Sep 25

The Church’s Use of Media

A colleague mentioned to me today that it was interesting how BYU is expanding its use of media to share uplifting messages of truth, enlightenment, and intelligence.  My reply to him was that in general, the Church’s use of media lately has been explosive.

How much does the Church use media?  Five years ago, there were few places where one could grab a podcast of something as fundamental as the Standard Works.  There were MP3s here and there.  One could go to BYU Broadcasting and search for talks and discourses one at a time.  But this very day, September 25, 2012, I found no fewer than 90 podcasts relating to the Gospel and members of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an entire section of their site dedicated to “Video, Audio, and Images” available to all.  They have not one but several Youtube channels, a number of Facebook pages, a bunch of Twitter accounts, lots of things available on iTunes, and a handful of audiobooks to be posted soon.

As one who loves to collect and listen to audio files of speeches, discourses, devotionals, General Conference addresses, and other such LDS materials, this thrills me.  Through the past few years, I have amassed a collection of about 70 Gigabytes of such content.  What excites me even more is that it is starting to be produced faster than I can listen to it.  To make some attempt at cataloging everything I have found, such types of resources will be placed into the “Audiovisual” section of this site.  As I get more organized, that page should be more intuitive.

Recently, our household was considering ways to cut expenses.  One way was through buying a Roku device.  The one-time purchase provided extra content, allowing us to take our Satellite TV plan to the lowest one available.  Buying a Roku turned out to be one of the best purchases I have ever made.  The reason: The Church has its own channel on the Roku!  In addition, there is a lot of highly informative and uplifting material in the BYU Channel.

The Church’s use of media has exploded in the last handful of years.  I first became aware of this from an address by M. Russell Ballard at the BYU-Hawaii Commencement on December 15, 2007, called “Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet.” (mp3 here)  Since that address was given, all kinds of channels, feeds, podcasts, and other types of resources have been made available to all who wish to have it, most of the time in their own language.  A quick visit to the links provided herein will take you to audio, podcasts, or videos on nearly any topic for which you seek more information.

Sep 21

A Different Way to Study

How long is your drive in to work?  Do you ever find yourself waiting?  Waiting for them to finish your oil change, car repairs, fill your prescription, finish your child’s haircut, or any other down-time can be used to study the Gospel.  This method is a little out of the ordinary, but is very effective in furthering one’s understanding.

Here at Gospel Study Journal, we have a page of Podcasts, usually offering audio files, but sometimes providing links to wonderfully uplifting videos.  Enter your choice of these links into any podcatcher, such as iTunes or MediaMonkey (both have free versions).  In this day and age, there are literally thousands and thousands of hours’ worth of marvelous uplifting talks, discourses, audio books, and other recorded programs.

Smartphones these days come with some great podcatchers.  For the Android platform, I would recommend either BeyondPod or Podkicker.  On the iPhone, I’m not sure what options are available for listening to Gospel programs, but if you know of one, please do let me know!

When my ears are graced with the powerful, stirring words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie or President Gordon B. Hinckley, it is a little easier to forgive the foibles of the drivers around me while driving to work.  The Spirit is with me, calming me and helping me to feel love for others as I drive.  Additionally, I learn a great deal about the Gospel.  If you have the means, I highly recommend this manner of learning the Gospel.

Audio books, talks, discourses, and other recorded programs can be a wonderful way to partake of the marvelous teachings of the Gospel.