Sharing the Gospel Online
A couple of years ago, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a landmark address called Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet. In the spirit of that address, I am announcing the launch of a new section of Mormon Mission Prep that I’m calling Mormon Share. In Mormon Share (under “Share” in the site top navigation), you will find tools to help you share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on your Web site, Facebook, a blog or elsewhere. You will find widgets, badges, code, and other tools to help you quickly and easily begin sharing the gospel online. There is much there now, and in the future I’ll be adding even more.
And while we are on the subject of sharing the gospel online. Here are some of my favorite excerpts from Elder Ballard’s talk:
The Internet: A Modern Printing Press
“For many of you, if you read newspapers, the chances are you read them on the Internet. Ours is the world of cyberspace, cell phones that capture video, video and music downloads, social networks, text messaging and blogs, handhelds and podcasts.”
“The Lord, over the centuries, has had a hand in inspiring people to invent tools that facilitate the spreading of the gospel. The Church has adopted and embraced those tools, including print, broadcast media, and the Internet.”
Join the Conversation Online
“There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”
“Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including newsroom.lds.org, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you understand the basic principles of the gospel. It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct witness of gospel truths. It is also important that you and the people to whom you testify understand that you do not speak for the Church as a whole. You speak as one member—but you testify of the truths you have come to know.”
Examples of What You Can Do
“A Church member living in the Midwest of the United States makes a concerted effort to share the gospel every day, in person. He then writes a blog about his daily endeavors to share the teachings of the Book of Mormon and to give pass-along cards to all he meets. His effort to share the gospel so diligently is admirable, and his further effort to write about it no doubt inspires many others to do the same.”
“Others have recorded and posted their testimonies of the Restoration, the teachings of the Book of Mormon, and other gospel subjects on popular video-sharing sites. You too can tell your story to nonmembers in this way. Use stories and words that they will understand. Talk honestly and sincerely about the impact the gospel has had in your life, about how it has 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.”
“The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ has no doubt had a powerful impact on your life. It has, in part, shaped who you are and what your future will be. Do not be afraid to share with others your experiences as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have interesting stories that have influenced our identity. Sharing those stories is a nonthreatening way to talk to others. Telling those stories can help demystify the Church. You could help overcome misperceptions through your own sphere of influence, which ought to include the Internet.”
No need to argue or contend
“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.”
Great blog post. Members need to be putting their voices out there, informing people of the wonderful Plan of Salvation.
Thanks for putting together such a useful blog Jimmy!
Thanks for explanation of necessary paperwork and medical work. You made it seem less overwhelming.
Just started listing ideas for sharing the gospel online. Read some of them here http://ideasforsharinggospel.blogspot.com/ or come and share your own ideas.