Flooding the earth, and dealing with the backwash

Dog flood

On August 19, 2014, Elder David A. Bednar called on members of the Church to get busy using Social Media in positive ways. More specifically he challenged:

“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.” (link)

This topic has been becoming more and more of an emphasis by the brethren for some time. President Uchtdorf, Elder Perry, and Elder Anderson have all made it a point to encourage our use of Social Media in their General Conference talks. Apparently, they are serious.

So many obedient Latter-day Saints are joining the ranks, and flooding the earth on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and that Google + thingy. I have been at this for almost four years, and I still consider myself a novice, but I have noticed the increase as the trickle becomes a flood.

I guarantee that your efforts are not in vain. Many people will read your tweets and posts and be touched by the Spirit. Some sincere readers or followers might ask you honest questions to learn about “the reason of the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Some readers will be prompted to make changes in their lives, some will even embrace the Gospel because of what you share. It is worth it. I know this because I have experienced it. It is a noble effort, and you can find a great sense of accomplishment in being part of this great flood.

One thing about floods – they always seem to dredge up all sorts of crud.

This flood of goodness is no different. As we make an effort to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ via Social Media – or any other method – there will be opposition. There are those out there desiring to add their personal backwash to the Living Water.

The following observations are based on my limited experience as a blogger and Facebook addict. I know that my experiences are not the same as yours.  From my perspective, the opposition I encounter online can present itself in many different ways. As I have mentioned before, there are good-hearted people who ask questions to seek truth, there are also people who have other beliefs who can and will respectfully want to discuss our differences. The following are not those people.

Techniques of the Opposition

Point laughThose Who Mock:  Nephi described the people hanging out in the Great and Spacious Building:

“And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.” (1 Ne. 8:27)

Sadly, it was effective:

“And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.” (1 Ne. 8:28)

In my experience, the most vocal mockers are former members of the Church, rather than non-members, confirming what President Boyd K. Packer once said, “They leave the Church, but they can’t leave it alone.” (link)

As you share your thoughts and testimony with the world, there is a chance that you will be mocked by those who disagree. They might not even be subtle, or sneaky about it – they might just flat out attack you with snarky insults. Yes, it stings. They want you to feel stupid. They want you to stop. Don’t stop.

Wold sheepWolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Christ taughtBeware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

Disguised wolves are sneaky. They won’t confront you directly, but will try and engage you in conversation, and ask you seemingly sincere question, when in reality their motive is to have you provide a forum for their own views, as a means to discredit you. Their coup de grâce would be to sow seeds of doubt in your mind, as well as the minds of your readers. These wolves can come from both inside and outside of the Church.

President Harold B. Lee described it this way:

“There are some as wolves among us. By that, I mean some who profess membership in this church who are not sparing the flock. And among our own membership, men are arising speaking perverse things. Now perverse means diverting from the right or correct, and being obstinate in the wrong, willfully, in order to draw the weak and unwary members of the Church away after them.” (link)

CareeristCareer Antagonists: Last year I had an article run in the Deseret News. Within minutes, there were multiple comments attacking, and mocking what I had written. They instantly began putting out counter-claims and contradicting not only me, but the prophets that I quoted. Their speed and efficiency was stunning.

As I looked into it, I learned that there are actually people who make it their life’s work to lie in wait to see anything positive about the Church or it’s members, then pounce on it. They have pre-written comments that they toss into a conversation like an anti-Mormon hand grenade, trying to see how much damage they can do.

After their attacks, they head back to their groups, or networks and brag about their exploits with their friends, and continue the mockery. It is their hobby – or their career.  I believe the Lord called them out in D&C 121:12, when He said, For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…” (italics added)

DetourThe Non-Sequiturs.  (Sorry, but the name fits – definition here)

Last week I posted some information about a free app that can enhance our scripture study and teaching. A few minutes later, a guy on Twitter starts in about how the “Church releases those to make money, blah, blah, blah.”

What?  Did I mention that it was free app? And that it wasn’t even released but the Church? I told him – but it didn’t matter. He droned on about issues relating the the Church’s finances, tithing, business, etc., trying to see what would stick.

You will see a lot of non-sequitur behavior if you bring up anything regarding Church History, or Joseph Smith. A statement of gratitude regarding the pioneers can, and has, instantly become a discussion about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Sigh.

They are either trying to save you from what they consider your “ignorance,” or just trying to make you mad. Either suits their purposes just fine. Don’t take their bait.

How to Respond

Dog cartoonDon’t Bite Back. A simple phrase, really. But for some of us, a Herculean task.

Years ago, I was in a calling that was encountering some public opposition. Whenever we discussed it, my leader would say the same thing, “Don’t bite back.” It was inspired counsel, bore good fruit, and became a mantra I try and carry to this day.

But it is so hard! I still struggle with it all the time. My entire family has been blessed/cursed with a caustic, quick wit. Too quick, and too caustic. We can fire back so fast your head will spin, and it can be harsh. I have had to fight those instincts all of my life – and I still lose the battle on a regular basis.

Sometimes people post things that are so dumb that I just want to shred them publicly. Others send me emails full of hate and mockery. There are some popular bloggers who actually take such letters and use them for fodder for their next blog post, all while espousing their Christianity. It doesn’t wok like that. I have deleted so many posts, Facebook conversations, and tweets that I have written before I settled down and remembered to heed the simple counsel, “Don’t bite back.”  Once the words are out there, you can’t always retrieve them. (Or ever.)

Christ taught the “Don’t bite back” concept this way:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemiesbless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Or this, But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheekturn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39)

It is more fun, more exciting, and more natural to fire back at ignorance or malice. That is just the problem – it is a more natural reaction – the very type of thing we are trying to overcome. But it is a constant challenge – at least it is for me.

When we fire back at an antagonist, they win. When a conversation with the opposition causes us to lose our temper, they win. They win because we abandon the very Christianity we espouse as we are defending it. I imagine they get a modicum of satisfaction from our failure, and a chuckle.

I lose these battles occasionally – but I am much improved. A while ago, I had a personal spiritual epiphany that helped me have greater love for those who oppose the Lord’s work and Kingdom. I wrote about it here.


CrownMy Blog = My Rules  One of the favorite accusations of the opposition is to accuse us of “not being fair.” They make the point that by not permitting them to use your blog, thread, comments as a forum for opposing views, you have somehow broken an important Politically Correct protocol that allows for open discussion.

Hogwash. You have absolutely no obligation to host, entertain, or permit false doctrine to be taught on the forum you are hosting – the forum, blog, thread, or conversation that you are responsible for. You have been blessed with a delete button, and the ability to block people. Use them with power. Guilt-free.

Preach truth – let the others find somewhere else to share their falsehoods.

refer misisonariesRefer:  One of the true tests between a sincere questioner, – someone who really wants to learn – is how they respond when you don’t know the answer to the question. This might seem hard to believe, but I don’t have all the answers. When I don’t I can find them, and refer people to those who do have the answers, and they are usually better equipped at explaining them.

www.Mormon.org has tremendous resources to help teach. The very best reply is always to send the missionaries over to visit.

Also, the Church has recently posted wonderful articles about topics that get a lot of attention, and are favorites of there Non-sequitur Club: Polygamy, the First Vision, Mountain Meadows, Women and the Priesthood, etc. In addition, there are groups that make it a point to learn about, and how to teach difficult gospel and Church topics. We refer to them as “apologists.”  One such group is FairMormon.

If they really want to learn more, you can help them. If they just want to argue, then you know what to do:

Delete buttonMove On, Graciously

It is OK to thank them for their time, and move on. Last week I even had to ask a person (nicely) to stop tweeting me. It is OK to unfriend someone who is not your friend. You have no obligation to converse with someone who has a goal of undermining your faith, or someone who is mocking you. There is no defense for that.

“When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig loves it.”Muddy Pig


To tie this up, Elder Bednar talked about how we should personally pursue our goal of flooding the earth:

“…we and our messages should seek to edify and uplift rather than to argue, debate, condemn, or belittle. As Paul counseled the Ephesians, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29).

“Brothers and sisters, share the gospel with genuine love and concern for others. Be courageous and bold but not overbearing in sustaining and defending our beliefs, and avoid contention. As disciples our purpose should be to use social media channels as a means of projecting the light and truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into a world that increasingly is dark and confused.” (Elder Bednar)

• To my new friends who are just starting out as part of this Social Media adventure, I welcome you.

• To those who have been doing it for a long time, I thank you for your trailblazing and example.

• To those who haven’t started yet, let me reaffirm that sharing the gospel online can be a wonderful experience. Join the party! It is good for my soul, and helps me feel like I am fulfilling the Lord’s charge to me, as I’m sure it will for you.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” (D&C 58:27)

Get involved, love everyone, and remember, don’t bite back!

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  1. Thank you for deleting comments that would detract from the spirit of your wonderful blog. It is so often that I read a great blog post or article that uplifts me spiritually only to find the comments below where “all hell breaks loose.” I can only imagine the work that goes into your filtering and deleting comments. From the comments I have seen in other places it must be like a tidal wave to deal with. I think it takes courage to decide what you allow in. It takes courage to say no to some people/comments who may be sincere, but have their own agenda.

    Reading your blog, and the comments as well, has been a wonderfully uplifting experience for me. I am grateful that you stick to your values of not biting back and of deleting that which would not uplift anyone.

  2. In listening to Elder Lynn G.Robbins, in the first session of General Conference on 10/4, I am more clear on how to handle others negative remarks. We can’t give into peer pressure, we must keep our focus on our God! We must keep our focus on which way we are facing. True courage is when we overcome the fear of men. Don’t be afraid of offending someone, do the right thing, and don’t get caught up in their snare of lies.

  3. Thank you!

    I just recently found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it! This is wonderful advice and sums up what I have been feeling lately regarding sharing the gospel through social media. I have family members who are very opposed to the church and have been tempted to respond to their negative comments. I’ve wondered if not responding was cowardly and not “standing up for truth and righteousness”.

    Then I began to notice an answer to this question as I was reading in the Book of Mormon (Helaman and 3 Nephi). I noticed again and again that “contention” was mentioned as the precursor to sin and iniquity. Then 3 Nephi 6:13 literally jumped off the page, “Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.” Your thoughts here have added strength to my recent determination not to respond to negative comments by others.

    I’ve also worried that the churchy things I post may be offensive to my friends who don’t believe as I do. Your words have helped me immensely to know that sharing truth and light is always right and not to worry about or contend with the opposition.

    Thank you!

  4. Hey I finally read this! I am so proud of myself for following through. This is a timely topic. I used to blog a lot- had multiple blogs (still do technically) and they were just for me (not for public approval). A family one to keep grandparents up to date because I never got to a post office, one that I began to put craft things on that I had done, so I wouldn’t forget that sometimes I made things I actually liked (not always) and to remind me that the biggest struggle was being brave enough to start. But that one turned into my place to vent about things, first just my crafty inner battles (like, how I don’t really craft anymore, but photography is my main focus, and that’s still crafty, and that’s ok), but then other things like homeschooling. I haven’t really posted anything on it for awhile because despite the fact that it wasn’t very well written, a family member’s reaction was so out of the park on their take of my motivation, that I got angry. I had avoided putting it on my home blog because I was hoping family wouldn’t find it there, but I really wanted to write it.The last blog was to share family stories of my dad’s side of the family, but I lost the umph. It would have been more fun if cousins had decided to play along too and get stories, but maybe one day we’ll get that going again.
    Lately I have thought about scrapping my craft blog, and making it just an all things blog. A place I can share thoughts and homeschool thoughts/ obsevations, things that inspire me. I do some of that already on FB- so much so that I think I’ve lost some friends, but I’m also surprised that some people like Church things I post, that are not members. But after the misinterpretation of my one particular post, I reverted back to just writing things in my journal. I just don’t know if I’m brave enough to put some of my thoughts out there for criticism. I am sure that I will think a lot about this post. It is hard not to want to bite back. It’s probably good that some of the feedback I have gotten on FB about things I’ve posted, I was not closer to the person who wrote it, because in person I might not be so calm. When I write, usually, I try to be clear and polite and not get heated with my words, but defend my point. I also delete things if necessary, and sometimes the littlest comment gets deleted, because it’s “my wall”. I’m glad to have some reinforcement of that policy by reading this. Thank you for the tips

  5. Thank you for this wonderful advise. I feel that you are talking directly to me. I’m going hme teaching this evening and I think I will use this as a conversation starter. Again, thank you.

  6. Yes, the adversary (and his adherents) are out there on the Internet, “seeking whom he may destroy”. Just remember the guidance about the nature of contention and who originates it.

  7. Thank you for this article. I know that I need to do more on Facebook to forward the work. I have received motivation and good counsel from you.

  8. I am still feeling bad about letting some “sheep in wolf’s clothing” get to me outside the Ogden Temple open house! I did NOT say anything mean but the fact that I said anything at all still bothers me. Especially later when I saw the volunteers at the Temple that day taking water out to them. It was pretty awesome seeing that those volunteers not only did not bite back, but totally showed what we as members of the Church are supposed to be doing and showing others Christ like attributes of kindness.

  9. Very good advice. I have started unfriending people who use foul language, or post inappropriate pictures on FB. I have been trying to reach out to people who have been cruel to me and my husband. I have been praying about certain family relationships, and I am always lead to reach out to them. I can only control my behavior, and am trying to reach out to people who have bore false witness against us.

  10. I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for a long time. I discovered it several years ago when I was serving as bishop of my ward. Your posts helped me then and continue to help me now. I thank you for your work. I look forward to your posts as a definite bright spot each week. And a big amen to this week’s post. Great advice.

  11. Thank you for this post. I listened to Elder Bednar’s talk and thought I should try to do more. In reading some of the recent articles on the Salt Lake Tribune website (I don’t live in Utah, and don’t know the politics with the papers there) particularly regarding women in the Church and the priesthood, I made some positive comments regarding my views on the subject (which is not in favor of Kate Kelly’s stance). It was not long before I had a stream of really nasty, negative and totally judgmental comments spewed at me. It was really quite interesting that they made all kinds of judgments about me and what charitable work I do or don’t do, what my intelligence level is, etc., based on a paragraph I wrote in response to an article on the website. And as you said in your blog, they were primarily from people who are members now or were at one time members of the Church. It’s pretty sad to realize that we now face opposition from people outside the Church, but we face a growing tide of it from members inside or ones who were at one time inside. I also find it interesting that these people are usually writing these comments in the middle of the night – which makes me think they are doing exactly what you suggested, trolling the internet to find anyone and anything to pick a fight with in regard to the Church. After making some fairly positive responses, I decided to get out and forget it. I wanted to “bite back” as you said, but know that that is not what Elder Bednar or Christ would advocate for in the situation. I just have to bite my tongue – or rather, my typing fingers.

  12. Yet again another awesome blog post! I always appreciate the clear, concise way you explain things. I loved the part about the don’t bite back. I think I want to do that in so many things far too often!

  13. In seminary last week we talked about the story of Martin Harris losing the 116 pages. In Section 10 the Lord explains to Joseph how Satan would try to destroy the Lord’s work. I realized how true this revelation is still to us today. I’m sure many people out there who try to undermine the church feel they are doing the right thing but they have no problem using deceit to do their work. I don’t mind when people bring up legitimate questions about the church and it’s history but more often than not I see people bring out old and trite arguments against the church that serve no purpose other than to undermine people’s faith and detract from God’s work.

    Section 10:20-29
    20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good;
    21 And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me.
    22 Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction.
    23 And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment.
    24 Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work.
    25 Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him.
    26 And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare.
    27 And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.
    28 Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
    29 Now, behold, they have altered these words, because Satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you—and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.

  14. Great post MMM. You express so perfectly the emotions that most of us feel when we come up against or encounter those “career antagonists.” They day in and day out make it their job, career, down time, or anytime a great time to criticize the Church. You come to know their names, and the best line I learned to use I got from a colleague and friend. When you know that they are just going to persist in debate and argument despite everything you have tried to point out to them, you simply say, “I will not (and/or refuse to), argue or debate this any further (on Facebook, for example). And, you leave it at that. Has worked pretty well for me at least. It puts you back in control of the conversation by essentially saying, “This continued conversation is serving no good purpose, and is stirring up nothing but contention, It is not useful, therefore, it is wise to end it. This can be done in a kind way without animosity or belligerence.

  15. Thank you for this post. After nearly a decade of blogging, I have gotten to where I have mostly learned to avoid biting back, because doing so “rewardeth you no good thing” (Alma 34:39).

    I especially appreciate the link to your earlier post about your experience during Pres. Packer’s Oct. 2013 general conference address. Although I can usually avoid biting back outwardly, I still too frequently give in to the natural man and bite back inwardly. I appreciate your insights about Alma II, the sons of Mosiah, Paul, et al.

    Yesterday in priesthood meeting we studied chapter 20 in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual on the topic of loving our fellow beings. The story he told of his horse Junie particularly spoke to me. We need to love others despite their defects, seeing the good in them while paying less heed to their flaws. After all, isn’t this what we want for ourselves? And isn’t that the way to fulfill the Golden Rule?

  16. Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I haven’t blogged for a couple of months -summer, burnt out, sending off missionaries, moving… but this is the kick in the pants I needed to get going again. If you were my neighbor I’d give you the loaf of sourdough bread that just came out of the oven.

  17. So this is new to me. I have enjoyed reading here but I am just trying to branch out and share. I have tried a bit on Facebook and now here. One thing that I learned in the south on a mission was just how easy it was to lose the spirit by contention- if I participated in it. My help came from a couple of scriptures as it so often does. First Doctrine and Covenants 19:31. It says ” of tenets thou shalt not talk.” I got interested since earlier in the chapter it had spoken of keeping your language to the basics of faith, repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost. The footnote helped me with the word tenets. It goes to 2 Timothy 2:23-24. It says, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing they do gender strifes. And the servant of The Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” I loved that. I especially loved it in the context of the next verse. “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…” Suddenly I could see their actions for what they were, self defeating behaviors. As someone once said, “Emotionally healthy people don’t attack.” They have no need to.

  18. I completely agree MMM. Don’t bite back. It’s very difficult and unfulfilling to have an argument by yourself! Just walk away. Your blogs are very satisfying and full of teaching moments that I treasure. I’m glad I invited you into my life and that you accepted the invitation. One of the very best moves I’ve ever made.

  19. I have a couple of blogs that I write– a family one and one that records my thoughts and the things that I learn from the Spirit. My FB writings stick pretty strictly to the crazy familial goings on. I hate conflict and I don’t like to post things that will do anything but delight my friends. Last week I was inspired to put one of my thoughtful blog entries on Facebook. It felt like a risk, because I have a growing number of non-LDS friends. I warned them as I opened the ‘note’ that this would be something deeper than a regular funny kid story. I was amazed at the response. They respected the tender nature of my writing.
    I was reminded (again) of this truth– when we relate our testimonies to others, it isn’t our job to convince or convert anyone of anything. That is the responsibility of the Spirit. He does a masterful job of it.

  20. Excellent counsel. I’m neither witty or clever but I do appreciate great writing and wisdom, I’m never disappointed when I read your posts.

  21. I LOVE THIS POST!!! Thank you so much for the encouragement! It IS hard to keep blogging when people leave hateful comments. You know they are going to come, and you think you can just block and delete, but the reality of it is that it is hard to withstand the hate that you feel is being directed at you personally. I so appreciate your comments that encourage all of us to continue to #sharegoodness in the face of sometimes frequent adversity.
    I also totally agree about those in the great and spacious building who point fingers and mock frequently being former members (or even current members) of the church. And I remember that in the parable, those who were in the great and spacious building were people who had once held to the iron rod but then fell away. I also have been inspired for a quite a long time by your “My blog, my rules” motto. I know many people feel like they need to allow anyone and everyone to post comments on their blog, but an attorney I know told me that when you allow someone to comment on your blog, you are, in effect, publishing their comment, so you have liability for what they say. Thus, I think we as bloggers are perfectly justified in only publishing comments that we agree with or at least ones that are positive and uplifting and do not serve to lead readers away from the truth.
    Anyway, thank you again for this insightful post. I love your blog, by the way!

    1. Thank you. I am grateful that you lov emu blog, and also grateful that I haven’t heard from your attorney.

  22. Thank you, thank you, thank you – I wish this could be published in the Ensign so a larger LDS audience could learn from it! I love the opportunities social media provides for sharing beautiful gospel truths, and believe that by not allowing the naysayers to bait us or discourage us we can be an influence for much good. We have no reason to be afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ but we do need to be considerate and aware of the methods we use to do so.

  23. Yes! I have been blogging for eight years now. Not so much this year, as I’ve been immersed in repainting the inside of this dear, nearly perfect house I inherited from Beloved and his late first wife. It’s easier to post progress notes and pictures on FB from my phone, than to insert them, properly formatted and spaced, into a blog post. (I gave up home internet last year while in the throes of settling the estate and refinancing the mortgage. I hope to reinstate it next year when I get my bonus.) From the get-go, all blog comments have to meet my approval. My blog. My rules. I have asked friends with otherwise wonderful comments to please resubmit them without acronyms that I find blasphemous or otherwise offensive. They do. On my blog you’ll find a lot about knitting and other creativity. You’ll see the beginning of my eternal romance with Beloved, my devastation when he was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic colon cancer, my relief when he had faith to propose, our wonderful and excruciating year together in mortality, and how one stubborn, relentlessly creative woman goes about picking up the pieces. It’s far more comedy than tragedy. I’ve never had more than a few dozen readers. Still trudging toward 100k page views, and I still remember how it felt when 10,000 pages of *my writing* had been read. I would get more readers if I linked on FB. But I blog anonymously, and I FB publicly, and not everyone I know or love has blog privileges. (But y’all are welcome to come say howdy. I think I picked up a couple of you after MMM shared my story last year.)

  24. I loved this post for so many reasons. Entering into the LDS blogging world in April of this year exposed me to a whole other world of what is out there. The good and the not so good. There are some crazy philosophies out there that are being taught under the guise of active members of the church. As in, really scary and sly false doctrines! We need to contrast this backwash with light, goodness and pure truth. I have seen the most incredible and beautiful conversations happen online, and then some really crazy ones, too! But regardless of these things, I will still stand because it is totally and completely worth it. We need never worry as long as we share and teach correct doctrines and principles and never shy away from pure truth. Haters are always going to hate (but that’s their problem, not ours) 😉

    I love Elder Hale’s General Conference quote from April 2013: “Sometimes we become the lightning rod, and we must “take the heat” for holding fast to God’s standards and doing His work. I testify that we need not be afraid if we are grounded in His doctrine. We may experience misunderstanding, criticism, and even false accusation, but we are never alone. Our Savior was “despised and rejected of men.” It is our sacred privilege to stand with Him!”

    This is our sacred privilege online, to stand with Him. It’s worth every blog post, every comment and every time spent with neck and back pain from being at a computer too long 🙂

  25. I am so grateful to you for this amazing lesson. Today in Sac. Mtg. we were encouraged once again by our ward leaders to engage in social media in a righteous manner., using it as a missionary tool. You have set out some wonderful guidelines for me as I will endeavor to carry out this directive. It will be a challenge for me not to bite back as I have always loved a good debate, so I will keep this lesson near.

  26. Thank you so much for this post! It’s good advice not just for social media, but in being a Latter-Day Saint in general. Being someone who avoids conflict like the plague, it’s good to know of some tools to help me cope when conflict comes.

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