Facebook has become a place where people share their views, opinions and pictures of their meals. I was just fine keeping my Facebook clean of anything opinionated before my mission. I went to the California Santa Rosa mission which was one of the first few missions to try to use Facebook and blogging to help share the gospel. I did NOT want to do this. I was very reluctant and hoped I wouldn’t have to because only a few missionaries were called to do it when I first got to the mission. However, a few months in all the Sister missionaries were asked to start a facebook and a blog if they wished.
Like I said, I didn’t wanna do it.
We learned about how the prophets had called the internet a dark place and that we needed to take it back with light. We were to light up facebook and the internet and blogs with our views, our happiness and joy that the gospel has in our lives. Although I felt awkward sharing religious videos and such on my page, I quickly grew to see the benefit of it when someone would message me and thank me for sharing that video, that it was exactly what they needed. Just a simple quote or a scripture in my status was helpful to many. As for me, I feel like I have a lot of passion burning inside me that I feel I just need to get it out there! So I started a blog. I wrote about the law of chastity, about why I’m a Mormon and what makes me happy to be a missionary and so on. I found my niche.
My point here today is: find yours. You don’t have to be like me! Most of us have heard of Al Fox and her beautiful testimony or seen her amazing videos. If you haven’t go check her out! She is an inspiration and unafraid to share her testimony and has the motto: Use the internet for good. Sometimes it’s hard and you feel weird. Start small. Simply ‘liking’ a quote or a scripture that maybe a missionary posted helps share it on your friends’ news feed. You can re-pin my blog post pins or uplifting LDS quotes on pinterest. It’s so easy, yet can be so helpful. You don’t have to be a weirdo like me and write 10 page long blogs about the horrible affects of pornography. You can simply write about your daily life like my good friend Rachel does. She always shares sweet experiences and talks about the gospel here and there without being overbearing! (I have a lot to learn from her) You could have a blog with delicious recipes like this lady does where she also mentions her activities with church or the missionaries from time to time. (Check this blog out-the food is amazing!!) Just find your small way to contribute. It doesn’t have to scare you to pieces. But do something.
It’s easy to standby and watch others do it. Sometimes people are too overwhelming with their views. Some get feisty and rude with others. Some take away the Spirit because they do not understand when to stop talking and let things be. If I feel that I am getting too hot headed, I step away. I do not want to argue with people, just share my views. It hurts to see others even in our church who were rude to me because of their opinions over church doctrine. God does not want this. Being bold is not the same thing as being obnoxious. There is a fine line and if you don’t know what is, don’t type anything. Leave it be. You will do far more damage than good.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Elder Ballard has said:
” What are you prepared to do about it? If you are a member of the Church, what is your responsibility during this period of unusual attention and debate? Interest has continued at a high level and probably will for some time. If a national conversation is going on about the Church,
are you going to be an active participant or a silent observer?
“Church leaders must not be reluctant to participate in public discussion. Where appropriate, we will engage with the media whether it’s the traditional, mainstream media or the new media of the Internet. But Church leaders can’t do it all, especially at the grass-roots, community level. While we do speak authoritatively for the Church, we look to our responsible and faithful members to engage personally with blogs, to write thoughtful, online letters to news organizations, and to act in other ways to correct the record with their own opinions.
“Clearly, in this context I am not talking about declaring your testimony of faith in the traditional sense. Naturally, you can and should do that where the setting is appropriate and the audience is receptive, such as a church meeting. Rather, I am talking about taking part in everyday conversations in an unforced way, where your values and your religious beliefs will arise naturally. No one likes to have religion thrust down their throats. Instead, allow people to see how your beliefs lift and shape your life for the better. How does the gospel help you as a parent engage with your teens? How do your values encourage you to participate in civic affairs? How has your experience as a home or visiting teacher enlarged your compassion or care for the sick and needy? How has your Church life helped you to avoid such things as pornography and immorality? How have family councils or home evenings helped you resolve differences of opinion with members of your family? How has your experience in speaking in church helped you address large public groups? Where did you learn to respect and not to criticize other faiths? And so on.”
At times it is hard to share your beliefs. But they have asked us to take part in the conversation. People speaking up in the correct way have helped many situations. Do not be ashamed. Don’t be afraid. If it is through the Spirit and with love, all will be well. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we get too wild. So..back off. Apologize if needed and learn from your mistakes. But I feel like someone trying to do good is better then someone who stands by and does nothing and I’m pretty sure God feels the same way:
15 “I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
At times I have had friends privately message me and thank me for speaking out about a certain topic. I love hearing their feedback however, I must say that most of these people didn’t even ‘like’ the blogpost or link I posted. They simply view it and move on. Perhaps they simply forget or don’t realize that it is important to like it. It doesn’t better anyone else if they don’t press the like button or share it as I would hope they would. If you agree: press the like button. Your friends can see that you read it and will maybe read it too. You never know who it will help!
My blogs won’t do much good if only the people that agree with me read them.
I posted a link to my Aunt’s Pornography Addiction Center in St. George Utah in my mission group on Facebook. A small few actually ‘liked’ it and shared it but it was enough that a lady was able to see it because of that and seek help for her own husband. Thanks to the liking of just a few others she was able to see this link and able to find help.
We are asked to stand with Christ at all times and in all things and in all places, regardless of the circumstance. Regardless of who is there or not. Regardless if it is a friend or an acquaintance. Stand with Christ. After all He has done for you, the least you can do is be a witness of him.
Remember, God didn’t inspire men to create these wonderful tools just for fun and games, it is also to help spread the gospel. How else will all the corners of the earth hear about the gospel? Through the internet.
Missionaries can’t do it alone, and they shouldn’t.
Do people know you are LDS? Do they know you believe in Christ? Start with that. It can be as small as posting your religion in your about section. If you truly believe in this religion, you should not be ashamed of it.
Think of Samuel the Lamanite on that wall.
Imagine, if he wasn’t alone but had a whole army of valiant saints standing with him. (some did see angels standing with him) How much more loved and confident would Samuel have felt? How many more hearts would have been changed by the people below if they saw that Samuel was not alone? He would have gotten up there with or without the support of his friends, and he did. Get on your wall and post and like and share.
I have heard many people say they don’t use social media that way, and they don’t see the point. The point is this: The Apostles and Prophets understand that the new town square is now online. We are asked to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all PLACES. Will you not stand by Him? Were you not saved for these last days to do just that? He who has done so much for you, can you not share a Mormon.org video that could change someone’s life? Would that not be worth all the ridicule and scorn that you may receive? Open your mouth, spread the love of Christ.
Will you not join in such great a cause?
Ideas to start out:
‘Like’ the lds pages on facebook, they created them to help share with others!
Share a picture for General Conference, let others know you’re going to be watching it! You never know who might tune in.
(All the Apostles have fb pages too)
Share a Mormon Message video
Share a video about a fellow Mormon off Mormon.org
The church has posted on their website more ideas: here!