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
Here are four ways the Internet can help you study the scriptures and other gospel material more consistently and more conveniently.
- Be reminded each day to read the scriptures — Visit ReadTheScriptures.com to sign up for a daily scripture study email. You choose what you’re reading and how fast you want to go. There’s also an option for “notes” and “journal”. (This site had a few broken links when I tried it, but it’s a great concept.)
- Get the scriptures downloaded to your iPod by podcast — Visit ScriptureCast.net, choose the book of scripture you’re reading, and select how fast you want to read (listen) or by what date you want to finish. Each day new audio is downloaded to your iPod so you can listen to your scriptures on the go.
- Subscribe to the home teaching and visiting teaching messages, Ensign articles, priesthood and Relief Society lessons, and General Conference talks. Visit IfYeArePrepared.org and subscribe with iTunes (podcast) or by email.
- If you have a shiny new iPhone, there’s an iPhone-friendly version of the standard works at tall.mountainmighty.com and at ReadScriptures.com. Very cool.
At Liahona.net you’ll find a large collection of hymns, Primary songs, Gospel music, and holiday songs. You can download songs or play them directly on the site. I was able to find tons of good music, both vocal and instrumental, and the site is entirely free for non-commercial use. Stock up your iPod for Sunday listening, or use one of the tunes as an intro to your podcast.Read More