A recent phenomenon is that moments–literally moments–after a speaker has spoken in General Conference, someone somewhere has created a meme that is ready for sharing, posting, pinning, Insta-ing, Tweeting, etc… In fact, in some cases the speaker probably hasn’t said “Amen” before they’re inspired one-liners are traveling virtually and globally.
I like it. It makes it easy to share the gospel. It makes it easy to share quotes and ideas that struck you during conference (and for months afterwards). People are visual, and this is a visually appealing way to share. Some of these memes are so well designed!
There is the temptation, although subtle, to stop at meme-sharing. There is the temptation to see a meme on Pinterest or Instagram, “double-click” it, “like” it, or “share” it, and think, “Yep, that is my new favorite quote of the day! I love it! I’m inspired by it!” and never actually read the talk! It might just seem weird if you looked at my Instagram feed and I had tons of great conference memes, but when you asked me about my favorite talks, I hadn’t really studied any of them in full. I doubt anyone else has done this, I’m sure. Probably just a personal problem. And during conference weekend, I posted some memes from talks I hadn’t studied yet, because they weren’t online yet.
I recently noticed a person who had quoted only one line from President Uchtdorf’s talk and then kind of spun it a weird way. A not-so-friendly way. That’s fine. But once you read the entire talk, it is plainly obvious that they had at the very least misinterpreted the idea President Uchtdorf was teaching. The meme just wasn’t enough.
Here’s my point: The memes are only as powerful or meaningful as the rest of the talk.
I’m going to keep using these little posters, these memes. I like them. I’m going to keep Pinning them. Go ahead, follow me. They are graphically and visually appealing and they are uplifting. But I’m going to make sure that I know what the rest of the talk covered. In fact, the power of the meme may be in what is taught in the less-easily-quotable portions of the talk.
These views are personal, and are not the official views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...