Thursday, October 21, 2010

Online Pioneer

What defines the American pioneering spirit?  Perhaps a desire to improve one's lot in life, to start anew, to fulfill a vision of what could be.  Pioneering requires determination, perseverance, overcoming obstacles, leadership, a willingness to work for the common good, being comfortable with risks, faith.

Much of Mormon history is wrapped in the pioneer experience that many early church members had.  This pioneering continues today as members worldwide start new family traditions, open remote countries to the presence of the church, and build legacies.

Pioneering also takes place online.  Mormons are not always in the vanguard with respect to developing new technologies, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is certainly a pioneer in how technology is used for religious purposes and is busy building online communities with a fervor that rivals that of its settlement of Utah and the west.

These Diigo web slides capture much of the current online presence of the Church.  The extent of the involvement of the Church in online communities is surprising in its breadth, and it is certainly possible I have left out some major sites they are involved in.

It's interesting to ponder how we might be pioneers, both online and offline, and how the pioneering spirit continues to define our experiences.