Mormon missionaries: switching from bikes to iPads?

Mormon missionaries on bikes in Ghana. (Photo via

From CBS News:

SALT LAKE CITY — The common image of Mormon missionaries has long been two young men wearing white shirts and ties walking through neighborhoods, knocking door-to-door.

I can attest to that image.

Just last week, while on a reporting trip to Nicaragua, I kept running into Mormon missionaries fitting the above description — on a dirt street in a poor neighborhood, at a pizza place in a busy commercial district and elsewhere.

Now, it seems, that image may be about to undergo an overhaul.

More from CBS:

But in a few years, that image may be replaced by one of young Mormons sitting with an iPad, typing messages on Facebook.

Recognizing the world has changed, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders announced Sunday night that missionaries will do less door-to-door proselytizing, and instead, use the Internet to recruit new church members.

The strategy shift reflects the growing importance of social media and people’s preference to connect over sites such as Facebook rather than opening their homes to strangers, church leaders said.

Godbeat pro Peggy Fletcher Stack is typically on top of breaking news in the Mormon world, and that’s true in this case.

The top of her Salt Lake Tribune report:

[Read more...]