I've wondered what would happen to missionary work -- or church attendance, for
that matter -- if we were to experience a pandemic. It's nice to know
alternatives like the web exist for making connections and discussing faith.
But I have a hard time believing that a face-to-face meeting won't be necessary
at some point for most investigators, or for most church members as well.
Hallelujah! Please stop annoying people by going door-to-door and tracting.
Let people contact you on the internet. Just don’t collect names
without permission or make unsolicited contacts on the internet.
This is an extremely dangerous idea. Facebook and similar sights are well known
for their facilitation of improper behaviors. Indeed, countless marriages and
family relationships have been destroyed by situations in which persons of the
opposite sex developed improper on-line relationships which quickly led to
immoral physical relationships.Quite simply, exposing young
missionaries to the dangers of Facebook could result in disastrous consequences.
Facebook should be avoided at all costs by everyone who seeks to live a chaste
Are we to imagine that everyone has access to the Internet or is a member of
The Church has actually been moving away from tracting for some time, but in
favor of working through members, at least in areas where their are enough
members to do so. That is what my mission in Florida was doing. We still tracted
a little, but mainly tried to work with members. This is the first I had heard
of missionaries out in the field doing this, though (I know the mormon.org chat
has been set up for a few years, but I think that is missionaries in the MTC).
It sounds pretty cool, if it could work. However, at least in third
world countries, I don't see traditional tracting leaving any time soon. Either
way, the work of God will continue to go forth, and no unhallowed hand will stop
the work from progressing.
this is a good idea. i'm glad the church is willing and able to find those
looking for it by whatever means are the most convenient to the searcher.
Good progressive move by the Church. Knocking doors is a 99.9% waste of time.
I always favored places where people who were interested could contact me.
Nothing worse than upsetting an individual's day by bothering them at their home
or on the sidewalk.
While new tools are available, remember that these same tools are availabe to
others as well.From my limited experience it seems easy for people
not to be "genuine" on the internet. It is easy to smile (LOL) when you are not
smiling. You can pretend to be rich when you are not, you can say that you are
somewhere you are not, you can act interested when you are not and in fact you
can "waste" others time without much effort.A number of years ago
when a friend of mind would get a solicitating phone call, instead of saying he
was not interested or just hanging up, he would put it on the speaker phone and
say "tell me more."He would go on with his work and periodically he would say,
"I don't understand,"tell me that again" or he wouls just say "Really","No
kidding","yes" or just grunt a little.I hope this is not the
missionaries experience and certainly I'm no fan of facebook. I'll be
interested to see how this turns out over time.One thing for sure,
given winter weather in Rochester, using the computer will sure be warmer
Great idea, I tracted for two years as a missionary in a small foreign country
that had been tracted out at least 500 times before I got there, it yielded
nothing and was a tedious fruitless experience. I left glad for the experience
but felt the whole two years that I was totally wasting my time. I tried to
convince my mission President that we needed to do public service and help
people directly but he felt that was a waste of time, thankfully the thinking on
all of this has changed.
My friends and I have joked about going onto World of Warcraft and other online
games and running up to people and start proselyting them. It was always just a
joke but it looks like it's becoming more and more a reality haha.
This is nonsense. People in cyberspace are don't exist. They are just
holograms. Soon we will have church meetings on the computer. Missionaries
need to get of their butts and be with real people.
Awful idea, I hope they watch the boys closely. Easy to get homesick or see/
read something they shouldn't. Missionaries in my mission got really really
distracted by facebook. Hopefully it's supervised, very supervised.
This is a huge step forward for the church - inspired!Actually,
while face-to-face meetings are highly desirable, I know from personal
experience that they're not necessary. In the early '90s, when I was
representing IBM online from Austin, I became friends with an Illinois state IT
executive. Our only contact was e-mail and occasional phone conversations, but
he nonetheless became interested in the church after several of our exchanges,
and our first face-to-face meeting occurred in the Nauvoo visitors center the
day of his baptism.The spirit is not limited by time, distance, or
anything else, with the sole exception of hardness of heart.
@. Leeyou know you dnt have to answer your door if they "annoy" you...duh!
John, nice satire. At first I thought you were serious, but naaah, you couldn't
be. "Facebook should be avoided at all costs by everyone who seeks to live a
chaste life?" RotF,L!If you are serious, then by your logic,
missionaries like me should have never been turned loose in Japan, where
pornographic posters are often found pasted to lamp posts in full view.
Facebook is tamer than most parts of SLC.I applaud the church for
their willingness to change their approach from the ineffective to the far more
While you can gain information online,find peolpe who wish yo meet
with the missionairies you can never have spiritual learning
experiences via the internet, ultimately there must be a meeting
with investigators in person.And it is QUITE DISENGENEOUS to
claim missinaries are annnoying, they come by MAYBE once a year to
ask if you are interested in listening to them, yeah, that is
really being bothered or annoyed by missionaries, what a bogus
"Facebook should be avoided at all costs by everyone who seeks to live a chaste
life."Facebook is no different that any other internet website in
that it can be used for good or evil puposes. There is much good accomplished
through Facebook including charitable events, connecting families and friends,
and now, missionary work. Just because some people use it for evil purposes
does not mean good people shouldn't use it for good purposes. As in all things
you just have to use wisdom and be careful.
To: JohnCharitySpringIt can be a good thing - it all depends how it
is used. Many, especially young people, chat with their friends on Facebook.
There are former mission presidents who chat with their former missionaries on
Facebook. It is probably only a problem for those who are looking outside their
marriage relationship because they are not happy. These are going to find
someone else, whether on Facebook, or not.
Good hecks John, what century are you from?You are on line; at least
you know the power that the mass media has.Good for the LDS
Church.I hated “tracting" way back when: the old days in San
Diego circa 1973.
We all know that the Internet is just an extension of the Devil`s workshop. No
good can come from having missionaries "on line" rather than exorting those
unsaved souls in person.
To the public, LDS missionaries have a reputation for being annoying. When the
church stops “exhorting unsaved souls in person,” it will be more
appreciated by the public. Providing information on the internet will
give missionaries better respect. Take them off the sidewalk, and honor the
peace and privacy of people’s homes.
Awesome idea. It was only a matter of time. It will take awhile to work out the
bugs and figure out the most effective way to do it, but eventually I think it
will become an important proselyting tool. Obviously it won't replace
face-to-face meeting, but it will be an important supplement.I know
firsthand about the posters on lamp posts that davewhittle referred to. But it
didn't stop us from going out to meet the wonderful people of Japan. In the same
way, the dangers on the internet shouldn't prevent mission activity or the
church from taking advantage of the huge benefits of social networking.Those of you who think it's a bad idea, I assume that you don't have cell
phones, still use a horse and buggy, and have an outhouse in your backyard. Why
are you online?
Okay lets stop waisting our time with john chastity spring, everyone already
knows his comment is bogus. But to Lee- im guessing you either aren't lds or
you never served a mission if you are. don't speak about things that you don't
understand from both sides. as a former missionary I spent a lot of time
tracting and a lot of good came from it. the problem is lazy missionaries not
having a good attitude about it- and cheating themselves of many rewarding
experiences and miracles everyday. I don't think I annoyed the people that I
first contacted by knocking on their door by watching them change their lives
100% around by coming to Christ and being happier than they ever had been
before. And sister smith-sounds like you've had a bad experience or 2 with the
internet but it has the capability of tremendous good. you think they would
have even started testing this if it hadn't proved somewhat successful? no they
wouldn't. be careful about your wording-it's not a wonder why those "unsaved
souls" hate mormons so much when members say things like that.
I think this is wonderful news!(but not for the reasons you might
Interesting idea, but I'm on the fence too as to whether or not it will be
effective in the long run. Similar to what "L" said above at 8:00pm, I am just
not sure how well the intrinsic quasi-anonymity of the Internet will mix with
the personal, spiritual connection necessary for good missionary work.I wonder about the story cited in the article where the lady didn't feel
comfortable asking the live missionaries a question, so asked the virtual ones
instead. This is not necessarily positive. What will she do later when she's
uncomfortable with someone in her ward... go home and attend virtual church
instead? Virtual relationships like facebook are great sometimes, but they are
not an adequate substitute for in-person meetings.Some random person
you encounter on facebook may be an earnest spiritual seeker, but it's really
hard to tell when you're not speaking face-to-face. They could just as easily be
deceptive or even malevolent.Like I said, I'm on the fence here...
watching this experiment to see where it goes.
'Way back in the dark ages -- actually the early 1960s -- tracting was useful,
because housewives were at home. We could visit at the door, and make an
appointment when hubby was home. No, I'd sure welcome a little help
defending my faith online! he silliness that's out there!
I live in the boundaries of the Rochester Mission, and have already 'friended'
the two Sister Missionaries serving in our ward. I think it will not replace
door to door and member referrals, but is simply another tool to be used to
reach those that might not otherwise be reached. And the blogs they have written
are wonderful, full of the Spirit, and will touch some. These Sisters spend time
tracting, teaching, etc., so they aren't on the web all day every day. The Church continues to try to reach all of our Heavenly Father's children, by
whatever means are available. Think of the billions in the world that still do
not have an opportunity for visits from FT missionaries. This will reap rewards.
This is really fascinating. Those afraid of the Internet should realize that it
has been the greatest tool in the dissemination of information in the history of
mankind. Yes, bad things are shared, but so are tons of good things, and
intelligence is part of the power of God.
Actually, missionary work has been done online for decades, just by member
missionaries instead of full time missionaries. I personally have hundreds of
stories. The first happened well before Al Gore "invented" the
Internet. In 1992, I was communicating with people in online forums hosted by
the University of Alaska. One friend wanted to meet in person to discuss my
philosophy and views. We had him to dinner and weeks later he was baptized. Of
course today we are Facebook friends. With proper precautions and
supervision, this could be a very positive thing. I don't doubt that
there will be sad stories with this method of proselyting, but then again, there
are tons of sad stories with conventional missionary work as well. Do your best, learn, improve and do your best again. This is a
positive thing. Hopefully those overseeing it are very tech savvy,
and cyber culturally aware.
Christ's commision was to go to all the world. All the extremes of the earth, as
stated in the New Testament and Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and
Covenants.21st century life is a combination of real face contact
and online time. Missionary blogs are a tremendous untapped resource; I
recommend them to everyone.Tracting has its place as a source of
finding converts, as my parents were in the 1960s, and as I found in the 1990s
as an LDS missionary, but all eggs in one basket is a dangerous thing in
whatever mode.For each hour online, an Elder or Sister should do an
hour of service in the community. How does that sound as a winning formula for
proselityzing the masses?All methods of finding people are good; the
most effective means are through friends and neighbors. Be nice.May
we all have the spirit of Christ and come unto Him through the covenants and
ordinances of His Church.Invite a friend to meet the missionaries;
go to a church activity/meeting.Share the gospel the way Jesus would
like you to. For me, that might be volunteer service.The disabled?
This may be ideal.
Great idea. The Church has been proactive and flexible in trying to find the
best ways to reach potential investigators. To NOT explore online methods would
be foolish. One issue to consider is that investigators on the web
may have a bit more information about difficult LDS history/doctrinal questions
than the random person missionaries meet on the street or tract. If the
missionary has no clue how to respond or simply dismisses certain concerns it
may have a negative effect on certain investigators. My point is that the Church
will hopefully put some thought into which missionaries are suitable for online
conversations.And I am continually entertained by people like John
who see Satan around every corner.
If that is what the Lord wants I am all for it, but what about face to face
Sister Smith,The internet is "an extension of the devil's workshop";
and, "no good can come from having missionaries on-line"? Didn't you come
on-line to make your comments? In our present time, the Church depends upon the
internet for just about every form of communication there is in the Church.
Yes, the adversary does use every resource at his disposal, to spread his evil.
I second Devin's counsel to you - "be careful about your wording". Ours is to
bring souls unto Christ, not alienate them.In our missionary
efforts, we are seeking the "honest in heart". Often times when missionaries
are tracting, their appearance on the doorstep is more of an inconvenience for
the person than anything else. This new medium of introducing the Church
through the internet, will mitigate that problem and open many doors to the
"honest in heart", that otherwise would not have occurred.
Truth: The truth, Jesus answered, "I am the way the truth and the life,No one
comes to the Father except through me(John 14:6). I hope you understand What
Jesus is saying here? "But even if we or an angels from heaven should preach
another gospel other than the one we preached to you,let him be eternally
condemned. (Galatians 1:8)
My son recently served at the MTC's resource center following brain surgery (he
was sent home from his mission for the surgery and he's serving locally during
recovery). He loved it. Several baptisms came out of the work he helped with.
This is where people who have an interest in the Church, or just
want a question answered, can go without a formal in-house meeting.Investigators who follow through with further discussions, or want a copy of
the Book of Mormon, eventually meet full-time missionaries in their area and
receive fellowship from members.I believe it's a great program.
I currently live in the Ward in Rochester, NY where the Elders are piloting this
program. I am just as cautiously optimistic as anyone. I realize the dangers
of putting internet social tools in the hands of young men, but there certainly
are significant advantages as well. It seems that online methods are really
helping with connecting with members, recent converts, and the younger
generation. I'm glad to see the Church embracing the tools available to reach
these demographics. No one missionary tool is going to reach everyone. I
applaud the Church for its diversity of methods. From what I can tell, and I
speak with the Elders multiple times per week, the program is going well
considering the short time it has had to develop so far.
@CharlesI am sure they are shaking in their boots.
This is reaching a segment of the world in their "language." Yes, the
missionaries have to be strong, but they have always had to be strong.Yes, someone could string them along on the internet, but I had people try to
string us along as well.I spent half my mission trying to earn the
Lord's blessings by working harder - banging my head faster, longer and harder
on the brick wall. We DID find a few people by tracting.The last
half we tried to work smarter. I had a companion who coached the local
university's fledgling baseball team - and found young people to teach.Will this prove smarter still? It will be interesting to see. But I know
that my genealogy done online isn't evil. Maybe this will prove to be a
blessing as well
John Charity Spring: Jumps online to comment in an interactive forum to warn of
the dangers of communicating online... I love it.
There is a huge difference between the internet itself and specific sites such
as Facebook. Failure to recognize this fact is like failing to recognize the
difference between a grocery store and the harmful cigarettes held for sale in
that store. It should be a distinction so obvious that it goes without
saying.For those who fool themselves into thinking that Facebook has
no potential for danger, you should view the information on websites for
facebookcheaters and other similar sites. The sites contain proof positive that
Facebook has led to numerous divorces and illicit relationships. No reasonable
person would want to expose impressionable you minds to this harmful material.
You grumpy old men need to wake up.I'm surprised they aren't using
texting...yet.1. Think about it, you're on-line right now.2. I'll bet you're dead-set against on-line Geneology too.Good grief.....
I can see where this is going.....If this works, and proves
productive,and if EVERY member is a Missionary coupled with On-line
access to anywhere in the WORLD...WOWZERS!!!Call me
Progressive, but the idea of 13 Million Missionaries spreading the Gospel
at the speed of light!!!I'm excited.
Sister Smith | 10:52 p.m. July 14, 2010 We all know that the Internet is
just an extension of the Devil`s workshop. ============ Wow, Guess General Conference on-line is evil too Sister Smith?(Good grief?)
Sad to see the All-or-Nothing thinking contined on this board as well.It's just another tool for a Missionary to use.I seriously doubt
Face-to-Face will ever stop.Tracting,Phone contacts,Service, Street contacts,Pass along cards,TV ads,Free
Book of Mormons,Free DVDs,I tire of those who will never
change...[I call that damnation]
John Charity Spring | 12:13 p.m. John, answer honestly -- you never
even seen or been on FaceBook before -- have you.....
WOW, what happened to the "led by inspiration" belief? Do you really think HF
would allow our leaders to lead us astray if it wasn't what He wanted?
Short geography lesson. Rochester is in "western New York", not "update New
York". As you can see on a map, there is part of New York that goes straight
north which is "upstate" Then there is a chunk of the state that juts out to
the West. This is "western New York". Rochester is clearly in the western
Jesus would be rolling over in His tomb, if He were still in it! Missionary
work done online is not missionary work! Jesus went "door to door" and He
certainly made people uncomfortable. I don't think he'd be sitting behind a
desk typing out Bible verses in an attempt to "win souls." He'd be
"in-your-face", telling it like it is, explaining the Father's will to mankind.
He'd be sharing, caring and healing. He'd be eating a meal, laughing and crying
with the sinner. That's how you win someone to the Lord. It's a sad day when we
hide behind our keyboard and call it doing God's will. How is one to know who
really is typing away at the computer? How do we really now who posts on
Facebook or any other immoral site? If the LDS were really inspired by God why
would He want them to use a site that has so much filth and perversion on it? I
don't even want my kids using it and I certainly won't.
LDS liberal: Are you truly a LDS Liberal,I have never met a real LDS Liberal,
They always cling to something in the Mormon religion or
doctrine...pre-existence,you can't trust the Bible,...etc.. I left the Mormon
Church and told my family I am leaving the church,because I became a
Christian,that was liberating. The ironic thing is they thought I joined a
cult. I'm a member of the LCMS.
Come on people, these comments are getting out of hand. If this helps people to
come unto Christ then so be it. If they (the Missionary Department) feel that
it isn't effective for missionaries, then this pilot program will be
finished.Also, there seem to be comments about not being face to
face. These missionaries are just striking up referrals and contacts, they
won't be teaching the lessons online. They will then set up lessons for other
missionaries to go and visit.Let's be honest though. The best way
for the gospel to be spread is the simple everyday things that you and I do. We
who are members ought to be the ones to help move it forward. The missionaries
should be teachers, not finders...that is our job.
@j41005you are a whiner who clearly does not understand this article
in the slightest.
John Charity Spring - I don't think anyone is contesting the distinction you are
making (internet generally vs websites specifically). My point, following your
grocery store analogy, is that you are buying cigarettes (commenting on this
forum) while simultaneously telling others that if they buy a different brand of
cigarette, then they are foolish. It's tragically ironic, that's all;
especially given all the choking we suffer from your second-hand smoke day after
day. Back to the issue, my only concern is authenticity. I am sure
the Church is considering this, but it seems others will be able to easily
pattern themselves to be an LDS missionary and then tweak or falsify our
I believe we have a Prophet.Christ directs His church through the
Prophet, and this is something the church is trying.I don't believe
that all of this came about without a lot of praying first.I believe
God trusts His missionaries.And I think we should all stop moaning
about it.And if you don't like it, give the missionaries referrals
yourselves and then they wont have to tract and go on the internet anyways.
I would like the idea of having church online as well haha.
I dont think this is a good idea.
cmtam | 2:09 p.m. July 15, 2010 LDS liberal: Are you truly a LDS Liberal,I
have never met a real LDS Liberal, They always cling to something in the Mormon
religion or doctrine...pre-existence,you can't trust the Bible,...etc.. I left
the Mormon Church and told my family I am leaving the church,because I became a
Christian,that was liberating. The ironic thing is they thought I joined a cult.
I'm a member of the LCMS. =============== Um, yes - liberal by
Utah mormon standards.Most of the rest of the world would consider me
Moderate, center-left.I'm sorry to hear you have left the church
(for now), but I can understand. Sometimes, when someone doubts or
questions "Mormonism" - rather than clarifying the question, those with no
answers will question your testimony, or sincerity, etc.... and actually drive
people away. I hope this was not the case with your family. I think
their intentions were good, delivery could've been better.Good luck
with finding your answers.We're always here for you Bro!!!You know
where we are.Don't be a stanger,Hope to hear from you
Stalwart has still failed to grasp the issue here. The internet certainly
contains a few worthwhile sites, such as this forum. However, certain sites,
such as Facebook, are far too dangerous and subversive to be played with. I do
not touch cigarettes because they cannot be used safely in any quantity. For the
same reason, I avoid Facebook and other social networking sites like the plague.
@John Charity SpringBased on my observation of your postings I have
come to the conclusion that you condemn things you've never tried or
investigated. Judging something as bad without knowing much about it makes your
opinion less than worthless!
I would rather see missionary work go online because perhaps then....they'll
find people who are actually seeking information about the Church rather than
bothering people at their homes who aren't seeking the information and only see
their approach as an unwelcome intrusion.
"Facebook should be avoided at all costs by everyone who seeks to live a chaste
life."I strongly disagree. Facebook is what you make it to be. All of my
friends and family are on facebook. We find it a convenient way to keep in
John Charity Spring - This gets better and better. You state "I do not touch
cigarettes because they cannot be used safely in any quantity. For the same
reason, I avoid Facebook and other social networking sites like the plague." In
other words, you believe facebook cannot be used safely in any quantity,
correct? 1) The tobacco in cigarettes can be used for medicinal
purposes ie Word of Wisdom.2) The Church obviously disagrees w/ you
that Facebook cannot be used safely in any quantity. Please read... this
article.Again, I expect that the irony escapes you.
LDS Liberal; "Sometimes, when someone doubts or questions "Mormonism" - rather
than clarifying the question, those with no answers will question your
testimony, or sincerity, etc.... and actually drive people away."Have you every
heard of Amazing Grace, if so have you really read the words?"Amazing
Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me",or God saved me from the
wrath of God. "The hour I first beleived" I was reading the Bible,when I was
'born again'. The Mormon church have their answers ,but they have the wrong
J41005, Jesus did not go door-to-door, he went from town to town,
and the people came to Him. He was not “in-your-face,” he was
serene and peaceful. He did not “make people uncomfortable.” Your aggressive way of missionizing is what gives it a bad name. I
agree with the church that moving missionary work online is the way to go.
By the logic of Joggle, one can not reasonably be opposed to murder unless one
has murdered or been murdered. In addition, one can not be opposed to drug
addiction unless one has become addicted to heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
This is ridiculous logic. One can, and should, learn from the stupid mistakes of
others without repeating those same mistakes oneself.
I posted here last evening, but the comments didn't make it to "posting". I'll
try again.Are we moving in the direction of "Cyber Church" members?
Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 in a fairly recent
Fireside Address to the Younger members of the Church ADDRESSED the idea that
too much internet time is Not a good idea. And he gave reasons.A
number of people are concerned about the over-use of computers takes
precious time away from the development of Normal "face to face" human
communications Development. People many times behind the Keyboard & Monitor
become "non-real" exaggerations of this. Country singer Brad Paisley a few
years back did a song that was a Parody of this very phenomenia.Using "modern technology" for missionary work may have some use, but it will
never replace That "face to face" bearing of testimony and Challenging to Prayer
to learn the truth.It would be interesting to know what Elder
Bednarthinks of this new idea.I doubt the all the 53,000+
missionaries will just sit behind a computer screen for the majority of the time
to be missionaries.
RE: cmtam | 6:44 p.mHOw do YOU know what the right and wrong
questions are?Are there question you do not like, because you do not
really want know the answer?Everyone is using he
internet to some extent, even the LDS Church,as long as it is used
for good, used wisely,as long as it doesn't lead to the spirit of
contention,all is well.
cmtam | 6:44 p.m.The Mormon church have their answers ,but they have the
wrong question.========= Hey, cmtam -- just sitting here
thinking about what you said, and your post makes me curious....So,
What IS the right question?
I am a mom of one of the “Test Missionaries.” This is what he had to
say about the article and comments. "So I just read that article. And
I’m a bit shocked. I would say as one of those “Test
Missionaries” that it's not accurate in some parts. If you were to follow
ME around with a camera for a few days you would see that we STILL walk about
the town all dressed up and we STILL knock doors even in the hot and muggy
weather. We are not nerdy cyber missionaries that sit online all day. Here is
the deal. Internet proselyting does not trump prime proselyting hours. That is
the way it was set up from the beginning. We only use the Internet to proselyte
during hours when people are out at work, or not usually home. And our time is
very limited. Anyway, its a privilege to be able to do this and I too hope it
spreads, because it has helped in the work here IMMENSLY!"
His investigators can add their friend to him. He can join groups in the town
or business and that he can serve or help to soften hearts. He has access to
all that is on line where otherwise he can’t. He can find a talk or video
that will fit the needs of his investigators. We can help him in way we would
never be able to before. Like encourage his investigators to go to church or
read and pray. We can answer questions and encourage them in any way we can by
building trust. But the bottom line is something that Elder Cook said in his
letter home. Elder D. Todd Christofferson came to their mission in the early
stages of this test to give training to the Elders. At the close of his
testimony he said, “Christ actively leads and guides this church… He
personally runs the church." So there you have it. It is hard for these
missionaries to add to their workload but they are up to it and excited and we
need to pray and support them in this work to push it forward. Hurrah for
The best way to gain converts is to be an example to others. Instead of having
young people waste two years of their lives selling religion and making few
sales, they should show themselves as examples of following Christ by good deeds
and charity.I agree with others above that service to communities
would attract investigators. Old-style proselytizing is wasteful of time and
effort, and not good for public relations. Show people by your actions,
don’t just tell.
Re: John Charity Springs - I kinda made fun of John earlier. But I
found some articles talking about how common infidelity has been through
Facebook (according to divorce attorneys). It kinda surprised me as I have only
seen it and used it as a fun way to catch up with old friends, relatives and
classmates.So John is correct that Facebook has been used for
immoral purposes. But other posters are also correct in that the internet and
Facebook can also be used for very good purposes. I suppose it is like pretty
much anything else in life. We need to use common sense and moderation.
Connecting through the internet is another wonderful tool for missionary
work.I trust the missionaries of the LDS Church will continue to
preach the Gospel with the confirmation of the Holy Ghost.They will
be successful in their righteous endevours!
@John Charity SpringerLet me clarify....things like murder and drug
addiction are obviously harmful, but there are many other things that people
condemn as harmful when in reality they aren't. If you've never had any
experience concerning those things or learned as much as you can about
them....you don't know. One can, and should, learn as much as possible about the
subject before they judge something as harmful. Otherwise, you are condemning it
without having enough information to really make a fair judgement. Your doom and
gloom attitude reflects that!
I am not sure this is neccesarily more effective than going door to door and
knocking. Contacting people in person has usefulness.On the other
hand it is always worth trying new approaches. To cmtam, To
claim that LDS teaching is that "you can't trust the Bible" is not justifiable.
Many LDS leaders, including LeGrand Richards, would claim we hold closer to the
Bible than most other Christian denominations. The issue often boils down to
understanding the meaning of specific scripture passages.I would say
some Latter-day Saints are too quick to attribute to mis-translation what is
really the result of misapplying the Engish language when reading a certain
passage. Enough words in English have multiple meanings, that some
understandings of specific passages are the result of forcing a meaning on the
passage that is not justified by the text.
L, You have a good point about false leads. Of course, people can give
you false addresses if you streetcontact them, and many like things. Still,
with there being a number of people on facebook using false names and other made
up information, it may have a higher tendency for leading to wasted time.I guess I always will think that face to face contacting is more useful.
Still, with a large number of people residing in gated communities and the
like, there are many who tacting will not reach.Still, I would say
member referals, and each of us reaching out to our friends and seeking to help
them experience the joys of the gospel we have is the best way.
Devin, I am not convinced Sister Smith is a Latter-day Saint. She
never even claimed such, and if she had it would not prove anything.It is slightly easier to lie on the internet than elsewhere. Of course,
seeing people in person does not prevent it. I knew of a case where someone was
baptized using a false name, false birth date, false birth place, made up a
story about their mother kicking them out of the house for it and there were
probably other lies as well. So being misleading and deceptive is not limited
to the internet.
Mr. Spring, Just because there have been multiple incidents of marital
infidelity facilitated through facebook does not mean that everyone who goes on
facebook will fall into marital infidelity.There are some specifics
that need to be worked out in the system, and how widely useful it will be I do
not know, but it is worth working with.
Bert, If we assume every program we ever do is totally by inspiration,
than why do we do pilot programs?God clearly allows us to make
mistakes. He allows us, inperfect humans, to figure out ways to spread his
gospel, and sometimes we use less than effective means, get things wrong, offend
people and on and on.So I think it is altogether possible that this
pilot program is ill-concieved. That is why they did not implement it world
wide all at once.That said, I think there is potential here,
although I am not sure how widespread it could really become.My
experience with on-line help lines is they often degenerate into people sounding
off complaints against the system, and there are often not enough staff to
respond to posted gripes.
j41005, Why did I think that Jesus went into synagogues, spoke to
crowds from the mount, and spoke with people in crowds on the street? I do not
recall any passage that mentions he knocked on a door anywhere.It
was not until the 1960s that formal programs to train missionaries in foriegn
languages were introduced. Reading my grandfathers missionary
journal I realize there were all sorts of different rules. Today
missionaries have to have a clear method of paying for their mission at the time
of their call. In the mid-19th Century they went without purse or scrip.In the 19th Century most missionaries were married men sent away from
their family. No single sister was called as a missionary until 1898. Technically what we refered to as tracting in my mission was not.
Historically tracting meant you handed out a short tract, had the people read
it, and then came back. We would set up return appointments or even teach a
abbreviated first discussion and give them a Book of Mormon on the door step.When my father was a missionary they sold copies of the Book of
Dana, Jesus' driving the money changers from the temple did not make
people comfortable. It was not about serenity. Nor was his calling the
Pharisees "whited sepulchres" and the like.Your assesment of Jesus
seems to be too second hand, or at least not thought out enough. Still, I have to agree that our evidence for him going door to door handing
out printed tracts, or even copies of the New Testament is absolutly nill. I do
not think he even handed out printed copies of Isaiah. (yes, I know he was bout
1500 years too soon for printing).
Based on a comment before I guess missionaries should not show videos, move by
means other than walking, wear feet coverings other than sandals, and definantly
not call people up on the phone to confirm appointments, because Jesus never did
any of these. OK, the sandals one is a bit unclear, and I guess we can allow
them to ride donkeys and sail in boats, but bicles, let alone cars, trains,
buses, subways and airplanes, are clearly out of the question.
Yomama1621, Thankyou for your comment. I feel a lot better about the
program knowing that.There were areas on my mission where few people
would answer the doors in the morning. I think my companion who complained
about it was a little too negative, because we still had more answered doors and
more conversations than many missionaries get anywhere in their missions. So
this could be a good use of some time. If you are on for a short time, answer
key questions and such it feels like you have done some good, which is more than
you feel after knowking 20 doors with no answers.
All the internet is, is another tool to use for those interested in the church.
It doesn't replace any of the other ones. Just like everyone else is doing to
get their message out. That includes all churches, businesses, schools, etc.
Like any tool, it can be used for good, or bad. It is just that the church uses
internet for good, rather then for the bad things that come out of it. That
should be appreciated for it. Obviously you can't readily believe what goes on
in the internet, I mean just read some of those anti-comments, that is a good
example. I mean you have people on here who say they are or were LDS, but
probably aren't. You probably have people who are LDS, but posing as
non-members. No one knows, but the good thing about it is, if the person is
really, sincerely wanting to know what we are all about, they will ask, and the
church will send someone to talk to them. They will either find an authentic
person, or a fraud.
John Pack Lambert of Michigan. "Many LDS leaders, including LeGrand Richards,
would claim we hold closer to the Bible than most other Christian denominations.
The issue often boils down to understanding the meaning of specific scripture
passages."Wrong, Norman L Geisler,"There are some 5,700 N.T
manusripts[over 500 M.S. since the KJV have been found] and they contain all or
nearly all of the original text with over 99% accuracy. There is a distinction
between the text and the truth of the text. While we can reconstruct 99% of the
orignal text, 100 % of the truth comes through.It is a fact that the Bible
has been copied accurately-so much so that we can be assured that nothing in
the essential message is missing. Some Mormon scholars know this. One of the
main reasons the LDS does not have a modern translations. Very few Mormons are
aware of the science of N.T. lower criticism. I wasn't.
While you're all discussing the merits of social networking, don't forget many
of us do NOT have wonderfully super fast, broadband connections. While I'm here
in the States, staying with someone with fast DSL, it's great, but back home,
even though I live in technologically advanced Germany, I have a connection of
only 448 kbps, making watching conference or the Choir or other broadband-based
activities a challenge--hundreds of pauses for buffering. And that's a great
connection compared with many in less-developed areas. So I hope they don't
give up on tracting and Open Houses and other more traditional methods for those
who still aren't able to easily access social media.
RE: cmtam | 8:45 a.mTo acertain accuracy you have know what the
original text was,if all manuscripts copied a bad source, then
they all would neccessarily be inaccurate,and would be usless for
proving accuracy,so the claim of finding manuscripts is NOT proof of
accuracy,ALL manuscripts found seem to have come well after the
apostles and Jesus Christ lived, while new manuascripts may prove
the king james translation,so they can tell what was originally
said, but only affirm the accuracies or inaccuracies of what we
already have.since manuscripts come atleast hundred years or more
after the lifetimes the appostles and Jesus, we know they are not the
originals,so one can only accuracy of transaltion the
manuscritps, but NOT to the accuracy of what the apostles may have
said or written.we can see today how words are twisted and changed
of modern day speakers,we can only imagine how things could have
changed over hundred years or more after the lives of the apostles and Jesus.
RE: cmtam | 8:45 a.m to sum up while we may be able to verify
the accuracy of the we can NOT verify with any accuracy whether
the authors of those manuscripts recorded accurately or whether thier sources
were accurate. and after a hundred years or more after the recorded
events you can be sure it wasn't all accurate. we know from
basic tesst where a phrase is whipered fomr person to person in a class,
that it can be radically changed and different by the time it gets to last
person in the class.so WHO can acertain the information with
the manuscripts is accurate?hence the need for contemporary
communication and revelaton from God, living prophets and apostles,
and other scripture that can provide second witness.While it is wonderful that hcurch find new ways to use internet as tool, and
sharing information,it will never replace face to face
teachng,you can never get fully the "spirit" over the internet,though the spirit can impress upon you the truthfulness of things you
Truth: The best way to check this(The trustworthyness of the Bible)is to check
out debates between liberal(agnostic) Greek scholars, Bart Ehrmans,and
conservative(Christian) Greek Scholars(lower criticism) Bruce Metzger,Daniel B.
Wallace,to name a few. These are world renown Greek scholars. They agree on
about 95%+ of the NT document accuracy
99.9% of door to door is worthless (Chad S)? Thank goodness for the .1%. I was
baptized through door-to-door tracting, and am eternally grateful to 2 elders
who 'bothered' me at home to tell me about a living prophet. I'm also thankful
for online tracting. Communication backed by a loving spirit - in person or on
screen - can move people to be better.
RE: cmtam | 9:06 p.m.Clealry you misssed my point.
IF I create document, a recods of waht I thoughy someone had said,
and others copy it, the copies may prove the I indeed wrote down
what I wrote down, they CAN NOT verify whether I accurately
recorded what I heard.so yes I wrote what I wrote, but did hear
correctly what thought I heard and did I remembered accurately what thought
I remembered, is what I recorded accurate?YOu can
have a witness testify in court, make a written statement,and
have experts verify the that witness wrote the statement and indeed the
witness's words, BUT is statement itself accurate? Did the
witness get it right?Your so called experts can do the former
but can NOT verify the those last questions,hence the need
for modern revelationExperts can verify what witnesses THOUGHT
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, et al, said,but NOT what Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and JOhn, et al, actually said.
Good Job cmtam! I have a similar experience except that I do not have, nor want
a "replacement" religion. I know that the desire is there when someone "leaves"
something and I researched and considered several other churches. But I found
that basically, I am someone that doesn't believe in religion in general. I
believe in Love One Another and this works for my life as I lift others up.
Everything else (in my experience) has caused disagreement and debate which does
not promote feelings of love and self worth.As far as John Charity Springs
comments: You need to get with reality! People frequent and make friends on the
internet. Yes, sometimes sad situations happen, but is that really any different
than in real life? No, it's not. Get into the 21st century and with the real
people and the real situations!
Truth: If you are really searching for truth: There are many books on Geek
N.T(Bruce Metzger for one) lower criticism a good intro would be the "King James
debate",D.A. Carson, a search for truth, then if your serious about studying
scripture you can take a intro Biblical Greek class,at least. I took Greek and
philosophy at a secular university not a Christian school or BYU. If you haave
the trut there should be fear to check it out.
Truth: I need to use my spell check. I meant "If you have the truth there should
be 'no fear' to check it out". I took Biblical Greek and philsophy classes at a
secular(agnostic)University and I'm a Chrisitan.
Before I make my comment, I would like to point out the most important part of
going on a full time mission is to bring souls unto Christ. But those who are on
here whining about tracting and how hard is was, are forgetting the main convert
that should come from your mission - YOU! Part of gaining a stronger
testimony and truly being converted is seeing others lives change through coming
to know their Savior and feeling the Spirit maybe for the first time in their
lives. You can't really see that behind a computer. When you go home after
your mission, the funny stories you can share with friends and family about
those hard tracting days are priceless. Your testimony is only strengthened
after the trial of your faith. I am all for doing more service on a mission and
being seen in the community.
I think Jesus was pretty progressive in his time, so why shouldn't we be in
ours? Just a thought.
@John Charity Spring You clearly have faulty logic concerning Facebook. You
claim that Facebook has helped cause problems with relationships and I agree
with you. However, how many other relationships have had problems because
people have developed inappropriate relationships at the workplace or with
friends. Do you also suggest that men not work with women because there is
potential for inappropriate relationships by associating with them? There are
dangers to relationships everywhere you go and in everything you do, but that
doesn't mean we shut ourselves in our homes because by going out we are
surrounded by increased temptations. Yes, Facebook has its risks for
temptation, but so does life. It is ultimately up to ourselves to control our
thoughts and actions. I think this is a great idea and I'm interested to see
what comes of it.
I make my living working at home on the Internet. It is a great tool to keep
people connected. I am hoping that some of my customers will trust me so I can
share the Gospel with them, through the Internet and referrals to missionaries
in their areas. To know that social networking is being used as a venue to
share the Gospel is very fulfilling for me, as that is what I am going to do.
All good inventions and technology CAN and SHOULD be used to share the Gospel.
They can be used however people choose, and the adversary uses them, too. I've
done tracting, but many are the advantages of using the Internet to connect, as
mormon.org is now doing, making friendships between Church members and our
friends of other faiths. I heartily endorse the use of the Internet by
missionaries, full-time or member missionaries, as I am one of them! I hope the
pilot proves successful, and becomes available to all missionaries! Yea!!
I would like to make just a few comments.1. Clearly, by everything
that has been shared in the article itself, comments that have been made, and
honestly with some common sense, we can all rest assured that missionaries are
not discontinuing tracting or face-to-face visits. Using the internet is just
one more tool they can use to find those who are prepared so they can meet in
person and teach them.2. Let me also point out that television is a
medium through which a LOT of bad things can enter our homes. However, the
church has used television for years and years... and might I add that this has
been very effective. In my mission, I would guess that at least 10-20% of the
baptisms were a result of someone requesting media (also a modern blessing) by a
telephone call in response to a television commercial, or even by logging onto
mormon.org.3. I would have loved to have this option when I was a
missionary. Our church leaders are not stupid -- there are obviously
restrictions and precautions taken to make sure this is a safe environment and
an effective use of time.
Ok one more thing. I think the comments about not being able to reach people
without internet access are pretty silly. Obviously. Of course our leaders
recognize that fact. The General Authorities travel the world. They see the
people that don't have computers as well as the ones without running water or
shoes. Clearly the missionaries are not going to ignore those people. I think it
goes without saying that this is pretty common sense. Probably why the program
was piloted in New York instead of Ethiopia.
Ok one more thing. Obviously our church leaders recognize that the internet
doesn't reach everyone in the world. They travel around the world meeting
people. They've met people without computers as well as those without running
water or shoes. Clearly missionary efforts don't ignore these people. It's all
been considered. Probably why the program was piloted in New York and not
Ah... My computer froze and didn't post my first post immediately so I tried to
re-create it and post again. Sorry! :-)