The world is a scary place. If you have spent any amount of time on the internet, you know the online world is even worse.
With a rise in cyberbullying and heated comment threads, many members of the Church wonder how they can boldly stand up for their beliefs while respecting differences and avoiding contention.
The answer is found in the scriptures. If we will evaluate Moroni 7:45 before we comment or post online, we can be guaranteed the Holy Ghost will be with us and use our online interactions as a source of goodness.
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Let’s break down this scripture together.
To be long-suffering is more than just having patience. When we suffer long, we patiently endure a repeated or lasting hardship. Is there someone online who you have tried to ignore or be patient with, but you feel you are at a breaking point? Continue on a little longer.
If you are worried about how you may react to them online, consider “snoozing” their posts or unfollowing them entirely.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once said, “Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others.” Before posting anything, ask yourself if your words are a true reflection of Jesus Christ. Do your words reflect how Christ would talk to someone?
The world of social media can be difficult because so many of us want to put our best self forward. Even though we all struggle, the world only sees the highlights. It is easy to become envious of the seemingly perfect life we see. How do we react to our friends online who we envy? Are we trying to get to know them truly or are we harboring resentful feelings?
A lot of emotions can be related to the visualization of being “puffed up.” The most common emotions, however, are pride and arrogance. When we get into discussions online, it can become easy to convince ourselves our viewpoint is the only one that is right and nothing else matters.
Try to be openminded and evaluate your own position. Pray for God to teach you something.
Seeketh Not Her Own
Do your online interactions have a selfish motive? Do post or reply for attention, fame, or more followers? Jesus Christ would have us use social media and other online activity to strengthen others and bear testimony of him. Spend some time praying and pondering on how you can be a positive influence in someone else’s life through social media.
Not Easily Provoked
This may just be the hardest part of this scripture! When we can type faster than we can think, it is easy to react without the spirit of God. Always put some space between you and threads that rile you up or get your blood flowing. You can reply. You do not have to sit silently when you feel passionate about something. However, it is good to take your time and respond as Christ would.
What has helped you share goodness online and keep contention out of your comings and goings? We want to know!
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.