LDS on the Internet to Expand Teachings

By PGBS (http://www.proglobalbusinesssolutions.com/) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ten years ago, the Provo Missionary Training Center started on an experiment on social media. Since that time, their efforts have witnessed tremendous growth, as they now have a strong online community.

Keeping up with the times
Over 600 missionaries are working full-time in all 20 centers to teach Mormonism in more than 30 languages. Most of the missionaries are women, and they use the internet to talk with people who have the potential to convert.

According to LDS’s general president of Young Women, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, they are well aware of the fact that the world is changing drastically. As a result of this, if they wish to carry on with effective missionary work, they must adapt to the changes.

From the birth of the program, the world has witnessed a significant change in technology, as it has become sophisticated.

Remarkable work from the missionaries

In a press conference at Temple Square’s North Visitors Center, Oscarson said their website got over 21 million unique visitors last year. They also had over 90,000 calls, 290,000 information requests, and 340,000 chats.

Together with all the missionaries in cities as far as Paris, they have taught over 140,000 people.

According to the Missionary Department’s managing director, Gary Crittenden, the internet is an extremely powerful tool which helps them seek out new members.

Although missionaries meet more people on the streets than online, the latter’s number is growing quickly and steadily.

Video chats conducted by missionaries resemble their traditional lessons. It also includes scripture reading and prayers.

Philippine Sister Guiuo enjoys teaching people online, as it improves their life considerably.

The LDS Missionary Department’s executive director, Elder Brent H. Nielson, said using technology makes it easier for them to reach out to young women and men, as they are comfortable with online communication.

Eva Ståhle, a Finnish missionary, said they are trained to deal with trolls. According to their teachings, they must remain polite, although they avoid spending a large portion of their time with them.

Since the church has reduced the minimum age to become a Mormon missionary to 19, they have seen more women joining.

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