President M. Russell Ballard spoke at a devotional address at Ensign College yesterday about the blessings and distractions of technology and social media. Here are some of the concepts he covered:

  • A smartphone or tablet can be a blessing, but when its use begins to interfere with relationships—with friends, family or, most importantly, God—we must make a change. For some of us, the adjustment will be slight. For others, it may be significant.
  • Text messaging, Facebooking, Tweeting, and Instagramming should not replace talking to others or to Heavenly Father.
  • As the world gets louder and busier, the challenge to feel the Spirit gets greater. It is important at times to be still and to listen to and follow the Spirit. “If your life is void of quiet time, would you begin tonight to seek for some?”
  • Through various social media platforms, we can have gospel conversations with family and friends. Returned missionaries can have conversations with former investigators and new members. President Ballard challenged us to “stand as witnesses to the truth and defend the kingdom of God.”

In previous devotionals, President Ballard has referred to students as “modern sons and daughters of Helaman in the great battles of the last days” and invited them to use social media to share the gospel.

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