Missionary work is highly encouraged within the Mormon Church. Each year, thousands of young men and women are set-apart as full-time missionaries for the church. Older couples, who are in their retirement, are encouraged to serve as well. Mormons are taught by the scriptures that it is their role to “teach all nations” the truthfulness of Jesus Christ’s message. There are currently 56,000 Mormons serving throughout the world today. The success of the Mormon missionary program is evident through the increasing number of people converting to the Mormon faith each year.
Video: "Small and Simple Things": Being a Member Missionary
Video: "Missionaries are of God":
Who Are the Missionaries?
Most Mormon missionaries are nineteen-year-old young men who have prepared and are deemed worthy to serve. They are official representatives for the Mormon Church and it is their responsibility to teach what Mormons believe to those interested. Missionaries put school, work, and dating on hold for two years, to devote their full attention to the Lord. During the mission, missionaries are not to watch movies, listen to unspiritual music, or live the lifestyle of a normal twenty-year-old. They are supervised by a mission president who helps them serve to their greatest capabilities. Missionaries train in the Missionary Training Center located in Provo, Utah. While in the training center, they learn teaching skills, language skills, while physically and spiritually preparing for a mission. Throughout their two year service, they are to be 100% committed to missionary work. They may receive letters, but are not allowed to call home or receive visits from family members except on Mothers Day and Christmas. They must be obedient to all laws in the church including the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. They may be called to serve throughout the world, with no preference of where from the missionary. This adds to the excitement and suspense for a missionary when he gets his “mission call,” or letter stating what country he has been chosen to serve.
Mormon missionaries pay their own way, with the exception of those who are financially unable. The Mormon Mission program provides exciting opportunities for young people and adults. Mormon missionaries are extremely diligent and devoted to their work, waking at six every morning to study the Book of Mormon. Because the missionary program runs worldwide, some have the opportunity to learn a language. Missionaries have the opportunity to learn in-depth about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries can devote all of their attention and time to the church and develop a stronger relationship with their Heavenly Father. Missionaries can strengthen their testimonies and receive valuable life experience. Missions teach young men and women life-long skills of service and compassion for their fellow man.
What Do Missionaries Do?
Their days are filled attending appointments with those investigating the church, and serving those within their assigned ward. Depending on the mission, some missionaries engage in humanitarian work. Missionaries do not look down on or criticize other churches or faiths. The 13th article of faith states that “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” The Mormon Church and Mormon Missionaries do not come to offend or condescend. They hope to add upon the good in the world and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. Missionaries teach those who show interest in the Mormon Church. They teach of Jesus Christ and the peace and joy that can be felt when we accept him as our savior. The missionaries will teach of the eternal family. After many visits and lessons, the missionaries will invite one to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Mormon Church. But they will not push or force anyone to do anything. They only want to baptize those who are truly ready and have come to a decision of baptism on their own. The sole purpose of the missionary is to bring souls unto Christ.
The Missionary Training Center: A brief video
The following is a brief video describing the Missionary Training Center, or MTC, where missionaries go to learn languages and be trained in missionary work.