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 our Voices For Virtue Facebook page I’ve been amazed frankly at the difficult questions being asked and the quality answers being given. For example we posted:

Jaimie one of our fam posted, “… What happens to those who commit suicide? … I have had a friend commit suicide. Will they forever be condemned?… What do you think???”

Here is just a couple of responses from our over 60,000 fans:

Deaunna: Only Jesus Christ knows the state of mind of those who commit suicide. He paid the price for our sins- if we don’t use His atonementing sacrifice then we have to suffer and pay for our own sins (hell) After that price has been paid we will be assigned to a kingdom of glory- this scripture describes each kingdom. 1 Cor 15:40-42 talks about the resurrection of the dead. John 14:2 talks about the ‘in my Father’s house are many mansions’ I hope this helps. PM me if you want to talk some more. Don’t worry about your friend. He has a loving Heavenly Father!

Victoria: Although it is wrong to take one’s own life, a person who commits suicide may not be responsible for his or her acts. Only God can judge such a matter. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth. ”When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth“ (”Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not,“ Ensign, Oct. 1987, 8). http://lds.org/study/topics/suicide?lang=eng&query=suicide

Over 100 comments-as a psychologist I reviewed each comment most of which appeared to be supportive and healthy counsel.

Now let’s try this one. We posted:

Rachel, one of our fam, posted, “I am fifteen years old. Why can’t I date? I don’t see the big deal.”

On Voices for Virtue Facebook page Rachel talks back and forth with Marc and Laura a couple of other LDS Teens, about the importance of waiting until she is 16 to date.   They tell Rachel about a couple of books: A whole chapter on the pitfalls of youth in the “Miracle of Forgiveness” and  a section on not dating until you’re 16 from  “Why? Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards?”  Twenty-two comments later Rachel leaves the Facebook conversation seeming more content to wait to date and saying “Thank you for the book suggestions I am going to look them up!”

Now you tell me what is more powerful than a couple of youth “mentoring” another youth in a principle of a gospel on Facebook? Where else in Rachel’s life could she have had this “private” uplifting experience? To see more responses to Rachel’s see our recent newsletter:  Gospel according to Facebook

As a psychologist, I’m impressed with the Gospel and Psychology according to Facebook. There is real power here. 

I encourage each of us if you have the influence”-whether that be share Voices for Virtue with your friends, make a financial donation, or whatever – use it to help!”

dr rick
Upward Reach Volunteer

It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. ‘Tis right, … for a man who has influence to use it. From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get”  (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:286; as quoted in “Our Divine Constitution” )

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