How technology is changing Mormon missionary work: Inside the Temple Square online teaching center

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  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    March 14, 2018 3:38 p.m.

    CMTM posted:

    =KevinSim – “the LDS gospel.”= Mormon Church system and doctrines.
    =
    =The Bible. “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel=
    =(euangelion/good news) I preached to you, which you received and on which you
    =have taken your stand.
    =
    =By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.
    =Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as
    =of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    =that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the
    =Scriptures, (1 Cor 15:1-4)

    The gospel as Paul describes it sounds pretty identical to the Mormon Church doctrines CMTM posted above. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day. Yup, that's LDS doctrine.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    March 13, 2018 9:16 a.m.

    The mandate of missionaries is not to answer every question that everyone has. For some questions there will never be a satisfactory answer. Missionaries are serving to bring people closer to Christ. Answers about faith, prayer, peace, love, hope, plan of salvation, Jesus Christ etc can lead people in the right direction. I am sure church leaders have trained the call center missionaries on how to handle people with difficult or controversial questions. Some may even phone for other than sincere reasons.

    I think it is great that the church is giving ear to those seeking the truth in a relaxed and comfortable format. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

  • CMTM , 00
    March 13, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    KevinSim – “the LDS gospel.”= Mormon Church system and doctrines.

    The Bible. “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel= (euangelion/good news) I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

    By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor 15:1-4)

    But even if we or an angel from heaven 'should preach a gospel=(*euaggelÍz) other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse! (Gal 1:8)

    2097 (*euaggelÍz) refers to sharing the full Gospel of Christ – literally, "gospelizing" that announces the complete message of "the good news" (the Lord's glad tidings).

  • moresureword Maple Grove, MN
    March 11, 2018 4:52 p.m.

    RG - Buena Vista, VA, you responded to me:

    "@moresureword: I disagree completely. In no way does technology “take peace from the earth” unless an aggressor nation uses war technology against another nation. But some of our war technology keeps the peace, by deterring aggressors. True, technology has replaced some jobs, but has created others. Computers do not yet have minds of their own and do not reduce or replace peoples’ creativity or wisdom. Humans are just as human as ever."

    Technology has led to nuclear technology, which has taken peace away from Earth and could lead to our annihilation. Rogue nations and rogue humans in the name of religion use instruments of war to destroy other humans. The United States, claiming to trust in God, fights terrorism with terroristic actions of its own, leading to further unrest and destruction of human life.

    Humans will continue to be humans; but humans will destroy us, not computers, because of our selfish nature, our claims of being on God's side, and our unwillingness to follow the Sermon on the Mount to turn the other cheek and love our enemies as ourselves.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    March 11, 2018 4:50 p.m.

    Michael_M posted:

    =Answers are not good when the public knows more about the content of the gospel
    =topics essays than missionaries.

    I'm a big fan of the gospel topics essays, but when all is said and done those essays don't deal with what's important in an investigator looking into the gospel. If someone wants to know what the will of God is in that someone's life, the gospel topics essays are peripheral; all that matters is that that someone understands that God wants her/him to understand His will, and is able to listen to and answer prayer. I would imagine that any missionary worth her salt would know how to answer investigators' questions about that.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    March 11, 2018 12:27 p.m.

    @moresureword: I disagree completely. In no way does technology “take peace from the earth” unless an aggressor nation uses war technology against another nation. But some of our war technology keeps the peace, by deterring aggressors. True, technology has replaced some jobs, but has created others. Computers do not yet have minds of their own and do not reduce or replace peoples’ creativity or wisdom. Humans are just as human as ever.

  • moresureword Maple Grove, MN
    March 11, 2018 8:19 a.m.

    "’The world is changing, so the way we do missionary work is changing as well,’ said Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson . ... ‘We recognize our methods need to change with technology. Our missionaries are growing up with technology and are well-versed in it and comfortable with it. They are using technology to do missionary work more effectively and more efficiently.’"

    God said through the prophet Joseph Smith “that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.” (D&C 1:35.)

    I believe that peace has been taken from Earth, because of advancements made in industry and technology. Computer technology is replacing human reason and the human mind in all aspects of life on Earth. Computers are taking away the need for the personality and wisdom of a human being.

    Advancements in production and manufacturing have devalued the majority of the human race. Personal ingenuity is outperformed by automation and technology of huge corporations.

    The world is slowly but progressively losing its humanity through its technology.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    March 10, 2018 6:11 p.m.

    @BleedCougarBlue Who is to say? The person asking a question who doesn't get a good answer.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    March 10, 2018 1:20 p.m.

    @ Michael_M - Scottsbluff, NE - March 9, 2018 11:20 a.m. - "Answers are not good when the public knows more about the content of the gospel topics essays than missionaries. Ending chat sessions when questions of plural marriage of other member's wives are asked does not help. Missionaries are entirely unprepared to deal with all of the factual information available to investigators. Something as simple as questions of the facsimilies of the Book of Abraham will not be successful.....Is it asking too much for missionaries, as representatives, to deal with the difficult questions?"

    Who is to say that many new missionaries don't know the answers to difficult question, or that the Lord cannot inspire His missionaries to answer these kinds of difficult questions, over time, correctly?

    Who is to say that those who ask the difficult questions even understand what it is they are asking, ie, who is to say that THEIR info is always correct?

    Relax. Missionaries are best prepared when they understand their own doctrine and know it is true.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2018 2:42 p.m.

    The purpose of God, as explained in Moses 1:39, is our exaltation such that we become like Him. The purpose of the church is to help us become like God by using our agency to learn from experience and to make our own decisions. If God were to step in and tell us what to do, we would become like robots, automatically doing what God has told us to do. This is Satan's plan, not Gods. Instead, he inspires us about our problems, but He honors our agency to listen or to ignore His promptings. It isn't easy to listen to the Spirit; we learn this trough our experiences, through our trials and problems, and through our successes. This is the purpose of earth-life: to learn good from evil, and to become like God through listening to the Spirit.

    Some people may say that it is blaspheme to try to become like God. Nobody is like Him. He is perfect and we are imperfect. There is truth in what they say, but we must remember the admonition of Jesus to become perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect. Church leaders are learning to use digital technology to further His work, and this is one way of fulfilling the admonition of Jesus, to become perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2018 12:24 p.m.

    "Not all new ideas are good ideas but sometimes you have to try before you know."

    The Lord knows what is best, and He is inspiring his leaders to learn what is best. Why doesn't He just step in and tell the leaders of the church and the people of the world what to do? Because our leaders have agency and learn from their own experiences. They are human and have many of the faults of we humans. And they need to learn what is true and what is false. The people in the world also have agency and may or may not be receptive to the truths of the Gospel. We all learn from experience, as well as from others, and the Lord helps us progress from the unknown to the known.

    Many years ago, I as a missionary did no public service. Tornadoes and hurricanes came, and we missionaries continued to go door to door. Today, missionaries, and members in general, do a lot of public service and help many others in times of need. Church leaders have learned that public service is sometimes needed more than theology. The purpose of missionary work is to help people come to Christ, not to help the curious learn about Mormon theology.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2018 12:06 p.m.

    I mentioned in a previous post that we went door to door in our missionary work. After we contacted all houses in a town, we packed our bags and went to the next town. We weren't trying to convert everyone. We were, though, trying to give all people the chance, if they so desired, to hear about the church. Hopefully, the missionaries today are trying to find those prepared by the Spirit and are not trying to convert everyone.

    The Internet is serving Satan well, and its good that the Internet is also serving our Savior Jesus Christ well. The Seminary and Institute programs will be changed as we progress through the digital world to better prepare our missionaries and members to find those prepared by the Spirit to hear the restored Gospel!

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    March 9, 2018 11:20 a.m.

    Answers are not good when the public knows more about the content of the gospel topics essays than missionaries. Ending chat sessions when questions of plural marriage of other member's wives are asked does not help. Missionaries are entirely unprepared to deal with all of the factual information available to investigators. Something as simple as questions of the facsimilies of the Book of Abraham will not be successful and to be honest, FairMormon is mind numbing and infuriating in the way they twist and distort things. FairMormon does not represent the church. Is it asking too much for missionaries, as representatives, to deal with the difficult questions?

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2018 10:53 a.m.

    I served as a missionary in West Virginia and Tennessee from 1956 to 1958, and we didn't attempt to get referrals from members. Instead, we went door to door giving our first missionary lesson on the nature of God. Email didn't exist, and phone calls to our parents were prohibited. For two years we had no contact with our parents.

    I served as a service missionary in 2014 when iPads were used by many of the missionaries and the Gospel Library app was the mainstay of their digital work. Those were good ways to contact people, but missionaries are finally going digital with intelligent phones.

    I've had a LDS website since 1996, but that doesn't allow chatting with others. Of course, people can leave comments on the website, but social media has really opened the digital world for many people, and missionaries are using that mode to further the work of the Lord. A lot of changes have taken place since I served as a missionary, and I'm glad to see that the church is going digital! What will the future bring? Time and the Lord will tell.

  • RustedHalo Australia, 00
    March 9, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    There has been a presence by Church members on the Virtual World, Second Life, for over a decade now. We've been praying and hoping for Church Aid in what we volunteers do. Much kudos goes to the church member known there as Skyler Goode.

  • JkeithC Richland, WA
    March 9, 2018 8:43 a.m.

    Well of course the church will support all members who reach out to talk with others on their phones or in person or in their own homes or in the mission field. The important work is to reach out and feel love and seek the saviors guidance as we teach others. Not all new ideas are good ideas but sometimes you have to try before you know.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    March 9, 2018 8:08 a.m.

    I think it would be nice if the church allowed senior missionaries to do this chat from their own homes.

  • heavyhitter Lehi, UT
    March 9, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    Great article--so nice to know some of the details about how missionary work is changing. These sisters are fabulous!

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    March 9, 2018 5:41 a.m.

    This is very cool, particularly the ability to chat with missionaries pretty much on demand. Not everyone feels comfortable walking into a church building unannounced Sunday morning. This gives them a chance to ask questions and get good answers before even walking in the building.