What of the
Create an E-Library
Editor's Note. If you will check the article in the January Ensign or Liahona, you will note 5 footnotes referenced to Gary Lawrence's How Americans View Mormonism, a remarkable and very useful, if expensive book.
This is from page 140 of of this book. I will make some more comments and perhaps quotations next posting.
Create an E-Library
As you become comfortable with this new approach to spreading the gospel, you should build your own E-library—a file of interesting facts, statements, quotes, articles, and other explanations about the Church. Here are the guidelines.
· Except when you add a newspaper article or similar document to your library, keep each file short, perhaps only one to four paragraphs of text. Lists such as an FAQ or a compilation of famous Mormons, can, of course, be longer.
· Resist the temptation to quote long excerpts from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. The more ideas you can couch in your own words, the greater soul-to-soul communication.
· De-jargonize it. It is acceptable to draw from Church manuals, but make sure any unique words we use are defined or replaced with words that those of other faiths will recognize.
· As you prepare your files, build short, medium, and longer-length attachments for various levels of religious interest and understanding.
· Do not post your E-library on a website and direct your friends to it. Write your emails as you would talk to your friend, and then carefully select appropriate information to attach. People are more likely to open an email attachment that to click on a link.
As you prepare and email, you have a choice of embedding information in your text or tacking it to your missive as an attachment. If it’s short, incorporate it; if longer, include it as an attachment.
It would be easy for me to send you my own E-library, but I would be cheating you out of two blessings. First, if you create a personalized library, you will use it. And second, if you build your own collection of useful items, you will gain confidence that will extend both downstream and upstream—that is, you will be confident in ongoing email, conversations and you will become more confident when you first meet someone. Knowing that you have a library of solid information supporting you will make you more adept at dropping comments into conversations and asking your listeners if they would like to receive additional information by email.
Remember that when presenting facts by email, there is….
….no fear of embarrassment
….no fear of ridicule
….no fear of losing a friend
….no fear of being viewed unfavorably
….and there is no fear of saying the wrong thing because you will be backed up by your own collection of well-developed facts and explanations.
But here is what I will do. To begin your own E-Library, send your email address to me at [email protected] and I will send you a starter kit (pass the e-munition) of three items that I have found quite popular and especially easy to pass along to others:
Weird things Mormons believe
Through email discussions, we first become tour guides as we facilitate a personal, comfortable, ongoing Q&A with our friends, and in time, mentors, as their curiosity turns to interest.