Mormon Websites Sweeping the World
By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
If you live in Mexico, you most likely know about it. If you live in Russia, Austria, Italy, Spain, or New Zealand, the possibility is great you know about it too. But if you live in the United States, you probably have no idea it exists. What is it? Individualized LDS.org websites called “country sites” based on the native language of a specific country.
Matt Robinson, product manager for the country websites said, “The primary purpose of the country websites is to provide an online (Internet and mobile) means to extend the reach of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles around the world. Also, it enables Area Presidencies to minister to, communicate with, teach, and strengthen members and local leaders within their areas.”
The area and country websites were started in 2002 on various platforms; in 2011 they began moving into the LDS.org channel. The first site produced in 2011 was the Mexico Area website. This serves the Church membership and other website visitors in Spanish under the direction of the Mexico Area Presidency. Brother Robinson said, “There are new sites rolling out each month. Most recently, Australia, Africa Southeast, Brazil, and Caribbean websites were launched. There are many, many more planned around the world. Several websites are planned in Asia including India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea. A second wave of country websites in Europe is also in the planning stages.”
The country websites are a combination of content provided by Church headquarters and content produced locally under the direction of the area leadership. This includes text and rich media. Brother Robinson said, “The area and country websites in the future will integrate more fully with social media and other mobile channels. LDS.org area and country sites are primarily for members and leaders of the Church.”
There are also many other site visitors from various backgrounds and with various interests. Some of these may include a desire to learn about the Church and its doctrines, family history work, or welfare, temple, and missionary programs of the Church. Some are looking for recent talks or comments given by General Authorities. Some just need to know the nearest location to attend Church meetings. Others want to see local news reports or stories about events in their area or country. “The audience is ultimately all of Heavenly Father’s children who are looking for guidance in their lives or information about His Church,” said Brother Robinson.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide church with members speaking a vast array of languages. The LDS.org area and country websites provide wonderful, uplifting content in many languages to help all of Heavenly Father’s children learn, live, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Church grows around the world, interest is increasing and these websites provide the words of living prophets and apostles to all those who desire to align their lives to their counsel.
To visit any of the country websites currently available, click the world globe at the top or bottom of any page on LDS.org. Then select a language to see a list of country sites that contain material in that language.