Last month Buzzfeed ran an article of 25 Things Mormon Girls Love. #1 on the list? Pinterest.
And it’s true. Mormons LOVE Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I know a single female Latter-day Saint who doesn’t at the very least have a profile.
As with any social media platform or website, there are always the dangers of wasting away your life in a virtual world and neglecting real-time relationships. It's easy to wittle away the hours planning the beautiful nursery you'll design for your baby and drooling over photos of food as you think about how well your family is going to eat, but unless you actually go and do, Pinterest can easily become a vice rather than a virtue.
That being said, there is also a reason why Pinterest gets so much praise from Latter-day Saints. It is perfectly suited to promote our values.
When Bonnie D. Oscarson became the new Young Women general president, it quickly became known that she also has a Pinterest account, and her profile summary perfectly describes why Mormons love Pinterest: “‘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?”
Here are some of the reasons I think Pinterest is perfect for Mormons:
1. Mormons (and Pinteresters) focus on the family.
Our children are an heritage of the Lord, and we know the family is the fundamental unit of society. As such, we seek to educate our children and raise them to be able to contribute and be the best example to the rest of the world that they can. Here are some of my favorite Pinterest finds that help do just that.
· 13 Weeks of FHE on the Articles of Faith
· Raising Kids Who Get Along
· How to Teach Your Kids About Money
· 33 General Conference Activities for Children
· Books that Will Empower Your Girls
· 10 Ways to End the Chore War
2. Mormons (and Pinteresters) seek out that which is inspirational and uplifting.
As the 13th Article of Faith explains, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." Inspirational quotes made into images, often called memes, are some of the most popular content on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorites.
· "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."
· One way to the temple
· "Virtue is the strength and power of the daughters of God."
· "The grass is greener where you water it."
· Let God.
· "God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has."
3. Mormon (and Pinterest) culture is a food culture.
We serve refreshments at our firesides, have enrichment meetings on cooking, and take meals to those who have had a new baby or gone through surgery. We emphasize the value of spending time together around the table as a family each night. The heart of the home is the kitchen, and the same is true on Pinterest. I have personally made more than 50 recipes from Pinterest, and while there have definitely been a few failures (I'm looking at you, overnight oatmeal in a jar), there have also been many, many successes, some of which have become staples in my house.
· Easy make-ahead meals for large crowds
· 87 freezer meal recipes
· Slow-cooker sesame beef and other crock pot recipes
· Cooking shortcuts like pancake batter in a squeeze bottle
· Ultimate chocolate chip n'Oreo fudge brownie bar
· Gourmet Neapolitan cupcakes that no one will guess start with a mix
4. Mormons (and Pinteresters) value industry and being thrifty.
For years prophets have counseled members to stay out of debt, and with one parent staying at home to raise children in most LDS families, finding ways to save money and do it yourself is often of paramount importance. Luckily, Pinterest is full of such guides from other like-minded people.
· DIY thrifty photo canvases to decorate your home
· DIY ruffle tee
· Small tips to make your home more energy efficient to save money
· DIY built-in shelving for entryways, window seats, and more—easy
· Homemade laundry soap that will save you over $300 a year
· How to recover a lamp shade
5. Mormons believe in standing as a witness and sharing the gospel in all places—including Pinterest.
Church leaders have recently encouraged us to share our beliefs with others in as many ways as possible. Elder Bednar recently said, "Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation." Pinterest is a great platform for sharing the gospel because the things you pin and repin can be seen by everyone—not just your select circle of friends. You never know whom you might be influencing!
Shameless plug: You can follow LDS Living on Pinterest to get tons of great content in all of these areas and more, then do your own bit of missionary work by repinning it!
Check out this hilarious video of a bunch of Mormon women who try to throw a themed birthday party based on Pinterest finds—and just how much goes wrong...