Would you join if I gave you $935USD?

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×

More numbers from conference:

  • $400 per month (cost mishies pay per month)
  • (multiplied by)
  • 12 Months
  • (multiplied by)
  • 53,164 Missionaries
  • (divided by)
  • 72,845 Converts Baptisms
  • (equals)
  • $935 per Convert Baptism

Do you think a person could get more or less baptisms handing out $900 in a third-world country if you joined their church?

Missions must be more about the missionary, because it’s an awfully expensive way to get converts.

17 thoughts on “Would you join if I gave you $935USD?

  1. >Missions must be more about the missionary, because it’s an awfully expensive way to get converts.

    Saving souls is worth more than any amount of money. $935 is a minuscule price to pay.

  2. The baptism would be a futile effort since the person being baptized more than likely responded to the cash and not the call.

    You can’t buy salvation, and only satan wants to purchase souls.

    So you might get more quantity, yet there would be no quality.

  3. >So you might get more quantity, yet there would be no quality.

    And as it is, we have enough trouble with quality…

  4. When answering questions about the baseball baptism era over which he presided as president of the Scotland Mission, Elder Bernard Brockbank said, in effect, that the quantity, not the quality, was what mattered. (At the time of his remarks he was, I believe, a visiting GA to a Scotland Mission conference, 15 years or so after his time as Mission President.)

    I no longer remember his exact words, but they were to the effect that it didn’t matter that thousands of people were baptised without understanding, and without a testimony — all that mattered was that the ordinance was performed.

    It probably cost the church less than $900 per “convert” too — in inflation-adjusted dollars.

  5. I’ll just add my echo to what Connor said. If rick would like to propose a more cost-effective way to bring our brothers and sisters the gift of eternal life, while also developing our own humility, obedience and other strengths, I’ll be interested to see what he proposes.

  6. It’s interesting that you choose to couple the spreading the ministry and the perfecting the saints portions of the church’s goals.

    Can they not be accomplished separately with more efficiency? I think so.

    Transforming the members of the church shouldn’t really cost a dime – voluntary ministry and all.

    The missionary efforts would probably best be accomplished by trained professionals who don’t do it for 18 months and call it quits – but by full-time employees of the church who are professional sales people who know how to pitch it.

    Additionally, the church could better leverage it’s ad agency for better affect.

  7. Or,

    We just drop the full-time missionary program all together.

    Once we drop the full-time program that uses 19 year-olds, the church could then take seriously the stake/ward missionary program that is already in place.

    It should be ‘every(one) who has been warned to warn (their) neighbor’, but instead we leave that up to the boys in suits and shirk our responsibility. What we end up with is a ward mission program that is nothing but a calling in name only.

  8. Did rick deliberately ignore the perfecting/transforming effect of missionary service on the missionary, or did he just not see it?

  9. Re: #7—How do we carry out the Lord’s mandate to carry the gospel to all who have never heard it if we don’t send people out of their own wards?

  10. Internet, Televised Infomercials, Drop leaflets from an airplane…

    If you need to send someone to a green field, then perhaps you have an arguement for sending a missionary. But really, how many missionaries do we need to send to Idaho or Utah or any place where the majority of the population has T.V. and Internet access?

  11. Yeah, but if we didn’t send missionaries to Utah or Idaho, they wouldn’t get the royal treatment; free meals, laundry washed, scheming mothers of teenage girls, etc.

    Kim got REALLY well fed on his mission.

  12. “perfecting/transforming effect of missionary service on the missionary”

    I saw it and I think there are better ways of doing it. Certainly less expensive ways of doing it.

  13. As a 19-year old boy preparing to go on my mission, just thought I’d throw in my $.02. I think that you’re probably right, that there are more cost-efficient ways of both spreading the gospel and of perfecting the missionary serving. However, that’s really not the point. For many missionaries – not all, but many, myself included, the missionary himself must foot a fairly major part of that bill. It’s a lot of money, especially to a 19-year old who’s probably only worked jobs of the burger-flipping variety. That sacrifice – of both time, effort, and of money – is what’s important, on the missionary’s part. It’s a matter of being willing to part with both that large sum of money, and spend two years away from the people you love the most, while putting your temporal progression on hold. As Joseph Smith said, “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”

    And on the other side of the coin, I think that the effect of having missionaries in the field alone is worth the cost. Sure, videos, pamphlets, and whatnot would probably both cost less and even reach a larger audience, they’re simply not as impressive to the public eye. It’s one thing to tell an interested friend, “Yes, I’m Mormon, and if you’re interested I’d like you to watch this video on YouTube,” and quite another to say “If you’re interested I’d like you to talk to these two young men who care so much about the gospel that they spend almost every hour of every day learning of it and teaching it to others, and hold a priesthood calling to spread the word.”

  14. >The missionary efforts would probably best be accomplished by trained professionals who don’t do it for 18 months and call it quits — but by full-time employees of the church who are professional sales people who know how to pitch it.

    Is Rick suggesting LDS prospects could feel the spirit at less cost if sales people sold the religion like they would sell time shares or a new car?

    How would you pay the sales reps? 10% of the tithing (donations) their converts pay or would you suggest a flat fee like $1,000 per head? Would it be a pyramid scheme perhaps?

    Would the church be able to handle the huge increase in members if sales people took the place of missionaries?

    Is being on a mission more for the missionary or more for the converts?

  15. Dallin,

    The cost provided by the missionary or his family is only a small portion of the costs involved. At most, your contribution covers your food, some travel expenses, and a portion of your apartment rent. Think of all the other costs.

    I submit that it would be more impressive to talk to a ‘seasoned’ representative from the church than a 19-27 year old with no experience. If anything, the full-time missionary is cheap labor, and not very effective on his/her own. No matter how much missionary work you accomplish on your mission, it won’t amount to a hill of beans if the ward members aren’t doing their part. And if they were, we wouldn’t need to have their efforts be supplimented by full-time help.

    Although, if you are sending missionaries to areas with no church infrastructure, then you would have an arguement for having them there. But not where the church is well established.

  16. Certainly the portion paid by the missionary and his family isn’t the entire cost, but the $400/mo mentioned by the original post is what we pay.

    And, I think it is intentional that we send out green children as opposed to seasoned professionals — we are warned in the scriptures about “learned men” and the like. By small and simple things shall great things come to pass, and very few things qualify as smaller or simpler than some of the missionaries I’ve seen serving. Perhaps you’re right that a professional missionary would make a better impression, but the Lord’s word will be accepted based on a simple testimony and a witness of the spirit far more often than a logical explanation, no matter how eloquent or solid.

    Besides, I say again that I do think it’s probably as much for the missionary’s benefit as for anyone else’s.

  17. “I say again that I do think it’s probably as much for the missionary’s benefit as for anyone else’s”

    That being the case, it could be accomplished just as well without ever leaving one’s own country; and at much less cost.

    Think Mormon Monastery.

Leave a Reply