Small and simple things

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Mother Teresa, a truly inspiring woman who dedicated over 45 years of her life to ministering to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while proselytizing Christianity, once offered the following words of wisdom:

“In this life we cannot do great things.  We can only do small things with great love.”

How very often we tend to look for the “grand plan”, the big things we can do to make a big difference, all while the small opportunities that are ever-present ever pass us by.  We look beyond the mark.

But big plans seldom work out, and big ideas seldom take off, whereas the little things, the more achievable things, the more straightforward things, the more immediate things, those things that are right in front of us, are those things that really matter and really move us forward.

It’s great to dream, it’s better to do.

After all, it’s usually the cumulative effect of so many little things, done persistently, and done well, that creates greatness.

“By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass.”  (Alma 37:6)

In our lives, whether in business or as parents, as we pay closer attention to making the most of the little opportunities that lie right in front of us, we will move naturally towards the dreams that matter most.

Rusty

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Missionary work on an iPhone!

I’m always looking for ways to leverage new technology to spread the gospel, and the iPhone is creating some unique ways to do just that.

There’s an application you can download on the iTunes App Store called Graffitio.  Much like the name would suggest, Graffitio allows you create “graffiti” on “virtual walls” all around the world.

Here’s how it works. 

When you launch Graffitio on your iPhone, it uses the phones location awareness (GPS) to see exactly where you are, and then shows you all the virtual “walls” in your vicinity.  A wall is simply a location that someone has decided to make a comment about.  Usually these are restaurants, stores, parks, etc.  You can click on one of these “walls” and see what others have said about it.  For instance, if you particularly like a given restaurant, you may decide to add a small note describing your experience.  Then others in the area will be able to see your comments on that particular restaurant.  If a wall doesn’t exist for that restaurant, you simply click a button, the iPhone sees where you are, you create a name for the wall (the name of the restaurant), and add your comments.  Now others in the area will see there’s a social “wall” for that restaurant, and can add their comments to yours.

Now, here’s where the missionary work comes in.

There are countless LDS locations around the world.  Some of them are historical, while others (such as temples) are unique or significant in some other way.

My challenge is for iPhone users around the world to visit these locations, and create “walls” for them.  Then share your testimony, or brief context about that location.  Now others in the area will be able to see your walls, read your testimony or thoughts, and know why that area is significant.

It can be as simple as taking your iPhone to church (I know, don’t say it), and creating a wall for your chapel, listing meeting times, and a personal invitation to come to sacrament meeting.

By doing this, we’ll be exposing important LDS locations around the world, and adding our voice to an all new social medium.

So, go out there, and start writing your own graffiti! 

When you do create a wall, come back here and let us know about it, so that we can all watch this virtual “structure” expand across the globe!

Oh, and make sure to forward this to all iPhone wielding Mormons.

Rusty

 

P.S.  I’ll be going to Temple Square to do my part as well, we’ll see if someone beats me to it, if so, that’s great, I’ll add my comments to yours!

P.S.S.  The image above was a quick mock-up I did, Grafffitio doesn’t yet support images, but I’m sure they will soon.

To launch iTunes and download Graffitio, click here.

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So many Mormon blogs

Today as I was looking through the recent search phrases people used to find my site, I found the following, which made me chuckle.

“Is having a blog a Mormon thing?”

I can answer that.  The fact is that it didn’t used to be.  But recently an apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a speech, an excerpt of which was later published in one of our official church magazines “The Ensign”, wherein he made the suggestion that those who are able, should start engaging in new media, speaking up about Mormonism, and adding their voice to the growing online conversation.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches.  While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”   (See the full article here).

See, Mormons believe in same structure that existed in Christ’s Primitive church, including living prophets and apostles (I explain more here).  These men have been called of God, just as in times of old, and as such, receive ongoing revelation and instruction from the Lord.  They, in turn (and just as in times of old), then endeavor to instruct, counsel, and advise the church.  We take their counsel to be of divine origin, which is to say we take it very seriously (or should).

So, to stumble upon someone out there who has made the astute observation that there sure are a lot of Mormon blogs sprouting up is just plain awesome.  We belong to a church led by inspiration and revelation, and we work together to prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

Something tells me that the momentum of Mormon’s blogging is just getting started.

Rusty

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Every member a marketer

First let me point out that there’s a big difference between marketing and advertising.  Advertising is paid, public, intentional messages that you produce.  But marketing encompasses much, much more.  Marketing entails all the unintentional messages you send as well.

For a company that could be how you answer the phones, what your building looks like, they way in which you communicate to your customers, how you dress (Steve Job’s famous black shirt), etc.

Frequent flyers know that they get lots of expensive brochures, cards, and mailers from their chosen airline – that’s advertising.  But when you go to the gate and get a grumpy gate agent, or get on the plane and find it a mess, or have delays, etc. – that’s marketing.

Marketing is how you build a reputation; advertising is the “call to action”.  Marketing is cultivation whereas advertising is harvesting.

We’ve all heard the phrase “every member a missionary”.  Equally important is the concept of “every member a marketer”.

Everywhere you go, everything you do as a member of the church, you leave an impression – you send a message.  The cumulative messages sent by over 13 million Mormon members through their daily behavior -that’s marketing, and it’s tapped into every time a missionary presents a call to action.

We should always ask ourselves the important question… what impression am I making?  What message am I sending? 

Rusty

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