“Positive Uses of the Internet,” Ensign, June 2010, 12–15
The Internet allows instant access to many resources that can strengthen and enrich our lives. Many spiritually uplifting Web sites give direction and inspiration. The following ideas can help you stay connected to reality without completely disconnecting from the good things the Internet has to offer.
Rebecca Renfroe, from Idaho, USA, used to blog and read others’ blogs almost daily. Her mind was always in “compose” mode—mentally writing a blog about what she did with her children instead of just doing things with them. She realized there had to be a balance.
She says, “The Spirit helped me to recognize that having a blog was not the problem—devoting too much of my time and energy to it was. I had literally been giving portions of my life away: trading away quality time with my children and my husband, trading away time for serious, in-depth study of the scriptures, and even trading away hours of sleep that affected my ability to serve others, to be sensitive to the Spirit, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Sister Renfroe learned not to let good things get in the way of better things, as Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled: “Just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. … Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.”1
Amy Paulsen of Washington, USA, appreciates Web sites that other mothers have created that provide lesson ideas and activities for teaching children gospel principles. When she needs visual aids, she finds art online to print out. When she needs ideas, she finds links to Church magazine articles, conference talks, and online manuals.
“The Internet has helped my husband and me prepare meaningful family home evenings for our children,” Sister Paulsen says. “It’s also comforting to know that there are so many other mothers out there who also ‘teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord’” (D&C 68:28).
One member, Lin Floyd of Utah, USA, created a family history Web site with ancestors’ photos and histories. His Web site and others like it have helped people learn more about the Church and its doctrine. Some have desired to be baptized or have returned to Church activity. Others have found helps for doing family history, fulfilling callings, and strengthening marriages.
There are many positive things we can do with the Internet. As you establish guidelines for Internet use—making sure that the sites you visit expand your mind, increase your opportunities, and feed your soul—the Internet can be a great resource for enriching your personal life and strengthening your family.