Friday, February 11, 2011

Helping in the Vineyard

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given us a new way to serve and build up the kingdom. "Helping in the Vineyard" is currently a limited edition beta effort to crowd-source various tasks that will help the Church get the word out. More tasks will be added over time, I gather. At the moment you can (and I just did)
  • Upload and/or tag photos and videos
  • Proofread Church materials
  • Translate materials to/from a variety of languages
  • Help with family history
You sign in with your LDS Account (those of you in the Ithaca Ward, if you aren't set up yet, talk to me and I'll help you get set up) and select which jobs you are interested in and any foreign languages you speak. Any time you want, you can log in and it'll give you the next item they need help with.

I tagged a number of scenic pictures, mostly rocky, wave-crashing shorelines. I made sure that a number of paragraphs from the Ensign had been scanned properly, adjusted a Spanish language Primary manual's paging on using our talents, and proofread a German language lesson  manual on revelation. I translated instructions for the new FamilySearch website into German.

The crowd-sourcing is a particularly good idea for the translating, and they have a good system set up. You can vote on the translations of your fellow helpers to help confirm that a particular translation is accurate or offer your own edition. Once a threshold number of positive votes are scored, the page is approved. There are helps available throughout of approved terms, similar phrases that have been translated elsewhere, and a Google translation to help you out. You can also sign in to be notified when changes have been made.

I recommend it as a nice way to get in a few minutes of service easily - particularly for my insomniacally-inclined friends and family. Matt 20: "The harvest  truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Jacob 5: "Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare  the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit. ... the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."

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