Ask Mormon Guy

I'm an Intermountain-born, West Coast-raised, East Coast-educated journalist. I'm a new media connoisseur.
And I'm a Mormon.

Aug 19

Elder Bednar speaks on social media at BYU Education Week


Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at a BYU Education Week devotional on Tuesday about the use of social media by members of the church and the church’s organizations — and he invited members to use such media in a big way.

Elder Bednar touched on the church’s recent social media efforts, including the #BecauseOfHim video and the #iPrayWhen hashtag.

The church also unveiled the trailer for a new movie, ‘Meet the Mormons' at the devotional, which will be broadcast from the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The move fit with an announcement on that said a trailer would be posted Aug. 19

The film was originally scheduled to be viewable exclusively in Salt Lake City’s Legacy Theatre — but it will now be released in several media outlets, including select theaters in the United States and on Internet and social media channels.

Elder Bednar gave several things we should do to be wise in our use of social media to spread the gospel:

1. Be authentic and consistent. “Anonymity on the Internet is not a license to be inauthentic.”

2. Seek to edify and uplift, rather than argue, debate, condemn or belittle.

3. Respect the intellectual property of other people and organizations. The church has a vast media library on, which members can use in their social sharing of the gospel.

4. Be wise and vigilant in protecting yourself and those you love. “Anything you say in a social media channel will live forever, even if the app or program says otherwise.”

"Communicating gospel messages through social media is a good beginning. But only a small trickle," Elder Bednar said. But then he challenged members everywhere to transform that trickle into a strong flood.

"Each of us can contribute consistently to the growing flood of truth and righteousness," he added. "May our many small and individual efforts produce a steady stream of righteousness … that ultimate becomes a flood that sweeps the earth."

Follow the rest of BYU Education Week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #BYUEdWeek

In conjunction with Elder David A. Bednar’s address at BYU Education Week on Tuesday, the LDS church has asked members and attendees to review his talk ‘Things as They Really Are,' presented at CES broadcast in Rexburg, Idaho in 2009.

Here are a few highlights from my recent study:

  • "We live at a time when technology can be used to replicate reality, to augment reality, and to create virtual reality … a high degree of fidelity in the simulation or model contributes to the effectiveness of the experience. The term fidelity denotes the similarity between reality and a representation of reality. Such a simulation can be constructive if the fidelity is high and the purposes are good — for example, providing experience that saves lives or improves the quality of life.”
  • "If the adversary cannot entice us to misuse our physical bodies, then one of his most potent tactics is to beguile you and me as embodied spirits to disconnect gradually and physically from things as they really are. In essence, he encourages us to think and act as if we were in our premortal, unembodied state."
  • "For your happiness and protection, I invite you to study more diligently the doctrine of the plan of salvation — and to prayerfully ponder the truths we have reviewed. I offer two questions for consideration in your personal pondering and prayerful studying:
  • 1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
  • 2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?

Have you met the Mormons?

This appeared in my social feed recently, and under the URL The movie, a documentary about six prominent Latter-day Saints, will be released this October. A trailer of it is said to be released on Aug. 19 — the same day Elder David A. Bednar is scheduled to give a devotional at BYU’s Education Week about sharing the gospel through social media.


We’ll have to wait and see.

'Meet the Mormons' chronicles the lives of six Latter-day Saints, including college football coach Ken Niumatalolo of Navy, amateur kick boxer Carolina Munoz Marin, and American World War II fighter pilot Col. Gail Halvorsen AKA ‘The Candy Bomber.’

The movie looks interesting, and appears to be at least superficially related to the LDS church’s worldwide ‘I’m a Mormon’ campaign that has become a brief media sensation.

Aug 7

Aug 3
“The way of the gospel is a simple way. Some of the requirements may appear to you as elementary and unnecessary. Do not spurn them. Humble yourselves and walk in obedience. I promise that the results that follow will be marvelous to behold and satisfying to experience.”

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley.

(Conference Report, Oct. 1976, 143; or Ensign, Nov. 1976, 96)

Jul 30

What do you get when you cross Santino Fontana, of Frozen fame, Pharrell’s “Happy,” and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

I’m not sure, but I think it has something to do with this video.

A few photos released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the recently renovated temple in Ogden, Utah. The temple will be re-dedicated on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 in three sessions. 

Free public tours of the building will be granted beginning Aug. 1. For additional information and contact information to sign up for a tour, visit the LDS church’s Public Affairs website.

Jul 8

Jul 6

Elder David F. Evans, the executive director of the missionary department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently sat down with church public affairs representatives to put together this video interview as an update on the immense surge in missionary activity.

Elder Evans said that more than 85,000 young men, women and senior couples were currently serving as missionaries for the church. Much of the surge has come since President Thomas S. Monson announced a significant change in the age of missionaries, to 18 for young men and 19 for young women, at the October 2012 General Conference. At the time, 58,500 missionaries were serving for the church — a 68 percent increase in total missionaries in the field.

In the video, Elder Evans announced significant changes that will undergo missionaries in North America, Japan and western Europe. More than 32,000 missionaries will be using iPad Minis to aid in study and teaching efforts by early 2015. Each missionary will be expected to purchase the $400 digital device, though assistance will be offered to missionaries whose financial circumstances may prevent them from making the purchase.

The specially-configured iPads will include access to Preach my Gospel, the Gospel Library and the Area Book Planner app, which will replace the current area book and Missionary Daily Planner that has been used for several years.

Read the full release on the Mormon Newsroom, and watch the video above for more information.

Jun 29

First Presidency statement on Priesthood

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Saturday morning about the Priesthood. The key distinction between this statement and others in the recent past is that it was released on, and not, the church’s public affairs website.

The statement is signed by “the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The timing comes just days after Ordain Woman founder Kate Kelly was excommunicated in a highly public and high-profile disciplinary council for “conduct contrary to the laws and ordinances of the church.”

You can read the full statement online here. The following is a sample:

In God’s plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women. Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. All service in the Church has equal merit in the eyes of God. We express profound gratitude for the millions of Latter-day Saint women and men who willingly and effectively serve God and His children. Because of their faith and service, they have discovered that the Church is a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.

(Photo courtesy of

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