It's time for this social media pioneer to move along...
Over the last few days it's become apparent that many people have the mistaken idea that I represent the LDS Church, online, because I have been extended, by invitation, media credentials to cover LDS General Conference from inside the press room at the LDS General Conference Center during the live broadcasts. So, let me clarify by saying as directly as I know how to say it:
I do not, in anyway, represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in any official capacity, nor have I ever stated that I do. The opinions and information which I write about, or share, here on this blog emanate completely from my personal views and desire to share various aspect and events of the Mormon faith, and only from the perspective of a member of the LDS Church and nothing more. And in no way do I claim to speak on behalf of the LDS Church or for other members of the Church. I am solely responsible for what I post here on this blog and what I say elsewhere and would never want anyone to think otherwise.
With that said, and perhaps where some of the misunderstanding comes from, is that I consistently write in support of direction and counsel given by LDS Church leaders and uphold the doctrine of the Church, relentlessly, without opposition.
With that purpose at the core of what I do, online, I am a loyal follower and distributor of a good amount of content, which is posted on LDS.org, Mormon.org, the Mormon Newsroom, etc. But in no way in doing these things does the LDS Church have anything to do with it, other than my responding to a general call to every member of the Church to engage in the same activity; albeit, I am more obsessive than many. However, I act 100% independent in doing so.
Coupled with that foundation, I admittedly have a bold voice in opposing some of the opposition to what I personally find contrary to the Church, and its leaders, advocated online associated with controversial social issues.
Some considers me a social media "pioneer" among members of the LDS faith in the area of sharing the gospel online. And although I would never have thought to describe myself in those terms, initially, along with many other members who blazed the trail right alongside of me I now accept the designation, with enthusiasm, and hope to continue encouraging others to get involved.
Today, I see this chapter of my life, as an interesting and exciting facet of my own personal history, which is also part of the history of the LDS Church in launching its social media presence online. Anyone who understands the concept of how social media works know it's all about sharing from one person to the next, digitally. This is something I was actively not only doing, independently, but also working hard to encourage others to do, too, at that time.
In looking back, it shouldn't seem odd that when social media, in general, began to be recognized as a powerful way to broadcast a message that the "Online News Media" department of LDS Church Public Affairs would utilize the new media. Who better to engage than a member who was already successfully using it? So, they reached out and extended the invitation to me to sit in the media room during General Conference along side of other media outlets without giving any direction as to what I should do or say, nor have they ever.
I was so surprised (and honored), by the invitation and after discussing it with my husband, I graciously accepted. For us, it has been an offering to the Lord each time, as we've paid for all transportation and lodging requirements necessary for me to travel from California to Utah every six months for the past two and a half years. And throughout this entire journey has been the ever faithful #TwitterStake!
I want to publicly thank LDS Church Public Affairs for extending the initial invitation and for allowing me to continue to sit in the media room over the last few years. It has been a wonderful time of my life and a tremendous personal blessing, which I shall always treasure. Each and every conference has been a thrilling experience in witnessing, firsthand, the work of salvation as it rolls forward.
However, after much prayer and consideration not wanting to have any confusion with what I write here on WBMW being misconstrued as representative of the official LDS Church and my great respect for the work of the Church online, I have decided it is best to discontinue broadcasting General Conference from the LDS Conference Center.
As with all pioneers, it's time to move along and forge my way toward the next frontier. And besides, I really miss General Conference weekends with my family, our traditional cinnamon rolls, and tweeting in my PJs!