I've never seen anything like this! Four years ago when the same Mormon was running for President, as much publicity as that received, the online response was not the same. There's a reason for this, too. And that is, that most likely you were not active online.
Everyday Mormons are starting to come out of the woodwork, so to speak, and are beginning to stand for what they believe. For the most part, it is Mormons that are sharing the many responses, from the multitudes of media outlets, on Facebook, Twitter, etc... about our Christianity and what we believe.
I've observed both family members and friends, for the first time ever, sharing various articles, videos, etc.. and even update their online status with bold statements like this one:
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A Mormon and Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. That makes me a Christian!
This is awesome! However, I do have some concerns... Currently we are standing up for our Mormon beliefs in response to a media storm of false accusations, which is right now a hot topic in the news -- and so everyone has something to say about it. So basically, we've jumped on the bandwagon and are taking the opportunity to spread what others are saying about us. Not that this is necessarily a negative thing, particularly, when happily, many outside of our faith have been willing to speak out against this type of religious bigotry. And of course, this is what we all find so appealing and obviously want to share with others. I've done plenty of it myself. After all, it's always good to feel validated for what and how we believe, by those who most often are perceived as critical toward us. And certainly, in general, the liberal media is that!
Please don't misunderstand what I am trying to say here, because I do see the good in what is happening. My hope, is that in all the excitement about what others are saying and writing about our Mormon beliefs, that we don't miss the opportunity to speak up ourselves. As good as I believe it is to stand, I honestly feel that our greater power to share the gospel online, will come when we as members are actually saying and writing, ourselves, what and how we believe.
Sharing the gospel means sharing not only what we believe, but how and why we believe it -- personally. We are most effective when we not only take opportunities to share, but actually create those opportunities.
I really like the above photo/visual that a member created, and is currently being shared by many Mormons, online. (Sure wish I knew who to give credit.) What I really like about this unofficial "I am a Christian" campaign, is that when we share this type of social media on our social networks, either as a link or even your profile picture, it gives us, the individual, the opportunity to share what we believe -- versus discussing what someone else has said. I posted it over on Google Plus last night -- you can check out how that's going here. It's always a wonderful opportunity when someone invites an individual member of the Mormon faith, to share their testimony of Jesus Christ. It is in the sharing of our individual testimonies of Jesus Christ, that we will soften hearts toward our faith.
I also really like this powerful video that features Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, who teaches with clarity the Mormon doctrine of the Godhead, and what we believe about the Divinity of Jesus Christ. I probably like it best for what members can actually learn, which helps us better discuss our faith with others. The more comfortable we are with understanding our doctrine, the more confidence we will have to actually step out and share what we believe -- and ultimately bear testimony of such.
Jeffrey R. Holland: True Doctrine of Godhead
Not surprising, the Church has received a barrage of inquiries, by various media outlets, to comment on the Christianity of the Mormon faith. And also not surprising is this response titled, A Christ-Centered Faith:
“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in, study and seek to live by the teachings found in the Old and New Testaments. We also believe the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. As the verse above plainly teaches, Christ is at the center of our worship, study, service and faith, and we believe this is clearly demonstrated in the lives of more than 14 million members in over 130 countries around the globe.
You and I are those members that this statement is referring to, and we are the ones that can create opportunities to share these beliefs with others. We can do this, online, by using our social networks to share either created social media by the Church, ourselves or others, that will help you share what you personally believe.
Have you had the opportunity to share your beliefs online, over the last week, because of the recent media attention? I'd love to hear about it...
“On Faith” Blog: How Do Mormons Answer “Not Christian” Claims?
“Research shows that people have a far better view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they know a member personally,” Otterson says. “There is a point when those people who have seen Mormons caricatured in their Sunday School classes realize that the second-hand prejudices they have learned don’t fit with their first-hand experiences with faithful Latter-day Saints.”