During BYU Education Week, Elder Bednar gave a great speech on using social media to share the gospel. Two months have passed since his talk, and while there was some talk on it, I fear that his fears may already be happening. But let me review some of his main concepts, first.
Elder Bednar stated that it is time we use social media to flood the earth with the gospel. Right now, we are only causing a trickle to occur. To put this in perspective, the number of gospel contacts made by the Church and its members in 2013 equated to each full time missionary companionship in the Church (88,000) to have over 100 gospel contacts per day, or 37,500 per year. 1.6 billion contacts total for 2013.
If this is just a trickle, then what would be considered flood stage? Ten times more? One Hundred times more? One thousand times more? There are millions of members worldwide. Imagine if only 4 million members were to share two gospel related items per day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any of the other social media sites out there. We would more than double the number of contacts made per year to 3 billion! Then if each of them were to share two gospel related items on two social media sites each day, we would have 6 billion contacts per year.
Elder Bednar states that this needs to be an ongoing project for us. We cannot just have a flash flood, lasting a few weeks, to only return to a trickle once again. Part of Hastening the Work is ensuring we endure in sharing the gospel to the end.
Now, this does not mean we must be preachy, annoying, in-your-face, or nasty in any of our messages. Please do not call people to repentance, threatening them with hell fire and damnation if they do not become Mormons. Instead, share with others the joys of the gospel. Here are some ideas:
1. Share an interesting scripture you recently read
2. Share a gospel video. I recommend the Church’s New Testament videos that can be found at BibleVideos.org. The Church has lots of material available at Mormon.Org and its other sites that we are encouraged to share (just ensure no violation of copyright).
3. Talk about your family history. Whether you have tracked your lines all the way back to Adam, are just starting out on your 4 generations, or are scrap booking memories with your kids, there are many who will be interested.4. Share thoughts about a temple trip, baptisms for the dead, or eternal marriage. For those of us in areas where new temples are being built, we have opportunities to share neat stories. For example, the angel Moroni statue was just placed atop the Indianapolis temple yesterday.
5. Discuss food storage, emergency preparedness, and bishop’s storehouses and Church welfare assistance making an impact in the world.
6. Share spiritual experiences (just be careful on sharing experiences that are too sacred to share openly)
7. Share how you have been blessed or illuminated by a gospel teaching
8. Share how the Holy Spirit and the gospel bring you joy, peace and hope, even when the world piles on the trials.
9. Share the joys of family, marriage, reunions, etc. This includes our heavenly family. Share the knowledge that we are children of a loving God.
10. Above all, share your testimony of Jesus Christ, the Atonement and Resurrection.
It may be that the 2nd Coming could come in our day. We do not know. We do know that we can fulfill the commandment to share the gospel to all nations, tongues and peoples prior to the Coming of the Lord.
While sharing funny cat videos is okay to do, we can do greater things by taking a few moments more and share something about the gospel, as well. So, we need each of our readers to do two things:
1. Begin sharing the gospel online on your favorite social media sites. If you are not online, prayerfully consider if you should go online, if for no other reason than to share your testimony with others.
2. Encourage your LDS friends, families, and acquaintances to also begin to share a few messages a day online.
As nonmembers and less actives are inspired by our messages, they will be moved upon by the Holy Spirit to begin attending Church, ask questions about the gospel, and become part of the fold of God.