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
Today we attended the eBusiness Day at BYU. Thanks to Steve, Jeff, and Dan for letting us come. We talked to several people and passed out flyers on 12 Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet.
- Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
- Blog your testimony in your mission language
- Blog what you learned in Sunday School
- Edit Mormonwiki.com or Wikipedia.org
- Link to good websites (not just lds.org)
- Podcast your parents and grandparents
- Post mission and wedding photos on Flickr
- Post your testimony on mormontestimonies.org
- Post your video testimony on YouTube
- Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
- Tell someone in Second Life about the Church
- Volunteer with the More Good Foundation
We’re going to do all of these ourselves, and hope you will join us.Read More
The More Good Foundation has just put up a Mormon Testimonies Wiki where members of the Mormon Church can post their testimonies. This is such an exciting way to share the important part of the Church; while we can write informative and positive articles, nothing compares to the spirit that comes through true testimonies. These testimonies will be available for view by anyone and can be searched by region or by the number of generations a person has been in the Church.
I encourage anyone and everyone to go to mormontestimonies.org and post a testimony. What better answer is there to the question “what do Mormons really believe?” than a collection of writings of actual Mormons telling what they actually believe? The wiki is a safe place (no criticism allowed) where members can share their strength and faith.Read More
Clay Gorton is “Gramps”, a former mission president and temple worker who answers questions on a variety of topics at www.askgramps.org. Thanks to Mikel and Clay’s hard work, Ask Gramps content is now available by podcast. Point your pod catcher at the standard feed or subscribe in iTunes. If you don’t have an iPod or other MP3 player, you can listen from your computer. See the list of articles with audio.
Clay is a great example of sharing the Gospel on the Internet. While he doesn’t speak officially for the Church, his deep knowledge and experience provide helpful insight to hundreds of people. Interestingly, he publishes only a portion of the questions he answers, often responding privately on especially sensitive concerns and often suggesting that people speak with their local ecclesiastical leaders.
Clay turns 84 today. Anyone who would excuse himself from getting involved in the Internet, blogging, podcasting, etc. certainly can’t use age as an excuse. Great work, Clay.Read More
Amazon and Google employ complex algorithms that generally deliver, respectively, relevant book recommendations and relevant search results. Here are a couple of exceptions:
- On Amazon.com, the Doubleday version of the Book of Mormon is being advertised in tandem with a book about Freemasonry, as if they were related. (See screenshot.)
- If you search Google.com for the term “Jew”, you’ll see a disclaimer explaining that you may find unpleasant results. (See screenshot.)
If you recently used Google to search for the word “Jew,” you may have seen results that were very disturbing. We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google…. A site’s ranking in Google’s search results is automatically determined by computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query. Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted.
The page goes on to explain that “Jew” is often used in an anti-Semitic context, while Jewish organization are more likely to use the term “Jewish,” so search results for the former are generally more negative than search results for the latter. Sound familiar?
Plenty of sites that Google considers relevant for “Mormon” are full of doctrinal inaccuracies. Google, can we get a disclaimer too?
(Hat tip to Will F. for noticing the Amazon.com issue.)Read More
I wrote previously about Tim O’Reilly’s vision of “harnessing collective intelligence” and stated that it may not always be ideal. Presumably, the more that people connect with each other and collaborate on the Internet, the better off we are. There are a few new web sites where you can vote for or against something, the idea being that if enough people participate then they’ll arrive at a definitive answer. If most people say cold pizza is great for breakfast, then it must be true, right?
The first problem is that these sites don’t represent the masses. If the people with the most life lessons under their belt (read: old) are not participating on the Internet, then results will skew towards immaturity, naivete, and inexperience. Likewise, if faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christians aren’t participating, the Internet will skew towards secular notions instead of Gospel principles. That’s okay when discussing food, but not okay if people are expecting to learn and feel spiritual things. Good people everywhere need to participate on the Internet to counteract online trends toward secularism and faithlessness.
The second problem with “collective intelligence” is that it may leave out God and his authorized servants. That is, we (even all of us collectively) “[don't] comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend” and no one has a better grasp on “moral and societal issues” than God’s prophets.
(I must mention parenthetically that I greatly admire Tim O’Reilly’s insight and vision. I’m being a bit facetious here, but the issue of online reputation is a real concern. To be truly useful, our online “collective intelligence” must include experienced and virtuous voices, and must not overshadow the divine.)Read More
I finally decided to write (and I wrote) my testimony about the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) and post it online.
I decided to do it in two parts. The first part is mostly the story of what happened in my life that prepared me to accept the Gospel. I was an Italian Catholic and the Mormon Church over there was, and unfortunately still is, not well known. To become a Mormon in Italy still requires a lot of internal and external struggles and perhaps a certain amount of time to prepare. I can say with confidence that the Lord prepared me over many years until I was ready to understand and accept the Restored Gospel. This is the link in case you are interested in reading it: Before my testimony
The second part deals with the period of my conversion and according to a couple of friends, it is the best part, because it is shorter and really contains my testimony. This is the link: My Testimony: Why I do believe
It was a great experience for me to write these two blogs-testimonies. I remembered many important things of my life and it actually was a spiritual experience. I invite all of you to do the same: write your story and testimony and publish it on the Internet. If you don’t have a blog and you don’t know where to post your testimony, just contact us and we will help you with that, but we need your testimonies. In fact, the world needs your testimony! You never know who will read it and be touched by the Spirit!Read More