Early Attempts at Social Media for Missionaries

I hope you were all able to tune in for the broadcast Sunday afternoon. It was big push for a new era in missionary work.  Here’s the link in case you missed it: link.

One of the “new” ideas talked about is that full-time missionaries will be able to use social media – like Facebook – as one of their tools.  In a world of online access, and locked doors, it makes sense to keep up with the times.

The church rarely jumps into something without knowing what they are doing. I was curious as to what beta-testing they did before they announced the program. Courtesy of Joseph Walker, of the Deseret News, we have an article that speaks to the testing of missionary social media use.  (link here)

I also did a little research of my own, and was pleased to find out that there had been at least one earlier attempt to use social media in the mission field – specifically Twitter.  I was able to come across a long-abandoned Twitter account that still showed a small number of tweets.  Here they are:

That’s it. That’s all there is. Be grateful I was able to find this much!

I noticed a sense of frustration that Ammon was not getting any feedback, and  you can hardly blame him – but I could not find any evidence that showed that there was actually anyone else on the earth that had access to Twitter at that time. That’s the beauty of beta-testing – you learn things like that. I imagine Lehi might have had a version of text messaging on the LIahona, but that is purely speculation.

For the whole story regarding Ammon’s missionary labors, I suggest you read Alma 17-19.

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  1. Our mission here in Montana was one of those used for the beta testing of Facebook. The missionaries mostly quoted scripture or inspirational thoughts as their status updates. They also did a bit of blogging and would link to that. It seemed like it was a great way for them to keep in contact with members/new members/investigators even as they were transferred from place to place, too.

    1. My son is currently serving Montana and so we heard about it last year when they introduced the program. Pretty cool! Lots of training, prep work and such before they get to do the program.

  2. When we were in Savannah last year we had what we called, “Facebook Missionaries.” They added ward members and investigators and posted gospel-related items and reminders of missionary activities. My husband was the ward mission leader at the time and had served in the mission 10 years before, so it was neat for him to see the progress that was being made. They also conducted meeting house tours and we were called several times to be “chaperones” if the investigator was a young lady. It’s neat to see the beta testing moving forward to a full release!

  3. lol
    I have to admit that when I first heard that missionaries would be allowed to use facebook I was concerned. I was worried that they might not use it properly. Then it occurred to me that the missionaries who wouldn’t use it properly are already doing so. So actually, it’s a great idea! I was Relief Society president for awhile and I found out so much information through facebook that I wouldn’t have heard as quickly in other ways. I often encouraged our Bishop to sign up for facebook. And now I see the first presidency each have a page, so I think we are in good company. Although secretly I am disappointed that they don’t update their statuses. 😉

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