morning-lightReligion is an important part of our social fabric and civil society. It calls on us to serve our fellow man, to focus more on family and to contribute to the common good of the community. What’s more, it provides the structure for the inner longing for meaning that many seek in life.

With a recent poll suggesting that religion is losing influence in America, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows that it’s more important than ever to strengthen faith’s role and prominence in society. The Church recognizes that this can’t happen without locking arms (as it has done for many, many years) with other faiths. Sure, differences in belief and opinion have and will continue to exist in our pluralistic society, but love for one’s neighbor surpasses these differences.

In that spirit, the Church has partnered with Faith Counts, an organization comprised of faith communities representing over 100 million Americans. Launched this week, its website (FaithCounts.net) includes videos and social media memes aimed at telling powerful stories about how faith inspires, empowers, motivates and comforts billions of people. You can find these stories on the website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTubePinterest and Google+. You can also share your own experiences about how faith has influenced your life.

Watch the video below, and then read the rest of the story on the Mormon Newsroom.

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Young Women Video Shares Goodness

Young women and young men in Las Vegas, Nevada, made a #ShareGoodness video about their Mormon beliefs.

They got the idea from an Instagram video they made at EFY this past summer. They were also inspired to share their beliefs online because of Elder Bednar‘s recent address at BYU Education Week about using social media to flood the earth with the gospel.

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 David A. Bednar

Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.

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Activities Can Strengthen and Rescue Youth

youth-activitiesThe article “Strengthening Youth through Uplifting Activities” in the September Ensign explains the importance of well-planned activities and points out resources to help you plan them.

Successful activities provide youth with a wholesome setting to learn and live the gospel. They help youth prepare for their future roles, develop their talents and interests, learn leadership skills, and foster friendships as they interact with other young men and young women. Activities can provide opportunities for youth to perform meaningful service for others in the community. Activities can also help you build positive mentoring relationships with the youth.

Learn more about the LDS Youth Activities website, which can also be helpful in planning family activities.

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Video: Utah Names Part 2, Boy Names

utah-boy-namesLast year, I shared a video “Utah Names,” which I found very funny. The makers have now released “Utah Names Part 2: Boy Names.”

Here’s the first video:

And here’s their latest video:

Find more quirky names at VeryDifferentNames.com.

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Mormonism: A Christ-Centered, Global Faith

mormonism-christ-faithHere’s a simple video you can share with your friends to explain the make-up of the Church and what we believe.

Did you know that most Mormons live outside the U.S.? Or that the Church has more than 15 million members, spread throughout 29,000-plus congregations?

Watch “Mormonism: A Christ-Centered, Global Faith

Is there someone you know that you could share this with?

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Meet the Mormons for Family Home Evening

meet-mormons-movie-4If you haven’t yet had the chance to see the new movie Meet the Mormonsconsider it as a family home evening activity Monday.

Thousands of people saw the movie over the weekend. If you were one of them, could you do one of these follow-up actions?

  • Invite a family member or friend to go see the movie with you.
  • Rate the movie and leave a short review at one or all of the following sites: Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes, Moviefone, IMDb, and Ok.

Remember that Meet the Mormons is our story.  It is not just a story about 6 families.  It is a story about all of us as members of the Church.  If you want people to know who we really are, go see the movie and then invite your friends.

Read other articles about the Meet the Mormons movie.

When you share information about the movie in social media, please use the hashtag #MeetTheMormons.

 

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Meet the Mormons Movie Exceeds Expectations

meet-mormons-now-playingThe movie Meet the Mormons was the number one film in 100 of the 317 total locations on opening day, with sold out showings reported across the country, including New York City, Detroit, Miami, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Dallas, Phoenix, and various locations in California.

In the opening 24 hours, the movie ranked #10 nationwide in total box office sales.

The documentary-style movie Meet the Mormons portrays the personal stories of six diverse Latter-day Saints and their families. All net proceeds from the film will be donated to the American Red Cross.

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Wordles for October 2014 LDS General Conference

For the last several years, I have shown wordles (word clouds) of the text from each general conference, which show the  frequency of use of words (except words like it, the,and and). More frequently-used words are in larger type size.

Below are two wordles showing an analysis of text from all the talks from the October 2014 general conference, including the General Women’s meeting. Other styles of this Wordle in higher resolution can be found here, courtesy of Connor Boyack.

See wordles from previous LDS general conferences.

LDSconf-April-2014-wordle-1

LDSconf-April-2014-wordle-2

 

 

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Premiere of Movie Meet the Mormons

meet-mormons-movie-4meet-mormons-2Meet the Mormons is a full-length documentary commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It will be released exclusively in nearly 300 theaters nationwide October 10.

I’ve had the chance to watch  Meet the Mormons twice because of my role in promoting awareness of Church resources. I heartily recommend going to see it. How long the movie remains in theaters will depend entirely on how many people attend on opening weekend, Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th.

Tonight, I attended a special premiere of the movie with about 500 prominent people, such as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder David A. Bendar, Mitt Romney, Governor Gary HerbertDavid ArchuletaMarie Osmond, David Osmond, Jimmy OsmondShayCarl, Stuart Edge, Stephanie A. NielsonShawn Bradley, Danny AingeSheri Dew, LaVell Edwards, Michael Ballam, Connor Boyack, and the Kid History guys.

All the cast members were also there: Bishnu Adhikari (the Humanitarian from Nepal), Ken Niumatalolo (the Coach), Gail Halvorsen (the Candy Bomber), Carolina Muñoz Marin (The Fighter from Costa Rica), Jermaine Sullivan (the Bishop), and Dawn Armstrong (the Missionary Mom). At the end of this post are some pictures from the event.

The excitement about the movie was palpable. Before the movie began, Elders Holland and Bednar talked about the effect this movie could have on the world. More people need to get to know Mormons and appreciate the effects of gospel living. The movie isn’t about the Church as an institution, but about its members and how their faith inspires them to live Christian lives. The purpose of this movie is not a proselytizing effort, but an attempt to help people understand members of the Church. The movie showcases the lives of 6 member families–and there are millions more people just like them who live Christ-like lives.

Below is a trailer for the movie:

Below is a gallery of pictures from the premiere:

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Text of October 2014 LDS General Conference

ldsconf-october-2014The English text for all the conference talks is now available at conference.lds.org and in the Gospel Library mobile app.

On LDS.org, click on the title of the talk to read the text. Click on the video icons to the right of the titles to watch the videos of the talks.

In the right margin of each talk, you will soon see display quotes and a short highlight video of the talk.

Translated texts will be posted to both web and mobile over the coming days.

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LDS General Conference Summaries & Videos

ldsconf-october-2014

Over the weekend, more than 2 million people from nearly every country in the world watched LDS General Conference in person or by satellite broadcast, television, radio, online, or with mobile apps. Here is a list of all the ways people could watch conference. Over a million visitors watched conference from LDS.org.

Interpretation into 93 languages made it possible for 97% of the Church’s 15 million members to watch conference in their native language. For the first time in the history of LDS General Conference, some of the speakers gave their talks in their native tongue, rather than in English, requiring for the first time interpretation into English.

As usual, members also flocked to social media during general conference to share their testimonies and quotes from their favorite talks. The Church facilitated the sharing of those messages by posting quotes, memes (graphic images with quotes), and video highlights in real time during the conference sessions. Access those social media posts through the Follow and Share Conference Messages page. The aggregated social stream provided members a convenient gathering of some of the highlights from conference and a place to see  how some members chose to responded to those messages. Learn more about the Church’s use of social media during conference.

Access to video, audio, and text:

Below are links to summaries of the talks provided by the Deseret News:

Saturday Morning Session

Saturday Afternoon Session

Priesthood Meeting

Sunday Morning Session

Sunday Afternoon Session

General Women’s Meeting

Over the next few days, I invite you to consider what will you do in the next six months because of what you learned at General Conference and share it using the hashtag #next6months. How do you want your life to change?

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I’M A MORMON Profile Picture Week

Mormon-9At BYU Education Week in August, Elder David A. Bednar challenged us to flood the earth with gospel messages.

In response to that challenge, Jillian J. Farnsworth created a Facebook Event I’M A MORMON Profile Picture Week.

The event encourages Latter-day Saints to change their Facebook profile picture to an image that states, “I’m a Mormon.” Jillian has created images that you can use in about 40 languages.

The week-long event is from October 6–12, the week after General Conference and the same week the movie Meet the Mormons is released to theaters. If you want to participate, click Going on the Facebook event page.

The goal is to have 250,000 members of the Church change their profile picture to an “I’m a Mormon” picture so that friends who are not of our faith will discover that they know a Mormon, hopefully leading to sincere questions and gospel-related conversations.

You can do it in 3 easy steps:

  1. Change your profile picture to one of the “I’m a Mormon” photos (posted on the event page).
  2. In the picture description, mention the full name of the Church and say something positive. Also use related hashtags. For example, “I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I love it!  #ImAMormon  #ShareGoodness  #MeetTheMormons.”
  3. Remember Elder Bednar’s suggestions to be authentic and consistent, edify and uplift, respect intellectual property, and be wise and vigilant.

 

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What Will You Do in the #next6months Because of #LDSconf?

ldsconf-next6months

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LDS General Conference on Social Media

The Church plans to publish social media messages during LDS General Conference on the Church’s Facebook page (facebook.com/LDS) and Twitter account (@LDSchurch). We invite you to share these messages with your friends.

facebook-logo

Facebook

  • Memes with quotes from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve will be published to each of their Facebook pages in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. See a list of Facebook pages for General Authorities.
  • A meme from one of the addresses of each member of the First Presidency will be posted in 10 languages.
  • Memes will also be posted for members of the Presidency of the Seventy, Presiding Bishopric, Relief Society Presidency, Young Women Presidency, Primary Presidency, Young Men Presidency, and Sunday School Presidency.

twitter-logoTwitter

  • As speakers deliver their addresses, the Church Twitter account @LDSchurch will tweet quotes and memes in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The Follow and Share Conference Messages page has links to various conference hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest so you can see what people are sharing and join the conversation. The page is also in Spanish and Portuguese.

The Mormon Channel LDS General Conference page has an aggregation of #LDSconf posts from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Last conference, tens of thousands of pictures, memes, thoughts, videos, and testimonies were shared.

Due to limited resources, only limited live posts will be made on Google+. Most posts will be made after conference.

Sharing general conference messages with others can change their lives for eternity—and it has never been easier. Enjoy this video Sharing Conference Messages.

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david-archuleta-glorious-2The song “Glorious” is sung by David Archuleta in the new movie Meet the Mormons that is coming exclusively to theaters the weekend of October 10. (David is not in the movie, but the song is featured in the movie.)

Update October 10: In just 7 days, the music video “Glorious” has been watched over 1 million times and the MP3 song has been downloaded over 1/4 million times. That is impressive! Followers and fans of Meet the Mormons and David Archuleta are quite enthusiastic.

The song was written by Stephanie Mabey and sung by David Archuleta for the soundtrack of the new movie Meet the Mormons

Please share this with your friends using the hashtags #MeetTheMormons and #ShareGoodness.

Learn more about the new movie Meet the Mormons at MeetTheMormons.com or follow the Facebook page.

glorious-david-archuleta-song

Read other articles about the Meet the Mormons movie.

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