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'Flood the earth': Elder Bednar urges LDS Church members to share gospel messages using social media

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 12:35 p.m. MDT

Elder David A. Bednar speaks during the annual Campus Education Week at the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Michelle Tessier, Deseret News

PROVO, UTAH

During his address at the BYU Education Week devotional Aug. 19, Elder David A. Bednar urged Church members to flood the earth with gospel messages of truth.

“What has been accomplished thus far in this dispensation communicating gospel messages through social media channels is a good beginning — but only a small trickle,” said Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “I now extend to you the invitation to help transform the trickle into a flood. Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth — messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy — and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.”

Elder Bednar discussed various technologies in the modern world and focused on three related topics: “One, the unique season in the history of the world in which we live even ‘the dispensation of the fulness of times;’ two, the inspired technological and communication innovations that have come forth in this decisive dispensation; and three, how we appropriately use these powerful tools to advance the work of salvation in all of the world.”

‘The dispensation of the fulness of times’

Elder Bednar stated that Church members today live in a “truly distinctive” dispensation.

The Apostle Paul declared in Ephesians 1:10, “In the dispensation of the fulness of times [God will] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

Elder Bednar affirmed Latter-day Saints today are blessed to live, learn and serve in this dispensation.

“An important aspect of the fulness that is available to us in this special season is a miraculous progression of innovations and inventions that have enabled and accelerated the work of salvation: from trains to telegraphs to radios to automobiles to airplanes to telephones to transistors to televisions to computers to satellite transmissions to the Internet — and to an almost endless list of technologies and tools that bless our lives,” he said. “All of these advancements are part of the Lord hastening His work in the latter days.”

Messages and pictures that used to require days, weeks, and months to send and receive now can be communicated around the world in seconds, stated Elder Bednar.

“We thank thee, oh God, for the prophets who have taught and prepared us for the time in which we live — and who have urged us to use technological advancements to support the ongoing mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Approximately 40 percent of the Church’s worldwide missionary force soon will be using digital devices as tools in the work of conversion, retention and activation, he explained. “I am confident all of us also recognize how technology has accelerated family history and temple work, our individual and family study of the restored gospel, and made it possible for us to learn about, see and experience the world in remarkable ways,” he said.

Social media

Technology known as “social media” is evolving in and playing an increasingly important role in hastening the work of salvation, Elder Bednar declared, noting that the term “social media” refers to various channels of Internet and mobile-based communication that are used to create digital communities wherein information, ideas, personal messages and other content is shared.