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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 08:39AM

Besides that Mormonism is embarrassing and the instructions weren't very clear? It requires normal conversation.

Few Mormons are capable of having that much normal conversation. Normal conversation doesn't revolve around church and often involves things that bother Mormons, like drinking and sex and shows that aren't rated G and things done on Sunday that have nothing to do with religion. A lot of normal conversations happen over coffee, which Mormons are afraid of ... or worse, wine. Normal conversations may include swear words. The Lord's name might well be taken in vain, in a normal conversation.

Put a Mormon in a group of people having a normal conversation, and that Mormon is probably going to feel uncomfortable at some point. Never mind that the Mormon isn't there to have a normal conversation. If he or she manages to turn the conversation to Mormonism, the non-Mormon participants are that much more likely to say things that make the Mormon uncomfortable.

Most Mormons are too insular and easily offended to get out there and have a lot of normal conversations. After watching some of my exmo friends hassle with TBMs on Facebook, I'd say this program is doomed.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2013 08:55AM by munchybotaz.

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Posted by: sparty ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 09:02AM

It also won't work because of the evolution of social networking. People are becoming more and more picky about who they will accept friend requests or twitter requests from now, whereas 3-4 years ago, you could just randomly friend anyone and they'd probably accept without thinking about it.

If I were to get a friend request from "Elder _______" from a church I don't attend, my first impression would be "spam."

With people becoming more paranoid about privacy, Mormons are going to see an up-hill battle on the social media front. And having members plaster their testimonies all over the internet? They had been doing that for years - and people have been ignoring it. For such an inspired plan, it is going to fail...hard.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 09:04AM

One thing I've wondered is how the missionaries are going to set up their FB accounts. Are they just going to use their regular account? (Not likely, I think.) If a missionary sets up a special account for the mission, will it be under "John Smith" or "Elder John Smith?" (I think the latter.)

So lets say they start mining the friends lists of nevermo's Mormon FB friends. How likely would a nevermo be to accept a friend request from an "Elder Smith?"

I guess some might accept the friend request for the novelty value ("Oh look! Just like the BoM musical!") Some younger nevermos might do it if the missionary is cute looking. But I also see it being an instant turnoff to many. And how will the church handle FB friendships with the constant transfers that missionaries have?

What I think is more likely is that mostly members will be interacting on FB with the missionaries. And the missionaries will be using email, etc. to contact investigators that they found while tracting or through referrals.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:12AM

I guess that's why they told the members to friend the missionaries, so they could stalk their friends lists.

Speaking of which, I was just looking at my five Mormon friends--all TBMs, and two of them are super sociable. Together, they have over 3,000 friends. I found a total of five missionaries: three elders, one sister, and a couple. Slackers!

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Posted by: sherlock ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 09:14AM

I predict that once the novelty of social media wears off (and missionaries realise that this programme isn't the nirvana it's proclaimed to be) tracting will once again become the default for missionaries who want to work hard. The cog dis would be immense - prophets have said tracking doesn't work / prophets have said FB will.....hmmmmmmmm.

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Posted by: schmendrick ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:02PM

sherlock Wrote:
> The cog dis
> would be immense - prophets have said tracking
> doesn't work / prophets have said FB
> will.....hmmmmmmmm.

Don't be silly. The only time TBMs have any idea what a past prophet said is when a current prophet quotes them.

To do otherwise would be disobedience, which as we all know is the sin worse even than murder or getting raped.

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Posted by: Bert ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 09:17AM

Is the coporation doing anything to combat the musical. It seems that the damage being done is beginning to add up.

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 12:21PM

Sometimes theater productions adapt. Hopefully The Book of Mormon production can incorporating Social Media push into the play.

"My Imaginary Friends Out There"

Could be a strong solo song.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 09:44AM

Yeah, I think you're right. While Mormons were railing about Facebook a few years ago, they missed the boat because that was when people were forming the social connections they have now. I have a set of close friends on Facebook, and I tend not to add more unless I already know them pretty well.

This new push for social media seems to be a bit out of their depth anyway. As long as I've known Mormons, they seem to want to stay in a clannish little group off in a remote flyover state with as little non-Mormon social activity as they can get away with. They admire those who are leaders in the world and want to claim those people as Mormons, but they don't want to actually develop those skills within the Mormon sphere. I can't see it happening either.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:26AM

that they need to lose the overt signs of weirdness--let the folks drink coffee and maybe even booze; stop calling each other Brother, Sister, Elder, etc.; and lose the garments or at least make them smaller.

It wouldn't hurt, either, to provide training in how to have a normal conversation ... alas.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:34AM

Oh yeah. Picture this one: "Sure, I don't mind talking to you about your church. Let's head over to Starbucks and talk about it over a cup of coffee. Oh, you don't drink coffee as part of your religion. Okayyy... erm..."

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 11:26AM

Training on how to have a normal conversation?

Doesn't that require expressing interest in the other person's ideas and life?

Mormons have no interest in non-Mormons other than their potential as converts. No interest in their activities unless they could lead to contact with other prospective converts.

I mean, why to to the casino, go fishing, go camping, go to the baseball or basketball game-- there will probably be drinking and swearing and offending of God with the showing of bare arms.

See--creating a peculiar people has backfired. Peculiar is called "weird" in our day and that's the word that comes up in the wordcloud when Mormons are mentioned.

To stop the hemorrhage of members, the people need to be pulled out of the weird category and taught to stop judging other people by what they eat and drink, you know, like Jesus taught.

It might take a generation for Mormons to stop being weird, but dropping the garments and allowing them to eat/drink/smoke according to their own conscience would go a long way toward stopping the arrogance that people sensed in Mitt Romney.


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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 11:38AM

taking away some of the things that make Mormonism seem weird and unattractive? Why do you suppose they don't do it? My guess is fear of alienating a lot of tithe-paying ultra TBMs.

Or maybe they really are just clueless, but I don't think so.

They're in this kind of damned-if-they-do/damned-if-they-don't position. They have to know it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2013 11:40AM by munchybotaz.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:23AM

Is this how it's supposed to work, though? The first time a person sees a friend request from an Elder so-and-so, they're just going to not confirm it. I don't see how such a program could go anywhere.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:29AM

hence, the need for normal conversations--lots and lots of normal conversations, enough to identify prospects to introduce to the missionaries.

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Posted by: ipo ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 03:23PM

Oh boy. Mormons only have one way to make conversation: "See how wonderful we are, isn't it amazing, wouldn't you like to become as wonderful as we are?" Blehh.

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Posted by: flybynight not logged in ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 10:38AM

As other posters have pointed out, the program might have had a chance several years ago. As usual, TSCC's efforts are too little, too late, and just wrong. Here's why:

-- FB is today's MySpace. IMHO, it's got about three years left, if that.

-- FB was doomed from the time everybody and their basement-run MLMs decided to use it as a marketing tool. When everyone from Jesus to Safeway has FB accounts and businesses are trying to get as many "likes" as possible, it's just a massive turn-off.

-- People HATE being chatted up for marketing/sales. TSCC's new tactic is the cyber-version of tracting and telemarketing. Yes, people are going to jump all over it because they're being stalked electronically instead of in person or on the phone. NOT.

-- It will just make TSCC seem more desperate, pushy, and weird -- kind of like that guy who constantly chats up women online to get a date because he can't get one in real life. It sends all the wrong messages.

-- People outside the church are generally not stupid. They know a marketing ploy when they see it. People who fall for it will be more of the same type TSCC is getting now: emotionally damaged, mentally ill, or in desperate need of food and shelter.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 11:27AM

I had a recently-hired Ed-psych professor at the University of
Utah who was not only not LDS, but wasn't from the region. He
did consultation with school districts and told about attending
one of the "retreats" sponsored by a school district etc.

He told about the discussions with the other guys at night in
their dorm, about Mormonism and about how in Mormonism you can
become a god. He told them he wanted to be a Greek God -- you
know, an Adonis with a perfect body. They didn't find that

He also mentioned, in frustration, that the school district is
NOT (or should not be) an extension of the Mormon Church.

Welcome to Utah--set your clocks back 40 years.

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Posted by: karin ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 12:07PM

I don't see why wanting to be like a greek god is a problem. After all, look at what 'Nephi' "Mormon' etc. look like. I certainly don't want to be a 'wimpy'- looking goddess!

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Posted by: justemilynow ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 01:09PM

I, too, am skeptical about the online missionary work.

Facebook is personal to a lot of people. If I were an active member who respected my nonmember friends and relatives, I'd be VERY uncomfortable with using it to push religion at them. It's generally understood that we are "friends" so we can share photos and stuff. And if I let a missionary spam my friends list I'd imagine my friends would be pretty upset with me. Even in my most uber TBM days, I don't think I'd do that.

I just can't see too many members being super eager to sell out their friends lists like that. And if they are, they are probably the type that are already pushing thier MLM and most of their friends have blocked them on their newsfeeds anyway.

And ditto to LDS people not being able to talk to nonmormons. I've had my mom make the comment once that she "respects" my belief but asking her not to talk about LDS stuff around her is just crazy. It didn't take me long to realize why. SHE HAS ALMOST NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT! We can only talk about her part time job for a bit and then everything else is about "Sister and Brother So-And-So" and their lessons, babies, missions, church activities, etc. etc. She doesn't really do anything else. She doesn't work out or have hobbies outside family history. She doesn't have nonmember friends. She doesn't follow politics or current issues (she's not a US citizen so she doesn't vote, but even so, her stance has been set) and she hates discussing or debating anything because it brings in "the spirit of contention." So yeah. Its really boring hanging out with her. I have to plan structured, neutral activities like shoe shopping or learning to cook something new. And I'm her daughter! I can't imagine how she could have a genuine connection with a nonmember online or otherwise. And God forbid someone ask her a "hard" question about church history. She doesn't want to hear it. She can't even play the apologetic card for things like JS's polygamy. She just jumps straight to the "ANTI MORMON LIES!" stance. And I really don't feel like she's a rarity amongst members. . .

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Posted by: ethan (not logged in) ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 01:54AM

You literally just described my mom. She doesn't entertain reason whatsoever.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 10:35AM

except that she does unfortunately follow politics and is somewhat less defensive about the church. I don't think she really believes it, but it gave her a social life and a reason to live after my dad died.

I gave up trying to have a normal adult relationship after years of conflict that began with me speaking my truth to her about my dad. As long as I just sit and listen to what I call the church babbling, we're good.,802833

She just yaks away, and don't even think about trying to get a word in edgewise. Her older sister is the same way, and until recently I thought much worse. But my mom has gotten really bad, showing no interest in anything I might have to say. I can't remember the last time she asked me a question.

It's boring as hell, but the upside is I don't have to reach for things to say that won't offend her extreme conservative sensibilities and start an argument. Mostly I just say, "Uh-huh" and multi-task.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2013 10:51AM by munchybotaz.

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Posted by: deco ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 01:17PM

There is a very real difference in using social media rather than door to door sales. It is quite easy to open another window and check any outrageous claims with other sources.

This will not only be unsuccessful, but additionally I think will send an unprecedented number of children missionaries home early.

It will not be a case of the children missionaries being viewed simply as a failure. I can see many of them leaving the LDS fold altogether, and perhaps marrying a person of a different race.

This will be the biggest failure yet.

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Posted by: sherlock ( )
Date: July 01, 2013 05:47PM

The programme is a kind of extension of something that is already running in our mission area - and which is also pretty ineffective as far as I can tell.

For some time missionaries have been bugging members to receive their weekly inspirational email, which is either then supposed to be forwarded on to the member's friends / or they should pass on their freind's email addresses to receive it directly.

Anecdotally I've heard lots of negativism from TBMs who are conscious that their friends are being marketed to with this spam. My own wife, that is pretty much NOM, passed on our email address as she didn't have the heart to tell the elders no to their faces, but immediately thereafter had it removed from their mailing list.

So in my experience, those TBMs that have any friendships outside of TSCC will most likely be less than enthusiastic to allow full on, relentless annoying marketing. It's another historical FAIL.

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Posted by: vulturetamer ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 02:42AM

Why do they still think anyone wants to tell their friends about it? Whether in person or via FB?????

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Posted by: omreven ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 03:40AM

They're going to snag a few, they always do, but overall, Facebook proselytizing is going to fall flat. They'll be annoying little gnats.

I have a couple Jesusey, preachy friends that went straight to the hide list. I don't mind an inspirational message or two, but holy hell, that got annoying and preachy. If every time I post some words or pictures from hiking or our attempt at making homemade candy, there was some reference to Mormonism or Jesus, I can't think of a faster way to get yourself unfriended.

Mormons are far too critical and judgmental and fall into this odd state of niavity on top of it. It's hard to be friends with someone who puts you in the same camp of a meth addict because you drink coffee. They judge your every move while putting on a display of their Mormonosity and being blessed by the lord. They are busy being an example.

You are so right, they are incapable normal, every day conversation and socializing and life. They think people are going to flock to their ward houses for tours. People would show up if they simply listed worship times. They put themselves on some non-existent pedestal. They will snag a couple people, but for a large majority, they'll turn people off.

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Posted by: jpt ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 11:13AM

"It's hard to be friends with someone who puts you in the same camp of a meth addict because you drink coffee."

OMG... try drinking one of those (Utah even!) sugary malt beverages at a family get-together. Mormons become so condescending about unimportant things, and fearful that we're the spawn of Satan by doing so.

Recently one of my relatives was "proudly" exclaiming how he refused to even touch/pass around the coffee decanter at a company function. Co-workers had to reach around him. Wow... I'm sure everybody thought highly of him and his standards... (not!).

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 10:38AM

Really the only way Mormons can be successful in converts is to control the entire dialogue - Facebook isn't a good venue for that.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 10:53AM

and once they start trying to control the dialogue, it ceases to be a normal conversation. This is their problem.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 11:48AM

It won't work because it is the same exact failed plan that they have used before. The only new idea they have come up with is the ward house tours, which is horrible.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 12:27PM

This sounds like desperation to me. They don't have anything for the missionaries to do, so they give them access to the Internet social media? Now, what could possibly be wrong with this idea!
I can't believe that this has been successful any place in any test program.

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Posted by: schmendrick ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 04:44PM

But they allow missionaries (covert) access to their own genitals.

Sure they'll lose some to The Evil Internet but they'll have another shame tool to keep others locked in.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: July 02, 2013 01:26PM

Imagine an apostle at the Provo MTC in a weekly devotional of 2500-3000 missionaries. He’s perchly-poised on his elevated pompous platform. He’s decided to pretend to be an 18 year old hunk-a-licious-virile male and play out repeated, unscripted computer dialogues – you know, the holy new inspired program to rescue LDS INC. Most of the missionaries are restlessly a-buzz watching a real ESPECIAL-WITNESS show them how the supernatural Holy Ghost works.

I doubt one of the 15 would ever be successful in carrying out the same conversations he has consigned 70,000 naïve missionaries to enact.

The program will NOT be successful. It will fail. And the sad part is that the top 15 don’t care about THAT fact, so long as their brand is indoctrinated into many thousands of unsuspecting post-adolescent adults under the direction of their new daddy-in-chief, the mission president.

I’m looking forward to a host of RFM converts!

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