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

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  • Spyneyes Woodinville, WA
    Aug. 25, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    Even among LDS circles it's interesting to see that when it comes to the valuable tool Internet access can be in meetinghouses -- ignorance remains bliss.

    This technology, as with any great invention, can be abused (ever heard of radio or television). It has been given to us to perfect the saints and to spread the Gospel. It's about time greater access be made available in our buildings.

  • Ilene Carter Ferris Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    I think that internet in the libraries of the church makes so much sense. I am happy for this new development and look forward to its being implemented.

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    Aug. 13, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    Interent access in our ward buildings is nice but is not needed. We can get along without it, but the question is will we? I dont think so.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    This has been, to this point, dependent on the Stake President's preference. We've had wireless internet access in our Stake's chapels for nearly 4 years now.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    This is great news! I have wished more than once to show some of the Mormon Messages to my Teacher's Quorum during our weekly lessons. The messages are excellent and very inspirational.

  • CanuckFan Vancouver, BC
    Aug. 10, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    We've had wireless in our Stake for a few of years now (same password throughout Stake). Our Stake is geographically large and I've found it useful for a number of reasons:
    * It was useful in a family history class I was in. Each student was able to bring their own laptop computer and work as if from home.
    * We use a Stake-wide Polycom video system that uses wireless access for various meetings (high council, Stake Priesthood, Stake Youth Committee, ad hoc meetings). There are some glitches, but it is getting better (we are a pilot Stake). We've used Skype video connected to a wireless laptop so a leader could attend a council meeting remotely.
    * Wireless has been very useful for teaching and being able to access ALL the resources on Church web site.
    * I've been able to keep a child occupied while I attend choir practice.
    * and yes, if you can enter your home teaching records from home if you set it up properly.

  • lcclayton CASPER, WY
    Aug. 10, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    We have been holding a Sunday School Family History Class/workshop using our building's wifi for several months now. Everyone brings their laptop/ipad and logs on to

    Great tool for getting folks started.

    However when we started the class, I tried streaming the training videos for the class from the church website only to find they were blocked in our building along with everything else using the youtube site.

    Two step forward, one step back.

  • The Utah Republican Alpine, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    ... and we also need projector carts. A VCR on a cart is nice. A projector on a cart with decent sound would be better.

    I teach adult Gospel Doctrine and use power points to show art and maps in very large formats where we can point and discuss. I spend about 5 minutes at the front and back of each class managing equipment.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Aug. 10, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    There is a great deal of wonderful content out there to assist with teaching. But, in the final analysis, all of these things are crutches that attempt to relieve teachers from the task of communicating with their students. As a college instructor, I used to use detailed slide presentations. I found that students were more involved in what was on the screen than what was being said in the class. Now, I may only use a projector a handful of times during a course. Now I use a printed outline and actually converse with my students. The best thing is that they are mastering the material in the course better by discussing in than when they were bemused by the pretty images on a screen.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    I look forward to attending meetings via Skype.


  • SLCMom Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    All I can say is...FINALLY!!!!
    Thanks for compiling all of the great articles and info about this important step forward. I certainly hope they will consider equipping our classrooms with laptop compatible projectors, and adding adequate blinds to the windows to block the perpetual glare would be very helpful!

  • CARL South Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    The Ipads and tablets will be more common than carrying scriptures around. They can be useful when the presentation on the whiteboards can be sent to them in mothers' room. There are many more ideas to come but it is only limited to immaginations that we can produce them.

  • dmeanea Kamas, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    I like the fact that we will be able to access the excellent tools on the new church website while we're actually at church. Now it will be possible to use your study notebook to prepare a lesson and then pull it up in the classroom, and be able to look up material on the fly for tangents the lesson may go on. Leaders will be able to reference various organizations' calendars in ward council and other meetings. I'm sure we'll need occasional "proper usage" reminders to curb inappropriate activity, but I think this will be a beneficial service for teachers and leaders.

  • 1Infidel APO, AE
    Aug. 10, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    Have to say I am sorry to read that someone teaching children is using media not approved by the First Presidency.

    While I am sure there are a lot of well-meaning Mormon entrepreneurs with talent who have produced these videos, they are interpreting and using strong media on impressionable minds. We are told that once something goes across our visual mind, it is there forever. It seems to me that anyone using media like this instead of reading from the scriptures are robbing children, youth and others from being taught by the Spirit with the distraction and indelible impressions one artist, cartoonist, or movie-maker can make that will forever thereafter channel their imagination and the Spirit's ability to portray new or different subtle impressions.

    I believe the general handbooks (at least in former days) addressed using media without the First Presidency's "seal of approval" and that it was frowned upon. I believe the children can get a lot more out of reading, or having read from the scriptures directly, than from being again babysat and entertained by other's work.

  • Texas Mormon SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Aug. 10, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    As someone who works with the youth in church, I can assure you that just internet capable phones are a problem there. I'm not an "older folk" who doesn't understand what's going on. I see exactly what's going on--members texting each other throughout sacrament meeting, dads checking their e-mail, etc. Recently I saw a young mother "keeping her child quiet" with a Disney movie in the middle of sacrament meeting. When technology is used in church for these purposes, it's not just the person holding the device who is distracted, it's everyone around them. Sure, there are potential benefits, but on the whole I'm not a fan.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    Wonderful, really! Just as we have the printed scriptures as tools for our spiritual development, now hopefully we will be able to access and use conference talks and some of the great Mormon Messages and other Church-produced content for our lessons. This can add interest and emphasis to lessons for youth and adults who are immersed in the media of our times and respond to this kind of presentation.

    The power of the word, a live testimony from a loving teacher filled with the Spirit, is always the best message, of course, but you have to get and keep people's attention first. This can help.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 10, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    Our building in Virginia has DSL and a wireless router. I had assumed that this was common all over at least the US but I guess not. However, the wireless password has not generally been given out, but the high speed is useful for us that use the clerk's computer. In the student ward building in town, which is also the institute, they also have wireless and the password is up on the bulletin board for everyone to see. My son decided to see if the same password works in our building, and it did. I don't know why it is secret in our building but common knowledge in the student ward building.

  • Shushannah Milnthorpe, Cumbria
    Aug. 10, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    Youth have always rebelled by doing other things in Sacrament meetings...playing games/passing notes using paper/pens...tabs and smart phones are just an extension of that...but that doesn't mean that adults do the same...just as we mature and learn to use paper/pens more appropriately, so we will learn to use our techie equipment in better ways to build up ourselves and the Kingdom...I love my smart phone and am awaiting the arrival of my tab so I no longer need to carry lots of books around...I always have my scriptures/tools at the ready for that unexpected question by a is a God-given asset...embrace it, learn to use it wisely, and it will become the greatest tool we could ever have to do all the work there is yet to be done in order to prepare the people of the earth for the Second Coming of our Lord...

    ps I have a question...when will there be a FamilySearch/NFS/Indexing app for tabs, please? Smart phones are too small, but tabs are very practical/portable...please, someone, we have the technology and the need :o)

  • Rita52 ANN ARBOR, MI
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    I am one of the few that (so far) have access to the meetinghouse wifi (I am ward website administrator), and I love it! I use my notebook to take notes during sacrament meeting and other Sunday classes (I appear to be the only one doing so, but arthritis prevents me from writing effectively), and can upload those notes to my scriptures online. I also can access my scriptures at the Church's website in real time. I've seen some of the youth texting and surfing on the Net during sacrament service when their parents aren't watching, but I don't think very many adults would abuse the privilege. My biggest concern is for speakers to start using the Net and PowerPoint for their talks! Like every other thing, we have to act responsibly and teach our children to do the same.

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    I am thrilled that I can use the internet for my cub scout meetings. It will be useful for so many of the activities we do.

  • Southern Laveen, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:23 p.m.


    There is a home and visiting teaching module for in the works, but it has been on hold since May 2010 while the Priesthood dept works on other priorities. But it is underway and should appear eventually (hopefully soon!).

  • John Harrison Sandy, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    We've had high speed internet for several years at our meetinghouse in Sandy. And wireless too given that I stuck a wireless router in the clerk's office right after they put in the DSL. It made bishopric meetings much easier when I could remote in to the clerk's computer and MLS on a laptop during a meeting. Plus I could get work done during the boring stretches.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    I think a lot of the angst over people using their smartphones in church would go away if more people understood that people are accessing their scriptures and manuals on their phones. I honestly think that there are a lot of the older folks who just don't understand what is going on. Of course, there are sometimes people on facebook or email, etc. but even that will many times be related to ward business. Most of us know that playing Angry Birds is not acceptable behavior during church. We've been taught correct principles.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    to utter nonsense---

    we can and we do but for the record it is much better to use physical means to create and maintain physical things---

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    I will be glad to see internet access for the membership. At the present time our high speed internet is limited to the family history center and to the clerk's office. While I concede the likelihood of it being misused on occasion, many people already can access the internet through their smart phones, while those of us who cannot afford are left with only Wi-Fi. We had a special class on family history for our combined Priesthood and Relief Society meeting recently and they had to run a long cord from the clerk's office to access the internet. This new service will certainly be useful in classes, but please, keep the smartphones and other devices silenced during Sacrament meeting. As to utter nonsense's comments, we do not use the internet to contact our Heavenly Father, just church headquarters. Since we do not pray to Thomas S. Monson or to the general authorities, the internet will have to suffice.

  • willswords Lees Summit, MO
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    Now if we could just access membership records at home (so I can enter hometeaching records for the Elder's Quorum without a trip to the chapel).

  • AnotherUtahImport Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    Regarding Wifi - from the wiki in the article, "Strong pass-phrases should be used and shared only with those whom local leaders wish to grant access"

    For my ward, that means most people can't use it. The password is given out to teachers who need to show a video during a lesson or for genealogy. Our local leaders fear that everyone will be busy surfing the web on their phones during church. They should only worry that everyone will be surfing FASTER with the Wifi instead of waiting on the cell network.

    Some of the biggest winners in this are the clerks who'd have to wait (sometimes for the better part of an hour) for dial-up to connect so they can send/receive from HQ.