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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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


And yet weren't the missionaries before the increase working with those who "drifted away"?

Do you have evidence(not anecdotal) that the new increased size is working disproportionally(compared to before) with those who have "drifted away" I'm well aware enough to know that missionaries have always worked with those who have "drifted away" as they've visited some of my former roommates who were Mormons but left. And again, anecdotes or "I talked to someone who knows" doesn't prove anything.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Wait a sec. $400 for an ipad? You can get 'em on Amazon for $272. What's going on here?

Phoenix, AZ

How unfortunate, yet totally predictable, is the "armchair quarterback" mentality of so many of these comments. They imply that the Brethren are out of touch with reality, their decision to allow iPad Mini's was hasty and clearly hasn't been thought through."

Folks, I dare say you haven't a clue about the depth of research -- and revelation -- that goes into making a decision like this, not to mention the committee meetings and approvals that must ultimately come from the very top leadership of the Church.

The problem here is nicely summed up in the way Aggie5's comments began: "I support the Church in every way. But . . ." Just like President Packer's timeless message about "however" and "therefore." Can't wait for this attitude to show up in the Celestial Kingdom when people look around and say, "Oh, this is not at all the way I envisioned it. I think those colors clash too much, and wouldn't those flowers look better over THERE, etc.etc."


Why do so many people care what device they picked? You don't think they did some research? Apples the safest, and easiest to put safeguards on. And I don't understand why people think it's a bad idea. If you've been a missionary in the past few years, you understand how having the capabilities as well as the missionary based apps (planner, teaching records) will really be useful. Many missions have allowed ipod touches for years.

Phoenix/USA, AZ

I think it is a great idea to equip the missionaries with iPads. I know many thought that giving missionaries cell phones was a bad idea, but I have seen in my own ward how much more efficient the missionaries are with them. Often the sisters will text my wife when they need assistance teaching. This will also allow a teen preparing for a mission to use an iPad in preparing for the mission and then take all that information with him/her.

The only downside I see right now is that cost. If you are planning on a mission and know ahead of time you can plan for the added expense. I am the ward clerk and see that many families really struggle to make the monthly mission support payment and this may make things more difficult for a short period.

Glendale, AZ

@Chris B We wouldn't have had a 15% increase in baptisms without having the increase in missionaries. Besides, what does numbers (quantity) have anything to do with this? If a young man or woman wants to serve a mission, let them. As someone already pointed out, they do more than find new converts, they are energetically assisting with reactivation. And if you are honest with yourself, you know how immature an 18-year-old male can be. I'd rather have them serve a mission and learn and develop a few things.

As far as others criticizing the choice of Apple, having access to the Internet, vulnerability for theft, having to buy them themselves. etc.--really, stop and think about this. Don't you think the Brethren have considered all these things? Do you not see how carefully and slowly they make changes? iPad's have been out now for years and you are all treating this like it's something new. It never fails to surprise me how members are quick to criticize church leaders and decisions here on the comment section of the DN.

Salt Lake City, UT

Those commenters who are worried about missionaries sitting around the apartment playing on an ipad are short-sighted. That's like saying that missionaries shouldn't have a car because they might go to an arcade. The fact is, having an ipad has no bearing on whether missionaries are faithfully following mission rules or not. Those who wish to do nothing will find a way to do nothing, with or without an ipad. Plus, the way these ipads will be set up, they won't be doing anything but missionary work, and everything they do will be easy to monitor. These devices would have been an incredible aid to my mission 15 years ago. Think of the training and teaching that mission presidents can accomplish without traveling anywhere. They will be skyping and training missionaries on a level that was impossible before. Think how the ipads will allow missionaries into homes through computers that would have been just a slammed door before. And yes, ipads are better than android devices and more likely to be secure and easy for tech-ignorant missionaries to learn to use.

Ft Thomas, KY

I know men/women issues are a sensitive topic for the church right now, but I have a sincere, respectful question.
If I could have interviewed Elder Evans, I would have asked him why women are required to be older than men to serve. I always thought that it was just a left over tradition of some sort, but then in 2012 they lowered the age for all missionaries and yet still kept the women older. Just wondering why...

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I have to admit that technology has changed missionary work dramatically. If the comments on this board are any indication the primary issue today is no longer "saved by grace" versus "saved by works" - its Apple versus Android. :)

Salt Lake valley, UT

Last Sunday, two men who are church employees reviewed the church website and showed some of the videos that are available there. Members were amazed that such spiritual content was available online. The two men didn't go into Gospel Library, but I thought to myself that almost all of the spiritual content available at the church website is available for free from that app: all of the scriptures, conference talks going back to the 1980s, videos from Mormon Messages and other church sources, handbook 2, church manuals for almost all the classes, church magazines going back to the 1980s, syncing between Apple, Android, and the church website, and support for over 100 languages.

I don't know how the church and mission presidents are controlling access by missionaries, but I have faith that they know what they are getting into. The missionaries who use Gospel Library love it! They are of a generation that has grown up with digital media, and the church is wise to bring that experience into missionary work. Digital media is here to stay. Whether we accept it or not is up to us.

Springville, UT

I agree with CougMan - I have both an iPad and an Android phone. I agree that Apple is more expensive and Android is more open and that both are quality options. However, the design goals of Apple are more consistent with the goals of the church for missionaries.

And even if many are leaving the church, being led astray by the philosophies of men, that says nothing about the effectiveness of the inspired plans and directions of the church. The scriptures make a telling point that the true path is "strait and narrow, and few there be who find it."

If we ever get to the point where the church seeks direction from the rank and file to be more popular with those who love the sophistries of our day, rather than from the Lord to do His will, THAT will be the time I start to question my devotion to the church as being the earthly organization (and therefore inherently imperfect) that the Lord directs to accomplish His holy will on Earth.

Ft. Collins, CO


Thanks for sharing. I have an iPad (which I love) and an android phone. You just helped me make an important decision...when my contract is up I'm going for an iPhone.

As far as the missionaries having iPad minis...let's have faith that this generation of CTR ring wearers will do just that on their missions, CTR!

Springville, UT

iPad vs. Android. Geez, is that the best line of discussion we can have on this article?

Logan, UT

One more consideration. Many of our youth have been exposed to pornography before their missions begin. Some achieve an addiction level of exposure. As Elder Oaks has said, the atonement may provide a healing influence where the temptation goes away. However, for many, the atonement provides support as they cope with the addiction over the long term. In other words, the addiction does not go away. Just as we would not suggest that an alcoholic keep a fifth of whiskey in his home to prove he can overcome temptation, youth with addiction level experiences with pornography need electronic devices can be locked down completely so access to pornography is just not possible. This is where Apple's closed operating system comes into play. It's comforting to know that the benefits of technology can be leveraged, while the pit-falls controlled. Android devices are open, but therefore not able to be closed down from porn access like the iphone. Sad but true.

Gene Poole

Mmmm... Technology. I have lately found it difficult to send messages to friends, family and colleagues via carrier pigeon or telegraph. They all insist on these new fangled text messages or email. The nerve of people, most especially the Church wanting to have members of the missionary force use technology that will allow them to be better equipped to access the streams of data flowing from the leaders of the Church. Imagine the gall! As for the consternation concerning the use of Apple products: please tell me is it the high regard for security, in-house innovation (not design by theft by Google and Samsung), leading technology that is actually designed for the "rest of us", actual interest in advancing education, technology growth or simplicity of design that just chaps your sensitivities? I have worked on both hardware and software development of both Apple products and Windows products (on a Mac interestingly enough) and found not only the Apple products to be expeller but also service after the sale. Can't say that for Android. Missionaries using an iPad. What a great idea! They can carry the entire library of Church publications on an iPad. It just works.

Saint George, UT

@ Chris B: If you read the article, you will see that the 15% increase is over last year, not prior to the change. Last year there were around 80k missionaries. Sounds pretty good to me.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


The 15% change is over the same period that missionaries increased 48%

Supply greater than demand

Las Vegas, NV

I think it's a bad idea to make the missionaries pay for these devices. Many families scrimp and save and barely get by to keep their missionary in the field. At $400 a pop, for 88,000 missioinaries, we're talking about increasing the collective debt of our missionaries by over 35 million dollars. That's a lot of money for the young people who go, as well as for fixed-income seniors who serve during retirement. Before the Church develops world-class shopping malls, it ought to be paying for these devices.

UT Brit
London, England

I would have been ashamed to pull out a $400 device in front of some of the people I taught and I served in a wealthy country.

Roy, UT

The Ogden mission has been using the iPads for several months now. To access the internet they have to go to the church to access the WiFi to sync their devices. The iPads come preconfigured with the apps and security necessary to keep the devices "safe" for missionary use. So a missionary probably wouldn't buy an iPad prior to going on a mission and take their personal device with them. They would probably get information from their mission on how to purchase the device prior to going to the MTC and they would get the device when they get to the MTC or in their mission. Since they would then keep the iPad after their mission they would then probably be able to wipe the device to use as a normal iPad.

I get the security issues with Android. I do understand it is easier to manage apps and security for one device. I just really despise Apple and the way they do business and this just provides a way to train a whole group of young people to use Apple devices. That is what I don't like as I really think overall Android is a better platform.

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