Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Improved Cumorah Website

Today I checked out David Stewart's Cumorah website and was surprised to see a new design. It was done commercially by Zeeshan Ahmad. It is a simpler design with less clutter and use of ease. It is arranged with resources running down the right side and tabs running across the top. The right side has six sections: International LDS Database; Missionary Work; Electronic Journal of LDS Missiology; International LDS Library; Original Gospel Articles; Cumorah Foundation Grants. The five tabs across the top are: Home; About Us; Register; Login; Contact Us.

The International LDS Database section is subdivided by Selectable World Map; International LDS Atlas; LDS Foreign Language Translators. The Missionary Work section is subdivided by Law of the Harvest Book; Free Book and Audio Scriptures; LDS Member Missionary Resources (Forthcoming); Gospel Outreach Articles; Non-English LDS Resources; Missionary Links.

The Electronic Journal of LDS Missiology section is subdivided by LDS Church Growth Articles; LDS Missiology Articles; Guidelines for Authors. The International LDS Library section is subdivided by LDS Gospel Library E-texts; Scripture, History and Science; World E-texts: Nations, Culture, History; Multilingual Scripts; Words to Live By Quotation Database.

The Original Gospel Articles section is subdivided by Doctrinal and Misc. Articles; Scripture, History and Science; Ancient Language Research; Gospel Topics. The Cumorah Grant Foundation section is subdivided by Grant Guidelines and Availability; Current Projects.

Under the About Us tab, Stewart has given a short biography since in the past he let the information stand:

I am a lifelong active LDS member with a deep interest in missionary work and church growth issues. My interest in missionary work started prior to my mission in Russia in the early 1990s and has continued to the present day. For over 13 years, I have conducted detailed research into LDS church growth and missionary efforts. I have interviewed dozens of LDS mission presidents and hundreds of missionaries, members, and investigators in over twenty countries. Among other callings, I have served as a ward and stake missionary and ward mission leader. I am 32 years old and am married with three (soon to be four) children. By profession, I am a physician.

I am impressed at David Stewart's tenacity for researching the subject of missionary work. I am also aware of his desire to give back to community as he has given away dozens of copies of his The Law of the Harvest. Now he has a promotion to disseminate it as a labor of love. His promotion declares:

While supplies last, print copies of The Law of the Harvest: Practical Principles of Effective Missionary Work are available for free to:
  • Prospective LDS missionaries (18-21 years of age and planning to serve a full-time mission), and
  • Those who have recently received a full-time mission call.
  • Full-time missionaries (must have at least 6 months left in the mission field)

Shipping to United States addresses only. We cannot currently ship to international areas. Individuals serving internationally who would like a copy of the book can request a copy to be sent to a family member in North America who can then forward the book. Please ensure that they are willing to mail the book before submitting a request.

I am still a little miffed at him for not including a link to my Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord missionary quote book which is four times larger than his missionary quote section. He does have a nice section which I consulted as a check against my own quote book. I like his standing on high principles and putting his ideas out there.

In his LDS Missiology Articles he espouses the scientific method in Levels of Evidence written by himself. In my own graduate study I am not sure if I accept the classical or scientific method as the only way to view a phenonom but it still has merit since little research is being done at all. Stewart is trying to apply the medical model of discovering what takes place out there. At least Stewart is making an attempt to influence how missionary work is done and trying to see if there are patterns. I prefer an interpretative approach since it is more congruent with a hieracharchal approach. Since I cannot cause a bottom up approach with the culture and climate of the Church I don't espouse the critical since that would require a total reexamination of overcoming structures of power. I am not sure we want to go down that path. Martin Marty talks about the evolution of a church as we move from cult to sect to denomination to church. He is using the terms as evolutionary process rather than negative stereotypes. I see all three methods as tools in causing change.

The website is not flashy by any means but it is better organized than before. It used to be hard to use his website because some of the areas had dead links or didn't work. Now he has cleaned it up and made it more utilitarian in use and friendlier to use.

Anyway check out Stewart's new improved site. I am sure there must be a few of you out there that want to produce cutting edge research in mission-based studies and could take advantage of his grants and submit reports that he will publish. In the production of knowledge and observation mode he is providing a valuable service to the Church free of charge. Although I am not sure how it will be received it is still as one of my professors said better than a guess.

1 comment:

David Stewart said...


The cumorah.com site has been completely redesigned but is still in progress. It will take about a month for us to get the content up.

We have a new link section and I will be happy to add a link to your site this weekend.



David Stewart