I remember when LDS missionaries visited my house in the early 1990s. I told
them I used something called "the Internet" at work, and they became
very curious. They actually went to their bishop and asked for permission for
me to "show them the Internet," because they were afraid it was similar
to TV, which was off-limits. The bishop said "okay" (I'm sure he
was utterly mystified by their request) and the very next week they popped in
and I showed them the Internet over a ridiculously slow dial-up modem that paged
through unintelligible Usenet newsgroups at a molasses-slow rate. (This was
before browsers.) And even back then, the first thing one missionary said was,
"I wonder how the Church could use this thing."
This, in my opinion, is going to cause more problems than it solves. I
don't think it will be as effective as knocking. Will we be raising a new
group of members......couch missionaries?I hope I am wrong. Just
Elder Perry was quoting Joseph Smith when he said "the greatest and most
important duty is to preach the gospel". Preach My Gospel page 12 has the
full quote.I'm excited to see how the missionaries use these
tools. I know I heard people in Paraguay say "your church is so beautiful,
but it is always closed. When is it open?"I loved the thought of
here they come instead of there they go. We need to be a part of the work not
just send missionaries off and expect them to do it. It was a great training.
What a lousy headline. The headline is negative and flippant and does not
portray the true content of the story.
Effective as knocking? Do you think "knocking" is
effective? What a complete waste of time. There are missions out there that
average 1/2 a baptism in 2 years because "knocking" is so lame and
ineffective.People are too paranoid to let someone in their house.
They also are too concerned what their neighbors will think of them if they let
the Mormons in.Networking will be 1,000 times more effective.We have been doing missionary work with both arms tied behind our back.
We are "knocking" by banging our head against the door. Totally
ineffective and has been for decades.These kids are going to run
circles around "knocking". They know how to network better than all the
old timers. I think it is should be limited to 1 hour a day either. What are
we scared of? Missionaries becoming couch potatoes? It's not going to
happen.I can't wait to see what they can do. This is going to
The church always tests a new program months or even a few years before
it's rolled out to the entire church. I can remember when the three-hour
block was being tested in several stakes before it was formally adopted. It just
makes sense to work out the specific details before adopting churchwide.
Read Moses 7:62 in the Pearl of Great Price. In part it reads that in the latter
days, "righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send
forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten. . . and
righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood."Today's faithful youth is the "righteousness", the Book of
Mormon, and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the "truth", and the
internet is the "flood", (or in todays jargon, "going viral").
This is fulfillment of prophecy!
Cada quien con su gusto or each person has their own way of being touched by the
Spirit. There are so many tools and this is a great concept that has a benefit
for some in some locations. However, the Lord gave us agency and part of that
is choice. Some are interested in using various tools, some direct and other
less direct in knowing about something.In today's marketing,
when advertisers and businesses make it look so enticing to go on a vacation,
try cigarettes, wine cooler, whiskey in various types and forms even appearing
to be non-substance abuse forms, it is amazing how some get linked into those
drugs. People on the street and at school lure your children and
grandchildren into activities that rip their lives from real freedoms they used
to have. Now you don't know where they are or what they are doing.Losing a child, "Been there, done that!" I don't ever want
to go through that again.Having a chance to do and learn good things
is what anyone wants in life. This is an opportunity for people to learn from
missionaries who know living truth.
The internet has no borders. The gospel will be preached everywhere.
Hopefully, they will be using their IPads and computers for teaching and not
playing Angry Bird. The temptation will be great.
LDS missionary efforts have almost always been time and place based- the use of
social media has the chance to make that very different if we are going to have
missionaries working with people outside of their "assigned area"- in
other words back home, in past areas, outside boundaries, etc.- the pay offs
seem high but so do the inherent problems associated with such a change- it will
call for a different type of mission president as well it would seem- should be
fun to watch and see it evolve much like so many areas of life have done with
such a connected world.
One will have the strength of ten.These missionaries will have ten times
the power, maybe even a hundred times the power to preach the Gospel. I could
only have dreamed to be so enabled in preaching the Gospel.
I love the comments. Will missionaries become couch potatoes (pew potatoes)?
And there are other temptations. As DonP notes, the programs are tested first.
The Church has a good idea of the impact on missionaries and missionary work.
Red is a little more negative about going door-to-door ""knocking"
by banging our head against the door" and a little more enthusiastic about
the new tools than I am. He thinks it will be 1,000 more effective; I am in the
10 to 20 range, but even that takes 1/2 baptisms per two years to 5 to 10. It
should allow for more effective socialization as investigators and new members
will be friends with established neighbors. The changes are exciting.
I live in Billings Montana and as stated in the article the missionaries have
been online here for a few years. It's very effective. They still knock on
doors and do the other things that we all did but they are able to have an
impact literally worldwide. Good examples in the article of how it has been
effective. Will there be shortcomings? Of course, always are. Doesn't mean
we don't do something because of the downside. Focus on the positive, aka
My son was in the Canada Vancouver Mission (2010-2012) They were a test
mission. He set up a facebook account for his area and used it to contact
members/non-members. They used it to advertize young single adult activities
that non-members/inactive members began coming to more frequently. It was a
great tool for them. He had no problems staying away from farmville. I think
some of us under estimate this generation of LDS youth.
People in this time turn to the Internet when they are "searching". It
only makes sense to be easily "found". In the city where I live, almost
no one is home during the day time, and our missionaries are often found begging
for service opportunities as a way to fill their day time hours. This will open
many opportunities for them.I have a son currently serving a
full-time mission and his correspondence with his high school friends has been a
very powerful influence for good. I'm delighted with the opportunities
electronic communication gives us to share the gospel!
The great stone is rolling faster and faster and will not be stopped!
I admit, this announcement kind of confused me, because the missionaries who
taught me when I was investigating the Church and right after I got baptized
used Facebook to teach and stay in contact with me and I thought nothing of it.
And now the Internet is the primary means by which I do missionary work. So,
LOL! One step ahead of you, brethren. ;)
Being effective depends on the missionary and work effort. I baptized over 70
people, (the mission average was 14 in two years) all but 4 came from long hours
of tracting. Give me a good companion, good shoes, and good maps and I will out
produce an ipad, no question about it.
Thinking back on my mission, it might have been better if we had done tours of
the chapel. I have to wonder if some people would have been better off having
been to the chapel before Church started. There was of course the baptism I was
at that did not happen because the person got lost on their way their, but since
it was at a chapel other than where their ward met, this might not have
helped.On another site someone said they had security concerns about
the sister missionaries in their ward giving a tour to possibly sketchy people
at the chapel. However that seems odd, since going door to door, you are open to
more direct attacks by sketchy people. I know when I was in Ann
Arbor we would occasionally have people just show up at the Institute building
One factor is that many people live in gated communities or other areas that are
literally off limits to tracting. We have to find ways to reach out to people in
KNOCK NOCK. "WHO'S THERE" ? "THE LORD JESUS
CHRIST".There are many kinds of doors at which a knock can be
made and it may take time before the right one is opened, but THAT DOOR will be
the one which our good Lord has told us that He will open.
Wished I had these tools in the Lansing Michigan mission 1980 & '81.
Great experiences, wouldn't have traded it for the world...And don't
think that Satan didn't try either. I got offers there that were unreal,
but I stuck it out to the end. And I am so grateful that I did too!However, the average in baptisms per missionary per year was exactly one! I
was a part of 8, so that means the 2 years that I served, 3 missionaries went
home without any baptisms. After all these years, it still makes my old heart
ache for them.
Innovation & technology are all great tools to help the "work"
along. These new missionaries at 18 are young and some have had addictions with
media/porn, etc. before they came on their missions. I know firsthand of someone
who would have really taken advantage of this medium for his personal addiction
and not the Lord's work. Mainly because it was available and he
couldn't restrict himself. I just hope that there will be clear guidelines
and accountabilities as these missionaries are allowed a whole hour online. A
few clicks in the wrong direction could make or break a missionary. Yes, it is
entirely a "honor" system and they have to be obedient but whose going
to know when a young Elder "inboxes" some cute young investigator. I
hope there are more positives than negatives that come from this - all I can see
is Satan now has more reason to up the ante on temptation with the release of
these new tools in the mission field that were not there before. Caution should
be exercised with missionaries (male or female) that have a history of problems
with media I would hope! Forward & onward - with caution & faith!