Comments about ‘LDS missionary numbers to peak at 88,000; more to use and pay for digital devices’

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Published: Wednesday, July 2 2014 8:10 p.m. MDT

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Roy, UT

I don't mind paying for a digital device for my future missionaries but I do mind it being an iPad. I really get why it is easier to choose one device and keep development and security easy but I abhore Apple and their products. Last thing I want is for my kids to become comfortable with them and end up choosing Apple in the future. Not only that, there are much less expensive and capable Android devices available. Choose one of them and develop for that device.

Seldom Seen Smith
Orcutt, CA

I thought missionaries were supposed to abstain from TV, an internet device is worse than TV. Missionaries, and our society, are better off without both. Aren't missionaries supposed to live in the world, but not be of this world. Lest you think I'm a luddite, I have a degree in information systems, been working in the field for 20 years. iPads for missionaries are a mistake.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

15% increase in baptisms. 48% increase in missionaries. Supply much greater than demand.

No one in the lds church I imagine would have thought such a small increase in baptisms compared to missionaries would have happened.

Apo, AP

I'm an android user as well, but I think I might invest in Apple in the near future if the Church is going that direction. :)

Hays, KS

I totally agree about iPad not being the best option. Apple is notoriously over-priced and under-featured and lacks the versatility of Android devices. At least allowing the missionaries to choose between Apple and Android would be much better, if you ask me. Android devices that do the same thing would likely be FAR less expensive. Goodness, my brand new 32GB Google Nexus 10 from Walmart's website was less than $400 (and it's an awesome tablet). As for the missionaries being "comfortable" on these devices, well, that comes as no surprise. Anyone 35 years or younger is likely comfortable on a computer and tablet. Our generation was practically bottle-fed on computers. :)

hi, UT


iPads are the true tablets.

Memphis, TN

Yes, Android is cheaper but is plagued by continuing incompatibilities between versions and various hardware makers. Also a huge issue is security. The annoying tight control wielded by Apple over apps that can be sold in the Apple Store has led to increased protection from the types of problems the open source Android world has experienced. Google has tried hard to "close the barn door" by tightening up control but the problems persist. My field of work for years has been banking including both Internet banking and Mobile banking. The security issues of Android in that field have exceeded those of Apple's IOS by 400%!

Provo, UT

What's a self-supporting area?

Salt Lake valley, UT

I'm a part-time service missionary servicing feedbacks from users of an app known as Gospel Library. Gospel Library is probably the #1 app used by missionaries. The article didn't mention Android devices, but Gospel Library is developed for both Apple devices and Android devices. Since missionaries are paying for their own devices, I would hope that the church would allow missionaries to choose between Apple and Android.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

I am pleased to see the "safety moment" implementation. I continue to call for LDS leadership to work to keep missionaries safe. I have family and friends belonging to your Church who serve. Statistics mean little to me. I want them home alive and safe, not hurt or dead.

As for the iPad's, I agree with much of the Church's approach. I disagree in the following: the Church should pay for the iPad's (not the missionaries), and frankly the Church should not be having missionaries use iPad Mini's in poor areas like Central America where crime rates and violence are high.

In my view, if the Church was smart, they would be thinking about having the missionaries continue to use those pocket-size paper day planners, which make them far less susceptible to theft. I am tremendously concerned in particular for the safety of the younger women and also the senior citizen missionaries. How are they going to defend themselves?

There is tremendous upside to this technology, and the Church would do well to further develop missionary safety in this crime-ridden, scary world.

Kaysville, UT

It takes a lot of resources to make programs for missionaries and members to use in gospel study and especially for scheduling and contacting members and investigators. People can become involved with LDSTech to learn more about how they can help each other. Android and IOS devices require APPS or programming to allow more requirements for missionaries to fully utilize one device or another. Resources and bugs or debugging requires time and effort. Security is also an aspect for privacy for information and the device itself, if lost.

Kuna, ID

I support the church in every way. But I think this is a very bad idea on very level. Can you imagine elders sitting around in there apartments with an iPad? Bad idea. And, at $400.00, that's not a good price. Cart before the horse here.

Salt Lake valley, UT

I don't have exact numbers, but the number of people using Android to access Gospel Library is almost equal to the number of people using Apple devices.

Hayden, ID

@ Chris B. “The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, ‘The work is done.'” Joseph Smith

Central, UT

@Chris B

It is LDS church.


"Chris B" An astute observation as far as it goes but another, less obvious, factor comes into play. The number of people returning to full spiritual activity who had slipped outside the Lord's way is about equal to the new converts. Missionaries spend nearly as much time teaching those who have drifted away as they do teaching new investigators. What I'm trying to say is that the effectiveness of missionary work is not merely by the number of new members but overall activity level of the entire body of the church, which is increasing.

Why, AZ

You can buy refurbished Ipad's which will save you money. I only buy refurbished and never had a problem with any of my devices.

Regarding the 15% increase in Baptisms which is good but to be realistic how many of those recent converts are still going to church after a year? Maybe 25% or less depending on the area.

Bountiful, UT

For those of you who are not familiar with new technology, there's something called parent control. I am more than sure once the missionaries have their device the Mission President will come up with some sort of password to block from pornography and other bad sites.

Having missionaries using new technology is not bad at all. First of all, it is much easier to study the scriptures in the iPad than the physical books, and much lighter as well. Why should missionaries carry four heavy books when they can carry one device with all the scriptures, plus church magazines, videos and handbooks on it? It just doesn't make sense keep leaving in the past when clearly the Lord is pointing to the future and developing science for a good use.

This is a wake up call for old timers!

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Chris B,

It takes a while for the full results to be seen. I am confident we will see an equivalent increase in the convert rate as the impact of these new missionaries is fully realized. Those of you who aren't LDS are just looking for things to poke at. Most of us members of the Church aren't even looking at the numbers. That's not our concern and we don't teach our missionaries to care about how many people they teach. The missionaries focus is on each individual they have the opportunity to work with and helping them build a relationship with their Savior.

San Diego, CA

I'm the CEO of a top mobile app development company that develops for both Apple (iOS) and Android. I have nothing personally against Android, but it does have security issues. In fact, 99% of all mobile security problems and hacks happen on Android devices. We work hard to make our Android apps as good as what we can do for iOS but there are so many Android hardware devices and only 12% of their users are even on Androids current operating system (compared to 89% for iOS) so we have to try and make our apps backward compatible to several pervious versions of their operating systems. I like the fact that it's an "open platform," but it makes it insecure, hard and expensive to develop for, and hard to keep the controlled environment that the Church requires. Apple is a animal about making sure none of their 1.2 million apps have any pornography. Android is the wild west and doesn't police pornography. The Church locks down missionaries iPads devices to restrict them to certain functionalities that the missionaries need.

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