Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Elder Neil L. Andersen on sharing our love for the Savior

Elder Neil L. Andersen (born August 9, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"With those around us, let us be more open, more willing to talk of Christ. President Nelson said, 'True disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to stand out, speak up, and be different from the people of the world.' ...

"Be more open on social media in talking about your trust in Christ. Most will respect your faith, but if someone is dismissive when you speak of the Savior, take courage in His promise: 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you … for my sake. … For great is your reward in heaven.' (Matt 5:11-12) We care more about being His followers than being 'liked' by our own followers. Peter counseled, 'Be ready always to give an answer [for] the hope that is in you.' (1 Peter 3:15) Let us talk of Christ....

"As the world speaks less of Jesus Christ, let us speak more of Him. As our true colors as His disciples are revealed, many around us will be prepared to listen. As we share the light we have received from Him, His light and His transcendent saving power will shine on those willing to open their hearts. Jesus said, 'I … come [as] a light into the world.' (John 12:46)"

- Neil L. Andersen, "We Talk of Christ," General Conference October 2020, Sunday morning

During my lifetime I've witnessed the appearance of the Internet and the development of the World Wide Web. In more recent years we've seen the dramatic appearance of various forms of social media. It's been a fascinating time, as technology has changed our lives in many positive ways (and a few challenging ones). We have seen these developments simplify and enhance our ability to read and learn, to research and grow, to be aware of the world in significant ways.

But are we using the technology for good, for the best possible uses? Elder Andersen's conference message challenged us to consider if we might be better disciples and messengers of Jesus Christ by making better use of these tools.
I think the highlighted words are profound. The idea of a "follower" is an interesting part of social media, as we choose the people or groups that interest us. But whom do we really want to follow as our highest priority? And are our concerns about those who follow us more important to us than following Him? Great questions to ponder.

But how important it is for us to use this technology for good! And especially, to find opportunities to "talk of Christ" openly and sincerely!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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