“By Small and Simple Blogs,” Ensign, January 2016, 28–31
I reluctantly created a blog just before going to study abroad, figuring it would help my family and friends keep up with my activities—two months in West Africa ought to yield some interesting posts, right? Prior to that, I’d hesitated to join the blogosphere. I wasn’t a mother or very “crafty” or good at cooking. What did I have to offer blog readers?
But as I diligently blogged my way through my study abroad, sharing funny stories and spiritual moments, I realized that blogging had given me the opportunity to share my testimony. I was able to draw from my life experiences and relate them to gospel principles. It became almost a game to see how I could link (literally!) personal stories to scriptures, Church magazine articles, or general conference talks.
When life felt out of my control, I blogged about how Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 2 Nephi 9 helped me know that God is good and that I should trust in His timing. When I had been feeling burdened by sin, I blogged about how forgiveness feels like a sunny Sunday morning (see Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Sunday Will Come,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 28–30). When my sister and I moved in together, I blogged about understanding how Peter, James, and John felt on the Mount of Transfiguration when Peter said, “It is good for us to be here” (Matthew 17:4). After I went to the emergency room with gallstones, I blogged about my increased understanding of and appreciation for personal revelation, priesthood blessings, and the Savior’s Atonement (see Alma 7:11–13).
Our Church leaders have instructed us to use technology as a means to share the gospel with others.1 And though it’s sometimes scary to make myself vulnerable by sharing personal feelings, I know that my words can positively influence others. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled us to not give in to what the Apostle Paul calls the “spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7): “Do not be afraid to share with others your experiences as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have interesting stories that have influenced our identity. Sharing those stories is a nonthreatening way to talk to others. Telling those stories can help demystify the Church.”2
Here are some ideas on how you can follow the Lord’s directive to “open thy mouth at all times, declaring [His] gospel with the sound of rejoicing” (D&C 28:16) through a blog, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media:
Share personal life experiences or insights from your scripture study.
Share what you learned in general conference or in Sunday meetings; explain how you’re applying these teachings to your life.
Share what you’re passionate about in the gospel—whether it’s family history, general conference, family home evening, temples, or food storage. You never know what might catch someone’s interest.
Share your conversion story.
Ask questions to spark a discussion.
Be real. There’s no need to pretend your life is perfect. Try to show how the gospel helps you in your daily life and especially how it brings you joy in spite of trials.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles doesn’t just suggest that we share messages of truth and righteousness through social media—he exhorts us to.3 You can find more great tips and ideas for sharing goodness through social media at lds.org/church/share/goodness.
No matter what you do, remember that the Lord relies on us to spread the good news of the gospel in every way possible. Elder Ballard issued this directive: “May I ask that you join [the online conversation about the Church] by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration.”4
Whether or not we ever convert anyone through blogging or other social media efforts, we may still be able to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” of our brothers and sisters (D&C 81:5). We may promote a better understanding of the Church. We may simply be one of many voices proclaiming the joy that comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter your scope of influence, let us all follow the charge given by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to “make sharing our faith online more a part of our daily life.”5