What is the Purpose of ABLE?
Mission of ABLE:
“To inspire, empower, & enable you to live A Better Life Everyday.”
Why is it called ABLE?
It has a double-meaning:
- The word ‘able’ is a word that is frequently used. Sometimes I fear it is used to much that it has lost some of it’s significance. ‘Able’ is defined as having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something. ABLEday.org is devoted to everything that the word means: to empower, improve your skills, offer daily manna (the means), and opportunity to do something good.
- A.B.L.E. is also an acronym for A Better Life Everyday. The idea is to share original and already-existing content that helps readers and viewers to live A Better Life Everyday.
Purpose of ABLE:
In 1 Nephi 6:4-6, there is a great standard that is given as Nephi starts his account: “For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved. Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world. Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.”
When writing or creating content, let this scripture be a guide as to what questions you can ask to evaluate your work:
- Does this in some way help persuade men and women to come unto God and be saved?
- Is this only pleasing to the world? Or is it also pleasing unto God?
- Is this of worth unto the children of men?
Later, Nephi again preaches of what his purpose is in his writing:
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23)
Future of ABLE:
ABLE has already partnered with more than five groups or organizations that have shared our content, some with over 100,000 followers. We have the backing and support of some of the most important voices in the online world and in LDS blogging today. Other influencers with similar followings have committed to share our content and our site.
This year, we hope to reach 20,000 followers on our Facebook and Instagram page. We’re off to a good start with almost 1,000 followers (without doing much advertising or marketing). We are also striving to have a consistent readership of 15,000 per day by the end of the year.
We will be meeting with professors and college deans at a few universities and institute programs to help students grow their skills through an internship or practicum experience. We are going to be introducing and co-sponsoring campaigns with other sites and pages that have a reach of more than a million people. We will eventually have a mobile app, an online clothing and accessories store (faith-based products), sister-sites, and other exciting things.
What Should I Write or Create?
We want you to write about what you are passionate about, what you are learning, or who you are trying to become. Make sure to keep in mind the verse above about doing it because it is pleasing to God, but also to help persuade others to come unto Christ. It is important to be cognizant of what is important to others. It is critical to do research, too, to know what is both relevant and useful.
If we seek the Lord’s guidance and listen to the Lord as we write and create content, I know that He will not only tell us what our readers need to hear now, but what will need to be heard in the coming days. This is supported in Doctrine and Covenants 76:7-10 when the Lord speaks about the righteous:
- “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will- yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (D&C 76:7-10)
I truly believe that this is applicable when we are sharing the gospel online. If our desires are pure, and we seek the Lord’s guidance, he will show us things that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.”
The ultimate standards that I want all content to be based on come from the 13th Article of Faith: ”We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” So, as you are writing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my writing ____
- Chaste? (abiding by the principles taught in the Law of Chastity)
- Benevolent? (kindhearted, good-natured, caring)
- Doing good to all men and women?
- Of Good Report?
Additionally, here are a few guidelines for the content we are looking for:
- Raw, real, genuine, good-intentioned writing and content-creation.
- The purpose should be to somehow share goodness by using the experiences in your life; the lessons learned, the pivotal moments, the championed or un-championed trials, the humbling moments, etc., and combine them with your specific gifts to communicate a message of goodness and hope- one that proves God’s love for us.
- (For legal reasons), you agree that it will be read by a chief editor before being published. And if the editor doesn’t believe that any or all of it doesn’t comply with these standards, then said editor will consult the guest author
If it is gospel-centered, the following are requirements:
- There has to be a doctrinal tie-in/support from the leaders of the church/scriptures through some quote or media source. Even if it is opinion, I want for there to be the ultimate Spirit that is brought when true doctrine is taught.
- It can’t contradict anything the leaders of the church say.
- Use language that people of all (or no) faiths will understand (ex: when mentioning the Priesthood, make sure to add in parenthesis: “the power of God.” Another example is when using acronyms such as MTC, LDSBC, RM, EQ, or RS, please make sure to clarify their full names in some way, unless it is a well-known acronym (such as LDS, BYU, etc).
A few recommendations, but not requirements:
- I fear putting a word limit because I don’t want to limit your creativity or inspiration. But, if you are needing some guidance:
- Usually, the best-performing articles are around 1,000 words.
- Studies also show that having an occasional 2,500-word post is good for SEO.
- For SEO purposes, try and focus on one key word or key phrase. Try and include that keyword in the title, first paragraph, and in the description- just as much as you can.
- Share personal experiences, or the experiences of those that you know.
No-Tolerance Content Policy:
- No swear words
- No crude words or phrases
- Do not write or create anything with the purpose of going against anyone based on their gender, faith, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other reason.
- Blasphemous or disrespectful humor. *See “Humor” at the end.
What’s in it for Me?
Most importantly, you have the opportunity to “publish peace,” be an “instrument in the hands of God,” and help to share goodness online. It is our duty to share the gospel with our fellowmen. What better way to reach people than online?
- In Doctrine and Covenants 112:6-8, the Lord says, “Let thy habitation be known in Zion, and remove not thy house; for I, the Lord, have a great work for thee to do, in publishing my name among the children of men. Therefore, gird up thy loins for the work. Let thy feet be shod also, for thou art chosen, and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations. And by thy word many high ones shall be brought low, and by thy word many low ones shall be exalted.“
- Mosiah 15:15-17 says, ”O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet! And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace! And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!”
- Mosiah 27:36-37: “And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer. And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.“
Right now we are accepting donations of your time and talent on a volunteer basis, but I would feel it unethical to not give credit where credit is due. Once our site makes enough money to compensate writers and creators, then I will ensure that you receive money as it is comes in. That will come as you become a partner with ABLE.
Any of the chief editors have the right to not publish your content for any reason.
*Humor: If You Plan to Write or Create Something Humorous
Humor is important and necessary to our lives, but I do need to draw some lines so that it aligns with the purpose of ABLE. If you desire to use humor, refrain from being disrespectful in any way to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, or the leaders of the Church. Also, clickbait and shock-value titles and topics are a temptation for many in the same realm of religious writing. It’s a bad road to go down that stirs controversy and does not uplift. Here is a thought about humor that I like from John E. Lewis from a June 1974 Ensign:
“We can take things seriously that we are not solemn about. By the same token, solemnity does not necessarily mean that we are taking the gospel seriously; we are taking ourselves seriously. There are indications in Church history that Joseph Smith, careful to refrain from lightmindedness as he was, still enjoyed joking with other Church leaders.
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not grim; surely the Lord intended for us to enjoy ourselves even in Church meetings. Perhaps the secret lies in another statement by Elder Cowley: “I like to get fun out of this business—good, wholesome fun—get a kick out of it. When I obey the principles of the Gospel, I am the happiest man on earth.”
“Perhaps this is what the Lord means by ‘… men are that they might have joy’ (2 Ne. 2:25)—to take the principles of the gospel seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. On the way to exaltation, we ought to enjoy ourselves.” (Ensign, 1974, “The Gospel and a Sense of Humor, Too”)
Humor can be used appropriately. If it is uplifting and connects people with the story or the topic, then please use it! A good rule of thumb is: If Gordon B. Hinckley would say it or laugh at it, then it is good!