The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints created official Facebook profiles for President Thomas S. Monson and other Church leaders last year to share the message of the gospel with a wider audience.
In addition to the Facebook profiles, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve now have Google+ accounts to also protect their reputation, according to Chad Phares, the digital publishing coordinator and manager for the accounts of the General Authorities.
“The desire was to help them maintain who they are and what they have been called to do,” Phares said.
Church leaders have encouraged Church members to use social media to share the gospel with their friends.
In a talk given at the April 2011 General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before.”
“The term ‘#ldsconf’ trended … as high as No. 4 worldwide and in the U.S.,” a post on Mormon Newsroom said.
On the other hand, while the LDS Church has an official social media presence, some people have created unofficial social media accounts for some of the Church leaders.
For example, a Twitter account named “Elder Holland Quotes” shares quotes from Elder Holland’s talks and articles in an effort to inspire others. The owner of this account acknowledges that the account is not endorsed by the LDS Church or by Elder Holland.
Likewise, other people have created accounts for other Church leaders, including President Monson and other authorities, that are not endorsed by them or by the LDS Church.
“A lot of them, to be honest, are really good,” Phares said regarding unofficial social media accounts. “A lot of them are simply members creating the profiles for somebody because they want to share the gospel and that is one way they can find to do it.”
Phares said currently there are no definite plans to move to other platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest.
“There’s no definite plans for anything specifically, but there are general plans for just about everything,” Phares said about using other social media platforms. “We have to keep up with where people are at.”
He said they could eventually move to other platforms after they determine how to most effectively use the Facebook and Google+ profiles.
“The official pages have helped us to let people see that there is an official source for the words of the Brethren,” Phares said.
Click in the following photos to visit the First Presidency’s Facebook profiles.