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Emily W. Jensen: Marvelous missionary movements

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 15 2011 7:00 a.m. MST

As one of the pioneers of spreading the gospel using technology and social media, Elder Christian Spendlove is looking for ways to do more:

“One of the biggest roadblocks and/or challenges my companion and I are facing as online missionaries is a lack of publicity and networking from members, specifically in referring their nonmember friends to our blogs and Facebook pages. Perhaps, if you do a follow-up article in the Bloggernacle, you might address this. I appreciated the coverage in the article about the need for member support. I don't think that clarion call can be under-sounded. This work online, just like it is on the street, isn't going anywhere unless the members are fully and completely behind it.”

I agree and told him such, advising him to perhaps hold online missionary classes for any interested members in learning how to better use social media to spread the gospel. Elder Spendlove responded with this wisdom:

“I realized that I haven't been focusing fully on my purpose as a full-time missionary in this effort: find, teach, and baptize — just like in ‘real life’ work. On the members' side, the objective is to flood the Internet with good, to promote positive views of the church and to stem the tide of filth and break in pieces the false image of what people think our church is all about. While those elements are important for us as the missionary force as well, it is still our primary objective to find, teach, and baptize. For us, Facebook and blogs are just tools we use to accomplish those goals, starting with people in our areas of service, then branching out from our stakes, to missions, to the world. So we have this duality going on. But I think you're absolutely right — the member push will come as we, the missionaries, train them to do the groundwork, including helping them establish Mormon.org profiles, post gospel-y things on their Facebook profiles, etc.”

So true. I just love being witness to this ground-breaking missionary movement.

Similarly, these blogs showcased some amazing missionary moments of their own.

  • Dr. B announced that the Tennessee Nashville Mission has just joined the online missionary movement. Click in to find their blogs, Facebook pages, etc. and see how they are spreading the gospel message through the Internet. Or help them out by sharing it with your friends.
  • I thought that this was a creative use of a missionary’s blog, inviting a recently baptized member to record his or her testimony. Read about “Audia’s Baptism.
  • “It's been a couple of days since I was baptized, and I've felt incredible and amazing. Everyone at church has been so happy for me that I made a great choice. When I got baptized, it was a dream come true. That dream was finding a church that liked me and I liked them. I have no trouble at all with paying attention and focusing like my other church. I had trouble with that every day. I look forward to church eagerly. I really enjoy it so much I'm not leaving. I found where I belong.”

    Beautiful.

  • The blogging ward missionaries have done it again. I just loved these innovative ideas for inviting non-member friends to Sunday services. For example, did you know that you can purchase new “I’m a Mormon” pass-along cards to use as your invitations? Cool!
  • The More Good Foundation has a “Call for Mormon Temple Photos & Reflections” where you can submit your feelings about what temples mean to you. They explain, “Our desire is to capture the kaleidoscope of faith-promoting insights and experiences we have as we regularly worship in the Lord’s house. This will assist us in dispelling misperceptions that first, we are secretive people generally; second, that we are anything but Christian, and third, that unusual things occur in holy temples. Again, they are ‘misperceptions’ that still largely prevail in a world that needs to hear from you.”
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