Elder Bednar calls for using social media to spread the Gospel

Elder Bednar, speaking during Education Week at BYU, called on members to use social media to spread the message of the Gospel. Here are some key excerpts from his talk:

“Approximately 40 percent of our worldwide missionary force soon will be using digital devices as tools in the work of conversion, retention, and activation,” he said. “I am confident all of us also recognize how technology has accelerated family history and temple work, our individual and family study of the restored gospel, and made it possible for us to learn about, see, and experience the world in remarkable ways.”

Elder Bednar pointed to recent social media efforts by the Church and its members, including an Easter video, Because of Him, which was viewed more than five million times in 191 countries and territories around the world during Easter week.

He cited other examples, such as the hundreds of people who used the #didyouthinktopray hashtag to share a photo with a placard telling when they pray, which led to more than 40,000 conversations about the need for prayer.

And this:

“I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood. Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth — messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy — and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood,” urged Elder Bednar. “I pray we will not simply participate in a flash flood that rises swiftly and then recedes just as rapidly.”

Elder Bednar encouraged listeners to be authentic and consistent when using social media and to only share content that uplifts and edifies. “We should not exaggerate, embellish, or pretend to be someone or something we are not. Our content should be trustworthy and constructive. Anonymity on the Internet is not a license to be inauthentic.”

“We and our messages should seek to edify and uplift rather than to argue, debate, condemn, or belittle,” explained Elder Bednar. “Be courageous and bold but not overbearing in sustaining and defending our beliefs, and avoid contention. As disciples our purpose should be to use social media channels as a means of projecting the light and truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into a world that increasingly is dark and confused.”

Watch the talk: http://www.byutv.org/watch/event/852b379b-54c5-468b-97b2-ea221b4a56c1

From Mormon Newsroom: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/apostle-calls-for-social-media-messages-sweep-earth?cid=social_20140819_30077876

Promo for new Church movie “Meet the Mormons:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOEA3nVMngA

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

9 thoughts on “Elder Bednar calls for using social media to spread the Gospel

  1. Hi Jeff G,

    I’m under the weather today, else I’d probably have the energy to either remember why your comment makes sense or the energy to do a bit of googling to understand why it makes sense.

    For the moment, all I can muster is the recollection that the phrase “banner of heaven” is part of the title of that Jon Krakauer book, but I can’t remember who originally said it or why.

    From a recent foray into commenting on a SL Trib article, I think a problem we encounter is both that 1) it’s easy to attack in pithy soundbites and 2) conversation with attackers reveals they have a schema including the idea that they are at risk of attack from Mormon faithful.

    When I view things through a lens where everyone with whom I interact is someone that I have loved for an eternity (though seen through a glass darkly now), I’m willing to think that we will all look back on this at some later time with rueful acknowledgement of both where we got it right and where we got it wrong. Some of us, I submit, will be more rueful than others.

  2. Alas, I missed BoH when it occurred, and everything that would tell me what really happened has been removed from the internet.

    As a fan of the Lizzie Bennett Diaries (a video blog version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), it appears the BoH folks were attempting to create an artistic version of what they perceived to be the way folks react on the internet. But like the original broadcast of War of the Worlds, many didn’t understand that BoH was fake, and therefore were greatly hurt when the deception was revealed.

    Now with War of the Worlds, there was an announcement that this was a radio program, but those tuning in after that announcement thought it was real.

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