Church Releases Gospel Living App for Youth and Families
Contributed By Camille West, ChurchofJesusChrist.org Church News
The Church’s new Gospel Living app for youth, released February 12 worldwide, is an integral part of the new Children and Youth program implemented this year, but it can also be a helpful tool for families and other individuals.
Designed around the three pillars of the Children and Youth program—gospel learning, service and activities, and personal development—the Gospel Living app provides content that inspires youth to set certain goals as well as links and tools to help them in their gospel learning and daily living.
Mentioning the app during a November Face to Face event for Children and Youth, Elder Gerrit G. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told youth, “Properly used, technology can help you live the gospel in a noisy, distracting, and consuming world.” The app has “many features to give you a safe place to help you focus on what really matters.”
While the Gospel Living app is primarily for youth, other members are welcome to use it as well, particularly parents, leaders, and other family member. Everyone, old and young, can enjoy the inspiring content found in the app and feel motivated to set goals and grow and develop like the Savior.
The Gospel Living app opens to a Discover feed of inspirational videos, music, micro articles, images, memes, and social media posts selected to motivate youth to do something in their life that will bring them closer to Jesus Christ and become more like Him.
To filter the content youth want to see in their Discover feed, they click on the dots in the upper-left screen. The filter comes in handy, for example, when you’re meeting as a youth class or quorum presidency to plan activities and you only want to view activities and goals in your Discover feed.
The app also includes social media content shared on Church channels. Eventually the Discover feed on the app will become a repository of all the content the Church is producing that could be a blessing for youth.
The Gospel Living app’s music player allows youth to play music in the background as they explore content and use other features. In addition to the 2020 youth theme album available on the app, the content team has taken popular songs from previous youth albums and created more modern remixes to feature on the Discover feed.
New content is published daily, and almost all posts on the Discover feed includes “micro-invitations,” suggested small acts that help youth remain on the covenant path, coinciding with the Children and Youth motto to strive to be like the Savior.
The content invites youth to engage with other parts of the app that will help them in their personal development, in their personal discipleship, and in participating in activities and goals.
Other features in the app help youth remain engaged in their own gospel learning with their families, with their seminary class, and with their quorum, young women, and Sunday School class. From the Discover feed, clicking on The Gospel Learning card takes youth to the week’s Come, Follow Me lesson in Gospel Library, where they can further immerse themselves in personal study. Scripture of the Day opens a scripture in Gospel Library that coincides with that week’s Come, Follow Me lesson.
Using the New Impression feature, youth can record thoughts and impressions that come to them during the day and create social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual goals for their life.
As you feel an impression to visit a particular friend or read that month’s New Era, for example, you can add that as a goal and set a reminder.
Youth can set reminders for the time, day, and frequency they want to be reminded of their goal. A status bar beneath each goal indicates the progress made.
All goals and reminders show up in the My Life feed. Youth can view goals by day, indicate when they are accomplished, and see the change reflected in the progress bar for each goal.
Circles, the use of which requires agreeing to a code of conduct, is a text-messaging platform that helps youth in their gospel learning, in participating in service and activities, and engaging with quorums, classes, and their own households. Circles are automatically created based on an individual’s My Account settings and what calling or classes he or she currently has. Anyone can opt out of a circle in My Profile. App users can share any Gospel Living content (including goals and reminders) with any of their circles and include a personalized message. An indication on the app icon lets you know when there is a waiting message.
Parents can also see all the circles that their children belong to. A young man who happens to be the president of his deacons quorum would have the following circles: his household, the quorum presidency, the deacons quorum, all young men, a circle for his Sunday School class, and a circle for Ward Youth Council. Every circle has at least two adult moderators or administrators.
Parents can use circles to coordinate study and family activities, and to share helpful content and messages with their children. To do an activity, youth can open one of the suggested activities, click on “adopt,” and set the date and time, and then invite the appropriate circles.
Planned activities, goals, and reminders show up in the Today feed. If you’ve shared any of these with your circles, they will show up in their Today feed as well.
Don’t Have a Mobile Device?
Not having access to mobile device doesn’t mean you will be left out. All of the inspiration content on the feed also appears online on Children and Youth.
The app is available in 15 languages in iOS and Android: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Cebuano, Samoan, Tongan, Tagalog, and Ilokano. The app was previously released in January in France, Brazil, and the UK.
Youth are encouraged to give their feedback about the app. Simply go to My Profile to report bugs, comment, or request features you’d like to see.