Saturday, January 5, 2019

President M. Russell Ballard on sharing the gospel online

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time....
"Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. 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. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you understand the basic principles of the gospel. It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct witness of gospel truths. It is also important that you and the people to whom you testify understand that you do not speak for the Church as a whole. You speak as one member—but you testify of the truths you have come to know."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet," commencement address given at BYU–Hawaii on December 15, 2007; reprinted in Ensign, July 2008, pp. 58–63
Click here to read the full talk

One of the final instructions of the Savior to his disciples in the meridian of time was "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We have often been told that we are under that same mandate. We have been given something precious, and our opportunity and obligation is to share the good news with all the people we can.

President Ballard suggests that we should be using modern technology to facilitate that effort. We should be eager to engage in conversations, to share the truth of the gospel message, and to stand up for the Church's beliefs and positions whenever we can.

President Ballard reminds us that in order to speak out for the Gospel and the Church, we must have a solid foundation of understanding. "It is essential that you are able to offer a clear and correct witness of gospel truths." All the more important for us to study sincerely and carefully, to ponder and pray for strong understanding and firm testimonies, and to be practicing the precepts of the restored Gospel in our lives!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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