Latter-day Saints engaging the world online – Elder M. Russell Ballard

June 30, 2008 at 12:30 am (LDS, Words of wisdom)

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remember when Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered the commencement address for BYU-Hawaii in December, 2007. His address caused quite a stir in the online LDS world: he challenged and exhorted members to use the modern media to share the Gospel and talk about our beliefs and practices. He wanted us to engage the world using the new, modern media. What resulted was a flurry of activity–blogs, podcasts, commenters–that centered around our faith.

In the July 2008 edition of the Ensign, the official magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a modified version of his commencement address, on pages 58 through 63. ‘d suggest all members to read it: it’s a very good article. (Many other articles in this edition seem good too.)

Although the HTML version is not up yet, the PDF version is now up. Go here and select the July edition.

An excerpt:

Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that is 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 sies, including newsroom.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. This, of course, requires that you understand the basic principles of the gospel. It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct witness of gospel truths. It is also important that you and the people to whom you testify understand that you do not speak for the Church as a whole. You speak as one member–but you testify of the truths you have come to know.

Far too many people have a poor understanding of the Church because most of the information they hear about us is from news media reports that are often driven by controversies. To much attention to controversy has a negative impact on peoples’ perceptions of what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet,” Ensign, July 2008, p. 62 (italics in original).

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