A number of years ago, President Ezra Taft Benson gave a general conference talk entitled Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon using “electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word.” After rereading that talk , I began to wonder how we could more fully take advantage of the many opportunities to flood the earth with the Book of Mormon using “electronic media”.
Electronic Media to New Media
Electronic media was a foreshadowing of today’s digital or new media. Last year, Elder Russell M. Ballard counseled, “I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration” (see Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church).
A Vision and a Challenge
In President Benson’s talk, he mentioned he had a “vision” of how the earth could be flooded with the Book of Mormon and issued a series of challenges to all Church members. In part, he said:
I challenge the homes of Israel to display on their walls great quotations and scenes from the Book of Mormon… I have a vision of artists putting into film, drama, literature, music, and paintings great themes and great characters from the Book of Mormon… I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.
I wonder what would happen if not only the homes, but also the thousands of blogs and web sites in use by Church members could help achieve this goal. In that context, here’s a series of “what ifs” just to get people thinking about what could be done to more fully flood the earth with the Book of Mormon using new media.
- What if someone hosted an LDS Widgets/Gadgets site and enlisted the support of thousands of interested developers (LDS Tech?) in creating gospel-oriented widgets and gadgets? For example, see Yahoo! Widgets, Google Gadgets, Windows Sidebar and Gadgets, Apple Dashboard Widgets, and many others.
- Following President Benson’s line of thinking, what if some of these widgets/gadgets contained images, videos, and podcasts of favorite scriptures, talks, pictures, lessons, and many other categories that could be posted on personal blogs and web sites?
- What if someone managed the Widgets/Gadgets forum and promoted this week’s “popular” widgets, “up and coming widgets”, “all time popular widgets”, etc.
- What if someone was chartered with managing and marketing the site to provide basic assistance and encourage development around specific categories?
- What would happen if static and rich media content was made available to a large Christian-oriented audience?
- What if these widgets/gadgets targeted specific content areas on Church and “friends of the Church” web sites and enlisted bloggers and web site owners to make them available?