Friday, 4 October 2013

The Not-Really-Missionary

First of all, this is literally my favourite picture ever.

Second of all, something truly unfortunate is happening...

I've noticed an anomaly in digital missionary work.  It's a sad thing.  Now that I think about it, I guess it was inevitable; however, being in the middle of it makes it all the more hurtful.

So, let me explain what it is.

The digital missionaries are under scrutiny.  Persecution even.  And I'm not talking normal missionary persecution.  No, this is something different and even more dangerous, because it's coming from within our own ranks.  Since being called to the digital zone, I have begun to recognize a pattern, almost a commonality, in the remarks of members and other missionaries.  Phrases and comments along the lines of:

"oh, yeah, the missionaries who sit in the office all day"
"hello, invisible missionaries"
"so, how do you baptise someone online?"

Control+B  =  "Baptise Command" ; Flood room containing connected computer.

Each said in a light, frivolous manner, yet each bearing a hidden jab.  I'm disheartened with the amount of times I hear a variation of: "you know, back when I went on a mission, we had to do actual work."  If this continues, sooner or later, people are going to start poking us to see if we're holograms or not :)

I guess all of this sources back to a basic question: are digital missionaries somehow inferior to field missionaries?

I respond to this with a resounding and somewhat appalled NO.

As willing as I am to turn the other cheek, I will not do so without establishing the fact that this digital work is called of God.  These tools have been saved for our day and age, a generation gifted with the ability to use them for righteousness.  Yet, this call extends far beyond that.  An apostle of God has called everyone to take part in this work.  When faced with the question, “what will all these missionaries do?” Elder Perry answers:

"They will be doing the same things that missionaries have always done; they will follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, and preach His restored gospel."

"However, some of the ways in which we shared the message are vastly different from the way you will."

"The very nature of missionary work, therefore, must change if the Lord is to accomplish His work of gathering Israel “from the four corners of the earth” (2 Nephi 21:12)."

"As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves."

"Just as missionaries must adapt to a changing world, members must also change the way they think about missionary work. In saying this, I wish to make it clear that what we, as members, are asked to do has not changed; but the way in which we fulfill our responsibility to share the gospel must adapt to a changing world."

"You know what, let's just make the whole world our area."

Please, join with us :)  It doesn't matter how old you are, how young you are, or how little you know about Facebook.  The apostles have shown us what needs to be done, and how it will be best approached.  Follow their council.  Love your digital missionaries, they will be some of the most effective, useful, and unique tools God has to offer you and your ward.  Yes, we are a different type of missionary.  Yes, we work in a different place.  But we all have the same goal: to invite others to come unto Christ.


  1. Elder Evans of the LDS missionary department said, concerning the change to digital missionary work “This is a huge change in missionary work,but we believe that missionaries need to communicate the way the world is communicating. Much of our proselyting model really hearkens back to the 1800s, and we need to be brought into the 21st century"...........BOOM! -Good post. Your blog is my favorite.

  2. Elder Foster, you're the man! Just keep on going strong and show them how missionary work is done 2013-style!
    No one will be laughing when Arabic oil-sheikhs, Chinese CEO's and future apostles get baptized because you taught them the gospel online!

  3. you go, elders! In this digital age and last days EVERY tool and avenue to reach people anywhere and everywhere need to be utilised in order to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was one of those door knocking missionaries, and although it yielded occasional results, it was time consuming. A blog can reach many many people!