could prove useful to someone who stumbles across the page. Wouldn’t it be great for our friends to look at what events we are going to, wonder what this baptisms/temple trip is about and then read to find out why we are going? I don’t know what Brooke’s motivations were for putting that on there, but I commend her for her efforts and hope I am inundated with event requests for things like that! Maybe we need to do an event for each activity we have in the branch and try to invite everyone, even non members friends to join us. I know it could be good, but would there be something better?

Elder Ballard tells that one member shares his efforts of missionary work on his blog daily. Maybe in addition to thinking of where we have seen the work of the Lord in our day we can give examples of the missionary service we participated in. Maybe these examples will help others of our faith find a way to share with others. Maybe something in our text will help someone find the Church when they are searching Google. Maybe sharing a brief testimony everyday will help some reader to learn of the Truth.

I know I for one don’t like talking about my weaknesses, but maybe I need to more often discuss how I have been able to overcome them with the help of the restored gospel: the Church, priesthood, blessings, etc.

Eldar Ballard says:

Use stories and words that they will understand. Talk honestly and sincerely about the impact the gospel has had in your life, how has it helped you overcome weaknesses or challenges, and helped define your values. The audiences for these and other New Media tools may often be small, but the cumulative effect of thousands of such stories can be great. The combined effort is certainly worth the outcome if but a few are influenced by your words of faith and love of God and His son Jesus Christ.

I can tell you that my blog and it’s readers had something to do with me joining the Church. I’m sure it’s happened elsewhere as well. Look back to April-May-June 2004 and I’m sure you’ll find some interesting tidbits. Maybe my blog can have the opportunity to do good work again with someone else reaping the benefits.

I know that I could help demystify the work of the church to non member through my blog. Too often I write about things in my personal journal but then delete them before posting for reasons I don’t necessarily understand. I will try from this day forward to promote the things we actually do so that readers can understand and have a clearer picture. I would love to clear up the confusion between temples and chapels/meetinghouses.

Sister Dowden, thank you for reminding me to read this article and to ponder it in more depth than I previously had when I caught a glimpse of it through the Church news bulletin.

If anyone has questions about the Church or some activity, please don’t hesitate to post a comment or email me directly. If you don’t want to discuss it with me, call the Church where someone would be happy to discuss it with you. And if you want more information about joining us, please let me know as well.

I do testify that this is the True Church of Christ, restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. President Gordon B. Hinkley directs and guides some 13 million members of the Church today here on earth as a prophet of the Lord. We have the priesthood authority and the ordinances necessary to bring us back to our Father in Heaven, all we need to do is Ask and follow his counsel. The Book of Mormon is true and blessings will come to those who follow it’s teachings and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.