This blog is not an official website of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Website Differences

Dear Friend B,

I would be happy to explain this to you:

"What is the difference between mormon.org and lds.org?"

Mormon.org
Mormon.org is the website that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has put together for those who are looking for more information about us, well you know, Mormons.  Elder Ballard just said in Conference, "It is impractical to expect people to type the full name of the Church when seeking to find us or when logging on to our website."  The content of mormon.org is directed at those who are looking to find our more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is easy to find information about our beliefs and values.  It has links to information about Jesus Christ, WHO WE DO BELIEVE IN, Joseph Smith, and why we do missionary work and humanitarian aid, etc.

On mormon.org you can chat with a representative from our Church, but if that's way more commitment than a person wants to give there is a very thorough Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) link found near the upper right corner of the page.  It lists over 100 questions organized by topic.  Very easily a person could clarify any question that they had about our faith.  Also, find a church location, request a Book of Mormon or to have missionaries visit you in your home to tell you more.

One of the neatest features of mormon.org is the new "meet a mormon" campaign that has been happening during the past year.  Real Mormons have created profiles (here's mine!) to show that we are average, regular Joe's (or Lindsay's :).  We also have weighed in on these questions that people are so confused about.  A visitor to mormon.org has access to many testimonies.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is NO cult.  We have a prophet who is God's mouthpiece.  He tells us what God wants us to know, which may or may not be what we want to hear.  Reading all of these testimonies of members of The Church of Jesus Christ shows that we all truly believe in Jesus Christ.  The doctrine of Christ is real and very personal.  The Church is just the organization that brings order to living the doctrine of Christ on Earth.  There is also a really great talk by Dallin H. Oaks, one of our apostles, that explains this.

Visit mormon.org.  I dare you.  Member or non-member will find it an edifying trip.  Members should regularly log-in and add to the content that is listed to share with those seeking the truth.

LDS.org
The family of lds.org websites have been designed with the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in mind.  However, THEY ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE.  There is nothing secret about the content.  We do not post things there that we don't want our friends and neighbors to view.  In a digital age, it makes sense to have an online library of all of the Church's resources.  They are numerous, which is why there are so many websites in the lds.org family (i.e. conference.lds.org, temples.lds.org, youth.lds.org, music.lds.org, etc).  Mormon.org is just a subset of the Church's websites, (just like mormonmessages.org).  It organizes content that is fundamental to our religion so that someone doesn't click on the lds.org homepage and think "What now?".

Think of all the paper we are saving through having these resources online.  With over 14 million members that makes for a lot of manuals, pamphlets, etc.  Also, it is great to not have to drag a large bag of Church sponsored materials everywhere you need to go.

You can read the scriptures online.  You can get help with your calling, whether that be leadership tips (this is new, watch the tutorial!) or finding the materials needed for your organization.  Use the study notebook (found under Tools) and study Ensign articles, conference talks, and words from the prophets and apostles.  Find the Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching message.  Purchase Church approved materials for use in your home.  Log-in to access your stake and ward directory and the new calendar feature.  Watch Mormon Messages and other uplifting media.  The hymns are all online and so is other LDS artwork.

The list is endless.

With so much content to wade through, it can be confusing to find things sometimes.  This is why I link to lds.org so much.  I want to help make members aware of resources that they didn't know were there.  There is no need to look elsewhere for Family Home Evening ideas, Primary Sharing time ideas, etc.  No member of the Church is expected to read every webpage that the Church sponsors, far from it.  No member of the Church is required to visit lds.org.  It is a resource to bless the lives of the members.  And it does bless mine.  I hope this blog shows that.

Every blog post that I write, links somewhere on mormon.org or lds.org.  I want people to know that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and of His church.  I want them to be able to know what I know, to read what I read, and to feel what I feel about the truthfulness of the gospel.  This is why I avoid linking to other sites.  I do not want anyone to get their information from a source other than the Church itself.  This is also why I don't care if my blog grows to be big and famous.  When someone reads here, because of a search that they did, they are provided with a link to the right source to learn more.  People are searching.

I would encourage other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to become a little bolder and share a little bit more on the internet about what they believe.  Share a little less about what you ate for lunch, who said/wore what, or funny animal pictures/ videos, etc.

Bottomline:

Everyone is welcome at either mormon.org or lds.org.  Members of the Church should not send non-members to lds.org unless linking them to something specific, because that defeats the purpose of mormon.org as being a concentrated place to answer their questions if they are left to click around on their own.

Hope this helps,
Lindsay

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