Blueprint for Doing Good

Technology BlueprintIn our day, technology can be overwhelming and, unfortunately, often misused in ways that are destructive to individuals, families, and our spirits. However, there is enormous power to bless lives when using technology for doing good. It just takes some thought and planning… a blueprint for doing good.

Virtual Realities

David Bednar, an apostle in the Church, gave a talk entitled “Things as They Really Are” in which he asks us to consider two questions relating to use of technology:

  1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
  2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?

In this abbreviated video, he teaches that we need to be mindful of not letting “virtual realities” cloud our vision of real relationships, both with those around us and with our Heavenly Father.

Technology and Transparency

When it comes to technology use and relationships, transparency is necessary. Elder L. Whitney Clayton reminded us that “there are no secrets about relevant matters in marriages based on mutual respect and transparency. Husbands and wives make…decisions…together, and both have access to all information. Loyalty is a form of respect. Prophets teach that successful marriage partners are ‘fiercely loyal’ to each other. They keep their social media use fully worthy in every way. They permit themselves no secret Internet experiences. They freely share with each other their social network passwords. They do not look at the virtual profiles of anyone in any way that might betray the sacred trust of their spouse. They never do or say anything that approaches the appearance of impropriety, either virtually or physically. Watch and learn: terrific marriages are completely respectful, transparent, and loyal.

Serving Others through Technology

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee” 1 Timothy 4:14. Many people have tremendous talent with technology. Some have an amazing grasp on what makes technology work (or not), and can serve others when help is needed. I am not one of those people who understand how things work, but I was flattered a while back when a senior citizen with whom I’m acquainted called one day and asked me to help her fix her VCR (yes, VCR). That was something I could do. Probably not a considerable technological talent, but I was happy to help.

Others are gifted photographers, writers, organizers, creators, decorators, teachers, cooks, child-raisers, etc, and do much good sharing those talents online and by teaching those skills to others. Others still may not be tech savvy but have time to serve. They can do great good for others by using technology as a means to that end. If you have time to give and looking for ways to serve, you may consider checking out The Vineyard, an online platform where a variety of service opportunities are just a click away. You can get there here: https://vineyard.lds.org.

Lifting Others through Technology

Sadly, gone are the days when good neighbor notes were left on doorsteps and “it’s been a while” letters in envelopes frequented our mailboxes. However, technology enables us to reach out to those we love, those who need lifting, and those who are searching. It just takes a few minutes to send a text or an email, or to go online and share your belief in Christ with others. Is there someone’s load can you lighten today? Technology can help you do it.

See how this young woman did just that…all at the right time and the right place.


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The Family: a proclamation

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Several years ago, the leaders of the Church announced a proclamation to the world called “The Family.” It’s a beautifully-simple message that describes Mormons’ beliefs on the family unit. For the next several weeks, blogger Chocolate on my Cranium is hosting an event to celebrate the Family Proclamation. Check it out here: http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com

Video Series: The Church at a Glance

In a new series of brief videos, Mormons from around the world explain more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and what its members believe. The complete series of videos are posted on the “Video Series” page. Topics range from church history and organization to humanitarian efforts and family life.

See the Church at a glance with this first video in the series.

Why temples?

kct1 copy2Yesterday, I visited the local temple. It’s a place I go to feel closer to my Heavenly Father, and it’s a place where I can go to find peace, answers to questions, and to escape the chaos of the world for a few moments.

One of the unique things about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Temple. The Temple is the Lord’s house here on the earth. A temple is different than a chapel where we attend church on Sundays. In fact, the temples are closed on Sundays around the world.

Members of the Church attend the temple for several reasons:

  • to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness
  • to feel a greater peace when facing challenges, trials, or when making life decisions
  • to make sacred covenants, or promises between an individual and the Lord
  • to be sealed, or married for time AND all eternity, to a spouse
  • to perform ordinances for ancestors who may have passed away before having those ordinances performed for them such as baptism (1 Corinthians 15:2)

This video provides greater insight as to why Mormons build temples, explained by members of the Church as well as leaders of other faiths. Read more about how temples bless our lives here.

Six tips for a meaningful family night

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints set aside time each week, usually on Monday evenings, to hold family night. We call it Family Home Evening, or FHE for short. We have four boys in a tiny house, so you can imagine that things don’t always go perfectly.

As parents, some weeks we’re more organized than others, and FHE feels like this:

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Truth be told, there are other weeks when it’s more like this.

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The important thing, however, is consistency. Our boys now expect it in one form or another, and it really does bless our home when we do the best we can. We have made some great memories over the years at FHE. Ultimately, it gives us an opportunity to connect and focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here are six steps for planning a great family night (shared from lds.org)

  • Start and end with prayer. This invites the Spirit, increases love, and teaches your family how to pray.
  • Learn from the scriptures and the words of the prophets to help your family live the gospel.
  • Add music, such as hymns, to create an atmosphere of love, peace, and joy.
  • Make it fun by playing games, acting out scripture stories, and making treats. Keep the atmosphere light and loving.
  • Be consistent. Monday nights are set aside by the Church for family home evening. If that doesn’t work, find a night that does.
  • Add variety. Help a neighbor in need, hold a lesson at the park, or go for a walk as a family.

While these things won’t guarantee a “heaven-like” experience every single time, I know they are things that make a difference in our own home. If family night is new to your family, pick a few things to try and add more as you get the hang of it. Again, consistency is they key, and you’ll be blessed for trying.