Garden Tomb

Garden Tomb
He lives

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mormon kids Christmas

Let us never forget the true meaning of Christmas.
Its simple enough, even a child can tell you...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mormons are "weird"...

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why Mormons are so 'diffrent'?"
I received a letter from my father a while back.  It reads...

"I had an interesting experience at work on Friday.  I'm serving as scoutmaster for the troop, and we had a merit badge clinic at our ward building this weekend.  My troop had three boys signed up to take some merit badges for the clinic, and I had to sign the blue merit badge cards for the boys to give them permission to take the classes.  So on Friday, the boys' mothers came by the office to get the cards from me.  Sister Martinez, Sister Behnke and Sister Benjamin all came by during the course of the morning. 

After they had all come by, the lady working at our front desk (Celeste) asked me, "Are those three ladies also Mormons?"

I said, "yes, why?"

She answered, "I thought so.  Mormons look different."

"How so?", I asked.

"You always have this smile and this look on your face," she said.  "You must know something we don't know."

Yes, we surely know something they don't know.  I've known it since my conversion in April 1978....."

So the question arises, "What do you know that is different that makes you so happy?"

Elder Russell N. Neslson, a living Apostle addressed this very topic this last October General Conference...

Many years ago two colleagues of mine—a nurse and her doctor husband—asked me why I lived the way I did. I answered, “Because I know the Book of Mormon is true.” ( Be thou an example of the believers )

I too like my father and Elder Nelson know something that will make you and any human being happy, its the fullness of the everlasting Gospel found in the Book of Mormon.  If you haven't read the book, take heed to my words, because I have.  I am a living witness that the Book of Mormon is a true book.  My very life has been changed because of the words of that book that I have applied which have ultimately turned me to the one and only Prince of Peace, Christ the Lord Jesus.

Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon
Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Its free, just like Salvation!"...

Just the other day, the Salvation Army was having their annual red kettle kickoff for this coming Christmas season.  There was great music sung by local members of the Salvation Army.  The spirit of Christmas was indeed in the air.  To top of the warm and friendly welcome of the volunteers, they served some good ole hot chocolate!
So one of the lady's at the hot chocolate both yells out to me, "Would you like to have some hot chocolate?"
I reply, "How much is it?"
She answers, "It's free!"
I quickly walk up to her with no hesitation.
After she pours me a cup, she hands it to me and says "It's free, just like salvation."

Now that got me thinking.
Is salvation free?
How does it work?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A letter from my uncle Greg

Howdy, All,
Thought I'd drop you a line to give you an update on our family's latest conversion story.  Michael has had a non-member friend with whom he has hung out for several years now.  His name is Paris Demille.  Paris has always been a "good kid" who has done very well in school  and who is quite popular with his peers.  Ever since James started the practice of sharing a scripture each evening, Michael has carried on the tradition and began to include Paris a year or so ago.  Michael, by the beginning of this their senior year, finally persuaded Paris to take seminary during the school day.  By September Paris consented to taking the missionary discussions, but we had to get permission from his grandparents, with whom he and his little sister, London, were living at the time.  I made a visit to Gail and Nancy Demille and procured their permission, so that the discussions with the full-time Elders could begin.  They even granted permission for 11 year-old London to sit in on the lessons.
By mid-October a baptismal date had been set for either the first or second Saturday in November, but by the end of the month concerns had arisen as to whether or not Paris' mother, Camille, would consent to the baptism(s).  She had been living out of town, and began to express some reservations.  The baptismal date was finally set for November 13th, but when Camille moved back to Monroe on Nov.  4th and met with the missionaries, she decided that she would not allow either Paris or London to be baptized due to her unwillingness to have them affiliate with a church that seemed to discriminate against gays and those who had participated in abortions.  Her concerns arose when the missionaries informed her of the questions that Paris and London would be asked during their baptismal interviews.  On Sunday the 7th I met with her and we spoke together for some time.  I was able to help alleviate her misunderstandings, and she consented to allow Paris' baptism to go forward on the 13th, but London would have to wait until she was a little older and "mature enough to make her own decisions."
Camille's consent to allow Paris' baptism obviously elated us, so the missionaries began to prepare for an early-morning service in a baptismal room that might not contain all the people that were planning to attend.  Things had to happen early that day due to the fact that many of the high school students (including Michael) were scheduled to participate in the school play, "My Fair Lady," during the 1 PM matinee.
When we showed up at 9 AM on Sat., the 13th, there was London, all dressed in white alongside Elder Jared Harlan, also dressed in white.  When I asked Elder Harlan what happened, he told me that London's mom had thought about it some more and felt good about consenting to London's baptism as well.  She literally gave the O.K. the day before!
We only set up one row of chairs in front of the baptismal font for the family.  The rest of the room was packed, standing room only, with Paris' high school friends.  The feeling I got was hard to describe as I watched my 17 year old son baptize and then hug his friend in front of all that support.  The service was spirit-filled as was the sacrament meeting the following day when London and then Paris were confirmed members of the Church.  As they say, "It just doesn't get any better than this!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Put on the whole armor of God

Everyday is a battle.  We are constantly bombarded with the forces of the evil one; perverse entertainment, pornography, drugs, alcohol, anger, depression, fear, doubt, I can go on...
The Scriptures call this "the fiery darts of the wicked."

How can we protect ourselves
 and our families from these fiery darts?
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
  12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritu al wickedness in high places.
  13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
  14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness 
  15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
  16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
  18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication fo r all saints;  
Lets never forget to put on the whole armor of God.

There is a battle that is raging on this earth
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.".

Don't be a casualty.
Put on the whole armor of God.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Redwoods are HUGE!!!

Sometimes, we feel real small in the world.  My latest trip up north to Eureka California was one of those times.
Northern California is know for its beauty but in particular the worlds tallest trees, Redwood trees.  After a great 24 hours teaching and preaching Gods truth, Elder Hinton and I took a moment to tour the notorious "Avenue of the Giants".
There in the silent redwood forest, I once again was struck with awe at the love that my God has for me.  There are plenty of bigger and better things out there, other than myself (the giant redwoods towering above tend to make one feel real small). But, this I do know, that little ole James Abbott is watched and cared for by a loving God, my Heavenly Father.  He not only sees me for who I am, but who I can become.  I have learned these truths by learning His Gospel.

You too can feel big, even in a world where you seem so small.
visit to learn more about the plan that God, our Father in Heaven, has for us, His children.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Lord will prepare his people

Every six weeks, we as missionaries have a possibility of being transferred into a different city or town.  Part of my assignment as assistant to the president of the mission is to be part of this transfer meeting.  Its a neat experience and I always walk away from those meetings with a better understanding of the love that God has for each of his missionaries.
For the last 6 months, I have served in Bennett Valley, Santa Rosa area.  That is typically a long time to serve in one area so I knew I was soon due for a move.  When President Bunker told me that he has prayerfully selected Shiloh Park, Santa Rosa to be my new area, I was immediately excited.  I love Santa Rosa so I knew it would be nice to stay in the city.  But that's not what its about...
I recognize my purpose as a missionary of the Lord which is to bring others unto Christ through baptism.  So the call to go to Shiloh park means nothing to me if I am not fulfilling my assignment.  That night I prayed earnestly to God that he would prepare souls for me to find, teach, and baptize.  For the next week, that same cry was made to my Lord.  I believe in the promise given in Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:".
Sure enough, it was given to me...
Our very first dinner/appointment in Shiloh Park was with the Ritter family.  Sis. Ritter joined the church in 1976.  Her husband, Bob Ritter, grew up with no religion.  As we sat across the dinner table there was no doubt that this family had been prepared by the Lord to be taught by us.  Later on that evening, we invited Bro. Ritter to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.  Bro. Ritter will be baptized December 5th.
"And whoso reciveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Henderson's- an example family

I'm sad to report that I am will be leaving the Bennett Valley ward.  For the past 6 months I have come to love these wonderful people.  My life will ever be changed from my service with this great ward.
One of the blessings of being a full time missionary is the privilege of meeting and getting to know individuals and families.  One family in particular that has touched me in this positive way is the Henderson family.
The Henderson's, with their 4 great children, have been there for us local missionaries on many occasions.  I could make a fat list stating all that they have done for us, but by me so doing it would seem redundant.
It is simple, the reason why this family is so amazing is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This family is living Christ gospel.  No they are not perfect, but they are striving to be.  By living His gospel we too can enjoy the sweetness that this everlasting gospel offers; which will in turn give us peace and joy in this life, and everlasting blessings in the world to come.  The Henderson's are a righteous example of what is possible by living this, Christ gospel.  My hope is that I too can have a family that is centered on Christ, just like the Henderson's.
Thank you Bennett Valley and thank you Henderson family
To find out more on how your family can be like the Henderson's, visit

Saturday, November 6, 2010

white as snow

In my scripture studies this morning I came across a verse that struck me in a way that it never has; it reads...
"And the angel said unto me: Look! And I looked, and beheld three generations pass away in righteousness; and their garments were white even like unto the Lamb of God. And the angel said unto me: These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him." -(1 Nephi 12:11)

"..white even like unto the Lamb of God.."

So than I asked myself, how white was the Lamb of God?
  • In Acts we read of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus when the resurrected Lord appears to him:
"And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me."  -(Acts 22:6)
  • We read in Matthews account of the risen Lord appearing to many:
"His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:" -(Matthew 28:3)
  • When Christ shows himself to his fold in the ancient Americas:
"...and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof." -(3 Nephi 19:25)

  • Joseph Smith tells of his visitation of the Father and the Son:
"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me... When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air." -(Joseph Smith History 1:17)

What does this all mean?
"and their garments were white even like unto the Lamb of God."
"and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus"

A scripture in Isaiah comes to mind:
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." -(Isaiah 1:18)

How is that possible?  A sinful, cruel, selfish human can become "white" as the sinless, loving, perfect in every way, the Lamb of God, even Jesus Christ.  The key is... "These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him"

All things can be done by Christ.  We must exercise our faith in Him in order to apply His cleansing blood in order to become "white as snow".
We must have faith in Jesus Christ and repent.

Jerrold, Joseph and Emilio did.

Will you?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

O Remember, Remember

Have you seen Gods hand in your life today?

Let us remember Him in all things.
We must never forget that we are indeed placed on this earth for a distinct purpose; and by remembering Him each day, we will receive the comfort and guidance that will help us overcome the trials of life in mortality.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Fam

Front row (LF to RT) : Trevor "Bookie" Abbott (nephew); Lauren May Abbott (little sister)
Behind the babies (LF to RT) :  Jared Abbott (younger brother); Terri Abbott (mother) ; Hal Abbott (father); Tara Abbott (older sister); Nigel Cockroft (brother-in-law); Me; Derek Abbott (older brother)

This picture was taken at my beautiful sisters wedding on April 19, 2008.  Nigel Cockroft was the new addition to our little family.  He is the MAN!  We love him and are very grateful to have such a honorable man take care of Tara and her energetic son Trevor.  Tara and Nigel are expecting a baby boy this next month.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3)... The family is ordained of God. -( The Family: A Proclamation to the World )

Thank you Mom & Dad for your righteous example.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pink Tie Tuesday!

Every Tuesday, us missionaries in the California Santa Rosa mission wear pink ties to support the breast cancer victims across the globe. And specifically to support the one nearest to our hearts, Sis. Susan Bunker, our mission mom.  She is currently going though chemotherapy to fight off this evil.
I'm not even sure if she has been, or wants me to be, real public about it.  I'm not going to write a whole blog entry on her and how amazing she is (even though that would be real easy to do..).  But I do want to close out this October with a blog supporting "our girls".
1 out of 4 woman are victim to this disease.  WOW!  That is a very a high percentage.  Most likely there is someone who is dear to you that has been diagnosed.  So what can we do about it?
Making it known is the 1st step.  I'm not saying everyone needs to run and get pick ties that they can wear on Tuesday, (even though that would be sick!).  Make donations, join groups, visit this website, you can figure it out... Lets just not "do nothing".

But most of all, remember these brave woman in our thoughts and in our prayers.  "Yea, cry unto him against the power of you enemies." (Alma 34:22).  Lets fight this enemy called Breast Cancer!
And wear pink next Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are Mormons Christians?

I have been asked this question many times in my life, "Are Mormons Christians?".
Today I want to address that question. So I thought it best to hear from Elder Gary J. Coleman who is a great leader in our church.

Watch the video.

I want to bear my humble testimony that Jesus Christ is who He proclaims to be, "the light and the life of the world" ( 3 Nephi 11:11 ). He truly did suffer and die for the sins of all mankind and is our perfect example in every way. Learn of Him. If you have not read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, you are cheating yourself and missing out on gospel truth that has been restored by God Himself. To obtain a free copy of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, visit and request a visit from a missionary like myself.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Half empty of half full?

There is a famous saying that Pres. Bunker has become well known for, which is, "Ever grateful, Never satisfied".

I feel that I have the "never satisfied" part down pat.
Every night, after a long day of striving to find, teach, and baptize, we review what we did for the day before planning for the next.  Some days seem more accomplished than others.
For example; Wednesday while reviewing our day/week, I realized that we had only taught one lesson the whole week.  One lousy lesson!  I thought to myself, "What the heck is going on!? What have we been doing all week!?"

Like I said before, I think I have the "never satisfied" part down pat.
Mediahunter: Is the television industry's glass half empty or half full?The problem is, because of my pride and lack of humility, I often over look the "ever grateful" part.
So I decided to look at the picture differently.  Instead of thinking "What have we been doing all week?" I now think "Who have I taught.".

That one  "lousy" lesson all week was taught to Sally Howard, a daughter of God.   I was reminded "...the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;"( D&C 18:10 );  Sally Howard is worth every second.  The Lord Jesus Christ would have came down to this earth and die just for her.  I was then reminded of the love that God has for her. 
Indeed Pres. Uchtdorf words are true; "We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father.". ( “You Are My Hands” )

In the new testament story of the Savior preforming a miracle, once again, we read of the disciples reactions to Christ's desires to feed the 4,000 in the wilderness with 7 loaves of bread;
"33) And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?  34) And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes." - ( Matthew 15:33-34 )
Like many of us, the disciples saw only what was lacking.
Look at this picture of Sally Howard and I, and tell me, is my cup half empty or half full?

"We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”" -Pres. Monson (The Divine Gift of Gratitude)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Forgotten Man

Jesus taught, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me." -Matthew 25:40

What does the Savior mean by this?
Who are "the least of these"?
What should we be doing?

I find this counsel from Pres. Monson very helpful while reflecting this scripture:
"There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.".   charity-never-faileth )

This photo is a sad picture of reality.  We too often walk by the unnoticed, discouraged, and afflicted with out a second thought.
Lets reach out to those who need it the most:  The "unpopular kid" who sits by himself at school, the person who is around but is never noticed or talked to, the "weird dude", that "funny looken person", the guy who goes outside to smoke a cigarette by himself, the lonely alcoholic, the single parent, the single adult, the guy who comes into church smelling like smoke and booze, the annoying kid, the poor family, the new guy, the foreigner, the forgotten man...  the list goes on.

Lets serve The One (God), by serving the one unnoticed
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." - Mosiah 2:17

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

True Unity

You'll come to realize that I love my family dearly.  So from time to time I will be writing about them.
A common question that I hear from people is "do you have any siblings?"  I tell them I have two brothers and two sisters and I am right in the middle.  Than I proudly inform them that I have little brother serving a church mission with me right now and he is in Chile.  That's exciting stuff!!
My little brother Jared and I started filling out our mission papers at the same time volunteering to serve the Lord.  We helped push each other to live righteously and increase our faith.  I was living in Utah at the time, so we would talk on the phone every now and again.  Every night we would text each other a scripture that touched us that day from our studies.  I would read his and he would read mine.  It was neat.  We later recruited others to join us in our little activity, Derek (my older brother), Micheal and Aubrey (my cousins).  We did this for about 5 months.
Than the day came when I received my mission call to serve in the California Santa Rosa Mission. So in March, I headed west.  While in California, Jared received his call to the Chile Rancagua Mission.  He departed in October.  So for the past year we have both been doing the same exact thing just on different sides of the equator.  It is such a boost to me to know that I have a true friend that I look up to, praying for me and fighting the same fight that I am fighting everyday.  We are called to baptize.

Jared in Chile (Ill give you a hint... he is the one with the blond hair)

The lovely Rochell family

If your in Chile or northern California the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same.  We teach the same exact thing

That always amazes me.  But it is also so very simple.  I have talked to many people of many other faiths and they all seem to disagree with each other; even if they claim to be from the same church, faith, or religion.  There are Christan's arguing against Christians.

"One Lord, one faith, one baptism" - Ephesians 4:5.
He doesn't say, One Lord, 2 faiths, 2 baptisms
He doesn't say, One Lord, 45 faiths, 44 baptisms
He doesn't say, One Lord, 1098 faiths, 987 baptisms
I think you get my point...

God is a god of order; just look up at the sky or into a flower.  So it is with His church and gospel.

Elder Jared Abbott and I are striving to spread the good news "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" -Ephesians 4:13. That is was Paul's mission, that's Jared's mission, that's my mission, and most of all, that's Christ mission.
To learn more on how God has once again called a prophet to the earth to unify His people, visit

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

I love this little message. Is it not true?

We all have burdens that need to be lifted. So lets always look to the source of the ultimate relief, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently have felt one of my burdens lifted from the Savior. Because of His atoning sacrifice, a wrong that I did, suddenly was made right through repentance. I know I have harmed many people in my past; and because of the natural man that I am, I will harm people in my future. Because of these experiences that I have gone through, I realize that I can do nothing on my own. I need help and assistance. No matter how much I try to "fix things" or "make things right", I fall short. I just can not do certian things on my own. There is some "fixing" that can only be done by him. Elder James Abbott needs mercy! I know now more than ever that "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."( . We can not fully be forgiven or have fully burdens lifted on our own accout or efforts. We must turn to Him! We must do our part so He can do His. I thank God everyday for my sending His Son to save me and lift my burdens when I can't. He is the ultimate "fixer upper". Learn of Him and than turn to Him, so He can fix the mistakes that we all make. Remember, it is only beacuse of Him that my sins and your sins will be blotted out. I love Him.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where do I start?

I am so blessed.  There hasn't been anything better in my life than for me to be out here in California sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.  There are so many people to thank for me being out here.  At this time I wanted to take time to thank 1 of the most influential people in my life, my beautiful mother.
My Mother is my best friend.  There is no other person on the earth that's testimony of God and His church has touched my heart and soul more than hers.  She grew up in NJ and never was taught about God.  Growing up without the knowledge of God is a difficult thing.  She tells me of the things that she went through and it breaks my heart every time.  So as she was searching for the purpose of life, she ran into a couple of Mormons at work who offered her more.  She shortly after met with a couple of missionaries and committed to be baptized.  Since than, many miraculous things occurred in her life to build up her faith in Jesus Christ.  I never get sick of hearing her story and how she came to know of Gods plan.  My mother has never looked back.  When I hear the words "endure to the end" I think of her.
Raising 5 rowdy kids (when I say rowdy I'm being nice) was the center of her life.  My mother was always there when we needed her.  I loved most of all siting down occasionally and do nothing but talk about life with her.  Some of the most memorable times of my growing testimony was rolling the news paper outside with just her and I.  There isn't an investigator that I have taught and baptized that has not heard a story of my mom and her lovely testimony.
I am convinced that God choose such an amazing woman to be my mother so a thick-headed boy like myself would have a chance.  I owe it all to her.
Knowing the humble person that she is, she would be quick to give the credit right back to God.  So I want to do the same

We cant all be like her, but we all can be better. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will give you the direction you need to do just that. It is true for Terri Abbott, its true for me, and even if your don't know it yet, its true for you.

Picture: Left: Hal Abbott aka- The Man (my father);  Center: Derek Abbott (older brother);  Right: the beautiful lady herself MY MOM

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yes, I am still on my mission and no, I am not being disobedient...

So our mission is one of 3 (from what I understand) in the world to be a pilot mission for online proselyting.  We work out in the field for the majority of the day.  But during the "down hours" (mornings, late evenings, holidays, etc...) we get on the computer and find people to teach and baptize!  Our purpose is still to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end" -PMG pg 1.  So practically I will be updating my blog with neat stories and spiritual uplifts.  Follow my blog.  Comment on my blog freely.  Spread the good news of the Savior to your family and friends in person and online.  Rob Frye in Napa sent me this news article from the Salk Lake Tribune with neat insight on the new online assignment of missionaries.

Mormons taking to online proselytizing

SALT LAKE CITY — Not so long ago, Mormon missionaries were prohibited from using the Internet, even to contact their families. The system then loosened to allow weekly e-mail home and some occasional viewing of church materials.
Now the nearly 14 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is attempting to revolutionize the way Mormons find converts - and it's all online.
The move involves experimenting with blogging missionaries, self-produced member profiles and stereotype-busting videos. The American-born church, which has been harnessing technology to promote the faith since the 1920 radio days, sees great potential in fast-paced storytelling.
The Internet is the new "town square," said Ron Wilson, manager of Internet and marketing for the church. "And Mormons are taking to it like never before."
The electronic universe, however, also is uncontrollable, an aspect that has traditionally been tough for the hierarchical church but one that organizers readily acknowledge.
"We relinquish a lot of control to members on this site and every one (of the authorities) is on board with it," said Scott Swofford, director of media for the church's missionary department. "(The Internet) is where we've got to be."
The online missionary effort began in 2001, with the launch of, a site aimed at telling outsiders what Mormons believe.
The site currently showcases 15 video portraits and 2,000 written profiles of Mormons across the globe; there are another 75 videos and 13,000 more profiles ready to be posted.
The idea, officials said, was to help everyone "know a Mormon."
"Our leaders were struggling for years to find a more effective, less annoying way to get our message across than knocking on doors," Swofford said. "Our mission is to deliver teaching opportunities."

Hope you have a blessed day and don't forget to thank God.
Love - Elder James Abbott