Young Women Can Use Social Media to #ShareGoodness
Contributed By Carol F. McConkie, Young Women general presidency
- Sharing uplifting thoughts on Instagram led a young girl to connect with a new friend who is now having the missionary lessons.
- Parents and leaders can help young men and women follow guidelines about posting online.
- Young women are sharing positive quotes, pictures, and thoughts to thousands of followers on Instagram.
“We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the prompting of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven.” —Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
We live in a day when everyone who chooses to speak has a voice. Through modern technology we can send messages to family, friends, and hundreds of others in just seconds. Channels of social media enable us to share both text and visual images in the very moment events are happening. Our young women are already actively using these tools of communication. Parents and leaders can help them learn to use these resources appropriately and effectively to share simple messages of goodness and truth. When they are exemplary in all that they text, tweet, or post, they can inform and uplift the minds and hearts of those who hear, read, or view their messages.
Our young women have glorious messages to share. One young girl understood her influence and her responsibility to spread light and goodness to others. Eleven-year-old Emily wanted very much to be active on Instagram. Her parents, concerned about privacy and safety, were reluctant for her to do so. Together, they worked out a plan. Emily’s older sister has an Instagram account called JesusistheChrist, where she posts pictures of temples, quotes about the Savior, and other edifying content. Emily followed her sister’s example and opened an anonymous Instagram account under the name of seektouplift. Each day she posts uplifting thoughts using designs she has created. She now has over 2,300 followers.
One of her followers asked Emily if she were a Christian. Emily replied saying that she was and that she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as Mormons. After messaging back and forth for a while, Emily referred her friend to mormon.org. Her friend requested a Book of Mormon online. When she received it, Emily and her Instagram friend began reading the Book of Mormon together and commenting about it to each other. After a while, Emily asked her new friend if she would like to have a couple of young men or women come to her home to teach her and her family a little more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This new friend and her family are now having the missionary lessons in their home.
A Mia Maid in California introduces her Instagram account, For_the_Strength_of_Youth, by saying, “All I want is to share the light of Christ in peoples’ lives. Find a reason to smile today!” She has over 6,000 followers.
These two precious daughters of God represent a beginning of the fulfillment of the promise the Lord made to the prophet Enoch. He said that in the last days, “righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood” (Moses 7:62).
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. By the power of God, Joseph Smith brought forth the Book of Mormon. Righteousness and truth have been restored to the earth in this final dispensation. And now, the testimony of Christ and His gospel must go forth “as with a flood” to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior. As children of the covenant we stand as witnesses of Christ at all times, in all things, and in all places, even in social media.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught in his BYU Education Week address, “I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world; to proclaim the reality of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days; and to accomplish the Lord’s work” (“To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood,” BYU Education Week address, Aug. 19, 2014).
Parents and leaders can help young women follow guidelines from the Church handbook. “Share messages from official Church websites and social accounts, as well as their own words, images, and media. As members express their own thoughts and feelings, they should not give the impression that they represent or are sponsored by the Church.” In addition, “they should exemplify civility and focus on sharing praiseworthy messages that strengthen those with whom they come in contact” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 21.1.22). More detailed guidelines are found at the Internet Usage Helps for Members page on LDS.org.
Young women are perfectly prepared to utilize social media to lift their voices and proclaim goodness and truth. It is not complicated. We reach out to others in friendship, support, and love. “We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the prompting of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven” (M. Russell Ballard, “Sharing the Gospel by Using the Internet,” Ensign, July 2008).