LOCAL NEWS

LDS Church showcases how technology is used to share its message worldwide

Mar 8, 2018, 9:06 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — In a room full of computers, women missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are answering online questions about the Church’s beliefs. In what’s called an “online learning center,” dozens of missionaries assigned to Temple Square, spend on average, three hours a day.

“What is the Book of Mormon? Why Mormons don’t drink coffee?” are common questions, according to Sister Aguilar, from Guatemala.

She is one of the missionaries who often teaches about the Church, through online chats, phone calls or face to face video links.

“If they are interested in learning more and they are willing to meet with the missionaries in their area, then we call the missionaries and this is what we taught them so far,” she added.

Sister Kleiner of Germany said these online teaching moments, have dramatically increased her ability to share her message.

“I had never heard about it before, but I love it, because so many people they might have the wrong image of the church, but in online teaching, we are able to get in touch with them and help them feel more comfortable with us and really build great friendships as well,” she said.

“These missionaries are a natural at using technology,” said Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women General President.

She said the missionaries’ use of electronic communication, is accelerating the Church’s reach.

“Instead of us knocking on 100 doors to find one person that has questions or would like to know more about our church, that one person is knocking on our door and asking, and we can reach them immediately,” Sister Oscarson added.

Inside of the online teaching centers, the missionaries are connected with people who are interested in the church through mormon.org. And last year they had more than 300,000 chats with people from around the world.

Missionaries at 20 visitor centers worldwide respond to inquiries, according to Elder Brent H. Nielson, who leads the Church’s missionary efforts.

He expects more of the Church’s missionaries to begin to communicate online through smartphones, in a changing era in how the Church’s beliefs are communicated.

“These sisters have trouble handling all the chats that come in on mormon.org that maybe during their downtime, the missionaries in the field will be possibly taking those chats, and responding in the field,” Elder Nielson said.

Related Link: Mormon Missionaries Expand Online Teaching

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LDS Church showcases how technology is used to share its message worldwide