By Cindy R. Williams
The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now have pages on Facebook and Google+.
Facebook and Google+ are social networking sites, where individuals create a personal profile and connect with others by “friending” them. You may network with family, friends and neighbors and colleagues or with others you “meet” on the site.
On your page, you can write thoughts and messages, called “posts” for others to see. You may also post and “share” pictures, videos and links to other sites on the Internet.
For Church leaders, the pages act as an official media presence. They also allow people to find modern words of living prophets more easily.
In today’s world of increased Internet use, the pages are a good support for missionary work for both members and missionaries. Missionaries use Facebook, blogs, email and Mormon.org to track interested parties and answer questions.
“The Church must adapt to a changing world,” says, Elder L Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The “Sharing via Social Media” page on LDS.org explains some ways to use social media to share the gospel and includes a list of links to Church-related items on Facebook and Google+ pages. To know if a page is authentic, look for the official logo of the LDS Church.
While pages are maintained on behalf of the leaders, they may, on occasion, drop by to read or make comments.
There are pages for Thomas S Monson, Henry B Eyring, Dieter F Uchtdorf and each of the Twelve Apostles.
There are also pages for The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Mormon News Room, Mormon Channel, Mormon.org, Mormon Messages, Family History Library, LDS Seminary, LDS Institute and LDS Newsroom.
You can find Church magazine pages, including the Ensign Magazine, New Era Magazine, Friend Magazine, Liahona Magazine as well as pages for the Church History Museum, Family History Library, FamilySearch, Joseph Smith Papers, LDS Tech and Mobile Applications.
Or, check out the service-oriented pages, such as for Perpetual Education Fund in English, Church-Service Missionaries, Deseret Industries, LDS Church Employment and Helping in the Vineyard.
You can go to any of the Church-related pages, and, if you click on the icon to “like” that page, it will be placed in your own Facebook feed, so you can readily view it and share it with others. You also may invite friends to like and follow the pages.
Liking or following these pages is a way to share your faith as it lets your Facebook “friends” know what you believe.
In addition to liking a page, visitors may leave comments on the postings or link to talks, articles, photos, videos and other relevant content posted to each of the sites.