RIVERTON, Utah — Elder LeGrand Richards knew the true purpose of technology.
"Brethren, the Lord has inspired men to invent these great tools. Now if we don’t use them to teach his gospel, Satan will use them to lead the people astray,” the late member of the Quorum of the Twelve said.
Those attending the second annual LDSTech Conference, March 31 and April 1 at the LDS Church Riverton Office Building, are following Elder Richards' advice. The conference is designed for volunteers with technology skills — designers, developers, programmers, support staff, technical writers, testers, etc. — and provides an opportunity to meet, learn and work on various projects that will further the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Conference registration has reached the 400-person capacity, and more than 30 people are on a waiting list, said Alan Smoot, a church business development manager for the community and LDSTech manager. Some volunteers are traveling across the country to attend the conference, including one from Australia. Smoot added that future plans are to increase conference capacity. Less than 200 attended the conference last year.
“We have the opportunity for anyone who is technical to be able to come and share their technical talents on projects with the church,” Smoot said. “The conference is intended to help with awareness of what we do and projects that are available.”
Smoot said conference attendance is not required to help with church projects. Those who cannot attend the conference can still contribute their skills and talents by building a talent profile on the LDSTech website, tech.lds.org. An LDSTech team member will contact volunteers and help them to begin work.
Ben Galbraith and Joel Dehlin will give presentations at the conference. Galbraith, half of the "Ben and Dion" duo who founded Ajaxian.com, headed developer tools and Mozilla, and ran developer relations at Palm. Dehlin is the church chief information officer and a member of the Gartner Research Board and the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers CIO Strategy Exchange. He is also on the Sierra Ventures CIO Board.
Mobile application development is one project the church will feature at the conference.
“Come and help move the work forward,” Smoot said.