Recently a living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ (Yes, there really are living oracles of God in our very day! Ask us more, if you like.), Henry B. Eyring, shared some tender, powerful remarks about the mountains of adversity we climb in this life. Each of us has a story to tell, a time when the weight and burden seemed heavier than heavy, and almost crushing, when either the peace of the Savior and the reality of the atonement – the burden He carried for us — became even more intensely real and meaningful to us or we despaired of life, not knowing how to access Him. If you are standing alone, He beckons you, right now, every moment, to come unto Him. If you don’t know how, contact us or someone who can guide you through. You are a breath away from hope and from Him. Ask Him if He is real and to manifest Himself to you. That is real prayer—the outpouring of your soul . God is there. He delights in lifting and helping you and is not absentee, vague, obscure, distant or reluctant. It is often us who turn away, not Him.
Below this entry from a friend on her adversity and her struggles through a series of hurtful miscarriages, is a must-see video that encapsulates Elder Eyring’s remarks on the mountains of adversity some of us face, and overcoming through faith in Jesus Christ. God bless you in your journey. These are more than pat answers and platitudes. There is purpose in pain and there is relief and peace and hope and healing through faith in Jesus Christ. Let us know if we can guide you along your path to happiness and to a knowledge of God’s restored gospel and Church.
Heartache and Hope
I have had as many miscarriages as babies born: four of each. After I survived a foreclosure and bankruptcy, I thought I could handle any trial that the Lord sent me. So He tested me, and boy, was I wrong. The financial trials were humbling, but the next wave of adversity hit me to the very core of my being.Read More
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”?
President 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?Read More
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.
If 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.Read More
We’ve just launched a new version of MormonTestimonies.org and we’ve changed our assumption of what a “testimony” is. Instead of sharing your “one” testimony, MormonTestimonies.org now encourages you to share multiple “testimonies.” You might share your testimony of the Savior, or of tithing, or of the Book of Mormon.
You might also share applications of Gospel teachings. In fact, Elder Ballard recently spoke about “taking part in everyday conversations in an unforced way, where your values and your religious beliefs will arise naturally.” He listed several questions you might answer online:
- How do your beliefs lift and shape your life for the better?
- How does the gospel help you as a parent engage with your teens?
- How do your values encourage you to participate in civic affairs?
- How has your experience as a home or visiting teacher enlarged your compassion or care for the sick and needy?
- How has your Church life helped you to avoid such things as pornography and immorality?
- How have family councils or home evenings helped you resolve differences of opinion with members of your family?
- How has your experience in speaking in church helped you address large public groups?
- Where did you learn to respect and not to criticize other faiths?
We’ve preloaded these and other questions into MormonTestimonies.org. Each time you visit the site (or refresh your browser) a new question will be loaded. Feel free to answer these questions, or write something else entirely. If you think of other questions we might ask, please leave them in the comments below.
(If you had a user account on the old MormonTestimonies.org site, please contact us to get a new username and password.)Read More
Saturday Elder Ballard spoke at a meeting of the BYU Management Society in Washington, D.C., and again encouraged members to share their beliefs on the Internet. Counting his previous speeches at BYU-Hawaii and BYU-Idaho, this is the third time he’s spoken on the topic.
Here are excerpts:
I probably don’t need to tell you that there is much questionable information and even outright falsehoods about the Church on the Internet and in the media-much bad mixed with the good.
Gradually, accurate and positive information is rising to the top of lists generated by various search engines. Those seeking information are more likely to encounter accurate information today than at any time since the Internet began, even though we still have a long way to go.
So let me pose a question. What are you prepared to do about it? If you are a member of the Church, what is your responsibility during this period of unusual attention and debate? Interest has continued at a high level and probably will for some time. If a national conversation is going on about the Church, are you going to be an active participant or a silent observer?
…Church leaders can’t do it all, especially at the grass-roots, community level. While we do speak authoritatively for the Church, we look to our responsible and faithful members to engage personally with blogs, to write thoughtful, online letters to news organizations, and to act in other ways to correct the record with their own opinions.
However, I emphasize that it is not always about correcting misinformation. Sometimes it is about getting solid information and ideas out there in the first place. Share your experiences – those from your own life – that show how your values and your faith intersect. It doesn’t matter whether that’s face to face with another person, or whether you do it by participating from your own blog or contributing to someone else’s blog. The most important thing is that you let people know that you are a Latter-day Saint, and that your behavior and attitude always reflect the high standards of the Church and what is expected as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, you will be speaking as an individual member and not as an official representative of the Church.
I am talking about taking part in everyday conversations in an unforced way, where your values and your religious beliefs will arise naturally….
At an advertising conference last year, Robert Stephens said, “Advertising is a tax you pay for unremarkable thinking.” (Source: Business Week)
The implication was that if your product is good enough, people will talk about it and spread the word, and you won’t need traditional advertising. Seth Godin calls this being “remarkable” or “worth remarking about.”
What if the Church didn’t need to spend any money on traditional advertising because Church members were that vocal about the Gospel? What if full-time missionaries didn’t have to do any finding? (Some might argue that advertising is as much about energizing the base as reaching out to new people.)
When Latter-day Saint Brooke White auditioned for American Idol, Simon Cowell said, “Tell me something interesting about you.” Of all the things she could say, she said, “I’ve never seen a rated R movie.” (I love Randy’s interjection — “Why!?”) Brooke went on to explain the standards her parents gave her and that she doesn’t drink or smoke.
I recently watched an interview with Harvard Business Professor Clay Christensen, in which he mentioned his Mormon faith in passing. This is a regular pattern for him:
I have learned to use terms that associate me with Mormonism in my conversations—comments about my mission to Korea, my children’s missions, my assignments in the Church, my having attended Brigham Young University, and so on. These comments open the door for a conversation about the Church. Most who notice that I have opened this door choose not to walk through it. A few do, however, usually saying, “So you’re a Mormon?” I then ask if they’d like to learn more about us. (Clay Christensen)
This missionary spirit seems to be part of their natures.
We are called to open our mouths:
8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;
Source: D&C 33:8-10
There are many ways to “open your mouth,” including on the Internet. You could start a blog. (Click here to learn what a blog is or explain it to someone else.) You could leave comments on a news story about the Church. You could post your testimony or story on YouTube.com.
“Open your mouths and they shall be filled…”Read More