10 Ways to Serve the Lord Online
Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
Rendering service is one of the hallmarks of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. The Savior taught, “And whosever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:44-45).
There are many ways that one can render service but the Internet offers some unique advantages. “Using the Internet for service is a great experience,” said Jayson Seegmiller, senior advisor for the Church. “There are ways to serve that were not possible before. Vineyard.lds.org brings many Church-sponsored service options under one roof so people can choose something they enjoy and that fits their schedule.”
Through the Internet, many lives are blessed every day. Here are ten ways to get started serving the Lord online:
1. Indexing: The Church’s most popular online service opportunity brings tens of thousands of individuals from around the world together for family history work. Due to volunteers, the Church recently surpassed the milestone of two billion records indexed. Volunteers are needed to download special software that allows them to download and transcribe images of historical records from a variety of projects, including records in foreign languages. Contributions help people around the world find their ancestors and the records that document their lives. Get started or learn more about indexing.
2. Church service missionary opportunities: Many members both old and young are choosing to serve Church Service missions. These types of missions are different than full-time proselytizing missions but offer the same rewarding feeling of contributing in the Lord’s kingdom. Find information about serving a Church service mission, including a list of available opportunities on LDS.org.
3. English conversation practice: Through BYU-Idaho, volunteers can help English language students from around the world practice listening and speaking English in real-time conversations twice a week by using online tools such as Skype. Speaking partners are needed for students from Albania, Ghana, Mexico, Peru, Russia and the United States. All conversations are conducted in English; therefore, speaking partners do not need to know a second language. Learn more here. Find out more.
4. Organizing images: For this service activity, volunteers look at photographs and graphics and then type key words that could be used to describe the image. These key words will be used later as search words to allow media professionals at the Church to find materials to use. Find out more.
5. Translate documents: Using a special translation platform to work with other volunteers to translate Church content into a volunteer’s native language, volunteers will be presented with English content and asked to either vote on translations by other volunteers or write their own translation. Service in this activity will help translated Church publications become available at an increased rate world-wide and assist in moving the work of the Church forward. Find out more.
6. LDSTech community volunteers: Join a project group online dealing with challenges and opportunities to design, build and test software applications for the Church. Volunteers with a variety of technical skills are needed. Skills in programming, interaction design, database engineering, usability testing, project management and more are needed. Volunteer contributions to this project will help make Church software applications such as the Gospel Library and LDS Tools app. By assisting in a team to build websites and mobile apps, volunteers will help make the gospel available to individuals around the world. Find out more.
7. Share your creative talents: Participate with members around the world who share their talents to help the Church and other members spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Media professionals and highly skilled amateurs are invited to help meet the Church’s needs for photos, video content, music and other media. If you have a desire to help build the Lord’s kingdom using your talents, visit Create.lds.org to learn more.
8. Provide research expertise: In this activity, located here, volunteers will add knowledge about how to do research to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, a tool that helps genealogists know how to research their families using specific places, specific topics and records. Volunteers will:
Consider volunteer research experiences
Go to the pages in the wiki where they have knowledge (e.g., Jackson County Missouri, or African American Research)
Review what is already there
Add what they know
9. Provide research help: This service activity involves genealogy research assistance. Volunteers will be answering questions about how to find ancestors and records based on individual research experience. Volunteers are able to choose how they assist patrons – either over the phone, via live chat or in a variety of online resources that help people around the world find their ancestors and the records that document their lives. These people will be encouraged to add their ancestors to the FamilyTree feature of familysearch.org. Find out more.
10. Donations to Church causes: In 2011 Americans donated almost $300 billion to charity. Disciples of the Lord are encouraged to take care of others and this activity allows volunteers to financially assist with Church-approved causes such as education, arts and culture, humanitarian, and missionary work. These generous gifts provide the opportunity to help feed the hungry, heal the sick, and clothe the naked. Recipients of a donation receive a much-needed lift at a critical time in their lives. View different donation possibilities at ldsphilanthropies.org.