We live in a day when the gospel has been restored in its fullness. As Aaronic priesthood bearers it is our responsibility to prepare and spread this message of joy to the people of the earth.
To make that possible God has given us powerful technologies and media, with which youth are well acquainted. Elder David A. Bednar invoked this blessing: "Come to understand more fully the spiritual significance and blessing of living in the dispensation of the fullness of times, that you may have eyes to see clearly both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the remarkable technologies that are available to us today, that you may increase in your capacity to use these inspired tools appropriately, and that you may receive inspiration and guidance about the role you should play in helping to sweep the earth as with a flood of truth and righteousness. As you press forward in this holy work, I promise you will be blessed in mortality in the individual, specific, and necessary ways that will prepare you for eternity.”
Blessings and promises from an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ come to pass when we act on those promises. If our purpose is to become like our Heavenly Father why hold anything back from furthering His purposes.
Technology is hastening the work
What used to take sometimes weeks, days or hours can now be delivered in seconds, as a written phrase, voice message, picture, video or other media formats, in real or asynchronous time. Social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and many other popular social media channels can be used to share gospel messages. Messages can be downloaded into your smart phone or other mobile devices, which can be carried with you at all times for study and sharing. Technology is a tool that helps in hastening the work. It lets us touch hearts, lift spirits and share testimonies beyond our physical borders to any who wish to hear our message.
Messages of inspiration can be shared online with family and friends. You can fill out your profile on Mormon.org and explain why you are a Mormon. Family records can be gathered and shared instantly across the world. More and more youth are gathering family names for temple work. The Gospel Library provides electronic access to general conference, church magazines, lesson manuals, handbooks, scriptures, etc. You can highlight verses, add notes, organize your study journal online and fill it with priceless truths, which can be accessed by your cell phone, tablet or computer. Treasuring up the things in your study journal that the Spirit teaches helps you retain what you learn and will add to your spiritual preparedness and progression.
Some spiritual and technical principles for the effective and safe use of technology
It is difficult to name all the good things that can be done using technology, but here are some spiritual principles that will help you to effectively use technology.
1. Use technology to do things that would be pleasing to God. “Everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God” (Moroni 7:16). If Jesus had had such a tool how would He use it? Asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” invites revelation. Along with prayerful consideration, the answer to that question will give us ideas as to how we can use these technologies for study, service and building His kingdom. Asking that question also helps us to keep the covenants we make each week to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and always remember Him.
2. Be respectful with the use of your smart phone or tablet in church. If Jesus were in a sacrament meeting, priesthood meeting or Sunday school class, how would He use His smart phone? Would He be playing a video game or texting friends, or would He be reading scriptures and thoughts related to the lesson? Would He be respectful of the speaker or teacher and those around Him who are learning the truths of the gospel? We all know the answer to those questions.
3. Remember, with technology you can learn, but you must also act and share. The Savior taught if we live the gospel we will know it is true and comes from God (John 7:17). Alma taught the principle that God will give us more knowledge about Him as we live what we learn (Alma 12:9). Learn by reading the scriptures, listening to general conference, studying lesson manuals, keeping a study journal, then living what you learn and sharing your experiences with others. That is what the Savior did. We can do the same. The closer you align your actions with His purposes, the more you will experience His power in your life.
4. Finally, remember who you are, a beloved son of your loving Heavenly Father who wants to give to you all that He has, the gift of Eternal Life. Now is the time to choose the right, even online, to fulfill your divine destiny. This is no dress rehearsal. Now is the time to prepare to meet God and prepare for the coming of His Son. Taking the challenge of Elder Bednar to recognize who we are, the special time in which we live and effectively using technology to learn, act upon and share the gospel, we will be blessed in mortality in the individual, specific, and necessary ways that will prepare us for missions and eternity.
The Young Men general presidency invites you to consecrate and sanctify your electronic device as a source of light in your life. We invite you to take advantage of these tools to both prepare yourselves to learn gospel principles and also to share them.