Monday, August 1, 2016

Packets of Light To Live By

Right across the hall from where our office is on the third floor of the Pacific Area Office are the Public Affairs missionaries. These are great folks we love associating with! Pictured here are Senior Missionaries Cheri Loveless, Barry Preator, Susan Preator,Jeff Champlin and Linda Champlin On the far right is their department manager, Rich Hunter. Together they make a formidable team indeed.

They are tasked with preparing news stories about the Church for various formats. They cover all sorts of stories ranging from visits by church dignitaries to local service projects. They publish in Pacific Mormon Newsroom and post things on Facebook.  I took the photo above at a recent gathering to celebrate the milestone of their having reached 20,000 likes on the Facebook page for Pacific Mormon Newsroom.

What do social network sites have to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Rich Hunter talked about that some in this morning's office devotional. I was very impressed by the things he had to say,  so I asked his permission to share his message. He was kind enough to grant permission for me to reprint his talk in its entirety. This is what he had to say:

Twitter is a social media platform that launched 10 years ago. A tweet is a message of 140 characters or less. So the idea is to say as much as  you can in as few words as possible  210 million people used Twitter in the month of Mrch, 2016. I was one of them, @richNZhunter.

There are serious tweets, like this one from @CNN yesterday:
"Scientists find cancer in million-year-old fossil and it could change everything." and another from @BBCWorld:  "Turkey's President Erdogan seeks to rein in spy agency after coup."

There are humorous ones, like this one by @usedwigs:  "It doesn't feel great when a co-worker asks what you had for lunch and your reply starts with "A tub of..."  and another, "@sbellelauren: "The divorce rate among my socks is astonishing."

President Thomas S. Monson uses Twitter. On Thursday he tweeted "Let us - all of us - have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle." On Friday, President Henry B. Eyring tweeted: "Never forget that a loving God is as close as a prayer." Also in the last few days, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf took to Twitter, saying: "There are opportunities to serve our fellowman. We should reach out and give one-on-one service to help and lift those in need."

In 2011 Elder Richard G. Scott said the following in a conference talk: "Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high." And, by the way, people are still tweeting and re-tweeting that particular quote.

Articles of Faith 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 12 are all short enough to tweet. The others would need two or more tweets to send out. The prophet Joseph Smith wrote these short statements for a newspaper editor, and for public understanding. Little packets of light that I memorized as a Primary Boy, and which have illuminated my path on countless occasions throughout my life.

Rich Hunter
We can choose to seek packets of light (in the scriptures and in other good places), to help lighten our heart, our load and our way; and also choose to send out packets of light to bless others.

While Twitter is a great way to seek and find packets of light, and send others packets of light, we can share light and goodness in many, many ways. Most importantly, by the way we talk with each other and about each other, and in all of our communications. A great foundation for a life built upon this kind of communicating includes prayer, testimony and expressions of love and appreciation. May we strive to always share light, goodness, faith, hope and charity. In all of our words --spoken or written, Packet size, family size, and when we're communicating in bulk (Like I am here today). And when we fall short, we can say, or write: "I'm sorry, please forgive me." (Now that's short enough to tweet.)

The Lord commanded: (Matthew 5:16) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

The Saviour also revealed: (D&C 84:45) "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoeer is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father."

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