“Introduction,” Safeguards for Using Technology (2015)
“Introduction,” Safeguards for Using Technology
Throughout history, God has used divine instruments to further His purposes. For example, the Urim and Thummim aided in the translation of God’s word, and the Liahona provided Lehi and his family with direction as they journeyed to the promised land. Concerning divine instruments in our day, President Spencer W. Kimball proclaimed, “I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse” (“When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 10). Since President Kimball’s address, many technological instruments have been revealed to further the Lord’s purposes, and you are now able to utilize these tools in your work. Elder L. Tom Perry announced: “Missionaries are now authorized to use the Internet in their proselyting efforts. … Missionaries will use computers in meetinghouses and other Church facilities” (“Missionary Work in the Digital Age” [worldwide leadership training meeting, June 2013], lds.org/broadcasts).
This technology you are now receiving is intended to help you in your service to the Lord as He hastens His work. While this technology is meant to do good, Satan strives to use this technology to promote evil and to frustrate the work of the Lord. It is essential that you learn to use these tools according to the purpose for which they were created—to further the work of salvation. This booklet contains safeguards that will help you use these tools appropriately to fulfill your missionary purpose and to further God’s purpose of “bring[ing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). These safeguards will also open the door to inspired ways of using technology that will strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ and the faith of those you serve. They act like a lock on a temple door, keeping unholy things from entering your mind. Paul taught, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). These safeguards will protect you and help you avoid harmful information and experiences that are offensive to the Spirit, including inappropriate content such as pornography. They will also help you avoid wasting time on activities such as games, news, sports, videos, and inappropriate social media use. Applying these principles will increase your capacity to help others and will bless you throughout your life.
Learn to follow the safeguards instinctively. They will help you as you strive to become more Christlike. “The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and He commands us to become as He is (see 3 Nephi 27:27)” (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service , 121). The choices you make regarding how you use technology should help you become more like the Savior. Rely on grace—the help or strength given through Christ’s Atonement—as you seek to become an effective instrument in the Lord’s hands.
Individually, with your companion, and with other missionaries, you will learn and commit to following these safeguards. You will also learn a process to help you when you are feeling vulnerable and susceptible. Revisit this information often. Study, ponder, and apply these principles until they become a normal part of the way you think and act.