COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Just a short time ago, one of the only ways you'd ever hear the Mormon church's message, was if young men or women with official church nametags knocked on your door; but they have a new way of doing things now, in addition to proselyting.
Mormon.org is the booming new missionary tool, and Mormons right here in Middle Georgia are using it to promote their faith. It's a way to combat what they call negative and inaccurate information about them that is all over the Internet.
"We have this funny quote..lead them to Mormon.org before we get Googled," says Elder Justin Sly, an LDS missionary from Orem, UT. He and his temporary companion, Elder Malosi Asher are serving in the Macon area right now, teaching people about their religion for a two year period. It's a rite of passage for most Mormon men and a voluntary mission for Mormon women.
Information about the church's more criticized beliefs, like The Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith, isn't the main focus of the site, however. Mormon.org focuses on the church's people first, then the message.
The site allows everyday followers, like Ed Wallace from Cochran, to create a profile, outlining their hobbies and interests, and why they live their faith.
"Whether you believe the same things Mormons do or whether your beliefs are completely different it's really important just to know about each otherm," says Wallace. He showed us his mormon.org profile and how it works. Members can create a profile, and outline their hobbies and interests. They can also share their testimony of the religion, and why they believe it's true.
""Here's a little bit about myself and over here is why I'm a Mormon," Wallace says as he demonstrates his profile on mormon.org. "My personal story is that my family were members of the Church in the Phillippines and then when they moved over here to the United States, they weren't very active, and so later on I was baptized in the Church."
Some even give out mormon.org pass-along cards to generate traffic.
"A lot of people we talk to on the streets, they recognize us because of mormon.org," Elder Asher says.
At a time when we could soon have the first Mormon U.S. president, and when the hottest ticket on Broadway is a show poking fun at the faith...Mormons in Middle Georgia are using the extra attention to get the word out. The site features profiles of famous Mormons like "The Killers" lead singer Brandon Flowers and former Good Morning America anchor Jane Clayson Johnson, along with everyday Church members just trying to live their faith in a world where it's getting less popular to do so.
"There's just so many people out there from different walks, different beliefs, different backgrounds..they have one thing in common...that's the Church and believing in the Savior," says Cochran LDS Church member Stan Thompson.
"We share a lot with people that the gospel of Jesus Christ will help you out, no matter where you're at in life...whether you're rich or poor," Elder Sly affirms.
It's like social networking-- for Jesus; and as the national spotlight shines on the church, Mormons want you to learn about them, direct from the source. You can find out more at mormon.org.