Stumbling Blocks Are Removed
Forty years ago, with a brand new degree in journalism from Iowa State University, Sister Barbara Gardner’s career began at the Des Moines Register. Her first assignment, in addition to being the in-house magazine editor, was to write the training manual for “hot type” operators to become proficient in “cold type” technology. Ten years later she conducted a beta site for WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) typesetting technology and set up the first west coast demand publishing application for provider directories.
“Thirty years have passed," Gardner notes," and today ‘toner’ never meets paper, and the entire world is WYSIWYG! Isn’t technology wonderful?”
In 1991, Sister Gardner and her husband, Miles, became Latter-day Saints, three months after their sixteen year old daughter, Brittany, “wheeled” herself into the kingdom after being friendshipped by the wonderful youth of the Church in their area. Brittany was born with spina bifida and has been confined to a wheelchair all of her life.
Through the years, Sister Gardner and her husband attended many senior missionary homecomings and developed a yearning to serve in the Church full time when they retired.
“We knew that we would never be able to leave home due to our daughter’s disabilities," said Sister Gardner. "While we understood we were needed at home, it made us sad—but it made Brittany even sadder. She felt like she was a stumbling block on our path of service.
“Can you imagine her excitement when I found a missionary opportunity that embraced my love of technology, an opportunity to dust off my journalism degree, and an ability to serve from home? This mission allows me to serve in the technology center of the church, Salt Lake City, Utah, while tapping away on my keyboard in Surprise, Arizona. Isn’t technology wonderful!”
Sister Gardner considers it a huge bonus that she isn’t required to give up any ward or stake callings as a Church-service missionary. “I can still be involved with the Early Morning Seminary program, teach Gospel Doctrine class, and serve in the temple each week.”
With LDSTech, Sister Gardner will be interviewing other Church-service missionaries and writing articles for the blog about the impact CSMs have on Church technology and hastening the work of the Lord. She is enthusiastic to use her talents to spotlight the talents of others and invite more members to consider service missions.
She said, “I am excited to serve as an LDS Tech Church Service Missionary, help with the LDSTech blog, put my writing skills to good use, and continue to embrace the technology that I love.
“It is my testimony that the internet is available to us, by design, as an instrument to bring the gospel to all of God’s children. It is my desire to play a small part in bringing the PLAN OF H_ _ _INESS to all the world.
“Oh, yeah, there’s an APP for that!”
If you're interested to know more about Church-service missions, visit the opportunities page where you can see available options and complete the LDSTech Missionary and Service Opportunities form.