By Elder Robert A. Dryden
Some years ago a priesthood leader in my home Stake made the following statement: 'We spend all our time seeking for investigators, when we should be using technology to help them come to us.' I now appreciate the value of his comment as I hear apostles and prophets encouraging us to use the internet to share the gospel. In June of 2013 Pres. Monson said “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together … [and] labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.”
In the April 2014 General Conference, Elder Ridd, of the General Young Men’s Presidency, encouraged us to use the tools of technology. He said, “The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation. The Lord expects you to use these great tools to take His work to the next level, to share the gospel in ways that are beyond my generation’s wildest imagination. Where generations past influenced their neighbors and their town, you have the power through the Internet and social media to reach beyond borders and influence the whole world.”
Throughout Europe we see members using technology to help hasten the work. For example, the England Canterbury Stake High council sent the Church video 'Because of Him' to 180 non-member friends with an invitation to share the video with others.
Naomi, in Switzerland, used social media to send a personal invitation to her nonmember friends and family to attend her mission farewell. Over 80 people she invited attended, 40 of them came to church for the first time!
Many members are also using social media to invite their nonmember friends and family to mission farewells and homecomings, baptisms, ward parties, baby blessings, General Conference and other church events in a natural and loving way.
These examples are only the beginning. Each and every effort we make to proclaim the gospel fortifies testimony and strengthens the Church. What can you do today to be a part of sharing the gospel online? It is easier and much more enjoyable than you might think. Here are a few ideas.
On Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, you can “like” and follow several of the official church sites, such as the Church Facebook Page, The Mormon Channel, Mormon.org, Mormon Messages, LDS Youth, etc.
On social media, share a quote, picture or video from one of these official church sites that touched your heart, with a comment about why it touched you. In all interactions online, be honest and be yourself. As Elder Ballard said, “With new technological tools, you can further the work of the Lord by joining the ongoing conversation about the church.”
Go to Mormon.org and create your own profile page at http://www.mormon.org/create and then share it with your friends, put a link to it on your email signature, post it on social media, etc.
In preparation for the month of invitation in December, notice which of your nonmember friends “like” and comment positively when you post something spiritual or family oriented on social media. Pray to know which of these friends you could invite to come to church with you.
You can find many more ideas on lds.org by typing “sharing the gospel online” in the search bar. Ask any of the youth or young single adults in your ward if you need help with these ideas.
The gospel and the knowledge of our Savior bring such peace and joy into the lives of those that embrace it; it is something that should be shared with the whole world.
Sister Dryden and I recently engaged a wonderful man in a gospel conversation. It was sobering that he had never heard of any of the names by which the church is known. Truly technology is a tool we must use more effectively in obedience to the Lord’s command to bring His Church “out of obscurity and out of darkness”. May God bless us in reaching out with our hearts and our hands to share his gospel.