What is a mission?

Why do people serve a mission?

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sharing the Gospel is one of the most important and rewarding ways we can spend our time and is a commission to the followers of Christ given to us by the Savior himself. Jesus Christ has given us the greatest gift in possible: His atoning sacrifice for our sins, and His gospel plan to help us return to our Heavenly Father. Part of His plan requires that we learn of Him and his teachings, live according to those teachings, and strive to be worthy to live with Him and His Father again. Mormons go on missions so that others will have opportunities to learn of this plan.Thousands of young men and women leave their homes and families each year for this purpose. There are currently more than 50,000 full-time missionaries serving all throughout the world.

As it cited in Preach My Gospel, which is a guide to missionary service published by the Church this is the missionary’s purpose,”Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”

Who can serve a mission?

Throughout the history of the church both Apostles and Prophets have sounded the call for able young men and women to serve a mission. And although young men and women in the Church are not required to serve a mission, although many choose to do so. Missionaries are not paid for their service and, in fact, pay for all the expenses incurred during their missions, often with the assistance of their families and/or members of the church where they live. Young men (between the ages of 19 and 27, but mostly 19-21 years old) serve for two years; young women (usually 21-24 years old) serve for a year and a half after which they return home and continue on with the life returning to school, work, and their families.

Senior couples are also encouraged to serve missions once their children are raised and they have the financial means to do so. Senior couples typically serve for 1-1/2 years, and have proven invaluable in many areas, including training, reactivation, fellowshipping, temple service, etc., as well as proselyting.

How do missionaries receive their mission assignments?

From the church’s magazine for the youth, the New Era, “All missionaries are assigned to specific missions by members of the Quorum of the Twelve, who have been authorized by the President of the Church.

Each week, depending on the number of calls to be assigned, two to four members of the Quorum of the Twelve [Apostles] go to separate rooms at Church headquarters. There, after kneeling in prayer and asking for divine guidance, each sits down before a computer screen. On that screen, one at a time, prospective missionaries’ pictures and personal information appear, along with the current needs of all of the missions of the Church. Each missionary is then personally assigned to a specific mission and given a date on which to enter a missionary training center.”

Further to the point then President Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency of the Church described the process of assigning missionaries while giving a talk to the missionaries at the MTC.

“All my life, from the time I have been a young boy and as far back as I can remember, I have had experiences feeling of the Holy Ghost. … But I’ve never felt what I have felt as I have … participated in the assigning of missionaries. …

We go into a room, and … it will be a two-or three-hour session and sometimes longer. Because of technology, it is possible for us to have your picture and the information about you displayed. And then quickly, on that same screen, all the missions of the Church with all of their needs are displayed. Within minutes, and sometimes less than a minute, the impression comes so powerfully that it would be, if it were a single instance, something that you would never forget. Can you imagine sitting there for hours at a time, having that happen time after time without interruption? I testify to you that it is real. …

… In a world so large, the Creator … somehow not only knows you but loves you enough to ensure that your call is where He needs you to go to teach the children of our Heavenly Father.”

How is a mission is organized?

The geographical area that a missionary is assigned to is referred to as a “mission”. It is presided over by a mission president and his wife. It is this couple’s job to coordinate the efforts of the young missionaries by assigning them to “companionships” (two or three missionaries who live and work together), providing training and leadership, and making sure that the missionaries have their material needs cared for.

A missionary will usually spend thier entire term of service within the boundaries of one mission, but will be transferred by the mission president every 1-6 months to a different area of the mission. A missionary may work in anywhere from three to ten different areas during thier mission, and may have over a dozen different companions.

What do the missionaries teach?

About the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the prophet Joesph Smith. Using the Old and New Testament as well as the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants missionaries go out into the world and teach about the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, the very one He established anciently with a foundation of apostles and prophets of which He was at the head. Through apostasy the authority to preside over the Church was lost, revelation ceased and the doctrine was corrupted. Out of love for His children, Heavenly Father has reached out to His children and through a modern prophet He has once again established the Church of Jesus Christ so that everyone will have the opportunity to receive the fullness of the gospel in their lives.

Who do missionaries teach?

Everyone. We believe that it is important that all of Heavenly Father’s children should receive the opportunity to receive the restored gospel Jesus Christ that they might receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority. In doing so those who make the commitment to live according to the commandments of God will be blessed by a knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s divine plan and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Want to know more?

To request a visit with the missionaries in your area, visit http://mormon.org/missionaries/.

You will be contacted within two to three days. Male or female missionaries can meet with you in your home where you’ll probably be most comfortable, or, if you prefer, in one of our chapels or some other public place. A typical visit lasts about 45 minutes, though it can be shortened according to your schedule. The missionaries will introduce our basic beliefs—such as faith, repentance and obedience to God’s commandments—and discuss any other questions you have about the Church or about religion or life in general. These get-togethers are very casual. You won’t be asked to buy anything or make a donation, only to learn more about the Church that means so much to us.

If the things the missionaries share are interesting and meaningful to you, you can set up another appointment to discuss them in more depth and learn more. They can give you a Book of Mormon and accompany you to church meetings so that you can see for yourself what our faith is about.

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