In 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.
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:
- Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
- 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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