“Share the Gospel through New Web Site,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 111–12
Recognize this scenario? You’re at the store or in an airport and begin talking with someone next to you who asks you questions about the Church. You want to do more to share the gospel, but you’re about to part ways and you don’t feel this near-stranger is ready for you to send the missionaries over.
Now there’s a new resource to try—you can refer your acquaintance to www.mormon.org, an official Church Web site that allows people to learn more about the gospel, exploring on their own with complete anonymity.
The site, announced 5 October, was referred to by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during general conference. “In its potential, this new initiative is as exciting as the publishing of written tracts in the 19th century and our use of radio, television, and film in the 20th,” he said. “… For members of the Church, it will help us answer the questions of friends directly or by referring them to the site” (see p. 9).
Within three days of the announcement of mormon.org, the site recorded 93,433 visits, including 151 requests for the Book of Mormon and 36 requests for the missionaries. Users were from Africa; Asia; Australia and the South Pacific; the Caribbean; Europe; the Middle East; and North, South, and Central America.
In studies conducted across North America before the site’s announcement, people of other faiths found the Web site warm, comfortable, and friendly.
Mormon.org uses a combination of audio, visual, and textual elements to explain basic principles of the Church in simple, straightforward terms. Content is divided into four main categories: the Church, families, the nature of God, and the purpose of life.
Links for each category lead to a Web page of basic information about the topic, further links to related topics, and audio or video clips from related Church videos or talks given by a member of the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Those who want to learn more can request the missionaries or Church literature or videos, or they can use a meetinghouse locator (currently available for the U.S. and Canada) to find the congregation closest to their home.
Other information available at mormon.org includes responses to frequently asked questions regarding social issues, theology, and Church policy; resources on parenting, family relationships, and communication; and a search and glossary tool to help users understand gospel terms.
Church members can use the site to e-mail its Web pages to a friend or to send gospel-themed electronic greeting cards free of charge.
Mormon.org is currently available only in English, but it is planned that the site will eventually be available in many languages.
Additional Pass-Along Cards Available
Along with referring to www.mormon.org, during his conference address Elder Oaks encouraged members to share the gospel using pass-along cards—including four new ones.
The four new cards offer a copy of the Bible, the Church videos Together Forever and Family Answers, and an invitation to visit www.mormon.org.
The three pass-along cards previously available offer a copy of the Book of Mormon or the Church videos The Nativity and The Lamb of God.
In a nonintrusive way, the cards “offer something precious, but the gift depends upon the choice and initiative of the potential recipient,” Elder Oaks said. “In our experience, a significant fraction of those who telephone for the offered gift choose to have it delivered by those who can tell them more” (see p. 9).
To obtain any of these free cards, see your local stake or full-time missionaries, or contact a Church distribution center.