Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear, by L. Tom Perry
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I often think I'm terrible at communicating. Outside of my wife and children, I rarely talk with other members of my family. I have only a few friends, and we rarely-if-ever spend time together outside of church meetings, time at work, or chance encounters. I'm cordial with my neighbors (they're all great, really), but we never do anything together.

On the other hand, I maintain an e-presence through YouTube videos, blog posts (ta-da!), facebook status updates, my family website, and email conversations.

I'm convinced that the best way to reach me is electronically. It's probably because I can respond at my convenience (I know, it sounds pretty selfish), and I don't have to worry about intruding on others lives at bad times.

Wow, I sure sound pathetic.

Having disclosed this, I want to assert that I'm truly happy and that I really want others to be happy—I just don't do anything about it in person, apparently.

Elder Perry's talk gave me some comfort when he spoke of the untrained masses—people who use digital communication to share the gospel and discuss Church happiness and beliefs:

At all times of the day across the entire world, the Church and its teachings are being discussed on the Internet, on blogs and social networks, by people who have never written for a newspaper or a magazine. They are making videos and sharing them online. These are ordinary people—both members of our faith and of other faiths—who are talking about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It seems that I'm not alone in my way of life.

Having called upon members to advance understanding of the Church, Elder Perry gave a list of suggested ideas. I took these to heart to see if I'm already doing any of them (because it's easier to check an existing practice off of a list than start doing something new!):

  1. Be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ
  2. Be righteous examples to others
  3. Speak up about the Church

That's it. Three easy things!

How have I been doing? Here are the examples that came to my mind:

Be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ
I have a hobby of making videos. One of the favorites that I've put together focuses on Christ:

Be righteous examples to others
You're reading one of the examples of being an example that came to my mind: this blog! In addition, we put pictures of our happy family (with sometimes-silly captions) on our family website. I don't think many people ever look at the site, but it's there waiting for them.

Speak up about the Church
I think that everyone who knows me knows that I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I do actually talk to people in person, I'm not surprised at how often we talk about religion, God, or faith. In addition, I have one of the profiles that Elder Perry mentioned:

I'm a Mormon.

I admit that this post has a heavy self-congratulatory tone. "Look at how great I am" it seems to scream. Instead of seeing it that way, I'm trying to convince myself that Elder Perry's promise that "a spirit of love and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion" is already being fulfilled, and that I can take up his charge to "take advantage of the opportunities gives to us to share our beliefs."

I know I need a lot of work. But I'm trying to do something good.

At least online, as I hide behind my computer.

(But I'm not really hiding. Honest!)

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