Brick-and-mortar churches are emptying in many communities. People–especially millennials–just aren’t attending church the way their counterparts did fifty years ago. But one church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church), continues to add members to its ranks. How is this possible? Several factors contribute to the Church’s continued successful growth — membership exceeded 15 million in October 2013 — not the least of which is its use of modern technology.

User-friendly access

The Church of Jesus Christ has a whole network of websites dedicated to making its message of the Savior accessible and easy to understand. LDS.org is the primary site for members and contains access to canonized scripture, lesson manuals, General Conference messages, church magazine articles, and web-only featured content. Church members can register at the site and then gain access to online notebooks for personal study as well as congregation directories and calendars. The site has evolved over the years to be more user-friendly and interactive, and it continues to improve in the richness of its content, adding streaming of conferences, audio files, and video.

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In addition to LDS.org, The Church of Jesus Christ maintains several other websites. Mormon.org is a site directed to those who aren’t Mormons and who are looking to learn more about the faith and teachings. Through Mormon.org, users can read profiles of Mormons (submitted directly by members), read concise content about beliefs, order their own free copy of the Book of Mormon, and even live-chat with missionaries.

In addition to several other sites, The Church of Jesus Christ also operates FamilySearch.org, a family history and genealogy website; Mormonsandgays.org, a site for openness and dialogue regarding the Church’s standing on homosexuality and gay marriage; and Overcomingpornography.org, a website to foster support and recovery for those struggling with pornography addiction.

The Church of Jesus Christ officially manages the following sites:

Faith on-the-go

The Church of Jesus Christ has jumped on the smart-device bandwagon and has developed apps for both phones and tablets. Especially for millennials, these technological adaptations make scripture much more accessible. You can literally carry thousands of pages of scripture in your pocket and access it at any time. The app enables access to canonized scripture, General Conference messages, church magazine content, hymnbooks, and dozens of lesson manuals. The app also has highlighting, note-taking, and bookmarking tools; you can even create specific “notebooks” to store specific content. (For example, I have an in-app notebook for my personal goals and one for my Sunday lessons.) And unlike the log-in access on LDS.org, the Gospel Library app doesn’t require a username and password. It’s free and available for anyone.

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With the Church adapting to technology by harnessing it, the organization ensures that its methods of spreading the word are still relevant. Some religions are having a hard time keeping up with the trends, and some are even being left behind. The Church of Jesus Christ knows how important its message is–that the Savior is the only and ultimate source of peace and redemption–and will use every honorable method it can to enable people to connect with God.

For members, The Church of Jesus Christ has also developed a practical app called LDS Tools. This allows members access to congregational and local leadership directories as well as local congregational calendars.

The YouTube presence

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Mormons have staked out a clear spot on YouTube with the Church’s official channel, the Mormon Channel. The Church of Jesus Christ continues to produce short videos to spread its message and to help bring the faith out of the margins. Mormon Channel produces video series like Mormon Messages, Bible Videos, and the  I’m a Mormon campaign. These videos are able to be shared on social media platforms and are a great way to both introduce people to the faith and support and edify existing members.

Twice a year, General Conference can also be streamed live on YouTube (as well as through the LDS.org website and other internet channels), and the individual talks are promptly published in video, audio, and text formats just days after their initial broadcast.

Curriculum adapted for technology

The Church of Jesus Christ has also started adapting its curriculum to include more technological content. This weaving in of technology with curriculum has started with the content for the Church’s youth ages 12 – 18. The messages are the same, but the method of delivery has been updated. Lessons now include interactive PDFs and links to related video content. This new curriculum allows for teachers to better adapt the lessons to the needs of their students, because while the ultimate message of The Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t change, the needs of youth are so varied that the teachers need greater flexibility in presenting the curriculum.

Online missionary work

More and more Mormons are participating in online missionary work. Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), said in a 2007 BYU – Hawaii commencement speech, that members should be doing more to share the gospel via blogs and social media. (Read this article by M. Russell Ballard, one of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.)

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In addition to an increase in “civilian” missionary work, the rise of online media has allowed for more full-time missionary service. Many more missionaries with disabilities who aren’t able to proselyte on the streets in foreign countries are able to spread the gospel officially through the internet. This is a wonderful advancement that is also more inclusive to all church members who want to participate in the “Great Commision,” that of taking the gospel to the world.

Technology is important

Technology is important in the work of God. While almost all technologies can be used for degenerate purposes, these same tools can also be harnessed to spread the joyful message of Jesus Christ. Mormons have been asked by their leadership to learn these new technologies and use them to help in the worldwide missionary effort.

The Church of Jesus Christ wouldn’t be advancing the way it has been without the use of valuable and advanced technology. The message Mormons have to share is relevant to everyone, and they’re using the new tools available to make a mark and spread the word.

Copyright © 2019 Mormon Church. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

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