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
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
Speaking of websites launched by Church employees, Brian Hansbrow has recently launched LDSTeacher.com. LDSTeacher.com is a social network with the goal of “improving teaching and learning in the … Church.”
At LDSTeacher.com you can discuss such topics as how to invite the Spirit into lessons, how to increase student participation, and how to prepare to teach. In a Church with no paid ministry, teachers may find these resources helpful.Read More
LDSMediaTalk.com is a new blog created by several Church employees to share “technology ideas for LDS parents and youth.” While this blog is not an official publication of the Church, these bloggers are experts in their fields and are close to the issues. Anybody interested in how the Church uses and will use technology to fulfill its mission should subscribe to this blog.
- Larry Richman, LDS.org Product Manager
- Joel Dehlin, Church CIO
- David Nielson, Managing Director, Church Audiovisual Dept
- David Frischknecht, Managing Director, Church Curriculum Dept
A recent MormonTimes.com article quoted Larry Richman relative to the launch of this new site:
Richman said the principal writers for LDSMediaTalk.com will glean technology information useful to families based on each author’s area of expertise. The curriculum director will focus on teaching the gospel. The audiovisual director will focus on Hollywood, movie-watching and music. The CIO will dig into technology issues. “I’m somewhere in the middle of all of those,” Richman said.
The article includes references to MormonHunnies, the three Mormon college students who’ve shared their beliefs on YouTube, and youth in Las Vegas who recorded their testimonies at Youth Conference.
“Speak on what you know,” Las Vegas youth leader West Allen says. “Make it personal. They [members] should share how the Church or the gospel has personally benefitted them and their families.”
Youth of the Las Vegas Nevada Redrock Stake shared their beliefs on camera at a recent Youth Conference, answering Elder Ballard’s call to share the Gospel online. The production was beautiful, and I see several good things coming of this:
- Youth can tell their friends about the video and link to it from Facebook or MySpace pages.
- Parents can share the video with their co-workers and friends of other faiths. It may be less intimidating, for giver and receiver, to share a video of one’s son or daughter.
- The public at large can see what Mormon youth are like.
- Youth gain experience being missionaries, before serving full-time missions.
- When they grow up, youth can look back and recall the beliefs they formed while young.
As a missionary in England, President Gordon Hinckley was known to have preached from a portable stand in Hyde Park, presumably because there were large gatherings of people there.
YouTube is the 3rd most visited website in the world and another avenue for sharing the Gospel. The Church has published several dozen videos on YouTube, as have many faithful members. Here is an overview:
- Videos from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Videos from the More Good Foundation, including testimonies and conversion stories
- Videos from FAIR, including answers to many questions about our beliefs
- YouTube user lds9999 has created many positive videos about our faith, including a video for each of the 125 temples. If you have a blog or a website, why not find the video for your temple and embed it on your site? This will help more people find it when looking for information about the temple.
- YouTube user believingldsmormon has created about a dozen videos, including facts and figures about the Mormon church and an explanation about garments. He is addressing topics for which there is public interest. (He’s “going where the people are.”)
- YouTube user SethAdamSmith has posted many good videos. He also campaigned for other YouTube users to post their testimonies online.
- Jean Kapenda, a convert from the Congo who joined the Church in Switzerland, video taped his conversion story and made it available on YouTube.
- And there are several other YouTube users who address Gospel topics by simply speaking into the camera. No one could accuse mormonhunnies or notAbadLookinMormon of being scripted or unreal.
If you have a video camera, or a laptop computer with a built-in web cam, why not record yourself and share it online? You could share your conversion story, your testimony of a particular Gospel principle, or how the Gospel affects your day-to-day living.Read More