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LDS Church plans to decrease missions; utilize tech savviness to locate religious-minded people

SALT LAKE CITY –   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is announcing big changes in their missionary efforts.  Some church members believe these changes can be a good thing.

Before any potential missionary submits their paperwork, they’ll be asked a standard set of questions.  LDS Church officials say they want young people to be familiar with the standards long in advance.  One church member backs this, saying, “It’ll give them an opportunity to prepare themselves and improve in areas they feel they’re lacking.”

Plus, they’ll adapt how they use technology, like smartphones, to find and communicate with people.  Some members say using smartphones is the way many young people like to communicate.  One woman says, “A lot of people are afraid to open their doors to strangers.  If you can reach somebody online, that’s, really, more successful.”

Also, LDS Church officials say they’re trimming the number of missions to adapt to the number of missionaries in the field.  They say the number of missionaries surged from 58 to 88 thousand after the age requirements changed.  That number has since leveled off to 70 thousand.  That did catch some members off guard, however, they can see the need to streamline the church’s efforts.  One man says, “We were in the mission field during the surge and experienced the need to develop apartments and things for missionaries.  I think it’s good to be able to stabilize that.”

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)