OK, my sister-in-law just emailed me this...
Dear friends and family and even my awesome acquaintances--
As many of you are well aware, there are a lot of myths, rumors and lies about the LDS religion on the Internet --practically everywhere, if we think about it --and top Google search terms result in anti-mormon websites and misleading images. In fact, here's what Elder Ballard said about it:
The emergence of New Media is facilitating a world-wide conversation on almost every subject including religion, and nearly everyone can participate. ...
Conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. ...("Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet," Ensign, Jul. 2008, 58–63).
Personally, I would like the chance to participate and see the correct information being found.
Maybe you do, too?
For over a year, I have been following a website called Mormon Women. Last month, I was asked to be an administrator of the site (completely voluntary), and I was so excited to help! Mormon Women, which is sponsored by the More Good Foundation, is one of many other websites dedicated to flooding the Internet with positive and correct information. [Although they are not official websites of the Church, they strive to be in alignment with all doctrinal teachings and policies put out by the Church.] Because of sites like this, many people have found the truth online, rather than misinformation. I encourage you to visit Mormonwoman.org today, but I want you to do more than visit the site. Much more!
We need women to help --to see this as a missionary effort, and to help us get information out there about real live Mormon women --women who do not feel ashamed in their faith, but rather live it the best they can each day.
Will you please help me gather material for this site?
This is what we need:
· Comments. Come and comment! Share your faith and beliefs in brief and effective ways on easy topics like tithing, Relief Society, etc.
· Pictures. We need to replace the misleading google images pictures with pictures of me, you and your mom. We want all ages, nationalities and marital statuses represented. We are Mormon Women! We work, we play, we serve and we can do all these things with the love of the Lord in our hearts. And we do it differently! Some of us bike, others of us are into photography, some are vegetarians, some are musicians, many of us are writers...we need to show this!
· Portraits. We need you to submit articles on Women who inspire you and include with it a picture of that woman. So easy! Do you love your RS president? Was your Young Women’s President inspirational? Is your mom the best? Tell us in 1000 words or less, and include a picture.
· Essays, articles, artwork, poetry etc. Are you creating something that is inspired by the scriptures or the Spirit? Share it with us!
· Video. Do you have video from a ward activity, service project or Enrichment night that quickly bears testimony of who we are and the typical things we do? Send it our way.
Remember, though, that this site is for nonmember and investigator use and hopefully will be a powerful missionary tool. This site is not for social networking among members. This is not the place to discuss your misgivings about your local leaders or highlight other doctrinal issues that should be solved by personal prayer and study. We are trying to reflect an articulate, united front of love, intelligence and testimony!
Maybe you remember Sister Beck quoting President Hinckley in a recent General Relief Society Meeting:
If [the women of the Church] will be united and speak with one voice, their strength will be incalculable. . . . It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord.
(Quoted in Julie B. Beck, “What Latter-day Saint Women Do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable,”)
To me, this is a way for us to speak with one voice!
Here is the contact information for your convenience:
You can reach me and other administrators for questions and/or to place submissions at email@example.com.
You can comment at the site at www.mormonwoman.org.
You can join us on Facebook! Go here to join our group.
You can learn more about the More Good Foundation at www.moregoodfoundation.org.
And then, if you would like, tell other Mormon Women! I'm working on an email that can be sent out --which is easy to forward, less long-winded on my part, etc.-- to all of your friends and family as well. I will send it within a day or two...
Thank you so much for your time!
P.S. If you are a man and you received this, could you pass it onto your wife, sisters, mothers, etc.? That was my intent if you were included in this email (and probably because I didn't have their email addresses!). :)