Mormon missionaries and iPad Minis may not seem to have much in common initially, but over 32,000 members are expected to be purchasing these hi-tech devices to help spread the word of God. As part of a mass attempt to expand overall church membership in what is being called a faith conversion of the digital age, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging their members to buy the Apple products and use technology to their advantage. NBC News shares the high-reaching goals of these religious leaders and their backing of social media in a breakthrough decision this Thursday, July 3, 2014.
As part of a new expansionary program, a Mormon missionaries, iPad Minis project is in the works this summer. Beginning in early 2015 — so less than half a year away in actuality — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be broadening their horizons in terms of preaching and advocacy. A news release from church officials has revealed that a previous experiment involving iPad Minis as a source of spreading God’s word proved highly effective, so they are intent on making it into a much grander, more extensive affair.
Since the fall of 2013, approximately 6,500 missionaries of the Mormon faith branched out to various locations across the U.S. and Japan. Utilizing modern technology and the social media abilities available through the iPad Mini, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was apparently able to reach many more people in a record amount of time. Now, that former success is spurring religious leaders to encourage more followers to share the good news via these mobile devices on a massive scale.
Roughly 32,000 more missionaries are expected within the next year to have purchased one of these devices — each costing roughly $400 per product, which individual members are expected to pay out of pocket — creating the potential for a mass faith conversion. Numerous church scholars believe that this transformative movement is an excellent example of the Mormon faith learning to back the digital age, and realizing that in a hi-tech savvy world, knocking on doors simply won’t suffice in garnering more membership. It’s just the start, says one excited elder, via a KSL News report.
"We know in many parts of the world, the traditional forms of proselyting work very, very well," Elder David Evans, executive director of the church’s Missionary Department, stated this week. "In some other places where technology and urban life has developed in such a way that missionaries have a harder time contacting people, we hope that these tools become even more valuable in those places."
Evans is a high-ranking member of the faith’s prominent First Quorum of the Seventy. He also revealed that the 32,000 Mormon missionaries using the iPad Minis will involve approximately 160 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comprehensive 400 missions. A total of almost 86,000 preachers of the good news are said to be involved in the upcoming project, set to formally begin — Apple products in hand — in early 2015. The reason for the recent increase in service numbers came as a result of the church’s relatively recent decision to reduce the missionary age requirement by one year for males (now 18 years of age) and two years for females (now 19 years of age).
"This rise is one of the greatest faith inspiring things I've ever seen," Elder Evans added.
How do you feel about this Mormon missionaries iPad Minis trend? Do you believe that having roughly 32,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embracing these devices and backing a digital age faith conversion movement is a powerful step forward for the religious endeavor? Church leaders seem very excited at the prospects, and having seen significant progress already, are no doubt looking forward to what a mass spreading of God’s word may accomplish in the future.