In the previous article, Engaging the conversation – Introduction, the Marysville LDS Church examiner briefly described the call to share the gospel online and ways we can accomplish this. Today, this article expresses thoughts, tips, and suggestions for Family Home Evening.
The first resource comes from the official LDS website about sharing the Gospel online:
Express your personal witness of the restored gospel as you feel impressed by the Spirit to do so. The message should be personal and not given as if you were speaking for the Church. Go to LDS.org and click Menu at the top middle of the page. Under The Church, click Sharing the Gospel Online for helpful information.
Develop your own materials that effectively convey your message.
Do not form groups or develop websites or blogs that give the impression that they officially represent or are sponsored by the Church.
Utilizing the above suggestions, open up the discussion about what everyone learned from the instruction on how we can participate in the conversations about the Church. Make sure to have the handouts handy and review the questions on the back of the handout. Also, ensure that family members have read M. Russell Ballard’s article – Sharing the Gospel Online. At the end of the article, there are some Family Home Evening Suggestions:
As a family, watch the video clip of Elder M. Russell Ballard’s call for Latter-day Saints to share the message of the Restoration with others using the Internet. See www.youtube.com/LDSPublicAffairs. Discuss ways you can share your testimony of the gospel with others using the Internet.
Fill a large bowl or bathtub with water. Drop a bar of soap into the water, noticing the ripple effect of tiny waves generated from the soap falling into the water. Compare the waves to using the Internet to promote good, clean conversations about the Church. As a family, send an e-mail to a friend, telling something you love about the gospel.
Next, discuss ways each individual member can openly share the Gospel online through their social media networks. For example, if there are young men that participate in the scouting program, discuss ways they can publish pictures on their Social Media networking sites (like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Google+) as a separate album and caption each picture. Another idea is to publish the photos on a blog and describe the activity the pictures are associated with. Another discussion could be a family blog with each member of the family contributing to the blog. Review this page at LDS.org about sharing the gospel via social media.
Third, discuss how each member of the family can center their thoughts and reflections on Christ. This includes some take away from Sacrament meeting talks, personal scripture reading, or lessons learned in Sunday School, Seminary, or Institute.
Finally, discuss ways to avoid contentious arguments. Ways to deal with questions about Church History and how to properly research such information, and what to do if the conversation leads to questioning one’s faith and testimony in the Gospel. This requires implementing ways to be prepared as a family to discuss with one another, pray with one another about particular issues our critics may throw at us.
Participating in the online conversations about our faith will continue, as Elder Ballard teaches, whether we engage in those conversations or not. Helping each member of the family to properly engage in those conversations will help implement the teaching and counsel of our leaders, and helps us become pioneers in online missionary work.