|MORE GOOD FOUNDATION||560 South State Street
Orem, UT 84058
Phone (801) 705-5115
Similar to Microsoft’s I’m a PC Campaign, 24 Hour Fitness has a website for the sharing of fitness and health stories:
There are stories of people losing weight, rehabilitating after a car accident, recovering from knee surgery, and beating depression. Think of a website like this for Mormons to share what the Gospel has done for their lives. (Stories about the Word of Wisdom would dovetail.)
I invite each of you, young or old, to dedicate a small notebook to this theme. Write at the top of the first page the words “What my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means to me.” Then briefly list those things that come to mind. Over time, additional thoughts will come, which you can add to your list. Soon you will have a growing booklet that will fill you with gratitude and appreciation for your membership in the Lord’s Church. (Repentance, a Blessing of Membership)
Perhaps you’ll feel comfortable sharing some of the items in your notebook publicly. If so, why not start a blog or create a YouTube video? Make it real. Be yourself.
I’m not sure why 24 Hour Fitness chose “12 million”, but, coincidentally, that’s roughly the number of Mormons in the world.Read More
Our own Heather Newell has an article in Mormon Times about usage of the word “Mormon”. As the head moderator at LDS.net, she occasionally receives emails from Church members concerned with our usage of words that persons of other faith use:
I receive emails expressing concern about using the word Mormon, especially using the term Mormon Church. As members of the church, we all know who we are, what we believe, and that this is Jesus Christ’s Church. Many of us understand the style guide set forth by the church to the media. But not everyone else does.
Even though I’m an active, daily participant in online conversation about the church, in the past I too have struggled with embracing the word Mormon. I want to share the insights I have gathered which have helped me respectfully say, “I am a Mormon.”
Read more: We Are Mormon at MormonTimes.comRead More
Last week we attended the FAIR Conference. Among my favorite talks were the conference opener by Mike Ash and the conference closer by Dan Peterson.
Mike Ash presented concepts from his new book, Shaken Faith Syndrome. He explained the idea of “inoculation” — introducing members to doctrinal or historical points that might be unsettling if received from unfaithful sources which intend to shock or confuse. For example, we might better inoculate Church members by linking to the relevant FAIR Wiki article on Joseph Smith and polygamy when discussing Joseph Smith or polygamy.
Dan Peterson spoke of softening and broadening the field of apologetics. Apologetics is meant to provide plausibility for faith, not prove anything. We need not debate. If our faith is rational, or based in things we consider plausible, the Spirit can testify of truths. Apologetics can help provide this plausibility, for those who want it, by clearing the thorns so the seeds of faith can grow.
Dan’s vision for broadened apologetics is making the Gospel more “attractive” (or more remarkable) by sharing our experiences, telling our stories, and encouraging others to experiment for themselves. This kind of sharing of beliefs is central to the mission of the More Good Foundation and seems to be what Elder Ballard has asked for.
Earlier this year, Dave Keller suggested that Church members who participate on the Internet should engage in a “vigorous self study program” so they’re prepared to discuss any issue that might arise online. Here I see an interesting convergence: Dan and Dave seem to be implying, respectively, that the apologist and the online member missionary ought to be more like each other.
See also: Dan Peterson on Humble Apologetics at MormonTimes.com.Read More
Today Elder Ballard spoke at the BYU-Hawaii graduation and urged graduates to use the Internet to share the Gospel. He mentioned blogging, podcasts, Facebook, video-sharing sites, and “people using … search engines to hunt for topics about the Church.” Here are selected portions:
The emergence of New Media is facilitating a world-wide conversation on almost every subject including religion, and nearly everyone can participate.
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.
The challenge is that there are too many people participating in conversation about the Church for our Church personnel to converse with and respond to individually. We cannot answer every question, satisfy every inquiry, and respond to every inaccuracy that exists. …some who seek answers want them to come directly from a member of the Church, like each one of you.
May I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, 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 at 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.
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.
Elder Ballard also cited the Indy Books blog, where Bookslinger chronicles his daily missionary work.
I think this will prove to be a landmark talk.
Full transcript: Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church
Press release: Apostle Urges Students to Use New Media
(Thanks to several people who sent me this.)Read More
Online missionary work can be like fishing or like hunting.
Sometimes we cast our line and then wait for someone to come along. For example, our website about Mormon beliefs sits idly until someone types “Mormon beliefs” into Google, and then it is found. Other fishermen are there too.
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Other times we hunt; we seek out people interested in learning more about the Church. If you want a missionary opportunity right now, visit Yahoo Answers and type in “Mormon” or join the forums at LDSForums.com. You’ll find plenty of people with questions about the Church.
16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
Among the most recurring themes in scripture is “seek and ye shall find“. We should make that true for people searching online.Read More