How to Make a Map of Your Area

This is the login popup screen on lds.org at the top right of the home page that takes you to the maps function

This is the login popup screen on lds.org at the top right of the home page that takes you to the maps functio

My son left for the mission field today. He is serving in the Kennewick, Washington Mission. I have decided that as often as I can I will write a letter to my son with one more piece of advice as a full time missionary. These will be equally applicable to Ward Mission Leaders to use and to share with their Ward Missionaries and the Full Time Missionaries they work with. They will be short, and one topic. We will send letters to other missionaries, both Elders and Sisters. So they will all start with… Dear Elder/Sister,

Dear Elder/Sister, One of the most important things to do is to make a clear map of your area from the Maps section of LDS.org. Here are the steps:

1- Go to LDS.org and login at the top right with your Church ID and password.

2- Choose the Maps section when you login. Since I’m only a Ward Mission Leader, it shows my ward (red) and stake boundaries (green)

The ward map appears with a red background. The stake has a green background. It shows the Ward Chapel.

The ward map appears with a red background. The stake has a green background. It shows the Ward Chapel.

 

Select the Green Button that says View Your Ward and Stake

Select the Green Button that says View Your Ward and Stake

 

By clicking View Ward and Stake you will see all of the member locations in your Ward boundary

By clicking View Ward and Stake you will see all of the member locations in your Ward boundary

 

 

 

 

 

 

By selecting the Map Type box in the bottom right of the Maps screen the popup will appear that allows you to select road maps, satellite views, hybrids on Google, or a road map in Bing

By selecting the Map Type box in the bottom right of the Maps screen the popup will appear that allows you to select road maps, satellite views, hybrids on Google, or a road map in Bing

 

This is the Ward Map in LDS.org with View Ward and Stake selected in Satellite mode with every member location

This is the Ward Map in LDS.org with View Ward and Stake selected in Satellite mode with every member location

 

You can also select a Ward Map in Bing instead of Google Maps

You can also select a Ward Map in Bing instead of Google Maps

The Elder Bednar Social Media Challenge and Apostolic Promise

“My beloved brothers and sisters, 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. 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 David A. Bednar speaks during the annual Campus Education Week at the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Elder David A. Bednar challenges us to turn the social media trickle into a flood that sweeps the earth, and makes an apostolic promise to those who do

“As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I invoke this blessing upon you: that you may come to understand more fully the spiritual significance and blessing of living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, that you may have eyes to see clearly both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the remarkable technologies that are available to us today, that you may increase in your capacity to use these inspired tools appropriately, and that you may receive inspiration and guidance about the role you should play in helping to sweep the earth as with a flood of truth and righteousness.”

“As you press forward in this holy work, I promise you will be blessed in mortality in the individual, specific, and necessary ways that will prepare you for eternity. I so bless you.” – Elder David A. Bednar, from his address on August 19, 2014 at Campus Education at BYU

Lindsey Stirling’s Top 10 YouTube Videos: The Best Social Media Missionary Ever!

At last count, Lindsey Stirling had 675 million views of the dancing violinist and her amazing YouTube videos.

Lindsey Stirling may be the most prolific digital and social media missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - at last count she had 587 Million Views just on her YouTube Channel

Lindsey Stirling may be the most prolific digital and social media missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – at last count she had 675 Million Views just on her YouTube Channel –

Here are her top 10 most recent YouTube videos with dates and views:

YouTube Video Date Views
Crystallize 23 Feb, 2012 101,594,516
Elements 18 Sep, 2012 46,783,355
Shadows 9 Jan, 2012 41,581,935
Skyrim  3 Apr, 2012 38,640,725
We Found Love 7 May, 2012 23,896,725
Moon Trance 23 Oct, 2012 22,646,918
Lord of the Rings Medley 2 Feb, 2012 22,031,426
Phantom of the Opera 31 Jul, 2011 19.099,950
Zelda Medley 26 Nov, 2011 18,170,168
Spontaneous Me 18 May, 2011 17,622,733

Lindsey has performed well known numbers that include everything from What Child is This? to Star Wars Medley, Assassins’s Creed III, Zelda, Halo, Game of Thrones, Mission Impossible, Violin Rock, Pokemon, to Silent Night.

Her tours take her to Europe and her filming as far as Kenya.

Her collaborators have included Pentatonix for the Covery of Imagine Dragons, Peter Hollens, to Tyler Ward, to Alex Boye & the Salt Lake Pops, to Kuha’o Case, to William Joseph, to Megan Nicole, to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Her first YouTube video called Violin Rock and playing at an NBA Halftime Show soon got her on America’s Got Talent only to be told by Piers Morgan that the world had no place for a dancing dubstep violinist.

 

“But being voted off 2010’s “America’s Got Talent” at the quarterfinals turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Rejection simply strengthened Stirling’s resolve to be herself. “The same reasons I was told I wouldn’t succeed are the reasons people travel hundreds of miles to see me now,” she laughs. “Because it’s different. Because it’s something you haven’t seen before…” Since the show, Lindsey has flourished as an artist.”

She is one of the biggest artist development breakthrough stories in recent years. A classically trained violinist from Gilbert, AZ, Lindsey has entered a futurist world of electronic big beats and animation, leaping through the music industry with over 675 million views on YouTube, Billboard chart-topping hits and sold out tours worldwide.

Lindsey Stirling already served an LDS mission in NYC but may be the most prolific digital and social media missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – at last count she had 675 Million Views just on her YouTube Channel alone.

She isn’t afraid to share her testimony either,

“I am so comforted that there is a living Prophet today. In biblical times, there were prophets such as Moses, Noah, and so on. God loves us every bit as much as he loved people in those times so it makes sense to me that of course he would have a prophet in our times too. The world is constantly changing; everything from politics and social norms, to weather patters and and health tips. It is very comforting for me to know that God has always called prophets to direct his children. As the world changes, this allows for Christ’s Gospel to stay the same. Yes, we can all receive our own individual answers to pray but a Prophet is God’s mouthpiece to the world.”

She also shares her story of battling anorexia, “There was a time in my life when I lost all my ambition, I had no purpose, and I began to hate myself. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was an essential light in my life that helped my love myself again. I always believed that God had a plan for me but through the scriptures, through personal revelation and through the words of a living Prophet, I was able to come to know that I am a daughter of God, and that God’s plan is a plan of happiness. This changed everything; I was able to discover my passions, I regained a desire, a desire to do… anything again, and I found the happiness that I had forgotten I could feel.”

Living her faith on the road has been a challenge, “The music industry has a set of standards of its own. I cannot count the number of times I have been offered drugs backstage, or invited to participate in a number of other activities that could harm me or others. I live the gospel every day as I make decisions that help me stay true to my standards. I am a touring musician and I love that there is a clean, drug free, respectful and safe atmosphere on my tour bus. I’ve heard horror stories about the touring life and the awful drama that automatically is incurred. However, because the standards that have been set for my tour, there is no drama, and we have all become best friends that are having the time of our lives.”

“Where ever I am at in the world, I can find an LDS Church to attend on Sunday and it makes me feel like I am back home.”

Thanks for the great example Lindsey!

4 Social Media Guidelines from Elder Bednar

The following four social media guidelines come from Elder Bednar’s address during Campus Education Week at Brigham Young University on August 19, 2014 entitled, To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood.

1- Be Authentic and Consistent. “First, we are disciples and our messages should be authentic. A person or product that is not authentic is false, fake, and fraudulent. Our messages should be truthful, honest, and accurate.  We should not exaggerate, embellish, or pretend to be someone or something we are not. Our content should be trustworthy and constructive. And anonymity on the Internet is not a license to be inauthentic.”

“Authenticity is strengthened through consistency. The gospel messages you share will be accepted more readily if your Christlike example is evident in the ongoing pattern of your posts.”

4 Social Media Guidelines from Elder David A. Bednar at BYU Education Week in his address To Sweep The Earth as a Flood

4 Social Media Guidelines from Elder David A. Bednar at BYU Education Week in his address To Sweep The Earth With a Flood

2- Edify and Uplift.

“Second, 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.”

3- Respect Intellectual Property.

“Third, we and our messages should respect the property of other people and organizations. This simply means that you should not create your own content using someone else’s art, name, photos, music, video, or other content without permission. To assist you in creating uplifting gospel messages, we are pleased to announce that the content in the Media Library on LDS.org, unless otherwise indicated, has been cleared for use by members without seeking permission from the Church. Additional information about the use of Church media can be found at social.lds.org.”

“When you share messages online, make sure others understand that you are expressing your personal thoughts and feelings. Please do not use the Church logo or otherwise suggest that you are speaking for or on behalf of the Church.”

4- Be Wise and Vigilant.

“Fourth, be wise and vigilant in protecting yourself and those you love. We should remember that the Internet never forgets. Anything you communicate through a social media channel indeed will live forever—even if the app or program may promise otherwise. Only say it or post it if you want the entire world to have access to your message or picture for all time.”

“Following these simple guidelines will enable members of the Church around the world to create and share gospel messages that will cause the light to “shine forth out of darkness” (Mormon 8:16).”

A summary of the four guidelines given by David A Bednar for Social Media Missionary work in the LDS Church

A summary of the four guidelines given by David A Bednar for Social Media Missionary work in the LDS Church

He quoted the seventh chapter of the book of Moses in The Pearl of Great Price:

“And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood” (Moses 7:59–62; italics added).

Then Elder Bednar gave an apostolic invitation:

“My beloved brothers and sisters, 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. 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.”

Then he left an apostolic blessing:

“As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I invoke this blessing upon you: that you may come to understand more fully the spiritual significance and blessing of living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, that you may have eyes to see clearly both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the remarkable technologies that are available to us today, that you may increase in your capacity to use these inspired tools appropriately, and that you may receive inspiration and guidance about the role you should play in helping to sweep the earth as with a flood of truth and righteousness. As you press forward in this holy work, I promise you will be blessed in mortality in the individual, specific, and necessary ways that will prepare you for eternity. I so bless you.”

And then he closed with his personal witness of Jesus Christ.

“I witness the Father and the Son live. The Savior stands at the head of His Church in these latter days. He is hastening His work, and no unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing. Of these things I testify in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”

‘Meet the Mormons’ announced by LDS Church as first feature length documentary

‘Meet the Mormons’ will feature the lives of six everyday members.

See the Deseret News for the full article

Producer Jeff Roberts, center back, with Carolina Muñoz Marin and her family in Costa Rica. Marin has fought her way to the top of women's amateur kickboxing in Costa Rica, challenging the traditional stereotypes of a Mormon woman.  Photo courtesy IRI - Deseret News Aug 19, 2014

Producer Jeff Roberts, center back, with Carolina Muñoz Marin and her family in Costa Rica. Marin has fought her way to the top of women’s amateur kickboxing in Costa Rica, challenging the traditional stereotypes of a Mormon woman.
Photo courtesy IRI – Deseret News Aug 19, 2014

For the first time in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will release a feature-length documentary commercially on Oct. 10.

The new feature-length film, “Meet the Mormons,” highlights the lives of six Latter-day Saints spanning from the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, to the rain forests of Costa Rica, to the Salt Lake Valley.

The film was financed by the church but net proceeds will be donated to charity.

“The intent of the film is to help people understand what our members are really like,” said producer Jeff Roberts.

Featured in the film are Retired Col. Gail Halvorsen, who was known as “The Candy Bomber” during the 1940s Berlin Airlift; Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; Bishnu Adhikari, a humanitarian and engineer in Nepal; Carolina Muñoz Marin, an amateur kickboxer in Costa Rica; Jermaine Sullivan, a LDS bishop in Atlanta, Georgia; and Dawn Armstrong, a mother living in the Salt Lake Valley.

Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis

Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis

“How did we find them? Any way we could,” said the film’s writer and director, Blair Treu.

Charged with producing the film for the Legacy Theater in Salt Lake City and for visitors’ centers across the globe, Treu pitched the project to the LDS Church’s First Presidency in late 2010. After the project was finished, church leaders decided to expand the films release due to the positive response from both LDS and non-LDS sample audiences.

Treu said the objective was to give the film broader reach, making it available to members and their friends on the big screen — in their own cities and towns — and then on cable TV, Internet streaming and in the Legacy Theater and visitors’ centers.

Church leaders have a lot of confidence in their membership, he said. “They never once, not once, ever told us who or where or what to shoot,” he said. “We were tasked with one thing: ‘Try to capture, as best you can, who we really are.’ That is it.”

Gail "Hal" Halvorsen, known to the world as the World War II Candy Bomber,

Gail “Hal” Halvorsen, known to the world as the World War II Candy Bomber,

Gail Halvorsen, who will turn 94 on the day the film opens, said participating in the project was the experience of a lifetime.

Jermaine Sullivan, who was a bishop at the time of filming and now serves as president of the Atlanta Georgia Stake, said he was nervous to begin filming.

I have never had this type of attention focused on me like this,” he said. “I hope that people learn a bit more about who we are, what we believe, what we do to serve and minister and help others.”

Dawn Armstrong, a young single mother who had hit rock bottom when she met the Mormon missionaries herself, is featured in the film helping her son — now older — prepare for full-time missionary service.

“In a world that seems so quick to tear down, I hope that people will choose to lift up, and most importantly, to look up,” she said. “Let love and understanding be a driving force in your life. I think that is the sincere message of the movie.”

“For more information about “Meet the Mormons” go to www.meetthemormons.com.

Elder Bednar Urges Use of Social Media to Spread Gospel at Education Week

Taken from Daily Herald Article on August 19, 2014

Watch the full video of his talk at Education Week

Read the full text of his talk ‘To Sweep the Earth as a Flood

Hang onto your hats. Things are changing.

Elder Bednar urges use of social media to spread gospel at BYU Education Week - Daily Herald - Photo Ian Maule

Elder Bednar urges use of social media to spread gospel at BYU Education Week – Daily Herald – Photo Ian Maule

For decades, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been warned about the impact various media can have on them. Tools in and of themselves, they can be used for both good and evil, members were told.

The media have changed, and so has the emphasis.

General authorities of the church have begun using social media. The LDS church has an official Instagram account and has posted photos from around the world.

“The members of the First Presidency themselves specifically chose the photos to be posted,” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Tuesday at a devotional at BYU Education Week. “Some of the brethren now have their own Twitter accounts, including Elder Ballard, Elder Holland and me.

“Additional members of the Twelve may be active on Twitter in the near future. All of the brethren also have their own Facebook pages on which they communicate important gospel messages.”

The church also approved production of a feature-length film to help others better understand the LDS people. Called “Meet the Mormons,” the film will be distributed worldwide through digital channels. That will begin after the church’s October general conference, first in the United States and then in other locations.

The church has also announced content in its media library, found on www.lds.org, has been cleared for use by church members without seeking permission from the church.

“As Elder M. Russell Ballard explained,” Bednar said, “‘In Shakespeare’s time, he was limited generally to the Globe Theatre, but we now have a global theater. … The doors to the world are literally opened wide.’”

Bednar said the Twitter and Facebook presence, and the motion picture, are a start, and more will be coming. Some efforts have been made by the church itself; others have had their origins in the members.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Part of the beginnings of that flood have included messages and images created by the church and its members and communicated through social media.

Bednar cited examples including a short video entitled “Because of Him,” which presents the message of hope, healing and salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It was viewed more than five million times during Easter week alone, in 191 countries and territories of the world.

Members have also posted photos of themselves on various media, telling about times when they pray and why. Another posting presents a 365-day program for reading the Book of Mormon in a year.

During broadcasts of the church’s general conference in October and April, there was a hashtag included on the screen. However, the idea is not new.

“Members have used this hashtag to promote general conference for years,” Bednar said. “The first use of the #LDSconf hashtag dates back to October 2008, when it was created by a faithful member looking for an opportunity to follow and share conference-related tweets — long before the church started using it.”

The technology that makes such communication possible is inspired, Bednar said. And it has been with a purpose in mind.

“The Lord is hastening His work, and it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fullness of times,” he said.

“I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and much more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father and His plan of happiness for His children, of His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, to proclaim the reality of the restoration of the gospel in the latter days, and to accomplish the Lord’s work.”

The use of social media will continue to be more widespread among church missionaries.

“Approximately 40 percent of our worldwide missionary force soon will be using digital devices as tools in the work of conversion, retention and activation,” Bednar said.

It’s been more than 30 years since Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley anticipated this day.

“We are confident that as the work of the Lord expands, he will inspire men to develop the means whereby the membership of the church, wherever they may be, can be counseled in an intimate and personal way by his chosen prophet,” said Hinckley during the church’s 1981 general conference. “Communication is the sinew that binds the church as one great family.”

Bednar also referred to other church leaders who foresaw the communication technology, including Brigham Young.

“Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind, has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it,” Young was quoted as saying. “It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth from the power of sin and Satan.

“We should take advantage of all these great discoveries, the accumulated wisdom of ages, and give to our children the benefit of every branch of useful knowledge, to prepare them to step forward and efficiently do their part in the great work.”

Bednar also noted LDS Church presidents David O. McKay and Spencer W. Kimball for their remarks on the matter.

“Discoveries latent with such potent power, either for the blessing or the destruction of human beings, as to make man’s responsibility in controlling them the most gigantic ever placed in human hands. … This age is fraught with limitless perils, as well as untold possibilities” (David O. McKay in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 4). 

“I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse. … With the Lord providing these miracles of communication, and with the increased efforts and devotion of our missionaries and all of us, and all others who are ‘sent,’ surely the divine injunction will come to pass: ‘For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature’ (D&C 58:64)” (Spencer W. Kimball. “When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 10–11).

Spencer W Kimball quoted in Elder Bednar's Talk

Spencer W Kimball quoted in Elder Bednar’s Talk

He urged members to keep their lives in balance and emphasized a warning of consequences of misusing the media.

“Too much time can be wasted, too many relationships can be harmed or destroyed, and precious patterns of righteousness can be disrupted when technology is used improperly,” Bednar said. “We should not allow even good applications of social media to overrule the better and best uses of our time, energy and resources.

“We need not become social media experts or fanatics. And we do not need to spend inordinate amounts of time creating and disseminating elaborate messages.”

He also quoted Elder M. Russell Ballard, who taught that digital technologies should be our servants and not our masters.

But the combined small efforts of millions of members can have a great impact.

“May our many small, individual efforts produce a steady rainfall of righteousness and truth that gradually swells a multitude of streams and rivers,” Bednar said, “and ultimately becomes a flood that sweeps the earth.”