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Mormons to use technology in missionary work

utah missionaries proselytizing ipad facebook internet recruiting

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#1 Hum

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 23:58

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The common image of Mormon missionaries has long been two young men wearing white shirts and ties walking through neighborhoods, knocking door-to-door.

But in a few years, that image may be replaced by one of young Mormons sitting with an iPad, typing messages on Facebook.

Recognizing the world has changed, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders announced Sunday night that missionaries will do less door-to-door proselytizing, and instead, use the Internet to recruit new church members.

The strategy shift reflects the growing importance of social media and people's preference to connect over sites such as Facebook rather than opening their homes to strangers, church leaders said.

"The way in which we fulfill our responsibilities to share the gospel must adapt to a changing world," said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during a presentation to mission presidents in Provo, Utah, that was broadcast worldwide.

The move is the latest example of the LDS church's gradual embrace of the digital age, and a recognition that door-to-door proselytizing is not the most effective way to expand church membership, church scholars said.

Many of the details about how the social media work will be carried out by missionaries and monitored by mission presidents have yet to be ironed out, church officials said.

But it's clear that the new rules mark a significant change in the way the church governs Internet access for missionaries.

Previously, Internet use for missionaries was limited to once a week and only for communicating with friends and family back home or accessing official church sites. Those rules were designed to reduce distractions and temptations for missionaries expected to devote all their attention to serving the Lord, while leaving behind personal affairs.

The announcement comes as the church sends more missionaries around the globe than at any time in history. There has been an unprecedented surge of missionaries since the church's announced in October that it was lowering the minimum age for missionaries from 21 to 19 for women and from 19 to 18 for men.

There are 70,000 young men and women on mission now, and church officials say there will be 85,000 by the end of the year. The previous record total of missionaries at one time was 61,600 in 2002, church figures show.

 

The new focus on social media will likely come as welcome news to young, tech-savvy missionaries, said Matthew Bowman, assistant professor of religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and author of the book, "The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith."

 

"This generation knows social networking, they know how this works," Bowman said. "It's much more appealing work than going door-to-door knocking and hoping somebody doesn't slam the door in your face."


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#2 LaP

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 00:00

Technology is the work of satan.



#3 Growled

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 00:53


Recognizing the world has changed, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders announced Sunday night that missionaries will do less door-to-door proselytizing, and instead, use the Internet to recruit new church members.

 

I'm not sure either method is working out too well for them. They always seem to have the smallest church in town.



#4 OP Hum

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 13:19

What next -- the Amish using computers ? :p



#5 rippleman

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 13:23

What next -- the Amish using computers ? :p

Only the "bosses" and "leaders" get to use them since they have the more important duties. That in itself is eerily ironic of another system they hate and claim to abstain from.



#6 compl3x

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 13:38

Does this mean less people knocking on my door trying to sell me their god? By all means, embrace more technology.



#7 +AJerman

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 16:32

Does this mean less people knocking on my door trying to sell me their god? By all means, embrace more technology.

Now they are just going to be spamming the #### out of everyone on email and Facebook and such.



#8 bane7378

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 16:53

I'm not sure either method is working out too well for them. They always seem to have the smallest church in town.

It is true that the LDS Church is relatively small in numbers compared to some other major religions but I don't personally think 14 million members worldwide is necessarily small.  According to some articles I found Baptist membership was at about 16 million in 2012 and Catholic was at 1.6 Billion.  

 

Does this mean less people knocking on my door trying to sell me their god? By all means, embrace more technology.

I can understand what you mean by "sell".  I had one missionary totally approach it that way.  Hopefully not all of your experiences have felt like that with all missionaries from various faiths.

 

Now they are just going to be spamming the **** out of everyone on email and Facebook and such.

I can't see that happening.  I've never known the LDS church to "spam" people in any fashion.  Feel free to highlight where that may be wrong though.



#9 +AJerman

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 17:26

It's spam when they come to my door and spam me with their religious values. This article just stated that they were going to do less door to door and more internet. I assume once a spammer, always a spammer.



#10 OP Hum

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 17:30

Now they are just going to be spamming the **** out of everyone on email and Facebook and such.

 

 

 

I can't wait to start screwing with missionaries on-line. :p



#11 bane7378

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 17:50

It's spam when they come to my door and spam me with their religious values. This article just stated that they were going to do less door to door and more internet. I assume once a spammer, always a spammer.

Just out of curiosity, do you dislike anyone at all coming to your door expressing a different idea than your own, just religious people that do it, or just Mormons?

 

Please don't take that as a challenge.  I really am just curious about your personal view on the matter.



#12 OP Hum

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 17:54

Just out of curiosity, do you dislike anyone at all coming to your door expressing a different idea than your own ...

 

Please don't take that as a challenge.  I really am just curious about your personal view on the matter.

 

In my case, I think I know it all, so yes. :p



#13 bane7378

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 17:57

In my case, I think I know it all, so yes. :p

Haha.  May I study under you Hum?   :)



#14 Growled

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 20:01

I can't wait to start screwing with missionaries on-line. :p

How are you gonna do that?



#15 +AJerman

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 20:51

Just out of curiosity, do you dislike anyone at all coming to your door expressing a different idea than your own, just religious people that do it, or just Mormons?

 

Please don't take that as a challenge.  I really am just curious about your personal view on the matter.

No offense taken at all. I guess it would seem odd to me if anyone came to my door to try to try to convince me one way or another about anything, but yes, religious bothers me more as I'm strongly not religious. I don't mind other people having their opinions, but they don't need to come try to convince me of their way. I like a healthy debate, but I doubt they'd be willing to engage in a debate over the subject with me. Not to mention, religion has never felt like a door to door sales type thing to me. How many people can you really convert/recruit by going door to door? Can you imagine the reaction if I tried to go door to door with atheism? I do give Mormons much less respect due to many factors, but one being because they seem to want to convince people of their ways so badly. People should come up with their own opinions and not be swayed by those of others. Even though I'm against religion, if I had children I would strongly encourage them to make their decision on their own when they are ready.

 

That said, my lack of respect for the religion is solely towards the religion itself, and not the people. I used to work for a company where myself and another programmer were the only two that weren't Mormon in an office of 10 or 15 or so, and they were some of the best people I've ever known.





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