There are so many ways to do online missionary work no matter how much time you have. This is a LONG post that isn’t intended to be a post so much as it is intended to be a resource to give people ideas of HOW to do online missionary work. I have been in a few wards where the leadership really wants to know what they can do to get the ward going missionary work. Well, here is my answer. Over 100 things you can do right now to hasten the work of salvation using the internet. If you need to know why online missionary work is important, click here. Also, click here to make sure you know what to avoid while doing online missionary work. Now get to it!
5 Minutes or Less
1. Retweet a tweet from Any of the following channels or hashtags:
- Whatever the latest initiative hashtag of the Church is – which can be found at Mormon Newsroom or LDS Media Talk
2. Follow All of the Apostles and Prophets on Google+, Facebook and Twitter: click here to find a list of all their profiles.
3. Like, repost, reshare, retweet, or plus one any of the posts from any of those profiles. This helps them be seen by more people, and your friends will see your interaction with these good sources and they might just pay attention or ask you a question.
4. Add all the official church pages to your circles on Google+ (and if you are a Google+ pro, create a circle and share the circle with your friends to have them add the circle) Find them here:
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- FamilySearch Indexing
- Mormon Channel
- Mormon Newsroom
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
5. Like official facebook pages of the Church, and a couple more non-official pages that do a lot of good.
Official Church Pages
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (facebook.com/lds)
- Mormon Channel
- Mormon Messages
- Mormon Newsroom
- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- Mormon.org (facebook.com/mormon)
- Jesus The Christ
- New Era Magazine
- Church History Library
- Church History Museum
- Church-Service Missionaries
- Create LDS Media
- Deseret Industries
- Ensign Magazine
- Family History Library
- Family Search
- FamilySearch Indexing
- Friend Magazine
- Helping in the Vineyard
- Joseph Smith Papers
- LDS Tech
- LDS Youth
- Liahona Magazine
- Mobile Applications
- Perpetual Education Fund in English, Spanish for Mexico, Spanish for Peru
- Temple Square
Other Pages that do a lot of good:
- LDS Missionaries
- LDS General Conference
- LDS Media Talk
- The More Good Foundation
- The Returned Missionary
- Meridian Magazine
6. “Check in” when you get to your chapel on your social network of choice. This requires that you get there a little early, but it’s all good. Checking in isn’t for everyone, but if you use Foursquare, Yelp or facebook, you can definitely checking when you get to church, or when you get to any church related activity that you don’t mind broadcasting to the world. 🙂
1. Create your own inspirational or motivational social media post and share it on any of your preferred social media channels. Get creative. Be genuine. It doesn’t have to be churchy, just be authentic and try to lift others up with your post.
2. If you have worked on a blog post, extend the reach of your blog post by sharing it on Google Plus communities, facebook groups, on your facebook wall or in a personal message to your friends or family.
Take a Picture
3. Take a picture of your Chapel before you go in (not during church) and post it to facebook, instagram, twitter, Google+, etc., saying something you like about church or the blessings that come from going to church. Possible hashtags: #church #mormon #God #loveofGod #lds #twitterstake
4. Take a picture of your scriptures and post it to instagram with your favorite scripture in the caption. Possible hashtags: #scriptures #Bible #BookofMormon #wordofGod #feastupontheword
5. Take a picture of a beautiful scene in nature (a plant, a flower, a cloud, the moon, a mountain, a river, a sunset, a beach, a snowflake, etc.) and talk about how grateful you are for God’s amazing creations. Possible hashtags: #GodisanArtist #Godislove #nature #creation #God
6. Take a picture of an FHE activity that you are doing with friends or family and share it on your social media channels with some thoughts on the importance of genuine friends or a loving family. Possible hashtags: #FHE #ImAMormon #wholesomerecreation #mormonFun
7. Comment on NON-LDS YouTube videos that have to do with what we believe (Prayer, God, Faith, Heaven, Truth, Redemption, etc.) Make sure you post your comment using Google+ if you have an account because this comment will be double powerful (it will post to your profile as well as be sticky on the YouTube video – I still get comments and likes on a video I posted to 2 months ago because the video is popular). Just search for positive gospel-related YouTube videos with great messages – even if they are from other well-meaning Christians. Here are a few examples:
- 11 yr old Went to Heaven and Back and Tells What He Saw! – 19 Million views (May 2014), So many amazing discussions about heaven are going on in the comments. Don’t get involved in contentious conversation, just interact with people and answer questions respectfully if you can.
- Worn by Tenth Avenue North – 1.8 million views. This video is a powerful song about redemption. Any Christian will love this and many who are not Christians will also love this because the music. I commented on this video a while back and I have had Christians, muslims, atheists, and others comment back that they love the music and the message of redemption. Comment on this video (posting to Google+) and you’ll share a good message. Interact with people who are commenting as well.
8. Join this Facebook group (called 1 Million Mormons on Facebook and it is open – keep the rules of the group) and interact with other members. There are many members who are not going to church but who have questions, and others who are going to church and who have questions or who just joined and who could use some support. This group is amazing. I love the fellowshipping conversations that go on here. It is awesome what is happening. It is also growing fast! Just a few weeks ago it was at only a few thousand and it has since grown to over 20,000 (May 2014).
9. Join this facebook event and participate: Discover the Book. It’s all about sharing your story of how you discovered the Book of Mormon. They are doing a good job.
10. Leave a Review on The Book of Mormon on Amazon. This helps more people want to read it because they see real reviews by real people. Click below for link:
11. Do a Google maps review of any LDS church location you have visited (especially if it is one you went to when you were traveling because then you get a feel for what new people are treated like and you can genuinely talk about it in your review). Just go to www.maps.google.com (click here to go) and then look up “LDS Church in (Fairfax, VA)” (fill this in with wherever you went). You do have to have a Google account, but that is free, and most people have one. Make sure to also hit the +1 button as well. You can do it for ANY temple because the temples are all on there and even if you haven’t visited them, you can leave your thoughts about the temple.
Here are some examples:
12. Do a Google maps review of ANY LDS Temple. You review ones that you have visited (even just the visitor center or the grounds), or ones you went to for the first time to do baptisms or other temple work. (especially if it is one you went to while you were traveling to help other travelers who want to figure out what this temple is get a feel for it). Just go to www.maps.google.com (click here to go) and then look up “_________ LDS Temple” (make sure you include the location). You do have to have a Google account, but that is FREE, and most people have one. Make sure to also hit the +1 button as well (see image below). You can do it for ANY temple even if you haven’t visited them or been inside. You can leave your thoughts about the temple. Here are 10 to get you started:
- Salt Lake Temple (this only has 3 reviews! WHAT?)
- Washington DC Temple
- St. George Temple
- San Diego Temple
- Palmyra New York Temple
- Gilbert Arizona Temple
- London England Temple
- Melbourne Australia Temple
- Laie Hawaii Temple
- San Antonio Texas Temple
1. Record and post a quick 2 minute video of yourself talking about your favorite verse in the Book of Mormon and send it to the Book of Mormon 2 Minute Challenge (they will post this on their YouTube channel and post it to their twitter following of 16K). Even if you post it to your YouTube account and then just tweet them – they will retweet it. Do it with your phone or computer camera even. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just authentic. Use the @BookMormon2day twitter handle and they will pick it up! Like this one:
2. If you ever have a ward or stake activity, use a free event aggregator (like EventBrite) to create an event. Search engines like Google give priority to these sites and people searching for religious or church or family events in their area will be more likely to find the church. Here is an example of a search for “Church events in Dallas, TX”
3. Start a Group Meetup about Belief in God (or any thing that you want really to interact with real people) in your area on www.Meetup.com (click here visit). It’s free and there are a lot of people (especially outside of Utah) who use this site searching for social circles of people they can actually meet. It will take longer to host this type of thing, so I put that below, but you can at least set up the Meetup in 30 min.
4. Do a couple of the shorter ones above together.
5. Share this Prezi with your ward mission leader after watching it! The information in this is SO important. Share this at a ward FHE or in a missionary work class during Sunday school. Click here to see the Prezi if the embedded link isn’t working.
1. Set up your own Mormon.org profile. Click here for help.
2. Write a personal blog post on your blog about what you learned at church, in seminary, in institute, in your own personal scripture study. Share how this affected your life and why it is important to you. If you want to be really effective, do the next step BEFORE you publish this post…
3. Ask a non-member friend (or less active friend) for help with your blog post. Tell them that you are going to be publishing this blog post about your religious beliefs to the public and you need help to know how it sounds to people who are not familiar with your religion. Ask them if you should change anything to make it more approachable or make it sound more authentic. The purpose isn’t to force this upon them, just ask for help because they CAN indeed help you with this. Ask sincerely because every post needs editing before publishing and getting the feedback from someone who isn’t familiar with the Church will really help your post be more effective to those audiences. This is an authentic way to help others (who don’t have to be interested at all) to have positive interaction with a real person in the Church. Almost no one will turn you down when you sincerely ask them for help.
4. Work on the design of your blog. This always takes longer than you think. Just remember, you can always change it, so don’t get all worked up if you can’t find the perfect template or theme or background or font or picture or logo, etc. You’ll figure it out over time. Don’t worry. I still fiddle with this site all the time and I launched it in 2010.
5. Watch this video of me interviewing the creator of the YouTube channel mentioned above (called What Mormons Believe). My goal was to inspire people to do things like Jolie Hales has done – going out without an official assignment or calling and create something really amazing to help give the Church a good name. She has done an incredible job with this and she gets no money from it. Go share her videos! I posted some above.
5. Listen to Elder Ballard’s CES fireside “Be Still and Know that I am God” about online missionary work. (Skip to 12:40 if you want to just hear Elder Ballard’s speech).
6. Share some of the above strategies with your family during FHE or on a Sunday. Teach them about online missionary work.
7. After creating one, host a Meetup in your area through Meetup.com. Follow the rules. Be respectful. Make new friends. Share your beliefs and respect the beliefs of others. Be consistent and meet at least monthly. You choose the topic. Get creative. Have fun. Take notes and make sure you befriend people after the first meeting, even if they don’t agree with your beliefs. They are still people and you can still be friends.
8. Create a ward “Online Missionary Work” private facebook group where you can share some of the fruits of the things you are doing online to help invite others unto Christ. Here you can share comments from friends, success stories, support each other if persecution comes up (which it will). If you don’t want to create one for your ward, just join the one that I created here.
9. Create an “online only” event on facebook that is focused on daily prayer, daily faith, daily gratitude or daily service. Like a Random acts of Kindness event where you can say how someone was kind to you randomly or how you were kind to others randomly during your day. Make sure it is an ongoing event. It will grow. You could also make it into a facebook group, but events can have a greater effect because they have more of an urgency to them so more people join and participate. Invite all your friends (member and non-member alike) to participate.
10. Start a blog. It doesn’t matter what it is about. It can be a travel blog, a journal blog a cooking blog, a fitness blog, a blog about your adventures, a blog about your thoughts, a blog about your marriage. Anything. Just start a blog and talk about your faith in the midst of talking about the rest of your very normal life. This one is really fun!
11. On your blog, make it known that you are Mormon. Make it easy to find. Be bold about it! Most free blogging services allow for widgets in the sidebar or somewhere on the page. I just have “I Believe” as one of the menu options on my personal website. Clayton Christensen does a great job on his personal website (he is a NYT best-selling author and lots of people visit his site so if he can do it, any of us can!) Do what you feel is best. Make the blog seem real and personal and make it your own. Then just talk about your faith. Write about it often and link to the church.
12. Write a blog post about one of the below topics and make sure you link to something that the Church has created about this:
- Your belief about Heaven
- What you believe about Death or life after death
- What you believe about Hell
- What you believe about the after life
- Your belief about God’s existence
- Your belief about God’s love and other attributes
- Your experience as a member of the Church
- Memories of your baptism
- Service projects with the church
- Overcoming trials
- The importance of your family to you
- The blessings of the temple in your life
- The things you are learning in the scriptures (as mentioned in a previous suggestion)
- Your testimony of the Book of Mormon
This is just a start, get creative. Just speak naturally about what you believe and who you are and link it to the Church’s content. This will help because it becomes a real review from a real person (that isn’t the official church website). When making a purchase, people would rather hear from a real person before they are interested in a product. It’s the same principle.
Why is it so important to link to these? Because there are tons of searches for these things. By profession, I am an online marketer. A while back I did a query on how many people were searching (on Google alone) for a few gospel related key words. Check this out:
|Keyword||Monthly [exact match] Google Searches (Global)|
|Life After Death||40,500|
|Is there a God?||18,100|
|Is there life after death?||18,100|
|Who is God?||9,900|
|What happens after death?||9,900|
|Total Monthly Searches||667,200|
13. Host or join a Google+ Hangout on Air and invite some friends who are members to come and talk about the issues that real Mormons deal with every day. Talk about how you apply what you learn in the Book of Mormon (or at church or in your seminary or institute class or on your mission, etc.) to everyday life. You could just have a discussion about all the questions that Jolie Hales answers on her YouTube channel What Mormons Believe. Here are some topics you could talk about in your Google+ Hangout on Air:
- How do Mormons deal with death?
- What do Mormons believe about the afterlife?
- Do Mormons pray every day? Who do they pray to?
- Why don’t Mormons drink coffee?
- What makes Mormons different than Catholics or other Christians?
- What is a mission like?
- Why do Mormons serve missions?
- Who is Joseph Smith anyway?
- What is the Book of Mormon?
- What do Mormons believe about Grace?
- What why don’t Mormons use the cross in their iconography?
- Explain some Mormon-unique lingo (like FHE, ward, stake, patriarchal blessing, Relief society, primary, etc.) This stuff seems so normal to us, but the LDS meaning of these words is foreign to most people.
Why are Hangouts on Air so awesome? Because they are normal, approachable conversations that anyone can attend live to see what Mormons are like. The other cool thing is that the this “hangout” is actually recorded on YouTube and will be there forever! That way anyone who didn’t see it, can watch it later and you can always share the YouTube link or embed it in a blog post or on your website or anywhere you want! These are powerful. You should do this one. I’d love to join you on your Hangout on Air! Send me an invite (my Google+ account link is in my author profile below).
14. Watch Elder Bednar’s latest Education Week speech (Aug 2014) on using Social Media to “Sweep the Earth as with a Flood.” Here is the link if the video below doesn’t load.
I Have All Day
1. Host an Online Missionary Work ward activity (with approval of your bishop) at your home or ward building (careful LDSAccess Wifi may become too overloaded if you have too many people using it!) and rally together to do these things as a ward. Plan on having a follow up meeting in a month or so in order to share what you these things together (you may want to form a ward online missionary work private facebook group – as suggested above).
2. Get together with your ward mission leader or ward missionaries and present some of these things to them and discuss how you could implement them in your ward or stake.
3. Create your own list of non-LDS gospel-topic-related conversations (blog posts, facebook posts, Google+ posts, tweets, etc.) that are going on all over the internet. Many of us Mormons like to stay in our own Mormon space, but we could really do some great things if we spent more time getting involved in posts that originate from non-LDS people. Think of this: over 150,000 people die everyday. How many people did those 150,000 people each know? At least 50? That’s 7,500,000 people thinking about death and what happens after, EVERY… SINGLE… DAY… But not just death. Birth, hope, overcoming, optimism, mercy, redemption, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude, grace, love of God, peace, families, heaven, hell, Jesus, God, etc. When you find these conversations, get involved in them. Be courteous. Be loving. Be kind. Show the type of love Jesus would show. Remember, don’t get into comment wars. DO get involved in meaningful conversations about the topics mentioned (and any that is meaningful). Follow the spirit. Write blog posts about these things and share your posts as a part of the conversation. Be very kind to people who have shared their feelings about any of these topics. How do you find people who have written about topics relating to the gospel?
- Search on Google (the search engine part of Google) for personal blog posts related to topics surrounding hope, mercy, redemption, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude, grace, love of God, peace, families, death, heaven, hell, Jesus, God, etc.
- Search hashtags on facebook for topics like birth, hope, overcoming, optimism, mercy, redemption, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude, grace, love of God, peace, families, heaven, hell, Jesus, God, etc. (you get the point).
- Search YouTube for the same things.
- Search Twitter hashtags for the same.
- Search Google+ for the same hashtags.
4. Spend some time gathering up all your favorite inspirational quotes from LDS prophets and apostles. Then share them as a quote, or as an image (See #6).
5. Spend some time gathering up all your favorite inspirational quotes from non-LDS leaders and people. Then share them as a quote, or as an image (See #6).
6. Create original inspirational quote-images (like the one below) using Picmonkey (free) and share them on your facebook wall or send them to me and I will share it on my facebook pages that have thousands of likes. Share it with this facebook group or any other place you want.
Every Six Months
1. Help General Conference to trend on twitter, Google+ and facebook by using hashtags like #ldsconf and names of the apostles and prophets (like #ElderHolland or #PresEyring). Even if you don’t tweet and share the quotes, you can retweet others’ tweets and reshare others’ posts and it will still help it to trend. #ldsconf has trended consistently on twitter and Google+ every General Conference for the last few years. This helps a lot of people to see us and click the hashtag.
What to Avoid When Doing Online Missionary Work
Here are 6 things to avoid when doing Online Missionary work. Please read this because it is important that you don’t waste your time or energy with these. It will help to protect you as well as keep you from wasting precious time on doing things that won’t help people who are actually seeking for truth.
Why Is Online Missionary Work So Important?
Click here to read 4 reasons why online missionary work is so important. In this post I go over some really amazing statistics about why this is so important and how much potential we have for doing a lot of good through the internet.
Get to it! …and Come Back Often
This post is long, but I am going to keep adding more things to it as time goes on and as you suggest more. Bookmark this page, pin it, share it, tweet it and come back often to keep doing more of these things. I will do my best to keep this updated so that it can be a great resource for anyone who wants to know how to do missionary work on the internet.
Please join me online to help share the gospel using this powerful tool that has been given. The Lord is hastening His work, and I personally believe that the internet is playing and will continue to play a huge roll in bringing the gospel to all the world, as the prophecies have foretold.