Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More than Just Missionaries: Success of the LDS Church

Many individual's first contact with the LDS church is with the famed white shirt-wearing, black name tag donning, bike riding, clean cut young Elders, or missionaries. Many first reactions are to close the door (hopefully politely) or not open it at all. This pattern is not unique to the U.S. but is standard throughout the world. In a church that is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, and with a core of 55+ thousand missionaries, it's no wonder that contacts, even if just by sight alone, are made.

What is it that the missionaries are preaching and why do they do it? When Christ gave the charge to go to all the world and proclaim His Gospel (or the good news), it wasn't figurative or relative to time or convenience. The Word never changes and it's still a command that is in force today and taken very serious by the LDS Church. The missionaries proclaim Christ's message of repentance, hope, faith in Christ, salvation and baptism.

But is the proclamation of the gospel enough to build a church that adds approximately 1 million members every 3 years? It certainly helps. In an article in the Wichita Eagle, the mission of the church, beyond just missionary work, is well described. Fellowship with the saints (or members), meaningful worship, endurance and long-suffering in the Word are also beneficial. The church, as an organization, fills this purpose for each individual. Once the Word is accepted and a covenant is made through baptism, it is the responsibility of the member to continue in the faith. It is the church's obligation (read members of the church) to foster and nurture that faith through service, preaching, spiritual manifestations and love.

What has been your experience with the LDS Church?

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