Entering the world of LDS blogging

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

“As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves,” Elder Perry said.

Jensen’s experience

As Jensen prayed and sought enlightenment for how to share the gospel more effectively, a friend asked her to read an advance copy of “The Power of Everyday Missionaries," by best-selling author Clayton M. Christensen, and provide feedback. The ideas presented in the book gave her new insight, Jensen said.

“It not only changed my perspective on sharing my faith, but while reading two specific chapters, I felt very strongly that I needed to write and share online,” Jensen said. “It was a stronger prompting than almost any other in my life.”

About six months ago, Jensen created a blog she calls Thesmallseed.com. She didn’t want to be “in-your-face-churchy,” but found a metaphor to be fun. For her, each page view on her website represents a small seed that has been planted with a reader.

“Sometimes we underestimate the small things,” she said. “A daily message that brings someone closer to Christ is a small thing, but 'by small and simple things are great things brought to pass'” (Alma 37:6).

Shortly after she started the blog, Jensen found out she was expecting twins and her pregnancy was high-risk. She spent nearly two months in a hospital bed and it gave her time to work on her blog, which became a blessing in her life during that difficult period.

“It got me through a very challenging time and allowed me to focus on my faith and connect with others on the same topic,” she said. “My testimony was strengthened as I recognized that God is involved in his work.”

As a ward missionary, Jensen takes her blog very seriously. Even with three young children, she spends between 10-20 hours a week managing the site with some help from two friends. They brainstorm topics to address, but Jensen relies mostly on prayer and promptings for inspiration. Trust those promptings, she said.

“I’ve been amazed so often that I’ve felt so inspired in being a blogger,” Jensen said. “It’s evidence to me that God really cares about this. It matters to him. He has been very direct –—write about this, share that — it has been unmistakable. While I still feel insecure in my writing and what I’m doing, I want to make it what he wants it to be.”

As she continues to develop her blog, Jensen hopes to emulate the Savior’s kind example in communicating with others.

“Come see how I live, not because I want you to join my church, but because I’m happy, and I know so many people who are searching for that,” she said.

"In writing I hope I can in some small way help to break down the social pressure that many feel to refrain from talking about their faith and belief in God. I also hope that by blogging I can help create a community where others can connect and interact with others that also believe in God, regardless of their religion."

Thoughts and tips

Larry Richman created and manages a blog called LDSmediatalk.com with the goal of sharing technology ideas for Latter-day Saint parents and youth. Nearly 36,000 unique monthly readers from 144 countries follow his blog.

Richman feels blessed to live in a “remarkable age of miracles.” He finds it hard to believe that the Internet has only been around for 20 years and social media for 10 years.

“God has inspired people to develop methods of communication that were only dreams just a few short years ago. Today, advances in technology are not measured in years, but in months and weeks,” Richman said. “The Lord is hastening his work and expects members to step up the pace, open our mouths, and use our fingers to tell others about the happiness that comes through living the gospel.”

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