SALT LAKE CITY--Facing declining rates of conversion in key markets, the church has launched a new program to motivate members to share the gospel with others and build "gospel downlines," according to spokesman Eric Nugent.
"We needed a new way to get people interested in sharing the gospel," said Nugent. "We realized that one of Utah's biggest industries is a type and a shadow of how the gospel should be spread in these last days. After all, the multilevel or network marketing industry is based upon eternal principles. Aren't we all part of God's downline, with commissions of glory flowing to him for all our righteous deeds? He's the great Diamond Distributor in the sky."
The way the new program works is that whenever a church member sponsors a new member into the gospel, member A will receive a ten-percent commission on all tithing paid by new member B pays. In turn, when member B brings in new convert C, both A and B will receive ten percent of C's tithing. This commission plan continues up to eight levels deep.
"It's time to start inviting people over for dinner under mysterious pretenses and then springing the gospel plan on them," says spokesman Nugent. "This program will help with the Church's retention and reactivation efforts too, since the more tithing your downline pays, the more blessings you'll receive. Of course, you're expected to pay tithing on your commissions."
Members who sponsor 20 new converts will be awarded celestial rank status, and the Church will recognize them an exclusive lapel pin featuring a sparkly sunstone. Members who sponsor 15 new converts become terrestrial-level participants and receive a moonstone lapel pin. Those who sponsor 10 new converts achieve the telestial level and receive a starstone pin.
High-level achievers can earn even greater rewards, according to the new plan. Members who are able to sponsor 100 new converts earn the coveted Family Home Evening Exemption Pass, which excuses them from the church's weekly in-home program. Members who break the 500 new member threshold may take two pieces of bread and two cups of water when the sacrament tray comes around. And those who crack the 1,000 new member mark will receive all the tokens and signs required to gain entrance into the VIP luxury box at LaVell Edwards Stadium for every BYU Cougar home game.
In order for the new multilevel proselyting plan to function at full Zion capacity, those participating in the program must pay tithing at 20 percent, effective immediately.