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August 21, 2014

Social Media Missionaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Best @ 2:17 am

The following is the text of the address Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered on August 19, 2014, during Campus Education Week at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

The examples of gospel messages we have seen today that were created for and conveyed through social media channels are wholesome, good, and have influenced positively tens of thousands of people. They represent an excellent beginning—but only a beginning. Let me briefly describe what I believe needs to come next.

In the seventh chapter of the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, Enoch foresees the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days, the gathering of Israel, the Second Coming of the Savior, and the return of Zion. I now invite your undivided attention as we consider together elements of four verses from this chapter:

“And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: … wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.

“And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. …

“And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;

“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 7:59–62; italics added).

1. Be authentic and consistent. “A person or product that is not authentic is false, fake, and fraudulent. Our messages should be truthful, honest, and accurate. We should not exaggerate, embellish, or pretend to be someone or something we are not. Our content should be trustworthy and constructive.”

Authenticity is strengthened through consistency, he emphasized. “The gospel messages you share will be accepted more readily if your Christlike example is evident in the ongoing pattern of your posts.”

2. Edify and uplift. “We and our messages should seek to edify and uplift rather than argue, debate, condemn, or belittle,” Elder Bednar explained.

Share the gospel with genuine love and concern for others, he added. “Be bold but not overbearing in sustaining and defending our beliefs, and avoid contention. As disciples our purpose should be to use social media channels as a means of projecting the light and truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into a world that increasingly is dark and confused.”

3. Respect intellectual property. “We and our messages should respect the property of other people and organizations,” he said. “This simply means that you should not create your own content using someone else’s art, name, photos, music,  video, or other content without permission.”

To assist members in creating uplifting gospel messages, Church leaders announced that the content in the Media Library on, unless otherwise indicated, has been cleared for use by members without seeking permission from the Church, he explained. However, he emphasized members are not to use the Church logo or otherwise suggest that they are speaking for or on behalf of the Church when they share messages online.

4. Be wise and vigilant. “We should remember that the Internet never forgets,” Elder Bednar cautioned. “Anything you communicate through a social media channel indeed will live forever—even if the app or program may promise otherwise. Only say it or post it if you want the entire world to have access to your message or picture for all time. Be wise and vigilant in protecting yourself and those you love.”

Elder Bednar said following these simple guidelines will enable members of the Church around the world to create and share gospel messages that will cause the light to “shine forth out of darkness” (Mormon 8:16).

To read the full social media talk From Elder Bednar click here
OR  watch in full here

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