Do you see those little satellite dishes sitting on top of almost every roof? How about those giant wifi and cell towers that basically give anyone immediate access to everyone else across the globe from the comfort of their own home? Yeah…those little devices are allowing prophesies to be fulfilled.
We wonder how the gospel will be preached in every country. How will it reach over what seems to be unscalable and impenetrable physical and political walls? Elder Ballard, in calling the Internet the “modern printing press” said that “because of the emergence of what some call ‘new media,’ made possible by the Internet, many of those barriers have been removed.”(M. Russell Ballard, Sharing The Gospel Using The Internet, July 2008 Ensign)
Who would have thought that the prophecies about the gospel going into every nation would be fulfilled by people like you and I sitting in our beds in the middle of the night sharing messages of goodness. Now, people that have disabilities or are otherwise unable to serve a full time mission can reach the world with messages of faith and hope. Anyone, anywhere, can bear their testimonies “with a voice to shake the earth” because of the power of the internet. Virtual missionaries can bring the gospel to the four corners of the earth as it were with the “trump of God.”
Alma wished he could live at the time you do right now. He would only dream of a technology that could reach millions with a single click. When I left on my mission, I chose for my missionary plaque a statement from the man himself. “Oh that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth…!” The scripture in Alma 29 goes on by telling us that Alma’s deepest desire was to “declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.”
…And then finally he relented that he ought to be content with the things that he currently had.
Given that statement from Alma, can you imagine what Alma would have done if he lived in our day? Can you imagine if Alma had access to the internet including social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Can you imagine what Alma’s blog would have looked like!? No other time in the history of mankind have we been able to “preach upon the housetops” and figuratively shake the earth with the knowledge of the gospel. (Matt 10:27)
When I chose Alma 29:1-2 as my missionary scripture, I had no idea I would actually be living Alma’s dream 12 years later. There was no such thing as Facebook at the time. It was founded in 2004 when I was on my mission. Twitter came 2 years later. I had no idea what a social network was and what it did. Today, I’m witnessing the miracle of it all. I always wanted to continue to be a missionary after I returned home from my mission. I never could have imagined that I could fulfill a 2 year mission and then become a full time digital missionary from home. I never could have imagined writing 700 words or so about a gospel principle and have it read by hundreds of thousands of people around the world in less than 24 hours. I never could have imagined writing a quick message about Christ could be read over half a million times. I never could have imagined developing good friendships with pastors of other congregations online because we’ve been able to establish common ground through standing up for core Christian values. In the gospel sense, that is technological thunder at it’s best. To me…that was Alma’s dream.
When I was on my mission…it was like pulling teeth to get into someone’s door to share a message about Jesus Christ. Now you can press a “share” button and “shake the earth…with the plan of redemption.” I’m realizing that Alma, Moroni and probably many other Book of Mormon prophets saw our day and longed to live in it because of the technological power available for us to spread the message of Christ. Isaiah saw in vision things like planes and trains…but I wonder if he saw us moving the work forward in the middle of the night with nothing but the glow of our laptop screens as our pulpit. Young, old, busy, retired…we can all do it. We can all live Alma’s dream.
You may think that no one is looking at the messages you share online, but I’ve got evidence to show you that they do care, and that lives are being changed. People are being reached that would have never had the opportunity. Millions are sitting in their beds in the wee hours of the night…scrolling, waiting, watching, yearning for something that will bring happiness into their lives.
If Alma had a blog…that thing would have been pretty sweet. But he didn’t live in a day in which he could have a blog. Alma had to spend years etching his testimony into plates. I feel pretty lucky to live during a time in which his words can shake the earth “as with the voice of thunder” through you and I…