Firesides - Live Video Broadcast

Discussions on how emerging technology can assist the distribution of media content through mobile, kiosks, Internet, social networks, etc.
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Firesides - Live Video Broadcast


Post by ronwong »

At a recent Meeting with Bishoprics, I came up with an inspired idea whereby I can begin broadcasting live video conference "Firesides".

For example, on a Sunday evening at 7:30pm there can be a Fireside with one guest speaker. This can last for 45-60 minutes.

I understand that the Church PVC is not suitable for such stake/ward-wide video conference. I would use a private web service such as
or WebEx, etc.

The webinar Fireside themes are all Gospel-based for members and investigators.

For example, The Restoration, The Book of Mormon, What is a Patriarchal Blessing?, Dating 101, Missionary Preparation Webinar, Gospel Stories for Primary Children, A Live Tour of the Family History Center, How to Overcome Addiction, How to be Prepared for Emergencies, etc.

A link can be freely given out to investigators and members alike.

Up to 100 people can listen and watch a Fireside from their home computer. No need to travel. Excellent for the units that are spread further apart.

There can be interaction during the webinar or hold a Q & A at the end.

Screen sharing, whiteboard, videos, PowerPoint, are all possible.

The guest speaker can stay in his or her home using only a computer with a web cam.

I can ask members who are not camera-shy to give a lecture.

What is the Church policy?
Why do I have to get approval from a stake president or a bishop?

Any lay member can promote their own personal webinar, web site, blog, music, video, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. There's probably thousands of them, all related to the church but not official sanctioned.

They can put a disclaimer that it's not an official Church site.

The webinar promotion may be done through email and word-of-mouth. This can go viral with no official annoucement on the pulpit.

Are members allowed to do this without getting approval from the church leaders?


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Post by lionelwalters »

Hi Ron,

I admire your enthusiasm to use technology to share worthwhile and uplifting messages with a wide audience. While on the surface there are probably no issues with you producing and promoting these programmes on a personal basis, I suggest you would need to be very careful not to promote them as "firesides" or anything else that may be perceived as officially from the Church. This should also apply to your conversations with those you would invite to make presentations.

If you were to approach it as a Church endeavour, remember that bishops and stake presidents can only authorise transmission or distribution of meetings and material within the boundaries of their ward or stake. Broadcast beyond that would need to be approved by Area or General Authorities through your stake president.

Section 21.1.22 in Handbook 2 has some guidelines on what constitutes appropriate Internet use, and seems to encourage the kind of thing you're suggesting as long as it's done on a personal level. Policies on broadcasting Church meetings are a little harder to find in the handbooks, but I've learned from experience that the statement above about the authority of bishops and stake presidents is a good rule to follow. Even in those cases, though, the leader would need to be very discerning as they determine what is appropriate to webcast and how it is to be promoted.

Best wishes!

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Post by russellhltn »

It's not complely clear to me if you're talking about doing this as a ward/stake or as an individual.

If you're doing it as a individual, then please read Handbook 2: 21.1.22 starting with "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings". It describes what cannot be included on a personal site.

If you're talking about doing this as a ward/stake, see Meetinghouse Webcast Policies and Guidelines where it says "Meetinghouse Webcast is intended to broadcast events from one building to other buildings. Allowing others to view the webcasts from locations other than Church buildings should be done only when unusual circumstances exist and stake and area leaders deem it appropriate." You can enquire with your stake president, but I tend to doubt that "unusual circumstances" exist for what you propose to do.

From what I've seen in the past, the church allows the stake to preach within the stake, but carefully limits any kind of general broadcasting to only the top-level leaders like the first presidency. I'm my opinion, your idea, while the distribution of the link may be limited, sounds too much like a broadcast and is likely run into difficulty in any approval process. But you can ask. You certainly can connect the various church buildings together to ease the burden of travel to a central location.

And feel free to distribute links to General Conference talks, CES Devotional for Young Adults, BYU-TV and any other links that the church does make available for broadcasting.
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Post by ronwong »

Thank you for your replies and pointing out to the handbook. After reading it, I think this would be best done on a "personal" level, to relieve any concern or burden upon the ward and stake leaders. I should not call it a "Fireside" but rather a "Gospel Webinar" but then again the word "Fireside" is not a trade mark, I suppose.

This webinar can be an exciting tool to promote missionary work.
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