Online Videos Help Spread Gospel Hope
Mormon Messages, an official LDS channel on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, will soon be available in more than 10 languages. The first Mormon Messages video in English appeared in August 2008, while Spanish became available in April 2009. In addition, the channel is scheduled to be available in Cantonese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Russian by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
“The primary purpose of Mormon Messages is to provide short, inspirational video messages … that strengthen members and encourage them to share the gospel message with others online,” said David Nielson, managing director of the Church’s Audiovisual Department. The Church-produced videos are three to four minutes long and typically feature words of inspiration from General Authorities and auxiliary leaders.
Previous video segments have included “What Matters Most,” in which President Thomas S. Monson urged viewers to spend time with loved ones; “Counsel to Youth,” where President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, advises youth on how to find happiness; and “The Women in Our Lives,” by President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008).
Aside from featuring the words of Church leaders, Mormon Messages also focuses on Church members. For example, the video “Finding Hope” told the story of Victor Guzman, a survivor of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in America and his journey to find peace amid his despair.
As of September 20, 2009, the channel had more than 5.4 million views and was in the top 20 most popular channels in the “Nonprofits and Activism” category on YouTube. Each message generally receives about 200,000 hits.
The videos are also available on LDS.org, where viewers can find previously posted segments.
“I hope that more members will participate in sharing these videos with those not of our faith so they can become more aware of what the Church really stands for and of our desire to follow Jesus Christ,” Brother Nielson said.
Personal Progress Updated
The Young Women general presidency has updated Personal Progress materials to reflect recent changes.
The new Personal Progress booklet has a pink cover and includes the activities for the new eighth value—virtue—that was added at the end of 2008. Most of the value activities remain the same, but some have changed slightly to be more current and more focused on temple covenants.
The Young Womanhood Recognition medallion now depicts, in addition to the temple spires, a beehive that suggests harmony, cooperation, and work; the Mia Maid rose for love, faith, and purity; and the laurel wreath, which stands for honor and accomplishment. A small ruby in the center of the rose symbolizes the new value of virtue (see Proverbs 31:10) and the completion of Personal Progress.
Additional materials include a new theme poster and scripture ribbons. The ribbons will be given at the completion of value experiences and projects.
The materials are currently available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Content in 51 additional languages will become available throughout early 2010.