an important issue on lds.org

Discuss ideas and suggestions around the LDS.org website.
bswanson-p40
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:20 am

an important issue on lds.org

Postby bswanson-p40 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:33 am

Some friends and I recently noticed that there is no link to any information on Jesus Christ from the home page of lds.org. This was quite shocking to us, seeing as this is His church, He is the center of our faith, and we are trying to let the world know that Mormons are in fact Christians. Since these three facts are true, should we not link to information about Him, His life, ministry, miracles, and Atonement?

We were moved to write a letter, and we sent it to the First Presidency, Joel Dehlin, and Ron Schwendiman. We would like to post the contents of that letter here for added discussion among the "techies" of the lds community. Here are the contents of that letter:

Members of the First Presidency, Joel Dehlin, and Ron Schwendiman:

As you are the five people who most directly influence the content of the lds.org website, we are addressing this letter to you and hope that it does not encroach too much on your time. We have noticed a rather fundamentally disastrous issue regarding the home page of the site and feel to at least bring it to your attention.

In our associations with members of other faiths, we have noticed that lds.org is substantially utilized to learn about our doctrine, history, and culture. Unfortunately, aside from the image of the Christus statue and the logo of the Church, there is no link to or information about Jesus Christ Himself.

We were touched by Elder Ballard’s talk last week in conference – especially when he mentioned that many other denominations feel that “Mormons aren’t Christians.” We were pondering how we could change that perception. Our thoughts led us to visit the Church’s website through the eyes of someone not of our faith, to see what impression they would get of the LDS Church.

The first links that any visitor sees when visiting the site are these:
∼ About the church
∼ Gospel Library
∼ Family History and Temples
∼ Home and Family
∼ Serving in the Church
∼ News and Events

Thus, to those visiting the site for the first time, their impression is that the church promotes family history, temples, home, and family. But there is nothing that refers them to learn about Jesus Christ. We contacted the lds.org support staff regarding this issue, and the answer we received was that we should click on the “A-Z Index” and then click on “Jesus Christ” or use the search area. Why is it that visitors should have to dig to find information on Him whose church this is?

We suggest that the first menu item, above “About the Church,” read “Jesus Christ” or “About Jesus Christ.” Its submenus could read “Atonement,” “Life,” “Ministry,” “Miracles,” “Teachings.” These are only suggestions – other submenus may be more appropriate. But the point we’re trying to make is that in order to show the world that this truly is the Savior’s church, and that He truly is the center of our faith, information about Him should take the most prominent position on the website.

Now, we fully support the decisions of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. If it is their decision that this link should not be added to the main page, we will accept that on faith. We simply feel that this may have been overlooked.

Thank you very much for your time.

David Golding, Greg Golding, Benjamin Swanson

User avatar
daddy-o-p40
Member
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:22 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:03 am

Change is on the way.....

check out beta.mormon.org

:p
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

User avatar
greenwoodkl
Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:59 am
Location: Orem, Utah, United States
Contact:

Postby greenwoodkl » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:46 pm

I hope that your letter is well received Ben. I would agree that Christ should be more prominent. I think a technological challenge and opportunity that could be looked into is finding a way to perhaps have the mormon.org content available from lds.org for those who go there prior to mormon.org. This could probably be done from either one source repository with different style sheets on the front-end to match the site scheme or better integrate the two sites so those seeking "basic belief"-type links on lds.org would be directed to mormon.org sites in an understandable manner with the ability to get back to lds.org if they are truly interested in the more in-depth content available there.

This has been a concern of mine off-and-on for a while. There have been many useful features and content on mormon.org that many technologically-new or challenged individuals of the Church may not be aware of. The features such as greeting cards and Church TV messages would be great things to expose to members to help them become better missionaries. I like the link to the new beta site on the LDS.org homepage - how can we technologically and socially help members utilize this resource to help spread the Gospel? And for those non-members who do visit mormon.org, why is there not a link back to LDS.org for more information beyond the basics? Are we scared that it may overwhelm them - meat before milk? Is it a technical oversight?

KathrynGZ
Member
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Draper, Utah, USA
Contact:

an important issue on lds.org

Postby KathrynGZ » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:36 pm

bswanson wrote:Some friends and I recently noticed that there is no link to any information on Jesus Christ from the home page of lds.org. This was quite shocking to us, seeing as this is His church, He is the center of our faith, and we are trying to let the world know that Mormons are in fact Christians. Since these three facts are true, should we not link to information about Him, His life, ministry, miracles, and Atonement?


Ben,

Thanks so much for your thoughts on lds.org. The same issue has troubled me for some time--in fact, I'd noticed the same thing on the home page of mormon.org, where "church" and "family" are listed ahead of "nature of God," and there is no direct mention of the Savior except in the Church's name. I've been hesitant to recommend mormon.org to my non-member friends because I was afraid it would reinforce their incorrect suspicions that we're not Christians or don't look to Christ as our Savior. I'm glad you spoke up.

Today I was excited to visit the new beta of mormon.org and see that it is much more Christ-centered.

Also, after attending the Tech Talk in Mountain View this past week, I suspect your idea would be well received. The presenters there made it clear that their primary aim is to serve the Lord and bring souls to Christ.

Kathryn

User avatar
WelchTC
Senior Member
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:51 am
Location: Kaysville, UT, USA
Contact:

Postby WelchTC » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:59 pm

Your thoughts and concerns are well appreciated and will be listened to. Let's not forget, however, that the charter for these forums is to discuss technology, not content. Since you sent the letter to those who can act upon it, I don't think that there is anything else that can be added. If you would like to comment on some technology behind the web site, that would be wonderful. However if you wish to comment on the content, your best bet would be to continue to work with those you have already contacted.

Tom

User avatar
joel
New Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:05 pm

Great Feedback!

Postby joel » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:12 pm

Benjamin, et al. Thank you for the feedback. Here is a copy of my email response to Benjamin.

/*
Hello Benjamin. Thanks for the post. It's frankly a great point. LDS.ORG is really not that old. Over time it has grown and now deserves a pretty serious re-thinking of the structure. This last release was mostly a technical one--better content management and search.

I agree with you that we can/should be a lot more focused on the Savior on the web site.

It's great feedback and we'll consider carefully as we start thinking about what's next for the home page.
*/

Tom is right, though. The intent of these forums is to talk about technology, not content.

Thanks for your interest, ya'll!

KathrynGZ
Member
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Draper, Utah, USA
Contact:

Postby KathrynGZ » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:26 pm

Joel Dehlin wrote:Tom is right, though. The intent of these forums is to talk about technology, not content.


I respect your charter, but I have to admit the line is somewhat fuzzy for me, as the technology is driven by and delivers the content. I don't mean you've been unclear or that I don't get what you're saying--I just mean they're pretty closely tied together in this context! And for me, what makes the technology especially exciting is the worthy purpose it's being used for.

Since we shouldn't mix content and technology on this forum, is there another place we can?

Kathryn

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:44 pm

Kathryn wrote:I respect your charter, but I have to admit the line is somewhat fuzzy for me, as the technology is driven by and delivers the content. I don't mean you've been unclear or that I don't get what you're saying--I just mean they're pretty closely tied together in this context! And for me, what makes the technology especially exciting is the worthy purpose it's being used for.

Since we shouldn't mix content and technology on this forum, is there another place we can?

Kathryn


Content is dealt directly with the church's feedback system or through Priesthood leaders. This is so this forum avoids any docterinal issues that could be later used to support a position in opposition to the church.

Now how technology helps supply content takes a different view. For example:
The web can be used to explain our beliefs through seperated pages that deal with an individual topic.
I can say this but bring context into it:
The church needs to make a web page so that I can tell the members of my ward to read the church's viewpoint on abortion and also it needs to create another page about the reasons why all males couldn't hold the priesthood and other topics.

Notice one talks about how technology in general can be used while the other brings in unnessisary content.
- David

User avatar
WelchTC
Senior Member
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:51 am
Location: Kaysville, UT, USA
Contact:

Postby WelchTC » Tue May 01, 2007 3:56 am

Kathryn wrote:I respect your charter, but I have to admit the line is somewhat fuzzy for me, as the technology is driven by and delivers the content. I don't mean you've been unclear or that I don't get what you're saying--I just mean they're pretty closely tied together in this context! And for me, what makes the technology especially exciting is the worthy purpose it's being used for.

It can be tough at times. The moderators and myself will do our best to help everyone know when a topic gets off track.

Tom

scion-p40
Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:56 pm

Postby scion-p40 » Tue May 01, 2007 4:00 am

[quote="thedqs"]Content is dealt directly with the church's feedback system or through Priesthood leaders.

-----snip------

Ummmmm . . . my experience with LDS sites has taught me that:
1) I can't tell if the feedback actually went through when I just get a white screen.
2) I have no record of what I sent unless I keep a separate copy (no cc: to self option).
3) A handful of times over the years I have gotten an unclear email about how they read all feedback, but since there is no quote, I have no idea to which feedback it refers.
4) I have never received a follow-up question or comment that related to my feedback, so I wonder if feedback goes somewhere (refer to #1), is it to a black hole?

Secondly, what priesthood leader do I know who would want feedback about the church websites? If the feedback isn't going anywhere and, unlike business websites, the LDS site lacks any contact information for key people, how would I know who these priesthood leaders are, what their titles are, and how to reach them?

Also, I think that some of these posts are not saying that the content is incorrect, just that the organization of that content is either awkward & time consuming to navigate, or that it might not be as useful to members and non-members as was originally intended. For example, the scouting info tells us that the church endorses scouting and that it is a good program. As a divorced mom, it would be helpful to have a chart identifying the differences between what Boy Scout handbooks say & how the church implements the program. I got my son all excited about finishing his Arrow of Light so he could join Boy Scouts only to learn that in the church program, he has to wait until he is 11. Once a boy scout, boys can go to camp; unless they're 11 and it's an LDS unit. Ugh! What is the official word on this stuff, vs. local tradition? The male leaders respond telling me that "everyone knows there are differences". My concern is not changing the rules (whatever they are, they are), but in being informed. I find the church websites to be both increasingly awkward to navigate and lacking in relevant content.


NOTE: After posting, I see that the tone of this message is very negative. Although I use the internet daily for my work, school, and/or genealogy, I find the LDS websites to be increasingly frustrating to use. When a site that I use frequently is totally reorganized to the point that I cannot find what I am seeking, I tend to avoid that site. When I finally get to the desired category and it gives me "feel good" info about the topic, but no practical detail, I am less inclined to go to the effort to use that site in the future. Think in terms of lessons from Pavlov's studies.


Return to “LDS.org Website”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest