August 2nd, 2006

The Internet and the Church

Larry Richman, Director of the Internet Coordination Group for the LDS Church, has written a post about the internet and the church.

After citing various quotes by past and present leaders of the church regarding the use of technology to spread the gospel, Larry ends with this call to action:

These are ways to be a pioneer—to use the God-given miracles of technology to share your testimony with the world without ever leaving your home. No one at any time in the history of the world has been able to do this. But you can do it, if you want to be a pioneer. May we all be modern pioneers and use the God-given miracles of technology around us to fulfill the Lord’s purposes.

Spreading the gospel via the internet is also a fundamental goal of the More Good Foundation. Like anything else the Lord uses to further His kingdom, Satan tries to use these methods to further his own purposes. We’re all keenly aware of the filth that exists on the internet. But I’m inspired by the following quote by President Hinckley, which shows that it is the Lord who has facilitated such an explosion in technological advancements:

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“Going hand in hand with this increased temple activity is an increase in our family history work. The computer in its various ramifications is accelerating the work, and people are taking advantage of the new techniques being offered to them. How can one escape the conclusion that the Lord is in all of this? As computer facilities improve, the number of temples grows to accommodate the accelerated family history work” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 4-5).

Family history has accelerated dramatically with the help of the internet. Also, the church is currently beta testing a Family Search Indexing program, heavily dependent on the internet, which will greatly speed up the process of extracting names from documents such as the 1910 census, among many others.

The Lord is in this, as Pres. Hinckley said. I have no doubt that family history work will continue to accelerate as the church develops more tools, and as people learn the existing ones that make doing their research so much easier.

Now if only they’ll start porting PAF to Mac OS X… Apparently they still need to see the light!

2 Responses to “The Internet and the Church”

  1. Nathan Lane
    August 3, 2006 at 11:18 am #

    I just did a google search and found this :) I’ve always wanted to make my own PAF program in Java, but figured that the Church has everything in order probably. If it were written in Java, then it most likely would work on everything. I cam across your blog searching for information regarding that dumb lawsuit thingy. I’m very grateful that the Church is true too. It really makes a difference! I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that President Hickley is the only true and living prophet on the earth today, and I know that this statement from Joseph Smith also is true: “No unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing. Persecutions may rage; mobs may combine; armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say, ‘The work is done’ . . .”

    So there is nothing to fear if we have faith! Thanks for sharing the Gospel on the Internet too! I should do that :)

    http://www.macgenealogy.org/personal-ancestral-file-paf-for-mac/

  2. Connor
    August 3, 2006 at 11:28 am #

    Nathan,

    Thanks for the link.. I have looked into some of the programs for the mac, and I have decided that I’m just going to save my money and buy a MacBook so that I can run windows as well, and use the church’s (excellent) PAF program, rather than a “wanna-be” program. The other ones are good, but not as comprehensive as the church’s.

    I love that quote by Joseph Smith. Oh so true. It’s funny to see how quickly the criticisms and persecutions of the church wash away. I’m convinced that with the internet, people will become more informed about what LDS people are really like, rather than how their bitter, axe-grinding critics portray them. Then again, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If people want to see us a certain way, nothing I say or write will change that, unless they have an open mind and are willing to sincerely observe and inquire.

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