“It’s going to be a lot more efficient.” For Mormons, this about-face on social media was a radical change, as startling as if the church had dropped its ban on beer.
All 84,000 of the church’s missionaries would eventually be able to proselytize over the web using a previously forbidden arsenal of media, including blogs, email, text messages, Skype and even Facebook.
“Now, many people are involved in the busyness of their lives.
They hurry here and there, and they are often less willing to allow complete strangers to enter their homes, uninvited, to share a message of the restored gospel,” lamented Elder L.
Along with their in-person preaching, missionaries can now use social networks to check in on potential converts, or woo new ones with status updates about the Heavenly Father.
“The principles missionaries have always been taught actually just work better online,” says Gideon Burton, a professor at Brigham Young University who has advised the church on its Internet missionary work.