Using Technology in our Gospel-Oriented lives

    by Kenneth Jørgensen

    Studying using Gospel Library

    The Lord told Isaiah that He will proceed “to do a marvellous work … even a marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14). 

    Elder David A Bednar said, “The Lord is hastening His work, and it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and the inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fulness of times”. [i]

    Today technology has never been more important in helping us to:

    1. Be better informed
    2. Support our study of the scriptures
    3. Better serve in our callings, including ministering to others
    4. Deliver effective online lessons

    As you read each of the tips and points of focus, ask yourself if you are applying them, and then ponder what you can do to make further progress.

    Be better informed

    Being informed and up to date has never been more important while living in a fast-moving world.  The Church’s websites are updated daily with important information, including events, and matters for our attention.

    Church News for members and leaders can be found at news.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

    The Church’s Newsroom provides Church news for news media, opinion leaders, and the public, at news-uk.churchofjesuschrist.org.

    The Church’s UK website for members and leaders containing local UK stories, as well as access to all the worldwide material, can be found at uk.churchofjesuschrist.org.

    Tip: Create the habit of regularly accessing these resources.

    Support study of the scriptures

    Many members are using the Gospel Library ‘mobile app’ for their personal study of the scriptures, for preparing lessons, talks and engaging in missionary work.  But the Gospel Library app can do more than that.

    Curiosity, and having a desire to want to explore, should drive us to use its full potential.  The very essence is one of fun and discovering new things.

    A person who wants to explore will slip up from time to time, but that should not stop them from trying again and eventually doing it correctly.  Set aside time to explore and become familiar with the content as you navigate around it.  If you are stuck, ask others to show you how to do things.

    Elder Christoffel Golden Jr of the Seventy explained:

    “The Church has dedicated significant effort to improve this [Gospel Library] app in order to support Church members as they seek to increase their gospel learning and inspiration using mobile devices.  We encourage members to use it to enhance their study and draw near to the Lord and His holy prophets.” [ii]

    (We share thoughts on studying Come Follow Me in a separate article found here)

    Tip: Set aside time to become more familiar with the Gospel Library app.

    Stay Home, Stay Connected

    Better serve in our callings

    Leaders, teachers and members are encouraged to use technology, especially in current ‘social distancing’ circumstances, to hold meetings, support activities, deliver devotionals, create instant choirs, and engage in scripture exchanges and group games.

    In the recently published material found at Member and Leader Responsibilities, the Church encourages leaders and members to use technology such as Google Meet, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Teams, and others that can be used to host online events.

    Announcements, instructions, and inspiration for those in our care can be delivered using technology such as email, private ward Facebook pages, and other forms of digital communication and social media.

    The Circles feature of the Church’s recently released (2020) Gospel Living app allows an adult member to be automatically connected, depending on their calling, with relevant groups within their ward, as well as a group for their own household; this provides a way of staying connected with others.

    Tip: Study the published material to see what you can start doing.

    Online Meeting

    Deliver effective online lessons

    Effectively teaching a lesson or giving a presentation can be challenging enough, but to do so using technology may be a ‘step too far’ for some.

    It may be easier to let those with technical experience do it.  Anybody who can turn on the TV at church and start a video clip is someone who has already spent time coming to understand how to do it, and often has asked someone else to show them how to do so.

    During times where face-to-face meetings are not possible teachers have, after consulting with leaders and those with relevant experience, learnt to host online classes using technology.

    For future reading on how to use these tools simply reach out and ask others who can help.  More information can be found at Using Media For Lessons.

    Quote

    This article is part of the 'Gospel Technology' series which focus on the use of technology in our gospel-oriented lives. For more articles click here.

    i] BYU Campus Education Week August 2014

    [ii] https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/major-upgrade-for-gospel-library-app-announced