Implications for Missionaries.

Any discussions around the Gospel Library App on various mobile and electronic devices.
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Post by russellhltn »

mkmurray wrote:Perhaps this is information the mission office for each mission could submit via their software, and have it trickle changes to each ward website from CHQ.
It would be a project. But I also think the point that until this better supports the missionaries, they're not likely to be allowed better phones is valid.
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Post by ComradeH-p40 »

JamesAnderson wrote:My feeling is the missionaries, with those materials, have what they need for their purpose, and a simple phone without the bells and whistles is more an aid to their work, much more than that and it might be a distraction. I went out 25 years ago, and I could do it again today doing exactly the same things save for the differences with Preach My Gospel, and a basic cellphone instead of a landline, and be right at home, even without a smartphone with all the content on it.
This is my thinking as well. On my mission, I got permission from my mission president to read a few extra books on preparation days that were outside the missionary library (e.g. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Discourses of Brigham Young, etc.). They were neat, but the real knowledge I gained always seemed to come from the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon. Having lots of resources is neat, but I think that especially for missionaries, the more they focus on the scriptures, the more effective they will be. Having too many extra resources might be a distraction (no need to worry about whatever else some missionaries might do with the phones). I see it as a good, better, best situation. The phone's would be good, but really focusing on the scriptures and the spirit will always be the best.

As an avowed fan of the old missionary flip charts, I thought it was a good point that they might be able to use audio/video clips. However, I don't know that using it off a phone would be the most effective teaching technique (might seem a little silly, especially if the screen is small and the speaker phone is poor quality). Carrying a dvd would likely serve just as well.
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Post by goodevilgenius-p40 »

Here's a few thoughts that I had about your post
Carl Jokl wrote:I would expect the phones to be to be on some kind of a contract.
I was serving in Scotland in 2003 when they finally gave missionaries mobiles there. We used it all the time. It was a million times more convenient than just having a landline. In fact, in my last area, we submitted our weekly numbers to our Zone Leaders by text, rather than having to read them off over the phone. It sped up the procedure for our Zone Leaders.

Of course it was on a contract, but not a typical contract. Getting a single contract for 90 phones is a lot different than your typical "family plan."
Carl Jokl wrote:the Church/Missions are specifically getting the mobile providers to give them the most cut down and basic phones available instead of the more powerful one which would have normally been provided for free.
Just because a phone would've been provided free with a typical contract for a single phone does not mean that the same would have been provided free on the most economical corporate plan. I'm fairly certain that the mission works with the service provider to find the most economical plan, and that is the primary concern. Yes, a missionary could make great use of the latest Android phone, but they certainly don't need it to do their work.
Carl Jokl wrote:Owning a PDA was against mission rules.
I got a PDA for Christmas from my parents during the last Christmas during my mission. My mission president had no problem with me using it. I put the scriptures and hymnal and whatnot on it, and I had a spreadsheet on there (Pocket Microsoft Office came standard on WinMo devices at the time) in which I recorded all our numbers. I could update that information on the fly while we were travelling between appointments, rather than having to write it down, or remember it all day and record it that night.

My mission president made the decision to allow that. Your mission president made the decision not to allow it. It's not a general Church rule.
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Post by JamesAnderson »

The technology is about to catch up when it comes to the 'basic' phones. One US provider is offering an Android phone for $10 right now, with very inexpensive data plans as well.

We'll see more of that in the future, I had heard of such low-cost phones about nine months ago and what I thought would be vaporware has actually begun to pan out. However, at the Church level for Church-related usage in the examples given above, I don't see it becoming commonplace for a few years yet. By then a lot of things will be much better, managing what apps, etc., are allowed on these when used by missionaries, etc., is one of the things that would need to be resolved first.
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Post by hooson »

All I wish to comment on is that the suggestion that any policy leading to restrictive use of technology is based on mistrust towards missionaries is NOT true.

Most missionaries would use technology wisely and appropriately even if it had the capability of allowing them to, say, view material they shouldn't. Even with that being the case, why offer an avenue of temptation, however small?

It's not about mistrust but about taking away opportunities for temptation, however small. To do so is based on love and not mistrust. It saves the missionaries from having to even think to themselves: "am I going to use this appropriately or not?"
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