“Pass-Along Cards Invite the World to Hear the Gospel,” Liahona, Dec. 2005, N3–N4
Without much fanfare, the number of pass-along cards used and the number of referrals obtained from them have steadily increased since the cards were introduced less than 10 years ago. In August the Church printed its 150 millionth pass-along card—a milestone that represents the success that members and missionaries have had using the cards to introduce others to the Church.
Pass-along cards are available in every area of the Church and in 28 languages. Pass-along card use among members and referral rates from pass-along cards continue to increase.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the purpose of pass-along cards, calling them “simple, personal, and nonthreatening” invitations to hear the gospel (“The Role of Members in Conversion,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 55). Members distribute the cards, inviting acquaintances or friends of other faiths to call and receive one of the Church’s free media items such as a Book of Mormon or the Joy to the World or Finding Faith in Christ DVDs. Responses to pass-along cards often lead to missionary referrals.
Early concepts for a pass-along card emerged in 1996. Early card styles ranged from business cards to folded greeting cards. While card concepts were tested in the United States, the Church’s Public Affairs office in the United Kingdom used a similar idea for a media campaign there.
A variation on the three test concepts ended up as the current pass-along card.
Pass-along cards are pocket-sized, measuring about 3 inches by 4 1/2 (8 by 12 cm). Cards include a picture on the front and a telephone number, the Church’s logo, and an offer for a free media item on the back.
Minor revisions to the card have been made since the first pass-along cards in 1997. Now all pass-along cards are printed with the address www.mormon.org beneath the Church’s logo on the back. New cards also leave blank space or blank lines on the back of the card to allow Church members to include an e-mail address or a short message with their invitation.
Area Presidencies throughout the world have adapted pass-along cards to their area’s unique needs.
For example, in one area missionaries distribute a set of pictures featuring Christ-centered paintings that correspond to the missionary lessons. Missionaries leave one picture with the investigator after each of their appointments. Many of the investigators display the pictures in their homes because of the difficulty of obtaining fine art to display. Missionaries also deliver the pictures to those who request them after seeing them in members’ or investigators’ homes.
In some countries, members use a perforated pass-along card that offers copies of the Book of Mormon or other free media items. Members who invite their friends to hear the gospel or to receive a Book of Mormon tear the card in half, leaving half with their friend and writing their friend’s address on the other half. Members give their half to the missionaries. These cards are used to distribute free media items in areas without telephone service.
Pass-along cards can be more effective than giving away a Book of Mormon or DVD because the process involves the missionaries more directly. By using a pass-along card, members invite their friends to accept not just a free media item but contact from the missionaries.
Calls from those who receive pass-along cards are directed to a call center or mission home in the caller’s area. At the initial call or during one of three follow-up calls, a missionary will begin a conversation with the pass-along cardholder. These missionaries usually ask callers, “What prompted you to request this offer?” Answers to questions like these usually give missionaries an opportunity to testify of the truthfulness of the messages the callers will be receiving.
Those calling to accept a pass-along card offer will have shown interest and faith and will have heard the testimony of a missionary called and set apart to testify with the Spirit. This process goes much further to involve members and missionaries and leads to more frequent missionary referrals. More than one-third of callers allow missionaries to deliver their free offer and share a message.
To obtain pass-along cards, contact a Church distribution center or your local full-time missionaries.