Clipper News Editor
DAVIS COUNTY — Messages of faith have long been shared over the pulpit, in homes and one-on-one.
But in this technological age, faith is also being shared via the Internet, on blogs, YouTube, cell phones, on social networks and Twitter.
It’s a new way of sharing the word, both to inform members, and to spread the word beyond the confines of the congregation or denomination.
But using technology to spread the word is nothing new. Among the first books printed, with a printing press was a Bible — the Gutenberg Bible, printed in Germany in the 1450s.
Today. nearly every congregation has a website, either developed in-house, or linked to a denominational site.
From there, those interested can often view a clergy message, get news of events and often, a financial report.
But many go beyond the basics. For example, Alpine Church’s website provides downloads of sermons, Bible studies and theological discussions. Alpine meets at North Layton Junior High.
The First Southern Baptist Church of Bountiful has its own Facebook page and links to other Southern Baptist sites. The church also provides links to several Bible studies.
The Christian Life Center, also in Layton, offers sermon podcasts, not only of the current sermon, but of past sermons as well.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is among those at the forefront of technology.
The church has four websites, six Facebook links and three YouTube channels.
In 2007, LDS Apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard encouraged members to “further the work of the Lord,” through the new technologies being developed during a commencement address given at Brigham Young University — Hawaii.
In that address, he shared that when he began serving a mission in England in 1948, the most common way for people to get news was through television and radio.
“How different the world is today,” he said. “For many of you, if you read newspapers, the chances are you read them on the Internet. Ours is the world of cyberspace, cell phones that capture video, video and music downloads, social networks, text messaging and blogs, handhelds and podcasts.”
Ballard told the graduates that “from its beginnings, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the power of the printed word to spread the message of the restored gospel throughout the world. The Lord, over the centuries, has had a hand in inspiring people to invent tools that facilitate the spreading of the gospel. The Church has adopted and embraced those tools, including print, broadcast media, and the Internet.
But the use of technology often shows up in what would seem unlikely religious settings.
Last month, three Orthodox Jewish rabbis traveling across the United States stopped in Utah. They shared how they have a website, and that they blog and use Twitter to share information on their journey.
And, even the Vatican has about three dozen videos available on YouTube.