How LDS Church members can express their faith digitally

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 5 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

mormon.org

mormon.org

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Though it's simple to link to a mormon.org profile on a Facebook page or write a post about faith on a blog, there are other easy ways for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to express their faith — digitally.

Twitter users can find out a lot about a person by who they follow on their profile. LDS Twitter users can follow the Mormon Channel (@mormonchannel), Mormon Messages (@mormonmessages), Mormon newsroom (@mormonnewsroom), mormon.org (@MORMONorg) and so on, and anyone examining profiles can see their faith and learn more about it.

On Pinterest, LDS Church membership can sometimes stick out in the pins on a member's pinboard. A few LDS-centric pins featuring Christ or general conference can hint to faith for anyone watching Pinterest activities.

On LinkedIn, a person’s faith can become apparent on a resume if attending a church school or serving a mission for the LDS Church is indicated.

On Facebook, users can declare their religion on their profile, or “like” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page. Beyond that, users can visit developers.facebook.com and download a plugin that puts a “like” box on their blog. This plugin allows their blog visitors to like any one of the LDS Church’s Facebook pages directly from the blog.

Also, many bloggers use a mormon.org graphic that be downloaded from their personal mormon.org profile. This graphic will lead any visitors directly to this recorded expression of their faith. Several bloggers also install widgets to their blog that lead their viewers to LDS Church informational websites, including a series of widgets for LDS Philanthropies that features charitable projects around the world.

Jesse Stay, an LDS blogger who writes and consults about social media and new media architecture, said Latter-day Saints like to use these tools to show their faith in social media because their faith is who they are.

“It isn’t just what we believe; it isn’t just the doctrine of the church,” he said. “It’s about who we are as people. It’s about the first and second great commandments of loving God and loving your neighbor. Who we are is the essence of what being Mormon is.”

In his social media usage, Stay particularly likes to focus on the charitable activities and humanitarian efforts in which Mormons participate, from huge international projects to the way they raise their families.

“That’s a lot of why people share these (digital expressions of faith),” Stay said. “They give people a way to feature who they are. It piques the curiosity of readers of the blog to find out why this person is Mormon and what does that mean.”

Social media is really about the individual people behind the brand, Stay explained. People have blogs or other social media because they want to share who they are and give the world a little glimpse of their life. When they add a widget or a plugin, they are sharing even more of who they are and giving additional insights that people can use to find out more information about them.

This visibility also allows Latter-day Saints to do missionary work.

“We want to share our beliefs as Mormons,” Stay said. “We believe in what we believe in and want to share what we believe in because of that. We have an important message to share.”

Email: mgarrett@desnews.com

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