Over the last few years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have encouraged members to use social media as a means of missionary work. In October of 2011, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke during General Conference explaining how the Church is attracting attention on the Internet:
- “At all times of the day across the entire world, the Church and its teachings are being discussed on the Internet, on blogs and social networks, by people who have never written for a newspaper or a magazine. They are making videos and sharing them online. These are ordinary people—both members of our faith and of other faiths—who are talking about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Changes in the way we communicate partly explain why we “Mormons” are more visible than ever.”
Despite the potential dangers of using the Internet, if used in the right way it can be a tool for helping others to come unto Christ. The Internet has dramatically changed the way social media is helping members and full-time missionaries to spread the gospel, fulfill their callings, and inspire others.
The Church has made its presence known on social media through its official accounts on Facebook, Google+, Youtube and Twitter, as well as accounts on Instagram and Pinterest.
Instagram is a photo sharing website and app where users can upload images or short videos which, when posted, can also be linked and uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Deseret News reports that Jared Covington, social media adviser for the Church, is excited about their Instagram account as
“powerful things can be communicated with nothing more than a simple image, and Instagram excels in that space.”
Photos can also be shared on Pinterest—a unique site that allows users to virtually “pin” items (videos, images, music) to their page, much like pinning something to a bulletin board. Users can pin anything they want, such as recipes, fashions, vacation planning tips, inspiration quotes, jokes, and wedding ideas. Users can follow, view, and re-pin items their friends are linking to. The Church joined Pinterest to pin content to help inspire those who view their pins to follow the Savior. Covington told Deseret News,
“One of the most exciting things about Pinterest as a platform is how so many people are using it to actively share their testimonies of Christ and examples of positive living.”
People are using these social media sites to share their thoughts, feelings, and testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ with their friends and followers. Social media has opened the doors to sharing the word of the Lord with an infinitely greater number of people around the world. With more than 10,000 followers on Pinterest, Covington says the Church is focused less on the number of followers and more on the impact each pin has.
“Of course, we track numbers, but our real measure of success is watching how the comments and shared content from people around the world are spreading the message of the Restoration and helping all to follow Christ.”
If you want to connect with the official social media accounts of the Church, check out these pages:
- Facebook: facebook.com/LDS
- Google+ Official Account
- Youtube: Mormon Channel
- Twitter: @LDSchurch
- Instagram: instagram.com/mormonnewsroom
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/ldschurch
Members have been encouraged to share their own testimonies on their personal social media sites. Covington told Deseret News:
“People should not underestimate the impact that a simple message posted to their personal social media accounts can have on their friends, families and associates.”