Do Smart Things with Your Smartphone

Contributed By Brother M. Joseph Brough, Young Men general presidency

  • 4 May 2016

“The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation," taught Brother Randall L. Ridd, then serving as a member of the Young Men general presidency. “As members of the choice generation, you understand technology. Use it to accelerate your progress toward perfection.”

Article Highlights

  • Use smartphones to hasten the work of salvation, accelerate progress to perfection, and serve.

In his April 2014 general conference talk, Brother Randall L. Ridd, then second counselor in the Young Men general presidency, made the following statement: “Young men, don’t do dumb things with your smartphone. You all know what I mean. There are countless ways technology can distract you from what is most important. Follow the adage ‘Be where you are when you are there.’ When you are driving, drive. When you are in class, focus on the lesson. When you are with your friends, give them the gift of your attention. Your brain cannot concentrate on two things at once” (“The Choice Generation”).

I loved that talk and have been pondering the message “don’t do dumb things with your smartphone.” What if we changed that statement to “do smart things with your smartphone”?

Do smart things with your smartphone

Recently I observed two examples of this concept.

Use technology to accelerate the work of salvation and your progress to perfection and to serve God and others.

A deacon uses his smartphone. Consider how you might help hasten the work of salvation using your smartphone.

First, in Colorado on a training assignment, I had the privilege to attend two firesides, each attended by approximately 400 young men, where I posed this question: “Young men, what smart things are you doing with your smartphone?” One young man in the back raised his hand. I called upon him and he stood. He seemed to be the type of priest that all young deacons aspire to become. He boldly declared: “I charge my phone at night in my mother’s bedroom.” The Holy Ghost immediately touched my heart. Here was a young man that knew and understood how to avoid temptation and do smart things with his smartphone.

The second example is from watching a deacons quorum president conduct his quorum meeting on a Sunday. He asked his fellow deacons how they had done on their assignment to read the Book of Mormon that week. When it became apparent that some may not have done as well as they could have done, he reminded them of the quorum’s commitment that each member would read the Book of Mormon that year. Then he said, “I will text you during the week to remind you of this commitment.” Again, my heart pounded as I felt the Holy Ghost confirm that here was another young man doing smart things with his smartphone.

Use technology to hasten the work of salvation

In the same conference address, Brother Ridd stated: “The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation. As members of the choice generation, you understand technology. Use it to accelerate your progress toward perfection.”

How can you hasten the work of salvation on your smart phone? I have seen many examples, such as:

  • A young lady reading her scriptures before sacrament meeting.
  • Another young lady sending her friends a video she recently saw on Mormon.org.
  • A priest setting a reminder on his phone that he committed to do three hours of indexing during the week.
  • A teachers quorum president texting a new quorum member to remind him of an activity.
  • A young man sending his mother a text just to tell her that he loves her. (Can you imagine how many mothers would be pleasantly shocked with that text?)

Accelerate your progress to perfection

I encourage each of you to think about how you are using technology. Are you using it to accelerate your progress to perfection? Or are some of us being “lulled” by the adversary, as indicated in 2 Nephi 28:21:

“And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”

Satan very much wants to lull this chosen generation. I believe that smartphones can be one of the greatest tools for good that Heavenly Father has ever created. Likewise, I know that there must be opposition in all things, and a wise enemy has determined how to use this wonderful technology to distract, tempt, lull, and persuade this chosen generation.

Self-control is part of perfection. Learn to control your desire to constantly be using this technology. Take time to put technology aside and spend time with your Heavenly Father, your family, and your friends.

Take time to put technology aside and spend time with your Heavenly Father, your family, and your friends.

Use your smartphone to serve

Please take the question “How can I use my smartphone to serve my God?” to your Heavenly Father and your parents. I promise you that He will answer your thoughtful prayer and pleading to make a change. Please listen to His answer. It may come through your parents. It may come through a lesson in seminary. It may come through a conference talk. It may come from a loving Church leader. Please listen and then act. You and generations to come will be blessed as a result.