The Lord knows what He is doing.
He knows how to hasten His work. He knows what needs to be done. He knows when and how to do it.
The when – is now.
The how – now includes digital words as well as spoken ones!
“Sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. . . . Perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to ‘open [your] mouths’ might today include ‘use your hands’ to blog and text message the gospel to all the world!” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“There are new ways to invite others to ‘come and see.’ Let’s make sharing our faith online more a part of our daily life. LDS.org, Mormon.org, Facebook, Twitter—all provide opportunities.” – Elder Neil L. Andersen
The Lord has a divine purpose for technology. The purpose is to share His gospel with all the world. We have been invited to participate in the great hastening of the work of salvation. A great pleasure, for our Master!
“The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation. As members of the choice generation, you understand technology. The Lord expects you to use these great tools to take His work to the next level, to share the gospel. You were chosen to participate in His work at this time.” –Elder Randall L. Ridd
If you are reading this blog, you likely have a desire to be involved in “The Great Hastening”. If you are feeling unsure of how to do so digitally – you are not alone! Understanding and navigating the different social media websites can seem daunting. Let’s break it down.
1. The first step to interacting on social media websites is to acquire your own account. You may choose one or many of the following sites. They are all platforms on which the Church has an official presence. (The links below will take you directly to the Church’s official page on each of the sites.)
For an overview of each social media platform mentioned above, just click here. You will learn what they are, how they work, and how the Church uses them to share the gospel.
2. Your second step is an important one. It is to invite your friends, family and acquaintances to “follow” or accept your “friend request”. This may be the most important step in this entire process because those who follow you, will see your activity (which we will talk about further) and therefore be exposed to the truths of the gospel. So, when you are searching for friends or followers, please include those not of our faith, even if they are simply acquaintances. I might even suggest praying to know who you can invite to “see” what you will have to “share” on your social media account.
3. After you’ve established a presence on a social media platform and have invited friends to follow you, you can now “follow” or “like” the official pages of the Church. If you click on each of the links above, it will take you directly to the official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints pages. From there, you will find the option to “like” or “follow” it.
Note – The Church has several official pages on each platform, not just one. If you would like to follow their additional pages as well, click here for a full list. (Click on the arrow underneath each platform description which reads: “View All Pages”.)
When you “like” or “follow” an official page of the Church, the following will happen:
(Most examples hereafter will correspond with Facebook – the most popular social media platform.)
- It will show up in your news feed that you “liked” the page. (This is a good thing. We want others to find the Church!)
- You will receive posts from that page regularly in your news feed. (Also a good thing!)
- You will have the option to engage in the post. (Which is why it is called “social” media.)
3. Now that you have a social media account, have a few followers, and have chosen to follow official Church pages, you are now ready to get to work in the Great Hastening! There are several ways you can share the gospel via social media. The following are just a few ideas. I will start with the simplest.
The most important thing to remember when sharing the gospel online, is to seek for and follow the promptings of the Spirit.
To begin, you may choose to:
- Share your testimony of Jesus Christ or any portion of His restored gospel!
- Invite others to a church activity or worship service!
- Express your gratitude for being a member of the Church and WHY it brings you happiness!
- Share what you learned in church the previous Sunday!
- Express your excitement about the gospel of Christ – remembering to mention the full name of the Church!
The above ideas are very simple, yet extremely important in hastening the Lord’s work! If you feel the Spirit when you post your words, it is likely others will feel it when they read them.
When you have become comfortable sharing your thoughts on your own profile. You can branch out and include more options to share the gospel.
4. Click on the “like”, “retweet” “comment” or “share” buttons on posts from the official Church pages you follow. This is important for 2 reasons:
- It increases the reach of the Church’s post – so it will be seen by more people.
- Your activity will become public, which increases the chance your followers will see the inspiring post as well. In short – you will be exposing your followers to true doctrine!
Finally, when you find something inspiring on a church website which you would like to share with your followers, it can be done quite simply!
5. Go directly to lds.org or Mormon.org and share your favorite images, quotes and videos directly from those sites. This is easier than it sounds! The article, image or video will likely have an icon with the symbol of your social media site, near it – which, when clicked, will post it directly to your page. Voila! Simple!
At this point, you will have accomplished the following:
- You have established your own account with a social media platform!
- You have invited friends, family and acquaintances to follow you!
- You have shared your own testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel!
- You have engaged with the posts from official Church pages so they show up for your followers to see!
- You have posted your favorite videos, images, quotes, etc…directly from the source of true doctrine – lds.org, mormon.org!
Is there anything else you need to know about sharing the gospel online? Yes. It is important to know what to post – and what not to post:
“Social media will only continue to grow, and as you look for new and effective ways to bring others to Christ, remember to always follow the Spirit’s promptings so that you can share the good news in a spirit of charity.” (https://www.lds.org/church/share/sharing-the-gospel-via-social-media?lang=eng)
“Every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior. Discussions focused on questioning, debating, and doubting gospel principles do little to build the kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be “ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world.
As you participate in this conversation and utilize the tools of new media, remember who you are – Latter-day Saints. Remember, as the proverb states, that a “soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). And remember that contention is of the devil (see 3 Nephi 11:29). There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs. There is no need to become defensive or belligerent. Our position is solid; the Church is true. We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the prompting of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven.
Let your voice be heard in this great cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” ” – Elder M. Russell Ballard – Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet
Elder Ballard has asked us to let our voices be heard. Now that we know how – let’s get to work! Let us open not only our mouths, but our laptops!
Let our voices –
digital as well as verbal ,
for the Lord!
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