LDS First Presidency encourages social media missionary work
The LDS Church has embraced social media and is using different avenues to reach out to both members and investigators. Church leaders encourage members to use social media as a way to share the gospel. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to ‘open [your] mouths’ might today include ‘use your hands’ to blog and text message the gospel to all the world!”
Ally Johnson, a junior in elementary education from Utah, said, “The church has done very well in accepting that technology is a huge part of our lives. I can sit on my phone and watch Mormon Messages wherever I’m at. I can be uplifted anywhere.” The church has activated Facebook accounts for the church as a whole and for the current prophet and apostles, along with Twitter, Google +, and a YouTube channel.
“These [social media] pages will allow people to find the modern words of living prophets more easily,” said Jared Covington, senior adviser over social media for the church.
Briar Kaanga, a junior in English from Hauula, said, “Social media is a good missionary tool. Lots of people don’t want to watch those really long talks, so we have these short Mormon Messages. We can easily share those on Facebook. Investigators can also go to the church’s YouTube channel.”
Responding to the new trend of having missionaries serve Facebook missions, Kaanga commented, “It’s easy to get distracted. I don’t think that there’s a need for missionaries to be on Facebook. I think they should be keeping themselves busy with what’s going on in the mission field and Facebook is pushing it.”
Sachiko Arita, a university studies senior from Japan, said, “I think Facebook missions and social media are good as long as it’s used properly to spread the word and the things that members need to know. I think it’s more correct than hearing information mouth to mouth. If the First Presidency posts something on Facebook, then it’s in the most accurate words.”
While the First Presidency and church social media accounts make uplifting and gospel-centered posts, members can do the same. LDS.org counsels, “Social media will only continue to grow, and as you look for new and effective ways to bring others to Christ, remember to always follow the Spirit’s promptings so that you can share the good news in a spirit of charity.”