At General Conference this weekend, a new General Young Women’s president was called. (This means she oversees the program for teen girls internationally.) She may be the first General Young Women’s president who is into social media. Bonnie Oscarson has a very active Pinterest page as well as a Facebook page. (I haven’t checked out the other social media sites yet.)

email-584705_640Now, here’s your homework: Wander around your social media sites and imagine you’ve just been called as the president of one of the Church auxiliaries. Before you’re called, the prophet is going to do a social media review on you. (I don’t really know if they do that, but just imagine.) You realize the prophet will know what is on all your sites. In a few weeks, the whole world will be rushing in to see as well.

Do you find yourself wanting to erase a few things?

Who will people decide you are if all they know is what is on your social media page and that short little bio that gets released?

The summary on her Pinterest page says: “’If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.’ And may I add just downright cute to the list?”

When I looked at Sister Oscarson’s Pinterest page, I decided that she:

bonnie-oscarson-1190455-galleryLoves to read—there is an author’s board. (She has a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on British and American literature.) She likes crafts and decorating and giving parties—the usual feminine things. She likes to travel because she has a board of dream destinations. She has kid stuff on her board, suggesting she works hard at family life. She is very computer literate, with a computer board that contains information on using Photoshop and Word. Her humor board is clean and not mean. Her board about famous women includes Jane Austen, Mother Teresa, and a woman who smuggled out Jewish babies during World War II. She likes the color red.

In other words, her board isn’t an embarrassment to her. I feel like I know her better, but I don’t have any less respect for her.

Every now and then, I picture myself at my judgment after death. Jesus says, “Okay, next is your social media review. Let’s log in to your Facebook account.” I go through my wall with an eye towards how it might look to Jesus. Is anything mean spirited? Inappropriate? What does it tell the world my priorities are? (Do I talk more about cats than the gospel, for instance?) I do a little housecleaning and then try harder to not need to do any housecleaning in the future.

Sister Oscarson’s call is a reminder to us all: We don’t know when our account might become famous without warning. We need to keep it ready for the world to see at all times.

Deseret News quoted this article!

I had to rebuild the database and lost the comments. Here is a comment that was posted to this article.

Comment from Sarah Oscarson Giles: 2013/04/09 at 12:32 am

october-2013-general-conference-1169821-galleryBonnie Oscarson is my mother. I was impressed that the day we found out about the calling (Saturday, just like everyone else) my daughter (14) posted this on her Facebook status:

I just wanted to say that my grandmother is an amazing example. She didn’t know she would get this huge calling, and the press has absolutely nothing bad to say about her. It made me think…..if I suddenly gained thousands of followers from around the world, what would it say about my church? Would I be embarrassed about anything I’ve posted? I’ll definitely think twice now online.

So thanks for being a remarkable example to all of us, Mo:) & GOOD LUCK as the new General President of YW’s!  I think your point is an excellent one. I have been trying to teach my daughter for years that whatever she puts out on the internet is a permanent reflection of her character. This experience has really driven the point home.

To read more articles by Terrie Bittner, please click here.

To read more articles by Terrie Bittner, please click here.

Terrie’s Note: This article was mentioned in the BYU Devotional given by Elder Bednar on August 19, 2014–my official two seconds of fame in life. My part is at 29:17.  The video is at the end of the article.

Find out what I learned from being quoted by an apostle tomorrow. 🙂

About Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.

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