Blogging

Call for Stories for Christ.org, MGF Site

Call for Stories for Christ.org, MGF Site

Jesus Christ MormonDear Friends of the More Good Foundation,

We’re creating a new section on Christ.org–one of our More Good Foundation websites–that will include a composite of personal stories regarding the ways in which the Savior has intervened in our daily lives, and helped us to overcome, realize His hand, submit to His will, live on, receive understanding, see purpose, or find joy in the journey. (Possible topics and questions are listed below.)

We’d like to extend an invitation to you to write and submit to us, your own account of any way in which you have felt the personal impact of the Savior’s atoning love, grace, and influence in your life as you’ve moved forward in your journey of life, or as you’ve faced a particular life challenge. It doesn’t matter if the story revolves around a small moment, one event, or a long struggle. Selected accounts will be published on the site.

If you’re interested, please email your name, photo, and story to Karen Merkley, km@moregood.com. Stories should be approximately 350-1200 words. While we can post some stories anonymously, we’d also like to receive those from guests who would like to include a photo and first name, with their post, to keep the site inviting, real, and personal for our visitors.

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Integrating Gospel Sharing Habits into our Existing Routines

Integrating Gospel Sharing Habits into our Existing Routines

Online gospel sharing will be easier if we can integrate it into our existing routines.

Mormon BlogA recent BYU Daily Universe article explains that Dr. Richard Holzapfel is encouraging gospel blogging by making it part of the curriculum. In BYU religion classes, it’s common to be asked to keep a private study journal throughout the semester. By moving the assignment online, the study journal

  • may benefit a much larger audience than just the student;
  • may be the catalyst for conversations about the Church;
  • gives readers a glimpse into the life of a real member of the Church; and
  • lives beyond the end of the semester*, whether the student continues to add to it or not.

Students may take the assignment more seriously — avoiding fluff and cliches that might pass with the grader — since the real world is reading.

Authenticity is paramount:

Holzapfel said he urges students to make their blogs authentic and said they must include “real things about real life.”

“If the blogs are preachy, no one will read them,” he said. (Student Blogging Spreads Church Globally)

Similarly, online journal services like LDSJournal.com or Pyxlin.com could offer a “Share this Paragraph” button in their private journals, so Church members can share without much extra effort.

By the way, Professor Holzapfel practices what he preaches and has begun blogging on the BYU Religious Studies website:

Dr. Richard Holzapfel’s blog

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“Criticisms Create Interest” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” Church)

“Criticisms Create Interest” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” Church)

If you’re new here, read more about the More Good Foundation. We help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) share their beliefs on the Internet. Learn more about what Mormons believe or talk with Mormons at LDS.net.

Elder Robert D. Hales Mormon During the Sunday morning session of the 178th Semiannual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes referred to as the “Mormon” Church), a modern-day apostle, Elder Robert Hales, addressed the body of Saints and visitors worldwide. Elder Hales addressed the notion of Christian courage in the wake of misunderstanding about who we are as a people and what we believe.

Elder Hales spoke of seasons of opposition that we have known as the Lord’s church and and as a people. Such seasons of opposition, he indicated, can actually be turned to our good, and can help others and the Church as we respond to those criticisms in love.

“Criticisms create interest,” remarked Elder Hales. As those who seek the truth but don’t know where to find it, our individual responses count and can make a difference.

In a time when we awareness of us in increasing, there is still much to do in the way of creating understanding. While the Olympics, Mitt Romney’s campaign, increased press coverage around the world, have increased discussions about us globally, there is obviously a large percentage of the public who still do not know what we claim, nor understand our central belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  50-85% are still not sure that we are distinct from polygamous groups around us. While Elder Hales did not refer to specific misunderstandings, he did offer a blanket of counsel regarding our duty to respond to those misperceptions and our responsibility to do so in meekness.

Elder Hales suggested that when we read something that is not congruous with our beliefs, we take advantage of the opportunity to speak out in kindness. We can, he said, do some of the following:

  • Write a letter to the editor of a publication containing misguided information
  • Have a conversation with someone affirming the truth
  • Email someone who may have been influenced by prejudice
  • Comment on a blog

This is a time that calls for “Christian courage,” he suggested; moreover, meekness is not weakness. As we respond in meekness, not reviling when others may revile, “we stand where the Savior stood,” Elder Hales reminded us.

Let us follow his admonition. If you’d like to know how to start your own blog or need help knowing where to respond to statements about our faith, please contact us at email@moregoodfoundation.org.

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Testimony Tag

Testimony Tag is an idea for sharing your beliefs on your blog and encouraging your friends to do the same. You may have seen these viral games of “tag” in which one blogger writes, for example, “5 things you didn’t know about me” and then “tags” others to do the same.

jesus christ mormonIf you have a blog, you can participate in a Testimony Tag by
1. Creating a blog post about a Gospel topic
2. Linking to another positive website or resource about the Church
3. Encouraging (”tagging”) your friends to do the same

For more information, read Testimony Tag.

Thanks to David for sending this in. I thought this was a great idea.

By the way, for an example of being a missionary online, see Matt Asay’s post “Five things you don’t know about me”. In the course of explaining five things about himself to a business and technical audience, he mentioned both his high school seminary class and his mission to France. He wasn’t preachy; he simply mentioned elements of his beliefs and practices that were a part of his life. This sort of transparency and openness helps build bridges and dispel myths about the Church.

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Important new blog for parents, families, and technologists

Important new blog for parents, families, and technologists

LDSMediaTalk.com is a new blog created by several Church employees to share “technology ideas for LDS parents and youth.” While this blog is not an official publication of the Church, these bloggers are experts in their fields and are close to the issues. Anybody interested in how the Church uses and will use technology to fulfill its mission should subscribe to this blog.

Mormon ldsmediatalk.comParticipants include the following individuals, as well as occasional guests:

  • Larry Richman, LDS.org Product Manager
  • Joel Dehlin, Church CIO
  • David Nielson, Managing Director, Church Audiovisual Dept
  • David Frischknecht, Managing Director, Church Curriculum Dept

A recent MormonTimes.com article quoted Larry Richman relative to the launch of this new site:

Richman said the principal writers for LDSMediaTalk.com will glean technology information useful to families based on each author’s area of expertise. The curriculum director will focus on teaching the gospel. The audiovisual director will focus on Hollywood, movie-watching and music. The CIO will dig into technology issues. “I’m somewhere in the middle of all of those,” Richman said.

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Blogging leads to missionary referral

Two years ago, I started a niche website with my BYU roommate, which became very popular, drawing thousands of people every day. When we sold the website this May and said our goodbyes to the readers, Brian posted a link to his personal blog.

Mormon Family DinnerOn his personal blog, Brian posts photos of his family and newborn son, writes on a variety of topics from being a father to owning an iPhone, and, importantly, shares elements of his beliefs. After writing about tithing recently, Brian discovered that one of the visitors to our website had begun reading his personal blog.

Brian, you don’t know me in person but I’ve been reading [your] blog for a while. (I found it thru freemacware.com when you owned that.)

Anyway, I’m not Mormon but I appreciate [the] things you write about. There’s just one thing I have a question about with the mormons. every other religion (including mine) sees commandments as burdonsome and limiting. But in your posts and other mormons I know seem like they appreciate commandments. Why is that? maybe you or some of your mormon readers care to respond.

Several of us responded to Michael’s question, and eventually he asked to be visited by the full-time missionaries. I spoke with Brian today and he confirmed that the elders have now visited Michael and his family several times.

Brian didn’t intend to preach a sermon, but by simply sharing his faith online, he was able to reach someone who wanted to hear it. I think this is an exemplary model of online member missionary work.

Do you want to start a blog? We’ll help!

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