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‘Mormon Land’: The ever-evolving nature of LDS proselytizing and the emergence of tailor-made mission service

Former leaders of a mission in Chile discuss innovations they enacted and how their young charges rose to the occasion.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Missionary work continues to evolve — not only in dress standards, in which light-colored shirts are now allowed, but also in tactics, switching from more door-to-door contacting to more technology-based teaching. Missionaries also work not only with trying to find new converts but also in reactivating previous converts.

Proselytizing has been a hallmark of Mormonism since its founding. It has become common to see pairs of young men, called “elders,” or young women, dubbed “sisters,” sporting black nametags and talking to people about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In recent years, however, the faith’s global evangelizing program has shifted in tactics, especially during the pandemic, with less emphasis on so-called tracting (spreading the word from door to door) and more on technology (seeking and teaching converts online).

On this week’s show, David and Kathleen Cook of Rochester, N.Y., talk about innovations they enacted while overseeing a mission in Chile from 2013 to 2016, their work today as service missionary leaders, and the ever-evolving nature of proselytizing and humanitarian service.

Listen here:


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