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    Transcript from an e-Chat with Online Mormon Missionaries

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    Online Mormon missionaries. Image: MormonWiki

    I don't remember why I decided to spend the better part of one summer afternoon on Mormon.org. Maybe it had something to do with Mitt Romney; back then, the election was still the thing that everyone blogged about every day. 

    Whatever the reason, I clicked the "Chat with church representatives" link featured on the official homepage of the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was soon engaged in a pleasant e-chat with two Mormon missionaries. I asked them questions about being Mormons and about being Mormons online, and they answered.

    That stereotype about Mormons being extraordinarily nice and pleasant is true in cyberspace, too. We had a good long chat, and that was that. Earlier this week, I was cleaning out my desktop, and I found some screenshots I'd taken from the discussion. I think they're interesting, so I'm going to post them. I don't think Trey and Brian would mind. 

    I had plenty of questions afterward—and I never did log back on—about how online proselytizing is supposed to work, and whether communicating faith over text-based chats might effect the ultimate message. Now, I'm mostly just imagining a room full of young Mormons in Salt Lake City, tapping out responses to the curious, the trolls and the genuinely searching alike, for a few hours every day.