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KIND ACTS AND GETTING A FOOT IN THE DOOR In the 2005 LDS-genre movie Mobsters and Mormons, a New Jersey “goodfella” and his family are secretly relocated to Utah as part of the Witness Protection Program.The comedy comes as the rough-edged Italian informant—now with the assumed name of George Cheeseman—learns to adapt to the culture that feels to him like Disneyland on steroids.Yet the results of these two methods are less than impressive.Only two to three percent of those who initially became connected to the church through missionary efforts ever get baptized; just one to two percent of those contacted through a media campaign join the LDS Church.My friend and I backed the rented moving truck into the driveway of our family’s new home in Sandy, Utah, a short drive from the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Salt Lake City. We decided to get some sleep, knowing that some friends were scheduled to come by that afternoon to help.Sunday is a sacred day for members of the LDS Church; Mormons are not supposed to work or recreate on the “Sabbath.” Since more than two-thirds of Utah’s population is LDS, many stores and restaurants throughout the state are closed on Sunday.

By going out of their way to do kind gestures, Mormons hope to present a positive image of their church and possibly entice friends and neighbors to enter into the missionary lessons.However, twenty to thirty percent of those whose first contact came through a relationship with current members end up getting baptized!While using friendships to try to make converts is certainly not new or unique to the Mormon Church, the current idea of Mormon friendshipping began in the 1970s when President Spencer W.“Decide whom of your relatives or friends you will introduce to the Church.Perhaps you could plan a family home evening with them….But I wondered if “friendshipping” was his main motivation.

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