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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Philippine Bonita
Sammamish, WA

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!

John Locke
Ivins, , UT

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.

Juan Figuroa
Seattle, WA

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...

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

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.

Mesa, AZ

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?

Lilburn, GA

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.

Sammamish, WA

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.

Henderson, NV

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!

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

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.

Gilbert, AZ

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.

Berryville, VA

@ 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.

Virginia Beach, Va

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.

Maryville, MO

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.

Glendale, AZ

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.

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