Elder M. Russell Ballard urges us to share our beliefs on the Internet

On December 15, 2007, Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke at BYU-Hawaii graduation. He urged graduates to share their beliefs on the Internet:

“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.”

Source: Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church

Elder L. Tom Perry, Missionary Work in the Digital Age

In June of 2013, Elder L. Tom Perry described the impact of digital technologies on missionary work. He said:

“When I was a young missionary, we were able to speak with contacts on the street and knock on doors to share the gospel. The world has changed since that time. Now, many people are involved in the busyness of their lives. They hurry here and there, and they are often less willing to allow complete strangers to enter their homes, uninvited, to share a message of the restored gospel. Their main point of contact with others, even with close friends, is often via the Internet. The very nature of missionary work, therefore, must change if the Lord is to accomplish His work of gathering Israel ‘from the four corners of the earth’ (2 Nephi 21:12). The missionaries are now authorized to use the Internet in their proselyting efforts. …

“As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves” (“Missionary Work in the Digital Age” [worldwide leadership training meeting, June 2013]; lds.org/broadcasts).

Elder David A. Bednar, Sweep the Earth as with a Flood

“And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood” (Moses 7:62).

My beloved brothers and sisters, what has been accomplished thus far in this dispensation communicating gospel messages through social media channels is a good beginning—but only a small trickle. I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood. Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.

I pray we will not simply participate in a flash flood that rises swiftly and then recedes just as rapidly. I am not suggesting a one-time glitzy initiative from which we quickly move on to the next task on our lengthy list of gospel things to do. We need not become social media experts or fanatics. And we do not need to spend inordinate amounts of time creating and disseminating elaborate messages.

According to our desires and circumstances, each of us can contribute consistently to the growing flood of truth and righteousness. We should press forward using the Lord’s pattern of “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30).

Imagine the impact we can have as hundreds of thousands and millions of members of the Lord’s restored Church contribute in seemingly small ways to the rising floodwaters. May our many small, individual efforts produce a steady rainfall of righteousness and truth that gradually swells a multitude of streams and rivers—and ultimately becomes a flood that sweeps the earth. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

We have been and are blessed in so many ways; and where much is given, much is required. As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I invoke this blessing upon you: that you may come to understand more fully the spiritual significance and blessing of living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, that you may have eyes to see clearly both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the remarkable technologies that are available to us today, that you may increase in your capacity to use these inspired tools appropriately, and that you may receive inspiration and guidance about the role you should play in helping to sweep the earth as with a flood of truth and righteousness. As you press forward in this holy work, I promise you will be blessed in mortality in the individual, specific, and necessary ways that will prepare you for eternity.

Elder Russell M. Nelson says use Internet to promote the word of God

In February, 2008, the Church launched a new website focused entirely on the Savior Jesus Christ. In an interview about this new website, Elder Russell M. Nelson said the Internet provides the means for modern-day Apostles to fulfill their commission from the Savior to take the Gospel to the 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.”

Source: New Web Site Focuses on Life and Teachings of Christ

Elder Richard G. Scott, Technology can enhance spiritual communication

You live in a world where technological advances occur at an astounding pace. It is difficult for many of my generation to keep up with the possibilities. Depending on how technology is used, these advances can be a blessing or a deterrent. Technology, when understood and used for righteous purposes, need not be a threat but rather an enhancement to spiritual communication.

For example, many of us have a personal electronic device that fits into our pocket. We are seldom without its company; we may refer to it many times a day. Unfortunately, these devices can be a source of filth and wasted time. But, used with discipline, this technology can be a tool of protection from the worst of society.

Who could have imagined not very many years ago that the full standard works and years of general conference messages would fit into your pocket? Just having them in your pocket will not protect you, but studying, pondering, and listening to them during quiet moments of each day will enhance communication through the Spirit.”  Elder Richard G. Scott, “For Peace at Home,” April 2015 General Conference

President Henry B. Eyring, Technology a Blessing

“The Lord’s plan is to advance ever more rapidly His word and His works and the effects of His gospel throughout the world,” President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said.

He noted that the Lord “has revealed the technology that enables the Church to take full advantage of these advances,” but added that while technology can and does bless lives, “never forget that while we have computers, cameras, microphones, fiber-optic networks, clouds, and satellites, we have failed if we do not rely on the Holy Ghost.”

He said, “If our technology does not improve the lives of others and help bring them home to [the Lord], we have missed the mark.”

President Eyring made the comments at the dedication of the Broadcasting Building and the Information Technology Building at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on Friday, August 12, 2011. Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles joined President Eyring at the dedication service, as did other Church and university leaders.

Ground was broken for the Broadcasting Building on May 7, 2009. At that time, Elder Ballard said the true purpose of technological advances in communication is to “draw those who are seeking to know the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ” and to change “the spirit and attitude of the world.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard: Make Technology Your Servant, Not Your Master

Elder Ballard referred to speeches he gave in 2007 and 2008 to graduating students at BYU–Hawaii and BYU–Idaho in which he urged them to use advances in technology to become involved in the worldwide conversation about the Church.

“I thought I was rather up to date when I suggested they share their views on blogs,” he said. “Since then, I have been introduced to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Instagram—and my secretary told me just as I was leaving something about Snapchat. Wow! It seems like the world of technology cannot stand still, even for a few minutes.”

Saying that today’s pervasive handheld devices such as smartphones are a blessing, he declared: “They need to be our servants, not our masters. For example, if later tonight you share inspiring thoughts from this devotional on social media, your smartphone is a servant. If you randomly surf the Internet, your smartphone is a master.”

He expressed concern about excessive text messaging and use of social media that supplant talking directly with one another and talking in prayer to God.

“Too often, young people find themselves in the same room with family or friends but are busily communicating with someone not present, thereby missing an opportunity to visit with those nearby,” he remarked.

“What I have learned most in my life came from listening to those with great experience, those who had lived longer and learned many important things that I needed to know. Please take advantage to visit and talk with your parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents while they are still with you.”

He added, “I also worry that some of you check your email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts or send text messages during the most important gathering in the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our sacred sacrament meeting.”

Some parents and Church leaders are worried that young people carry their scriptures and other Church resources on their phones and tablets, he said, “but I am not.”

Young people are reading their scriptures as Jesus did when He was given an Isaiah scroll to read from in Nazareth, Elder Ballard observed. “You too can scroll—but please, not during the sacrament,” he said. “Surely during those few minutes you can focus on the Atonement of the Savior as you seek the Spirit of the Lord to bless you for the coming week. And consider putting your smartphone or tablet in airplane mode for the entire Sunday block. You will still have your scriptures, general conference talks, hymnbook, and manuals but will not be distracted by incoming text messages or push notifications.”

Brigham Young, Scientific discoveries revelation from God

In 1862 Brigham Young said: “Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it. It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth from the power of sin and Satan. We should take advantage of all these great discoveries, the accumulated wisdom of ages, and give to our children the benefit of every branch of useful knowledge, to prepare them to step forward and efficiently do their part in the great work” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 18–19).

Spencer W. Kimball, Inventions the Lord puts into our hands

President Spencer W. Kimball, recorded in 1974, as he described the future of missionary work:

“I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse. …

“With the Lord providing these miracles of communication, and with the increased efforts and devotion of our missionaries and all of us, and all others who are ‘sent,’ surely the divine injunction will come to pass: ‘For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature’ (D&C 58:64)” (“When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 10–11).

David O. McKay, Scientific Discoveries that Stagger the Imagination

In 1966 President David O. McKay prophesied scientific discoveries that “stagger the imagination” would make possible the preaching of the gospel to every kindred, tongue, and people. And further:

“Discoveries latent with such potent power, either for the blessing or the destruction of human beings, as to make man’s responsibility in controlling them the most gigantic ever placed in human hands. … This age is fraught with limitless perils, as well as untold possibilities” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 4).