After spending some time talking about using technology wisely during a Church Educational System devotional broadcast on May 4, Elder M. Russell Ballard became the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to send a tweet using the social platform Twitter.
Elder Ballard's tweet said, “Thank you to all who tuned in to the devotional. It was a joy to be with you, both those in San Diego and throughout the world. #CESDevo”.
Although many Church leaders have been using social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+ for quite some time, Sunday night marked the beginning of apostles tweeting. “In addition to the official Facebook and Google+ pages for Church leaders that the Church has maintained on their behalf for some time now, these senior leaders have begun using Twitter to share their words, thoughts and teachings,” LDS Church spokeswoman Jessica Moody said in a statement. “Elder Ballard’s tweet is the first to be shared, but other Church leaders will also be using Twitter in the near future.”
It only took two days for Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to follow suit. After speaking to missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center and broadcast to other MTCs around the world on May 6, Elder Holland tweeted at 10 p.m., “Being with missionaries is the greatest. Tonight it was the MTC in Provo, with all international MTCs listening in.”
Elder Ballard's twitter handle is @M_RBallard, and he has more than 11,000 followers. Elder Holland's handle is @J_R_Holland, and he has more than 8,000 followers. Another LDS leader has a live Twitter account so far: Elder L. Tom Perry, also of the Twelve. His Twitter handle is @L_Tom_Perry. He has yet to tweet, but he had more than 2,000 followers as of May 7.