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Learning The Character of Christ

Recently I read a speech that taught: “Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us.” I love this principle. 

I thought about all the good parents I know who, after a long tiring day, will care for the needs of their tired children before turning attention to their own needs. That’s great character.

I considered this principle yesterday during Fast Sunday as well. In the LDS Church today, one Sabbath day each month is set aside for the purpose of fasting. Members of the Church go without food and water for two consecutive meals in a 24-hour period and then contribute the money that would have been spent for that food to those in need.

In other words, the commandment is to humble ourselves before God by voluntarily refraining from eating and drinking and then, while in our hunger, we are to think of others and give an offering to provide for their needs in food.

So in addition to all the other spiritual and physical benefits of fasting, for the first time I saw it as a character confirming commandment as well. What a blessing. 

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Using Social Media Wisely

When I was in Cuba earlier this year, it was interesting to see how little technology was available to the residents there. Everything in Cuba is about 50 years in the past. However, one night we were walking the streets and there were hundreds and hundreds of people in this park with tablets and phones lit up. It is one of the few places in the country that wifi was available so people would come there each night and video chat with family in the US and also check Facebook, Instagram, and learn more about the world outside of Cuba. It was interesting to listen and watch as they connected with family and friends via technology.

Below are a few thoughts I have about social media, and how we can use it better.

I enjoy seeing good posts from family and friends.Though lately I’ve been surprised what people, who I know to be good and kind, will attach their name to in the sharing of posts and other items. I feel like we should be able to rise above it. Even with difficult topics, we can share our positive thoughts or the way we’re hoping to be part of the solution. Rather than just be an echo chamber, I’d love to see more thought out and personal messages from people I know to be good people. Social media certainly needs more of it.

David A Bednar wrote that “it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fulness of times. Social media channels are global tools that can personally and positively impact large numbers of individuals and families.”

Kids understand this easily. I think youth leaders, priesthood leaders and parents should be active on social media as well. It’s one more place to teach and inspire and care. Don’t be a social media sponge or stalker but instead be active and an influence. Did you know all of the church leaders are on Facebook and Twitter? Find all their profiles here.