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
Elder Russell M. Nelson recently discussed the Church’s new website about the Savior, JesusChrist.lds.org, in a short video clip on YouTube (embedded below.) He said the Internet is a medium which will help the Apostles fulfill their calling to preach the word of God throughout the entire world:
Our responsibility as Apostles is to teach of Jesus Christ to all the world. We have used the website [JesusChrist.lds.org] because that’s the way people get their information now a days. When the Lord called his Twelve Apostles, he called them to send them throughout the world and preach of him. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. In those days they could talk to a few people, here and there. In our time, we’ve had radio, television and now we have the Internet. The Internet is a very excellent way of promoting the word of God. We have confidence in this medium. We know it will appeal to a lot of people. We take seriously the responsibility that we have.
So that’s why we have this website. We are to promote unity in our understanding of our faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. The Lord has revealed more in this day and age than He has ever before. We’re the recipients of that knowledge and we’re happy to share it with others. We’ve done it through this website and we’ve employed not only the written word but visual text and some video clips. This should be a great aid to the members of the Church. They can identify segments of this that will be of particular appeal to their family or friends or relatives and just forward it.
We may have a different understanding of Jesus because he personally appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and he taught the Prophet Joseph Smith and so those revelations are very important. There’s only one Jesus Christ and our understanding of him is very rich and we’re very anxious to share that with all human beings.
We’ve written previously about using the Internet to fulfill the three-fold mission of the Church and suggested some ways members can be involved in proclaiming the Gospel online. Elder Nelson’s comments reveal an even larger vision for the use of this technology. I think we can begin to see how the truth of the Lord will actually and realistically “penetrate every continent, visit every clime, sweep every country, and sound in every ear.”
See also: The Wentworth LetterRead More
The following “badges” can be used on your own blog or website to link to the site. This is a great way to share teachings of the Savior with your readers and visitors.
To use an image from the left, copy the HTML code on the right to your own blog or website:
Source: Link to JesusChrist.lds.orgRead More
The More Good Foundation recently launched LDS.net, a social network for Church members to share their Mormon beliefs online. Features include blogs, forums, videos, photos, testimonies, news, and chat.
We intended for LDS.net to be like a fishbowl, allowing persons of other faiths to “peer in” and passively observe what Mormons think, believe, and say. But the result has been even better: several non-Mormons have signed up and are actively participating in conversations about the Church. LDS.net currently has 9,907 users.
LDS.net isn’t intended to compete with top social networks like Facebook and MySpace. They’re far more established and powerful. But if you want a place to share the Gospel online, alongside other Church members, LDS.net is a safe place.
You can also share the Gospel on Facebook. Most Church members on Facebook have both Mormon and non-Mormon friends. By simply being yourself online, non-Mormons will get a feel for what you do on Sundays, where you were for 18-24 months, where you were married, and other aspects of your faith.
In a BYU devotional, Gerrit Gong asked, “Would you feel comfortable showing your profile in Sunday School-or on the big screen at this devotional?” We believe many Church members would. Today we’re launching a new version of our Facebook Application — The LDS App. Our Facebook application allows Facebook users to share their testimony, favorite scriptures, and news from the Church directly on their profile page. Over 20,000 Facebook users have added the LDS App and hundreds are using it to share their testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Read More
The More Good Foundation recently launched two new websites to coincide with the passing of President Hinckley and the calling of President Monson as prophet:
Gordon Hinckley dot com
Thomas Monson dot com
The quick launch of these two Church websites is remarkable because it involved the coordination of almost a dozen teams. (More Good Foundation is just one team.) Kudos to the Church. The quality shows.Read More
Our beloved prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away last night at 7 PM. Since then, we’ve seen a flood of online interest in him, his successor Thomas S. Monson, how leadership and priesthood succession works in the Church, who current members of the Twelve are, and many other questions.
In the coming days, members of the Church have a great opportunity to answer these questions. If you have a blog, it would be helpful to write something on what President Hinckley’s service meant to you, your thoughts on President Monson, your understanding of how priesthood succession works, and related topics. It would also be helpful if you link to additional information like these:
You might also participate in forums like Yahoo Answers or our own LDS.net.
If you have a Web cam or digital camera, you might record your thoughts on President Hinckley and post it to YouTube.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