Learning how to sincerely pray, forgive others and deal with life’s disappointments might be easier than you think.
Now there’s an app for that, but don’t look for it in the App Store. This web-based app, designed for you to use in the browser on your mobile device, helps people improve their lives and grow closer to God through simple, self-guided acts based on basic spiritual truths.
The purpose of this free online tool is to help people develop their spirituality, said Bradley Pedersen, senior product manager in the Missionary Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You can find it only at Become.org in your phone’s web browser.
“This app allows people to go at their own pace, in their own way, and in whatever way is most important to them now, to learn and do things that will help draw them closer to Jesus Christ,” Pedersen said. “That’s the backbone of everything this app does.”
The Become experience can be a rich resource for everyone, regardless if you are a Latter-day Saint or not, said Nick Cottle, director of mobile strategy and operations for the church.
“Inherently, people want to become better people. We’re all trying to progress. As we do that, we need tools and resources,” Cottle said. “This is a great tool that people can use each day or week to become something new, become a little bit better, become closer to God, become a little bit more like Jesus Christ. I think there’s a lot of people out there who want that in their life.”
A beta version of Become was released last November. Users can create a free account and choose between two main features: a path or a journey. Creating an account allows a person to track progress or start and stop at their own pace.
A path is a quick, single activity that teaches about a spiritual topic in five to 15 minutes, such as step-by-step instructions for how to pray, forgive others, deal with disappointment or engage in acts of service.
For example, on the path to forgiving others, a narration describes the positive effects of forgiving others, combined with a Bible verse on the topic.
“So who could you forgive? Let’s practice forgiving others together,” the voice says. “First, think of loved ones. Is there anyone in your family you don’t feel close to right now? Any friendships that drifted apart? Any grudges you’d like to get rid of? Did any name standout?”
The user enters the name of a person he or she might want to forgive, then considers a short list of ideas for resolving the conflict, such as offering that person a warm smile or hug next time you see them, sending a short note or text message or going a day without saying anything negative about that person, among others. The user is then encouraged to follow through on whichever activity he or she selected before the end of the week.
Other paths dive into the Beatitudes, “God is with You,” “Peace on Earth,” among others. More topics will be added in the future.
A journey offers a deeper experience broken up into chapters, such as how to develop a relationship with God or learning about Holy Week. The app comes with options for setting goals.
“The activities are short, bite-size,” Pedersen said. “They allow people to take five minutes, a morning, a day, an afternoon, an evening, to quickly learn about a topic, think about it and try to apply it and live it in some small way.”
In the process of exploring either option, developers hope people of all faiths and backgrounds find greater peace and joy.
“It’s all about ‘becoming,’” Cottle said. “We’re all trying to be better people and become something new each and every day. We are focused on that as a core foundation of what we’re trying to offer.”
One person named Ezequiel who tried the app told developers it had become a “constant” and “daily part of his life.”
“The Become app gives you a practical use for your phone for something that’s going to actually minister to you, and not just have your mind endlessly roaming about, looking for something,” he said in a video. “You will leave feeling a sense of release, feeling a sense of calm, being realigned and being edified.”
Another test subject named Charan described the difference the app has made in his life.
“It gives you guidelines and tips on how to be a better human being,” he said. “You become more present, you become more awake, and as you keep on working on it and working on it, you’ll notice that you’ll become more spiritual, you’ll become more connected to the divine.”
At this point, Become is only available in English although developers plan to add more languages in the future. Become is available at Become.ComeUntoChrist.org.