Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mormons to Use Technology in Missionary Work

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

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 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.

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