Emily W. Jensen: The missionary social media experiment

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 25 2011 5:15 a.m. MST

“If you want to help them make the new (missionary) program successful please participate in their social media experiment then soon we might have thousands of missionaries using social media to convert thousands to Christ.”

So states blogger Dr. B, in his continuing quest to alert the world to the presence of missionaries online. With the addition of the Montana Billings Mission and the Florida Jacksonville Mission, eight missions are now officially participating in a pilot program where missionaries run blogs, have Facebook accounts and write up Mormon.org profiles all in an effort to share the gospel message with as many as will listen, or in this case, click in. Dr. B keeps a running total of the official Mormon mission blogs at LDS Mormon Mission World.

And did you know that there is a new community blog that features 20 current contributing missionaries? Wow! It’s called Missionary Media: A new way to display the gospel and features online testimonies from these missionaries, essays, video features, links to other missionary resources and one of my favorite features: some Prezi powerpoint interactive slideshow creations that simply explain such gospel topics as “The Plan of Happiness” and “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” and more! I’d love to see more blogs that utilize missionaries in this collaborative and creative way!

And if you want to help the online missionary effort, it’s really not that hard. Check out this tutorial on“A Simple Way to Do Missionary Work: Calling Online Member Missionaries.” Dr. B explains, “Doing member missionary work is as easy as putting a few buttons or icons on your personal blog and writing a Mormon.org profile. There are about 150 LDS Church approved online missionaries currently in seven mission units that need your help promoting their blog sites. I am calling on all members to promote these missionaries blogs, so that people interested in the church can read their messages and/or contact them.” He then proceeds to outline, with technical step-by-step instructions, how to do just that. And if you have any problems, he welcomes questions and comments and is ready to provide any needed clarifications.

On this related missionary theme, I found this post chock full of advice from past and present sister missionaries on the new guidelines regarding “Sister Missionary Clothing.” One woman advises, “It’s really important to remember that you are a representative of the Lord. That doesn’t mean you have to look bland and boring, but tasteful and classy.”

Now find other preaching blogs from this last week in the Bloggernacle:   

Power pick: “As I befriended more Mormons, I discovered that some of the most contentious issues that were the focus of anti-Mormon literature were simply irrelevant or ancillary to modern LDS beliefs and practices. The practical application of their faith and understanding in LDS doctrine was actually similar to that of other Christians with respect to purely biblical doctrine. Consequently, I no longer believe I am in a position to say the biblical salvation of Mormons is more in question than members of other Christian denominations.  My current practice, which has contributed to the most productive and meaningful of my inter-faith relationships, is to treat Mormons as Christian brothers and sisters as opposed to members of a non-Christian cult.” So says recent Evangelical graduate of the Institute program.” Click to read his entire interview of how his Institute experiences and relationships with Mormons changed his perceptions.

Techie tip: I just had to pull out this amazing list from the More Good Foundation of even more ways you can “Share the Gospel Online.” For instance, you can write a review of the Book of Mormon on Amazon. Or write your testimony in a foreign language. Or, my favorite, “Blog what you’ve learned and how you know — Learn what a blog is, then start one. You can write what you learn in Church each week or in your daily scripture study, or explain how living the Gospel has blessed your life.” Check it out, and become an online member missionary today!

 

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