Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sharing the Gospel and New Media

I graduated BYU in 2005. That was about the time that church leaders learned of an internet evil called Myspace. Bishops of singles ward warned their congregants to abstain from participation on Myspace and the site was blocked from access in the BYU library system. At the time, I rolled my eyes and thought "many things in life can be used for either good or evil and people have the freedom to choose how they will use them. I can choose to do what is good and avoid doing what is wrong. So I'm going to participate in Myspace." And I did, and still do.

(I will avoid testifying of the good aspects of Myspace.)

Then in 2007, I heard that an apostle has given a talk at a BYU devotional stating that church members are encouraged to use "new media" (i.e. blogs and social networking sites) to share the gospel with others. In fact, this month's cover story in the Ensign may have been adapted from that talk. The Apostle M. Russel Ballard discusses member's opportunities to share the gospel using the internet. He shares what members can do, as well as provides words of caution to members of thing they should avoid.

I felt vindicated.

I also wondered if any of those bishops at BYU were still presiding over wards and felt they had to rescind their words about the "evils of Myspace." I wonder what their reactions to the apostles words were and how they responded to being wrong. And, have any statements been issued in BYU wards on the topic?

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