Quotes on Technology

Remember, the marvels of modern science and technology will not exalt us. Indeed, the great challenge we face as we prepare for the future is to be more spiritually enlightened. All of this new, expanding intellectual property must certainly be mastered through great effort and learning. But technical savvy is not fully useful unless there is a spiritual purpose and meaning to it. I am certain the Lord expects us to apply it to the advancement of His purposes and the blessing of mankind, but we must adopt those lofty ideals as personal goals and desires before we can direct technology to those purposes. President James E. Faust, “This Is Our Day,”General Conference, April 1999

The miracles of modern technology have brought efficiency into our lives in ways not dreamed of a generation ago, yet with this new technology has come a deluge of new challenges to our morals and our values.  Some tend to  rely more on technology than on theology.  I hasten to add that scientific knowledge, the marvels of communication, and the wonders of modern medicine have come from the Lord to enhance His work throughout the world.  As an example, the Church’s FamilySearch Web site has more than seven million hits a day.  But Satan, of course, is aware of this great progress in technology and likewise takes advantage of it for his purposes, which are to destroy and despoil.  He delights in the pornography on the Internet and the sleaze in many of our movies and television shows.  He has even engineered some of his own satanic messages into some of our modern music.  For the seeds of faith to sprout in our lives, we must avoid Satan’s grasp.

We also need to prepare our own seedbed of faith.  To do this we need to plow the soil through daily humble prayer, asking for strength and forgiveness.  We need to harrow the soil by overcoming our feelings of pride.  We need to prepare the seedbed by keeping the commandments to the best of our ability.  We need to be honest with the Lord in the payment of our tithing and our other offerings.  We need to be worthy and able to call forth the great powers of the priesthood to bless ourselves, our families, and others for whom we have responsibility.  There is no better place for the spiritual seeds of our faith to be nurtured than within the hallowed sanctuaries of our temples and in our homes. — President James E. Faust, “Of Seeds and Soils,” Ensign, November 1999, pp. 47-48

“Technology is a wonderful thing that has also got the capacity, if you are not careful, to absolutely consume you,” he said.  “Don’t let technology run away with you on things that don’t matter. . . . If you are not careful, technology can take you away from being able to communicate with each other – being able to talk to each other, face-to-face, with real language and not texting on your cell phone.”

He spoke of the importance of keeping technology in its proper place – especially in Church meetings.

“Don’t take your cell phone to sacrament meeting; if you do, turn it off,” he said.  “Draw the line, shut it off.  The Spirit cannot communicate with you if you don’t allow it to, so you have to do your part . . . in preparing to receive the promptings and power of the Gospel.” — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Things that matter most,” Church News, August 27, 2011, p. 10

While the first half of the 20th century saw significant challenges, it also brought new technologies that President Smith believed would further the Lord’s work.  He was a strong proponent of the aviation industry and saw it as a way to fulfill his travel assignments as a General Authority more efficiently.  He also supported the Church’s use of radio and television to take the word of the Lord to a broader audience.  “We ought to regard these [inventions] as blessings from the Lord,” he said.  “They greatly enlarge our abilities.  They can indeed become blessings if we utilize them in righteousness for the dissemination of truth and the furtherance of the work of the Lord among men.  The great challenge facing the world today lies in the use we make of many of these inventions.  We can use them to destroy, as we have sometimes done in the past, or we can utilize them to enlighten and bless mankind, as our Heavenly Father would have us do.”  (In Deseret News, May 10, 1947, Church section, 10.)

In a general conference address in 1946, President Smith prophesied about the use of such technologies:  “It will not be long until, from this pulpit and other places that will be provided, the servants of the Lord will be able to deliver messages to isolated groups who are so far away they cannot be reached. In that way and other ways, the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord, the only power of God unto salvation in preparation for the celestial kingdom, will be heard in all parts of the world, and many of you who are here will live to see that day.”  (Conf. Report, Oct. 1946, p. 6) Teachings of Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, p. 159

In our day it is easy to merely pretend to spend time with others.  With the click of a mouse, we can “connect” with thousands of “friends” without ever having to face a single one of them.  Technology can be a wonderful thing, and it is very useful when we cannot be near our loved ones.  My wife and I live far away from precious family members; we know how that is. However, I believe that we are not headed in the right direction, individually and as a society, when we connect with family or friends mostly by reposting humorous pictures, forwarding trivial things, or linking our loved ones to sites on the Internet.  I suppose there is a place for this kind of activity, but how much time are we willing to spend on it?  If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.

Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Regrets and Resolutions,” Ensign, November 2012

Now comes the challenge to prevent the scientific, technical, and intellectual from stifling the spiritual enlightenment in our lives.  As someone once said, “The greatest of undeveloped resources [in our country] is faith; the greatest of unused power is prayer.” Technology may help us communicate with each other and the world, but not with God. — President James E. Faust, “The Shield of Faith,” General Conference, April 1, 2000

But the bricks and mortar and the continued expansion of technology will only bring the messages to us.  One challenge remains the same from the time of King Benjamin to the time of President Grant to today – that is, the challenge of each individual and family, through personal and collective study, to internalize the messages of the gospel of our Lord and Savior.  Salvation is not in facilities or technology, but in the word. Only in the power of the word will it impact our lives and help us to live closer to our Father in Heaven. — Elder L. Tom Perry, “Thou Shalt Give Heed unto All His Words,” Ensign, May 2000

Now comes the challenge to prevent the scientific, technical, and intellectual from stifling the spiritual enlightenment in our lives.  As someone once said, “The greatest of undeveloped resources [in our country] is faith; the greatest of unused power is prayer.”

Technology may help us communicate with each other and the world, but not with God. — President James E. Faust, “The Shield of Faith,” General Conference, 1 April 2000