#ShareGoodness Idea: 7 Places to Hasten the Work Online

Last August, Elder David A. Bednar gave us a challenge: “Brothers and sisters, what has been accomplished thus far in this dispensation communicating gospel messages through social media channels is a good beginning—but only a small trickle. I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood….I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.”

Members are responding by using social media and blogs to share their testimonies of the Savior and His restored gospel. Many others want to engage, but don’t really know where to start.

Today’s #ShareGoodness Idea: Here’s a quick review of the more common social media sites along with ideas on what you can do on each one to promote messages of peace, hope, and joy in the gospel.

Facebook

facebook-iconFacebook.com is one of the largest social networking sites on the Internet, with more than a billion active users worldwide. You can create a profile page and then connect it with the profile pages of your friends and family. You can share status updates, photos, videos, event invitations, and links to other websites.

When you see something inspiring on Facebook, like it, leave a comment, and share it so your friends can be inspired by it as well. If your friends like it and share it, Facebook will show it to their friends as well. As friends of your friends like it and share it, it will be shown to the friends of their friends. The reach of one post can increase exponentially.

Here is a list of the Church’s Facebook pages. In addition to the main Church account, there are accounts for various interests, such as news and family history. Church leaders occasionally post messages and photos on their Facebook pages.

Google+

google-plus-iconGoogle+ (pronounced “Google Plus”) is a social networking platform from Google at plus.google.com. It is similar to Facebook in that it allows you to create a personal profile and see a news feed that shows updates from your friends and other contacts.

When you see something inspiring on Google+, like it with a +1, leave a comment, and share it so your friends can be inspired by it as well. You can also add these Church pages to your circles on Google+. You could also create an LDS circle with these pages and share that circle with your friends so they can add them to their circles.

Here is a list of the Church’s Google+ pages. Church leaders occasionally post messages and photos on their Google+ accounts.

Twitter

twitterTwitter.com is a social networking and microblogging website. It lets you “tweet” (broadcast) brief messages on your profile page. Tweets contain a maximum of 140 characters and may include web links and attached photos. You can follow people you find interesting and read their Tweets.

When you read a message on Twitter that inspires you, retweet it so that people who follow you can see it as well.

Here is a list of the Church Twitter accounts. In addition to the main Church account, there are accounts for various interests, such as news and family history. Church leaders occasionally post messages and photos on their Twitter accounts.

Pinterest

Pinterest-iconPinterest.com is an online visual bulletin board for collecting and storing ideas. It helps you keep track of your favorite finds from around the web in one organized location. You can create different boards and “pin” items to them. You can connect with other users by following their boards to find and share new ideas.

When you see something you like on Pinterest, repin it to one of your boards so you can refer to it later and so your friends who follow your boards can see it as well.

Here is a list of the Church pages on Pinterest. There are boards on various topics that may interest you.

 Instagram

instagramInstagram.com is a fun, fast, and simple way to share your life through photos and short videos. Take a picture, add a filter if you like, and instantly share it for all your Instagram followers to see. Instagram is a creative visual tool to help you stay connected with friends and family.

When you see something inspiring on Instagram, like it, leave a comment, and share it so your friends can be inspired by it as well.

Here is a list of the Church’s Instagram accounts.

YouTube

YouTube-logo-croppedYouTube.com is a video-sharing site where you can upload and share videos.

When you watch something inspiring on YouTube, like it, leave a comment, and share it so your friends can be inspired by it as well.

Here is a list of the Church’s YouTube channels.

Blogs

Blog_icon_wikimedia_commonsA blog is a site where you publish regular entries called “posts,” typically displayed with the most recent post first. The word blog is a truncation of the expression web log.

A blog is an easy way to publish uplifting gospel messages. Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true.”

Here are simple step-by-step instructions on how to create, design, and promote your blog.

This article is a beginner’s summary of basic things to do. For more specific, easy things you can do online, see the book 101 Ways to Hasten the Work Online.

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Video: An Unforgettable Christmas Eve

In the video “An Unforgettable Christmas Eve“, a father teaches his son a powerful lesson about the true meaning of Christmas, as he gives of himself selflessly to an elderly woman in need. The video was created by FamilyShare.com.

Watch more Christmas videos.

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Christmas Videos

Below are Christmas videos I think you will enjoy.

After you watch these videos, click the YouTube logo in the bottom right of the videos so you can go to YouTube and click Like. That will make them more popular on YouTube so they will be more likely to be seen by others. If you see a video I should share, please leave a link to it in the comments below and I’ll feature it in a future post.

Jesus the Christ (in HD) – David Archuleta Mormon – Angels We Have Heard On High” is a picture slideshow with the song “Angels We Have Heard On High” sung by David Archuleta.

What Child is This,” Lindsey Stirling

Below is “Where Are You Christmas? (Live in Concert)” – ThePianoGuys

The video “Good Tidings of Great Joy,” shows beautiful scenes from the Bible Videos series about the birth of Jesus Christ, along with teachings from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In “Christmas Spirit,” a young girl quietly teaches her preoccupied family the true meaning of Christmas. President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, shares his testimony of how to put Christ back into Christmas.

In “Look to the Light,” several people remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World for all who seek Him.

A Gift to the World” was part of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional in 2011.

The Coat: A Story of Charity,” is a children’s story that depicts a young boy giving selflessly to another child in need.

Below is a video about a group of young women who were inspired by the above video “The Coat,” and they did something about it.

Below is the video “O Come, Emmanuel” featuring ThePianoGuys, Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson (piano/cello).

Watch more Christmas videos on LDS.org and on the Mormon Channel.

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LDS artist Alex Boye released an original Christmas song Monday titled “Newborn — Wise Men Still Seek Him — Alex Boye’s Christmas Original Music.” The lyrics of the song portray the perspective of a wise man who is searching for Christ in a modern world.

“The wise man in the video is symbolic of all of us seeking to find joy this season, finding the balance between the craziness of Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the at-times overwhelming task of not only shopping for the right gifts but getting it all done in time for Christmas morning,” Boye shared in the description of the video.

Throughout the video, Boye, dressed as a wise man, leads a camel through the Valley Fair Mall and other parts of West Valley City. At the time of publication, the video has more than 25,000 views.

Watch other Clean Cuts here from the Deseret News.

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared on LDSMediaTalk.com. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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LDS Christmas E-cards

Want to send a Christmas e-card to your friends? Here are two options provided by the Church:

Mormon Channel

Share a Christmas message by sending “Christmas Email Cards” on Facebook. You can choose a nice message and include one of several videos to send to your friends on Facebook.

Bible Videos

The Bible Videos website offers free Christmas e-cards. You can select any one of a number of Bible videos to include in the card, along with a space to write your testimony about the Savior.

 

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Christmas Activities for Children

The website for the Friend magazine (friend.lds.org) offers coloring pages, videos, stories, and activities that celebrate the birth of the Savior.

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Christmas.lds.org

christmas-lds-orgLDS.org has a page at Christmas.lds.org that includes

Please consider sharing this page with your family and friends this Christmas by sending them a link to Christmas.lds.org or by using the sharing buttons on the page.

You can also find great references for Christmas at JesusChrist.lds.org and at Christmas.mormon.org. Note that Christmas.mormon.org was developed primarily for nonmembers and Christmas.lds.org is more for members, although both sites have great things to share with everyone.

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Exodus: Skip the Movie, Read the Book

exodus-movie-3Don’t go see the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings—and here’s why.

I typically encourage people to support the  trend of faith-based themes in mainstream cinema (see list below), but I don’t like where Hollywood is taking this. They seem to be eager to create religious-based movies, because people will turn out in droves to see positive, values-based media. But when they put their agnostic (or even atheistic) spin on the Biblical stories, I think they are doing more harm than good.

exodus-movieBack in April, I advised against seeing the movie Noah. It looks like the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings is more of the same.

My objection to the movie isn’t about the technical aspects of fidelity to the Biblical text, but, as one blogger explained, the broader “subversion of Judeo-Christian heroes and their stories with a secular agenda.” I believe we need to send a clear message to Hollywood that we won’t support Bible movies told through the skewed perspectives of secular humanism, atheism, or agnosticism.

Can you expect an inspiring movie about Bible stories from a director who is an atheist and a lead actor who thinks Moses was schizophrenic?

  • Director Ridley Scott said: “I’m an atheist, which is actually good, because I’ve got to convince myself the story works.”
  • In describing Moses, Christian Bale said, “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life. He’s a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling.”

Excerpts from the Deseret News review:

  • “If Noah and Son of God represent the extremes on 2014’s spectrum of faithful biblical adaptation, then Exodus: Gods and Kings splits the difference.”
  • “Often it feels like the director is acknowledging the existence of God while resenting him at the same time. Certain events are explained with natural phenomena, while others — most notably the killing of the firstborn — are presented without context. You can almost see Scott throwing up his hands and saying, ‘Well, you got me on this one.'”
  • “The best way to approach Exodus may be with measured expectations. It’s fun and exciting, but not mind-blowing. Critical, but faithful. The children of Israel still make it from Point A to Point B, but the road has been repaved in places.”

Excerpts from Godawa’s Movie Blog:

  • “The story of Moses retold through the eyes of secular humanists, atheists and agnostics.”
  • “The problem is that Bale’s Moses never really emotionally connects with anyone, not even God. But then, God isn’t very engaging either. And maybe this is where it starts to feel off. There is a lot of intimate and engaging relationship between Moses and Yahweh in the Bible, but in this story, Moses doesn’t talk much to God and he never seems to know if he is in fact talking to God, since he alone can see him. And God appears as a temperamental ten year old child.”

The film is rated PG-13 for considerable action violence and gore.

So, here’s my recommendation: in the 2.5 hours you would have spent at the movie, read and discuss the following with your family and you’ll be much more inspired:

Recent Christian-themed movies:

  • Son of God epic movie about the life of Jesus Christ (February 2014)
  • Noah retells the story of the great flood. (March 2014)
  • God’s Not Dead is about a faithful college student who defends his belief against an atheistic professor. (March 2014)
  • Heaven Is for Real chronicles a 7-year-old’s recollection of being in heaven. (April 2014)
  • Left Behind is the story of a group of survivors left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction. (June 2014)
  • A Matter of Faith is about a Christian girl who goes to college and is influenced by a professor who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life. (September 2014)
  • Meet the Mormons (October 2014)
  • Exodus is the story of Moses leading the children of Israel from Egypt. (December 2014)
  • Mary, Mother of Christ is the story of Mary from her youth to her struggles as a young mother caring for her child Jesus. (1st quarter 2015)

Learn more:

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Bible Video: For God So Loved the World

jesus-christ-resurrectedFor God So Loved the World” is a compilation of videos from Bible Videos series.

It is a great video to share with others as we thank God for the gift of His Son.

You can find this video on the Bible Videos page or on YouTube.

Learn more about the Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos series.

 

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#ShareGoodness Idea: Christmas is About Jesus Christ

christmas-jesus-birth

Today’s #ShareGoodness Idea: Christmas can be a great time of year to to share with others your testimony of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Redeemer.

See the article “Explaining Mormon Beliefs: Jesus Christ” for a list of online resources that explain more about our belief in Jesus Christ.

Review the website about Jesus Christ (JesusChrist.lds.org) and then share your thoughts with others.

Invite friends to your home to watch the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional.

Share ideas from the page “Are Mormons Christian?

This is one article in a series of ideas on how to #ShareGoodness with others. For more ideas of easy, practical things you can do, see the book 101 Ways to Hasten the Work Online.

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Prophet Cards for Children

prophet-cardsThe Friend magazine provides a series of cards about each of the prophets that children can use to learn more about our modern-day prophets.

You can cut them out of the December 2014 magazine or download them and print them.

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Pocket-sized Scriptures 50% Off for Christmas

pocket-scriptures-discountGive the words of Jesus this ‪‎Christmas‬. The new pocket-sized scriptures are temporarily 50% off.

Learn more about the pocket-sized scriptures.

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World-Record Nativity Video to #ShareTheGift of Christmas

Share-The-GiftThe video below highlights one of the largest YouTube collaborations in history. Breaking a world record for the largest live nativity ever, people gathered in Provo, UT to be a part of one of the biggest YouTube collaboration videos ever.

It took 1,000 people and over 10,000 donated hours! The result is pretty awesome!

Editor’s note (12/15/14): This video was viewed 1.5 million times in the first 3 days!

Angels We Have Heard on High – Guinness World Record – ThePianoGuys Christmas #ShareTheGift” represents the collaboration of some of the biggest YouTubers on the planet, such as

You can get a free MP3 download of the song in this video.

Here is the #ShareTheGift video from the Church that inspired this live nativity and video:

Watch this behind-the-scenes video with LOTS of Youtubers:

Read more about this live nativity video in the article “HUGE YouTubers Collaborate to Make World-Record Nativity Video to #ShareTheGift of Christmas,” where you’ll also find links to other behind-the-scenes videos.

Here are two more behind-the-scenes videos, one from the Harmon Brothers:

Amd one from Hair 101 with April:

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Christmas Music Video: What Shall We Give?

Enjoy this Christmas music video “What Shall We Give?.”

In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir shares this modern take on the age-old question “What Shall We Give?” to the babe in the manger, to Christ the King of Kings.

Watch more Christmas videos at MormonChannel.org/christmas-videos.

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Witness-light-ipad-appWitness of the Light is a mobile app made for the iPad. It has 230+ photographs of historical sites and beautifully-written stories to help you relive the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It takes you from Joseph Smith’s birth in 1805 to his martyrdom in 1844. It follows Joseph Smith, his family, and other prominent and lesser-known historical figures.

  • Stories are put in context and chronology.
  • Touch any of the 230+ gorgeous photographs to see them in full-frame high resolution. Wherever you tap on the enlarged picture, it zooms towards that point. (These are the quality of photos that you would expect from National Geographic.) Many of the photographs were taken in the season that matches the historical context and from nearly every place Joseph Smith received revelations.
  • Watch slide shows and 15 videos from author/photographer Scot Facer Proctor.
  • With the swipe of a finger walk through the Sacred Grove, be in the room where the Church was organized, see the kind of tools that were used to construct the Kirtland Temple, or be a witness to the Carthage Jail. Or use the slider along the bottom of the page to quickly find a place in the app.

The mobile app was created by Maurine Jensen Proctor and Scot Facer Proctor, a husband-and-wife team who has created numerous books and films. They have also published the online Meridian Magazine (LDSmag.com) for the past 16 years.

Witness-light-ipad-app-2

This app gives you a panoramic view of the early history of the Church and explains what happened in each historic location. You’ll find yourself spending hours exploring the stories and seeing the sites.

You may also read some stories you have never heard before. For example, look at the photo below of the courtroom where Joseph Smith was put on trial in Springfield, Illinois.

Witness-light-ipad-app-3

Do you see the trap door in the ceiling above the judge’s seat? There was a young attorney whose office was upstairs above this courtroom. He used to open that trap door and observe the proceedings of the court. This young attorney would later become the President of the United States—Abraham Lincoln!

I just downloaded this app and love it so much I’m showing it to my coworkers. In addition to the gorgeous photography of places from the Restoration, I love the summaries and text about each place and the events that took place there. If you want to learn more than the brief summary that appears below a photo, swipe up to read more of the story. You can interact with every page in interesting ways.

Go to JosephSmithWitness.com to see more of the features of the mobile app.

Read more in the article “Spectacular New iPad App: A Photographic Journey in the Footsteps of Joseph Smith.”

Witness-light-ipad-icon

To get the app, go to the App Store on your iPad and search for “Witness of the Light.” Here’s the app’s detail page. You can buy this gorgeous, professionally-designed app for the bargain price of $8.99. Consider it for a Christmas gift to family, friends, or neighbors.

Note: The app is currently available for the iPad. They are working on an Android version for early 2015.

What do you like about the app? Do you also get lost in exploring it?

How could we make Church learning materials more like this?

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