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

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  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    July 9, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    Ah ha! I put 2+2 together. About the $400 cost, that is. A 16gb iPad mini does run about $299 or less these days. However, the same configuration that is data enabled runs about $400. The missionaries are going to need Internet access no matter where they go. And the church is not going set up WiFi in every apartment that they live in, what a hassle. They may also need to stream content at an investigator's residence. So they need data enabled iPads.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    July 8, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin: You took offense because someone stated you were arm chair quarterbacking but after your last statement where you stated you were a non-member then that statement would seem to be some what correct.

    You stated that the cost shouldn't include a mall, apartments in Philly and then a farm in Florida. Well let me take a stab at the mall. No tithing funds or other offerings are used in that mall. It is solely one that falls under a business venture and an organization ran by the church. This business pays taxes just as you and I do and gets its funds from those who have leased room in the mall. That is where that money comes from. So stating it is part of the tithes and offerings is a mistake and not part of this issue.

    The apartments in Philly is again a business venture that will be used to house temple workers who have to travel to work in the Philadelphia Temple. The excess rooms will be leased and again taxes probably paid just as the mall. Again no tithing or offerings used in its construction or operation.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    July 7, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    I think the missionaries were much better before the age change then the kids coming out now. Frankly, many are just not ready to serve a mission. We need to be open with our kids that it is ok to wait till your truly ready to serve even if it means waiting a bit longer then others.

    I too appreciate the safety moment as my heart breaks that someone may lose a child on a mission. We need ALL to come home.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    July 7, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    @ CougMan

    For what the church is doing you can lock an Android down as much as you can an Android.

    I was personally looking at a missionaries iPad mini at church yesterday and he showed how the App Store was unavailable on their iPad.

    It wouldn't be too complicated to do something similar with a Samsung Android device.

    All the stuff you mentioned wouldn't be an issue on any type of device that is locked down.

    Apple iPad have no advantage in my eyes to comparable Samsung devices especially if they are both locked down like I saw the missionary in my wards was.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    July 5, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    I say the numbers does ever peak. 100,000 would be the answer to my prayers and will help spread salvation not only to the non-Christians but help these young missionaries work out their own salvation.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 5, 2014 4:38 a.m.

    If a church or its missionaries want to use technology, fine. That's their business.

    But stop asking me (a non-member relative to economically-challenged LDS missionaries currently serving) to do the following:

    1) to pay one dime for it when the LDS Church allocates so much of its funds towards other non-essentials (City Creek Mall, Philadelphia rental units, Florida ranches, etc.)

    2) to believe LDS Church leaders, missionaries, and members have solutions for every problem.

    3) to expect that Apple iPad Mini's are impenetrable to disobedience, hacking, technical difficulties, etc.

    4) to think my family, friends, and other young men, women, and senior couples are going to be safer (in my view, missionaries are walking targets now).

    5) to understand that a missionary's personal information, records, and the like are going to be inaccessible.

    If the LDS Church leadership has acted already on much of the feedback provided, fine. Good for all of us.

    That said, let's build on those things.

    I ask that we please be civil and positive when people are offering well-intended feedback designed to promote safety, efficiency, and productivity in LDS missionary efforts.

    Everyone (LDS or not) has a voice and should be heard.

  • Applelovernow Henderson, NV
    July 4, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    Time will tell. There are many areas of the US as well as foreign countries where'-Apple picking' is common. This is the stealing of Apple products from the user's hands. This may work out and it may be a mess. What happens when the device is stolen or broken? The parents I assume replace it. However, I agree that it is a surbetb method of study, one I use myself!

  • SammFan Sammamish, WA
    July 4, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    A lot of commenters seem to think the church execs made some impulsive decision and now missionaries are going to roll into Best Buy, pick up a tab, and start downloading apps like Gospel Library off the web. As a missionary parent and IT professional, there are some key things that allow me some confidence in this direction in: A) These iPad minis have been tested for many months by THOUSANDS of missionaries in many missions. B) They are locked down and highly secure with their personal data and with their means of web access; also, C) the church is NOT paying retail.

    Managing multiple OS platforms under their constraints for 80K F-T missionaries and another 10-20K people that support them or are F-T admin employees world-wide isn't very practical.

  • alleycatrn Lilburn, GA
    July 4, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    So as a mom to two missionaries. One in the field a year and the other in the Mexico CCM, will I get a bill for $800 from the church. Sorry, but budgeting for a mission, let alone two is difficult. Then throw in another "oh by the way" cost later in their missions, will be too much for some families.

  • BYU-Virginia Mesa, AZ
    July 3, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    I too have wondered why Sisters age was not lowered to the same as the young Elders. So, if post surge to nearly 90,000, it drops to 70,000 after the 2 years difference is made up, we will still have an increase of 12,000 more missionaries, most probably from Sisters who would otherwise have not served. I'm thinking the percentage of Sisters will go up from the current 28 or 29% after the surge recedes, correct?

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 3, 2014 7:21 p.m.

    I am frustrated with the insinuations that I am "armchair quarterbacking." I find them inaccurate for the following reasons:

    First, I would like to know how wanting missionaries to be safe, particularly those who serve from my circle of family and friends, is not something everyone agrees on. I would like to see such comments made to the families and all those who know missionaries who died on their missions.

    Second, missionaries and their families are being asked more and more to shoulder financial burdens. I have been asked to contribute (I will not, I feel the Church should pay). Those in my family struggle economically. Money does not grow on trees. The Church can use their tithing and fast offering funds to pay for these things, instead of spending millions building malls like City Creek and purchasing real estate in Missouri, Florida, and Philadelphia.

    Third, every good entity needs ongoing feedback to improve things and do better. Are you going to appreciate an employee on the phone or in a store telling you to stop "armchair quarterbacking" when you complain or offer feedback?

    No, you won't, and neither do I.

  • Juan Figuroa Seattle, WA
    July 3, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    Way to go, Deseret News. So much for safety moments. Every missionary is now a target for thieves. This terrible iPad decision is going to be reversed in 3...2...1...

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    July 3, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    Being in the world, but not of the world....uh, if the Gospel is going to be brought to the darkest regions of the world, it is through the medium of the internet. It can be a record keeping device, more serviceable than a pen and pad of paper, which they use, also.

    There can and should be controls on access to certain areas of the internet...those of you who are computer geeks out there know how that can be done; and believe me, in allowing this, so does the Church.

    The IPads will also serve the function of providing missionaries with communications capability, to investigators, and to them from investigators, in many cases, and is a few instances, could save their lives; providing location and immediate accessibility to the local authorities.

    Not a problem that I see.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    July 3, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    CougMan! I have a great idea for an app! Call it "Sabbath Mode". I would love to be able to set my iPhone so that during the hours that I am at church, my phone automatically goes to silent then back to regular after church and also that I could only access specific apps (gospel library etc.) during church hours and that push notifications, texts, calls, etc do not show up until after church is over. This would help a lot with getting distracted in Sunday School and would be great to put on my kids' phones, too. Maybe even add the option of having it set to a regular time period each week (for regular church time) and also being able to turn the mode on at other times with the tap of a button for a 30 minute period, (great for teen driving) or for a 2 hour period (if you go to the temple). I always put my phone on silent when I go to the temple but then forget to take it off and miss calls or worse, e.g. when the phone is on silent in your locker, but an alarm goes off!

  • jasonhyer Roy, UT
    July 3, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    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.

  • UT Brit London, England
    July 3, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    July 3, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    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.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    RJOhnson,

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

    Supply greater than demand

  • R JOHNSON Saint George, UT
    July 3, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Gene Poole SLC, UT
    July 3, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Dmark Logan, UT
    July 3, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:45 a.m.

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

  • ReadMineFirst Ft. Collins, CO
    July 3, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    @CougMan:

    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!

  • webworking Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    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.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    July 3, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    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. :)

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    July 3, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    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...

  • chazkron Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    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.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    July 3, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    @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.

  • ConWar Phoenix/USA, AZ
    July 3, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    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.

  • RonBergundy SANDY, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    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.

  • slk Phoenix, AZ
    July 3, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    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."

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 3, 2014 9:12 a.m.

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

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    oddman,

    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.

  • CougMan San Diego, CA
    July 3, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • J.S Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    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!

  • RSL* Why, AZ
    July 3, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    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.

  • oddman ,
    July 3, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    "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.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    @Chris B

    It is LDS church.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 3, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    @ 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

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    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.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    July 3, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    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.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    July 3, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    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.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    July 3, 2014 4:25 a.m.

    What's a self-supporting area?

  • DTanner Memphis, TN
    July 3, 2014 4:09 a.m.

    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%!

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    July 2, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    @jasonhyer

    iPads are the true tablets.

  • Quagthistle Hays, KS
    July 2, 2014 11:40 p.m.

    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. :)

  • JapanCougar Apo, AP
    July 2, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    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. :)

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    July 2, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    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.

  • jasonhyer Roy, UT
    July 2, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    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.