Bloggernacle Back Bench: High-speed Internet coming to 85 percent of meetinghouses

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 9 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Wireless Internet can supplement lessons at church.

LDSTech

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Let me start with a personal story. I was subbing in nursery just this last Sunday and was set to teach the lesson on “I Will Love Others.” It suggested that I tell/read the New Testament story “The Good Samaritan.” I thought, why read it, when the Mormon Messages Channel has that wonderful set of “New Testament Stories” on video, including the Good Samaritan.

But, my meetinghouse has no available wireless Internet access. I was able to get around that, however, since I live close enough to the church that I went outside with my laptop, accessed my encrypted wireless, downloaded the video, and then watched the children watch with rapt attention to this important scriptural story so very well told via video.

Moral of the story, as I walked out of the church house, I wished for like the thousandth time, that our meetinghouse had accessible wireless Internet.

Guess what? LDSTech just announced that “The church is now seeking to make high-speed Internet available in about 85 percent of meetinghouses by the end of 2011.”

Hooray! Besides solving my problem by allowing teachers “to supplement their lessons with online church-produced media, job seekers will have easier access to the church's employment website, and more members will be able to participate in family history work. In addition, local leaders will use church Internet tools to manage membership and financial records, submit applications for missionary service, and watch leadership training broadcasts.”

Plus for those in rural areas around the world, general conference will be more readily watchable.

How will you, as a member, be able to connect to this vast resource? By using your LDS Account: “In 2012, members and leaders around the world will be able to connect to meetinghouse Internet via their LDS Account, making it much easier for them to gain access to online church resources in ward and stake buildings. Personalized access through an LDS Account will also help increase individual accountability for how the Internet is used.”

For much, much more information on this coming resource, check out the “Meetinghouse Technology Wiki” site at LDSTech. It includes FAQs, help and support, an installation guide and many other tools and information. Just as an example, I learned that you won’t be able to access the Mormon Messages videos via YouTube in your meetinghouse, but can instead find and watch them on MormonMessages.org. Hooray for technology!

Now let’s find other technological marvels from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Aaron Sherinian candidly discussed his LDS faith at the Washington Examiner this week and I just loved his answer to “Evangelicals often say Mormons believe in legalism — that people are saved by works, not faith. I've heard disagreement in the Mormon community about this. Are people saved by works or by faith?”

He responds, “It's not an either-or question. I'll quote my wife on this: 'People can see your faith by what you do.' You've got to believe, but by golly you better be sweating and proving you believe it at the same time. Faith has got to be accompanied by a lot of sweat, or it's not doing anyone, or you, much good.” Click to see the entire interview.

Techie tip: Well, since technically most of my column is just one giant Techie tip, I thought I’d add the Mormon Life Hacker’s take on the news that “High-Speed Wireless Internet Coming to LDS Church Buildings.” Like me, he has seen others could have already used this resource: “When I read the title of this article I thought about how awesome it would be if the brother who taught our emergency prep class a few weeks ago, hadn’t had to go through a bunch of trouble to tether his mobile phone to his laptop to stream a video for part of the class.”

Plus see how he wired up an entire stake house! And wow, this news just sounds like this is going to be a wonderful, wonderful technological step forward, for which I am so excited!

Emily W. Jensen updates "Today in the Bloggernacle" on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, presenting the best of from the world of LDS-oriented blog sites. Her extended "Bloggernacle Back Bench" appears on Tuesdays. Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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