LDS Social Media Presentations and Best Resources for Sharing the Gospel Online

With two of my beautiful daughters
Presenting at the 2014 BYU Women's Conference on the topic of sharing the gospel via social media will no doubt be a highlight journal entry when I someday write my personal history. Not because I feel like in doing so it was some great personal achievement; no, quite the contrary. Rather, because it was so far-fetched that someone like me, an ordinary member of the LDS Church, who happens to enjoy sharing the gospel online was invited to do so. I consider the privilege a great testimony of how the Lord uses the weak things of the world to accomplish His great work. I am continually a humble recipient and witness to this principle of power!



For quite sometime (not sure why I've waited so long?) I've been wanting to share with anyone interested the audio from my BYU presentation and a little slide show I put together after the conference, with some notes to go along with it. I'm doing this for two reasons, 1) To journal my presentation so I have a record of what I taught, and 2) In hopes that it might be instructive to those who want to learn how to share the gospel online and hear my personal story.


There are a few standout lessons that came to me (very personal) as a result of having the experience of being invited to speak at BYU Women's Conference and that I hope to share, someday. But for now, I'll keep those to myself. (Although you'll get a hint of what I'm referring to in the audio of my presentation.)

John Dehlin Excommunicated for Severe Amnesia Problem

And now, ladies and gentlemen… if I could direct your full attention to the center ring of the “Dehlinite” circus, where John himself proudly announces via national media and public radio the results of his LDS Church disciplinary council:  Excommunicated for apostasy!

Duh.

And this, from his sidekick, Peggy Stack, of the Salt LakeTribune:





"The official charge against the founder of the "Mormon Stories" podcast was "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church," but the letter from Dehlin's North Logan LDS stake president, Bryan King, called it "apostasy" and cited evidence for the unanimous decision:

Margaret Blair Young: As Sisters in Zion

"God be with you till we meet again..."
Guest Post by Margaret Blair Young

My father is a linguist, and so I have spent all of my life exposed to different words and sounds. When other families went to Disneyland, we went to Guatemala.  Inevitably, I learned a couple of languages, and then incomprehensible sounds which could not possibly make sense suddenly did.  Then I could pick up a string of words, and finally the thought.  I revert to Spanish if my father, who can’t hear well, indicates that he didn’t understand me.  Some extra hearing comes to him when I use that language.

One of his last joys (his life is winding down, though he is still with us) is in helping me prepare to go to Africa.  

Dad traveled throughout the world during his eighty-four years.  His patriarchal blessing told him that he’d be “an ambassador for the Lord in many lands.”  And so he has been.  He is fluent in all fo the romance languages, Chinese, Finnish, Russian, and more dialects than you likely have never heard of.  I have seen him converse with native Mayans, native Chinese, native Russians, etc.  He does it in their language.  I remember so well the moment when our whole family was in Patzicia, Guatemala and Dad was speaking in sacrament meeting.  All of those present were fluent in the dialect, Cakchiquel, but only a few were truly fluent in Spanish.  Dad started in Spanish and then said, “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to speak in Cakchiquel.”

Ganel-Lyn Condie: LDS Women are Not Perfect But We Trust Our God

Guest Post by Ganel-Lyn Condie

Today, I read a public statement from someone that is no longer a member of the LDS church. She said this of current members of the church "only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.” THIS IS NOT MY TRUTH!

For evidence, I offer a book that I have worked on for over 3 years. I Can Do Hard Things with God, is an anthology of women that are SMART, articulate, VERY HIGHLY EDUCATED, dedicated, BRAVE, courageous THINKERS. The women profiled aren't perfect but we trust our God, we sustain a Prophet, we live our faith EVEN when things are HARD, very HARD. This book is a small sample of LDS women. I know that many, MANY non-Mormon readers have already bought the book. I pray those that are Mormon, Muslim, Jew and Catholic, and non-LDS everywhere will read these few personal stories and see that the belittling statements of a few do not represent the intelligence I see all around me in the lives of the members of the Mormon faith.

Is Mormonism declining in the 21st Century among educated Americans?

Guest Post: By Michael Terence Worley

Recently a number of people have claimed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is struggling.  A common recitation of the claim is that once members learn about certain facts about the faith, gain “thinking skills,” or learn about the Church’s positions on social-political issues they will leave.  For instance, a noted critic of Mormon teachings on women, Kate Kelly, said recently: “The Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. … [O]nly the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.”




This claim is frequently repeated in a variety of ways. But what do the statistics show? Are the more learned Latter-day Saints leaving the religion of their childhood while the less educated remain affiliated with the Latter-day Saint faith? By and large, not so. Let me explain.

The Pew Research Center has released a 2011 study stating in part:

“Mormons who have graduated from college display the highest levels of religious commitment (84%) followed by those with some college education (75%). Mormons with a high school education or less exhibit substantially lower levels of religious commitment (50% score high on the scale) than their more highly educated counterparts.”

This shows that whether or not the church is growing or shrinking as a whole, its shrinking isn’t coming from the most educated. In fact, it seems the more education one has, the more likely they are to be a faithful Latter-day Saint.  While some educated latter-day Saints some do leave, many conversations are taking place about how to help deal with such issues. More importantly, the data is showing many more educated Latter-day Saints stay than leave.

LDS Apostate Says Only Dummies Thrive in Mormonism

In a recent post by Kate Kelly, (excommunicated by the LDS Church for blatant apostasy) she feebly attempts to defend John Dehlin (who stands to also be excommunicated) by trying to offend faithful Mormons for keeping temple covenants, suggesting that the Church is losing control of its membership.

According to Kelly, “The Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. Since strict obedience is demanded and harshly enforced, only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.”

Interpreted what she actually means to say is that, because the Mormon faith is a place where the faithful gather to make and keep sacred covenants with God, members considered in good standing (by choice) don’t use their time and talents to undermine and advocate contrary to the teachings and counsel of living prophets.

Rather, faithful Mormons boldly live their religion in the face of relentless accusations suggesting that to uphold the commandments of God is un-Christian, weak, and judgmental and will land them on the wrong side of history!

I’m not sure what Kelly hopes to gain by trying to insult the general membership of the Church, but I can assure you that most members will see it as just sad. And seeing as how similar ploys didn’t work for her, I seriously doubt that more public shaming of the Church (or us) will change anything about another’s Church discipline.

Kelly may have a law degree, which she feels makes her smarter and more qualified than many of us to… what? Oh yeah, to advocate publicly contrary to leaders of the Church – or God. But as for me, I much prefer to exercise willing obedience and use my God-given talents to stand for what I believe and with those whom the Lord has called to lead His Church.

And in the process, if I’m considered among “the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers... " I’ll continue to consider it a ‘badge of honor’ and count myself among the likes of many of you and those who have gone before us valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

You might also enjoy reading these other responses: 


Is Mormonism declining in the 21st Century among educated Americans? by Michael Terence Worley


LDS Women are Not Perfect But We Trust Our God by Ganel-Lyn Condie