In October General Conference of 2018 President Nelson spoke to the women of the church about participating in gathering Isreal. To do that he offered 4 invitations. The first invitation was to fast for 10 days from Social Media. here are his exact words:
First, I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind. Pray to know which influences to remove during your fast. The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.
It has now been almost 3 years since that invitation and I’ve been thinking about it. When I first heard the invitation I think my mind went where so many of our minds went. To the most obvious. The president of our church, the prophet, wanted us to stay off of social media. He didn’t like social media and He thought we should avoid it. I expected that the change I would see in myself was that I would have a desire to delete all of my social media accounts. Now, I want to say right here that none of that makes any sense since every one of the general authorities have social media accounts that they post to regualarly. So…
But a surprising thing has happened over the last three years.
Immediately following the fast I didn’t feel a need or desire to remove myself completely from social media. I assumed that was because I had done something incorrectly or that I wasn’t as focused on the task as I could have been or that I didn’t fill the extra time with all of the worthwhile things that social media was keeping me from.
I kind of let it go and went back to building my business and fulfilling my calling and raising my family.
In November of 2020 – 2 years later – President Nelson invited us for 7 days to post things on social media that we were grateful for every day for the week of Thanksgiving. Wait, what? First he wants us off of social media and then he wants us on social media? Confusing!
But during that week an amazing thing happened. My social media feed was particularly angry at that time because the election had recently ended and people were so mad on every side. During the week of #givethanks my feed on Facebook and Instagram was changed into a beautiful uplifitng place to be. The angry posts had been almost fully choked out. I was amazed and happy.
Now I’ve gone back and reviewed what President Nelson actually said. He talked about shifting priorities and changing where we spend our time and energy. And then I thought about that magical week almost 7 months ago. And then I thought about actually how I cahanged how I used social media after that fast. And now I realize that I actually was changed by that thing that he asked us to do. My posts became more positive. I found uplifting quotes. I regularly post inspirational quotes and thoughts even on my business page.
In March of this year I was asked to take over the Facebook Page for our stake. I was super excited to get out and talk to the people in the stake about how liking the facebook page and interacting with it can help it to be viewed by a lot more people who aren’t already following it. I actually still am super excited about it but a new stake was formed 2 weeks ago and I am currently without calling. But I keep praying that I will be able to take over that responsibility in the new stake because I have so many ideas. But I’m getting off track.
Remember how I started this post by saying that Gathering Isreal is the goal? Well my word!
In April 2000 L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about using technology to spread the gospel. In part he said:
President Hinckley added to his powerful, emotional witness a list of concerns for the future. One of his concerns particularly stuck in my mind. His worry was with the great growth of the Church throughout the world, it would become increasingly difficult for the Apostles to reach all the members of the Church and personally admonish them to live the gospel. Thus, the future would bring greater reliance on technology to carry the gospel message to the worldwide Church.
That was over 21 years ago. Imagine how much good we can do in the world if each one of us would post one uplifting or encrouraging thing on ouor Facebook or Instagram each dsay. Imagine if we were using the is medium to assist in Gathering Isreal. By talking about the blessings we have in our lives because God loves each of us and how we know that he loves everyone and He wants to be intimately involved in our lives and all we have to do is invite Him we could continually choke out the negative. By interacting with each other’s uplifting posts, those posts will reach more and more people.
I’m excited about these new insights. How about you?