It’s Been One Year.

One year ago this month (October 2010) Elder Craven, Jini, Deborah and I visited a BYU Single Adult Ward and launched “Voices For Virtue.’ With a few thousand dollars and a group of volunteers we’ve grown to over 60,000 fans on Facebook and have learned a lot. First, social networking can influence young people We’ve learned that viewing porn is generally accepted among many Facebook visitors. Typically when Voices For Virtue has posted about an issue related to “viewing porn” we’ll receive several comments declaring something like “I love porn.”  Below is a screen shot of Logan’s initial comment “I LOVE PORN” to our post   “Like” this if you don’t let porn or immorality control your life. You notice only three comments later Logan made a

If You Have The Influence Use It

As a psychologist I’ve spent 30+ years attempting to influence people to change their lives. During those years I’ve explored numerous techniques and theories. Some more effective than others. Facebook has proven to be a very powerful force in influencing youth. Think of it…. through Facebook there is direct unfiltered access to youth-no parents, no organizations- one talks directly to the youth. The audience is enormous having over 1 million under the age of 30 who “like” LDS. The cost of marketing is minimal-pennies per fan. And a more recent but wonderful discovery is there are thousands of great LDS youth ready to strengthen other youth — All we had to do was provide them with the framework.  No wonder Satan has chosen social networking to deliver his message. On

1,000 Teens A Day!

 $1,000 brought us 9,000 fans… a thousand fans a day! Unless I saw it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it! We allocated $1,000 to pilot “Voices For Virtue” message to LDS teens ages 13-17 on Facebook. We wanted to see if “teens” would be interested in “virtue” and “saying no to porn.”(See the add to the left.) Well, we found out. About 10% of the total “Voices For Virtue” community NOW are 17 and younger… and it’s still growing as I write. What’s this miracle all about? While we are powerless to alter the Second Coming of Savior, we can influence the preparation of young people by strengthening virtue.  As the “banner of virtue” is raised, like Captain Moroni raising the “title of Liberty,”  Young people

“Think Twice” A New Upward Reach Campaign

As many of you might know, we’ve been working on a social networking campaign for LDS teens ages 13-17. For over eight months Libi from Michigan, Bekah from Arizona, and Seanna and Cade from Utah-all teens- have been meeting once a week with myself and other Upward Reach staff. During this time we’ve explored many options as we’ve consulted with experts in the field. Our successful experience with Voices For Virtue has also helped tremendously. Building the “Think Twice” campaign has occurred with no interference of our “Voices For Virtue” campaign.  “Voices For Virtue” is a flagship campaign  and has focused on 18-30 year old Latter-day Saints.  The “Voices For Virtue” Facebook page has over 59,000 fans. It’s mission statement reads: Young Adults strengthening ourelves in virtuous living

17 Miracles of Upward Reach

I’m impressed there is a similarity between Upward Reach’s efforts to “save” young people in 2011 and the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies’ efforts to “save” members in 1856. Those members of the handcart companies died in many ways. For example, they died while … pulling the handcart, … eating a crust of bread, … digging a grave for another, and … while praying. On our 2011 trek to “Zion” our LDS youth are also dying in many ways. Here are some examples, … 16 year-old Sally – while getting an abortion. … 21 year-old Tom, a return missionary, while being sentenced 15 years-to-life in prison for rape. … 18 year-old Mark staying home from Church, while feeling too evil and guilty because of his porn

50,000 Fans and Growing

July 10, 2011 – Chronicle 2011 7:25 Voices For Virtue now has over 50,000 Facebook Fans and about 300,000 post views! Our fans include: 62% females and 37% male. 63% are 34 years old or younger. (Facebook uses 34 as the cutoff age) Countries We have seven countries with more than 100 fans including U.S., Philippines, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico. After the U.S. the Philippines has the most fans with over 3,000.  Other countries with fewer than 100 fans include: Germany, South Africa,  Saudi Arabia, Japan, Puerto Rico, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Austria, South Korea,  and Argentina. This is quite impressive because we’ve ONLY marketed to young adults in the United States. Cities The top 10 cities from which

All The Proof We Need To Believe

Chance, our Voices For Virtue project manager, is moving to California and starting a very impressive job with lots of responsibilities. His time will be limited. Our fundraising efforts have paused, given Quinn Gardner’s increased health concerns. Ashley and Deborah, two of our great volunteers, have left “Voices for Virtue” moving on to their next adventure. “Change” from time to time among our Upward Reach volunteers is expected. Upward Reach relies on volunteers in part because of limited financial resources. When we have money we want to grow the “Voices For Virtue” community, develop a telephone app, and a related web site, All Volunteer Army One blessing received as an “All Volunteer Army” is the dependency we develop on a power greater than ourselves. “We

More Powerful Than Money

Elder Craven and I are actively seeking donors to support the growth of our social networking communities… In the process I am impressed concerning the power of “Faith.” How are we going to achieve our objective- of helping young people help themselves “Come Unto Christ?” Through charismatic personalities? Through worldly technologies of social networking? Through dozens of volunteers? Through a positive attitude? Through raising large sums of money? NO-these strategies alone will not be enough to accomplish our objective.   We are involved in a project that all the money in the world couldn’t buy—We will achieve our goal based on one principle… through our faith in Jesus Christ. We are on a journey that needs more than just a positive attitude, technology, volunteers etc.  We need a

The Strongest Forces for Change

I’ve been exploring prevention models upon which to build the “Voices For Virtue” Community.  In recent years the field of youth psychology has identified several very strong models that have been proven to decrease youth crime, delinquency and some sexual behaviors AND increase prosocial healthy virtuous behavior.  Currently,  the Voices For Virtue prevention model includes elements of each of the following:  the social developmental model known as “Communities That Care” developed by J. David Hawkins, Ph.D. and Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D. (1996); the Lion’s Quest “Skills For Action” curriculum by the International Lions Club (2009); and  the “Strengths-Based Approaches” model promoted by  Kevin M. Powell (2010) for youth with sexual problems.   Communities That Care is based on the Social Development Strategy formulated by J. David

The War Against Evil

Post from Satan From time-to-time I am reminded of our enemy. One such time was this week when we received a post from “Satan” concerning our blog “Are all sexual thoughts a sin?” That’s correct, “Satan” sent “Voices For Virtue” a message. He was brief and to the point. He declared his purpose was to tempt God’s children to misuse their God-given power of procreation. He acknowledged he has been very successful. He signed his message – “That is all. Satan.” Unfortunately, Satan’s war against “virtue” did not end with him being kicked out from heaven. As John noted, Satan and his followers were “cast out into the earth” and have come here with “great wrath.” The evidence of their wrath against “virtue” can be seen every day as

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