How One Family Decided to #Sharegoodness
One evening in December 2013, Ben Prince, a medical student living in Phoenix, said to his wife, Chelsea, “We should start an Instagram account that helps people stay on track to read the Book of Mormon in 2014.” A few days later, the idea kept pressing on Ben’s mind and he mentioned it to his wife again. “The more we talked about it, the more excited we got,” says Chelsea. “We imagined that it would be awesome if maybe 100 people would follow and read together. … If anything, it would be great to have something to help our family stay on track to read the Book of Mormon.”
On January 1, the Prince family launched the Instagram account @BofM365 by posting a passage of scripture to read, along with a thought-provoking question to answer in the Comments section afterward. In just a few weeks, they far surpassed their goal of just 100 followers—the account now has 54,000 followers and hundreds if not thousands of likes and comments every day. “The results were astounding. We couldn't believe how fast it went viral. We just watched our number of followers climb every second,” says Chelsea.
Reading the scriptures every day is a noble task that can get forgotten amidst all of the distractions that we face daily from the world around us, especially with the infiltration of social media in our lives. The secret of @BofM365’s success is providing a daily dose of inspiration where people are already spending their time.
“We felt that our @BofM365 Instagram account could simply be a daily reminder for people as they scroll down their Instagram feed. We like the idea of someone scrolling, seeing our post, stopping, and reading their scriptures for a few minutes. We all have a little free time here or there throughout the day. Often that time is filled by a quick browse through our social media networks. We hope our account can help people make a better use of about 10 minutes of their day,” says Chelsea.
While the Princes have learned several lessons in the past year from running their very successful Instagram account, they said that the biggest lesson of all was how much more they felt the Spirit from having participated in the daily reading challenges themselves. “Having this account has held us accountable and also helped us realize there is time for Christ every day in our lives. We have seen our testimonies grow, our conversations have been much more positive, and we have felt the Spirit more frequently each day,” says Chelsea.
The Prince family would definitely advise anyone, anywhere to #sharegoodness more on their social media channels. Chelsea says, “Don’t hesitate; just do it! There are so many different ways to reach out to people and help the work of God move forward. If you have an idea, try it! Even if it only helps one person feel closer to the Savior, you have done something huge! One of my favorite posts from @BofM365 has been asking our followers where in the world they were reading from. Some of the countries mentioned I had never even heard of! It is incredible to see how social media can bring people from all over the world together for one purpose. It makes it even more amazing that the purpose is learning and sharing insights about Christ.”
Listen to an interview with the Prince family on Mormon Channel Daily.