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Posted by: Anon for this one ( )
Date: October 28, 2013 10:38PM

So the missionaries were at our house last night for dinner, the first time in months. Unlike some of the previous missionaries, they were all business to the point of seeming incredibly fake. Very patronizing and condescending, though in a naive, innocent way.

After telling us as though we were spiritually and intellectually inferior that the missionaries do the teaching while the members have the responsibility of finding, they introduced us to the latest new inspired plan called by the catchy acronym, FFT: finders, fellowshippers, and testifiers.

They told us that they had faith that we could become FFTs. I didn't think much of it until a branch leader told me that apparently the missionaries now maintain a list of FFTs. Get this...they apparently rate members on what level of FFT they are. Apparently the missionaries showed branch leaders the list, with some members on it and some excluded, some marked less active and inactive. Those that were good FFTs were labeled as something like "fully invested in the work of eternal salvation."

II was appalled!! 18 year old boys are ranking members based on their perception of their level of commitment to sharing the gospel?? And what criteria are they using to judge this? Who are they to judge this? How do they quantify this?

The branch leader told me that this idea was offensive to him and that even one of the more consercative branch leaders poked fun at the concept of "first string" and "second string" members.

Well I did some quick research, and I found out that this idea was drawn up, not by the local missionaries, but by a visiting general authority that recently toured the Iowa mission.
Here is a selection from Elder Anderson's missionary blog. Apparently his mom posts all his letters online. He is currently serving in the Iowa mission.

"It was powerful. In mission leadership council we learned about turning members into FFT’s (finders, fellow shippers, and testifiers). And starting with the bishop. He said, “the bishop holds the keys to missionary work in the ward, and we need to get him to turn his keys to “finding.” It was super inspiring to see the results that converting members into effective FFT’s would come about. Thousands of baptisms in a year. So in our zone we are now tracking how many FFT’s have been mobilized in each of the units that we cover, and then we will be reporting that to the Stake President. Missionaries will now be focusing on converting members into missionaries. I think that that is the future of successful missionary work. Knocking on doors is going out the door. Eventually it will progress to simply working through the members. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is how it is for Jared when he goes on his mission. Brett’s mission might still be in the transition process."

Note to self: don't post son's future mission letters to blog.

"I am relieved to be working with Africans again. I love them so much. We have taught quite a few lessons this week, despite our busy schedule. And all of them have been to African families. They are just super humble people, and they are so sensitive to the spirit."

Wow!! Just wow!!!

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Posted by: BG ( )
Date: October 28, 2013 10:47PM

We had the same program in my mission about 35 years ago.

There are fewer members in that mission now than when I served.

If you expect the members to find you someone to teach you will be sitting around playing with facebook and world or warcraft a whole lot.

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Posted by: stoppedtheinsanity ( )
Date: October 28, 2013 11:52PM

I served my mission in Iowa back in 89-90. Sounds like nothing has changed much. We were always getting new directive on how to coerce the members. We were always bugging them and surprised how little they cared to help us in our valiant efforts to bring sheep into the fold. But, they were always willing to help us out in any other way they could. I guess they were smarter then I gave them credit for at the time!

How long have you lived there?

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Posted by: Glo ( )
Date: October 29, 2013 12:12AM


"Thousands of baptisms in a year"

How much pot are they growing in those rural areas these days?

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Posted by: Chump ( )
Date: October 29, 2013 11:23AM

I thought the same thing.

"Missionaries will now be focusing on converting members into missionaries. I think that that is the future of successful missionary work. Knocking on doors is going out the door. Eventually it will progress to simply working through the members."

This stuff is hilarious. They've been trying this for decades. Apparently no members like the church THAT much.

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Posted by: Fascinated in the Midwest ( )
Date: October 29, 2013 10:15AM

To answer Glo's question about how much pot is being grown in rural areas, in some areas the bigger problem is meth. It can be made in the woods, vacant residences, even in car trunks!

If the members are becoming responsible for finding the missionaries' targets, do the higher-ups see this as some sort of stage-setting to "continue the work of the Church" when the currently enlarged quantity of missionaries returns to "normal" after this initial glut of eligible 18-year-olds?

May none of their efforts be successful,

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: October 29, 2013 10:21AM

If they are going to move toward relying on the members to provide people to teach the gospel to, then our problems are solved because NO ONE really refers their non-Mo friends to missionaries. Most feel awkward and, if you can get them to try, they give up easily faced with such universal rejection. Remember, Mormons can't stand to be disagreed with or made to feel foolish and that is almost guaranteed when sharing the gospel. Except it's worse for members than missionaries because the members are feeling stupid in front of their friends.

Not to mention the fact that most members have few non-LDS friends. If they respect the non-LDS enough to make friends with them in the first place, then they probably respect them enough to let them believe what they want. I think it's astonishing that any church leader thinks the members have tons of non-Mormon friends to introduce to the gospel. The church doesn't leave time for making friends and instills fear of the wicked, worldly non-Mormons.

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Posted by: dk ( )
Date: October 29, 2013 10:55AM

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