Mormons- members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints- have been increasingly active with technology usage. Utilizing these tools to connect with other members across the US, to bring LDS to homes of people without knocking at their front doors and drawing support for the Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
According to the church, they forbid members to use LDS owned resources for political crusades and promotion of electoral ideas. But with a Mormon candidate in the running, this policy can be easily forgone and simply justified as one community supporting its member.
Take the LDS Tools app for example; it is available in the App Store for free and works just like a directory and organizer. Church members from one locality to another may be viewed together with their contact information and voter registration data, if available. Other features include calendar and community events listings.
Facebook and Twitter have been revolutionizing the way Mormons do their required Gospel spreading. Back in the day, preaching was knocking from one door to the next to look for willing converts. Elder Erich Kopischke, told The Times in an interview that “one post on Facebook could reach 900,000 people in an instant.” Math done, it would take one Mormon years to achieve that, and months for one ward. The official LDS Facebook page has reached over half a million likes alone. An estimated one million online chats with Mormon members have been conducted last year alone. Now, even the official Mormon Twitter account has an astounding number of 13,000 followers.
If you think about the idea of door-knocking, Jesus once said, ‘Your mouth speaks what your heart is full of’. Why do people knock on doors? Because their heart is full. Why do people use social networks? Because they have something to say. Door-knocking is sometimes understood as aggressive proselytizing. If I want to share with you what is really on my heart or that I have observed something, social networking is easier than to make the trip. –Erich Kopischke
For a relatively new religion- LDS have been around for 200 years- the increasing numbers are quite a surprise. Census reports show that 6.1 million Americans were affiliated with the religion in 2010, a 45% growth since 2009. The faith has already branched out to other continents during the past decades and membership number has not yet been accounted for. But for the UK, it was noted that there are around 200,000 for the past year.
Although Mitt Romney’s faith is rarely discussed in his campaign trail and it is most likely to still affect the electoral outcomes in November. In a recent poll by Gallup, roughly 18 percent of people say they would not vote for a Mormon to be president but only 57 percent of those polled knew Romney is a Mormon. This could change however when the spotlight shines brighter on these candidates and more probes are carried on into their personal lives. If only Romney talked about his faith more freely, it would help debunk or confirm myths about the religion.