Online missionary work

Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon

Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon

Greg McMurdie muses, What if Church members used blogs and other New Media tools to help fulfill President Benson’s vision of “flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon”?

Ezra Taft Benson Mormon ProphetPresident Benson said, “The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God designed to ’sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out [His] elect.’ (Moses 7:62.) This sacred volume of scripture needs to become more central in our preaching, our teaching, and our missionary work.”

One way we could encourage friends of other faiths to read and experiment on the Book of Mormon is to write a book review on sites like Amazon.com. Do a simple search for “Book of Mormon”, select one of the many editions of the Book of Mormon, then rate it and and write a review about it. Explain an experience that’s occurred when you read the Book of Mormon. I’ve added this to our (non-comprehensive) list of ways to share the Gospel online.

Bookslinger uses his blog to write about ways he is sharing the Book of Mormon in person.

How can we better share the Book of Mormon through the New Media?

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Telling our stories through New Media subject of new BYU class

A new class at BYU is studying storytelling through the New Media. This class, Theater and Media Art (TMA) 315r, studies the use of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other “Web 2.0″ tools for sharing our stories, including our faith as Latter-day Saints.

The students created two videos, below, to explain. This quote from student Taylor Rose summarizes it well:

Our audience isn’t just this little Provo bubble any more. We actually have the whole world as our audience. People from anywhere can see the content we are creating and we can create something people will be interested in everywhere…. We can tell who we are. We can tell our story.

We can invite them into our lives, show them how we view things, and show them how we make decisions. I think this is an excellent opportunity to show people who we really are.

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Public affairs representative as local blogger/columnist

Public affairs representative as local blogger/columnist

Continuing the theme of integrating gospel sharing habits into our routines, I like what Dana King has done in St. Louis.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch MormonDana King serves as a Church public affairs representative in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. When her local newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, launched a multi-faith religion blog, Dana decided to get involved. She writes about her Mormon faith while her local colleagues write about their Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant faiths.

I see several positive aspects:

  • This encourages greater interfaith understanding, with people you might actually see or know in your community.
  • Because the blog is operated by the local newspaper, it already has an audience and is marketed and advertised.
  • As local search improves, what Dana writes is increasingly likely to be found by an investigator in her area.

I haven’t heard of anyone being called to be a blogger, but this is pretty close. Not that Dana was asked to be a blogger, she simply decided to get involved in this good cause “of [her] own free will”.

Importantly, Dana doesn’t presume to speak for the Church; she simply speaks as an adherent to the faith.

What if a public affairs representative in every community encouraged the local newspaper to start a multi-faith religion blog and began writing about the restored gospel?

P.S. Dana King also blogs for Whitney Johnson’s Know Your Neighbor, which has resources for public affairs representatives.

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Usage of the word “Mormon”

Usage of the word “Mormon”

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.

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:

Mormon MissionaryI 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.com

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Student blogging at BYU

MormonBloggers SiteLDS Living has an article on Professor Richard Holzapfel’s inclusion of blogging in the religion curriculum at BYU:

For his religion class this semester, Richard Holzapfel changed his usual scripture log assignment to an online blogging assignment where students write their thoughts and feelings on gospel subjects.

Holzapfel said he and students have already seen positive results, engaging in conversations about the gospel with people all over the world.

Read more: Homework and Missionary Work Come Together on Student Blogs

Via ldsmediatalk.com

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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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