Mormon Missionaries

Mormon Missionaries

Who are they?

Chances are good that sometime in your life you have seen them: two young men or women dressed in their Sunday best biking or walking and talking to people on the street. They are the Mormon Missionaries, young men and women who devote eighteen months to two years of their life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through living prophets like Joseph Smith. These young people put schooling, dating, and careers on hold because they know that the message they share is important for the whole world to hear. Some facts you should know about Mormon Missionaries:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. They pay their own way, or get help from family and friends
  2. Men are called Elders, women are called Sisters. These are titles not names.
  3. They work six days a week from 9:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. spreading their message
  4. They can only call home twice a year: on Mother’s Day and Christmas
  5. There are over 55,000 missionaries in 165 countries
  6. Many must learn a foreign language

Six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, the missionaries wear out many pairs of shoes as they knock on doors and speak to everyone they meet. They are earnest and sometimes seem a little over-zealous, but that is only because they believe that their message is important for everyone to hear.

Everyday, nearly 55,000 missionaries wake up at 6:30 A.M. and prepare for their day. They study the scriptures, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon, together and alone, before going out to share their message. Most missionaries prefer setting up appointments beforehand, but when they have none, they will try to meet new people by chatting with others on the street and knocking on doors.

Becoming a Mormon missionary is a relatively simple process. Any worthy, faithful Mormon who is at least 19 years of age for men at 21 years of age for women fills out a form and gets interviewed by local Church leaders. This is submitted to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the young man or woman is assigned to a mission of the Church somewhere throughout the world. Once they receive this call, they report to one of the seventeen Missionary Training Centers throughout the world. After a few weeks of training, more if they are learning a foreign language, they then fly to their mission. The training involves practicing how to speak to strangers about the gospel and studying principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can better teach them.

This is a simple process, but many missionaries spend years saving up money so they can go. Sometimes they raise money from friends and family members. Mormons from impoverished areas receive help from the Church. Those who go on missions likely have been looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and fear for many years and the only real religious training they have is from Church Sunday School classes and from their own family. When they leave, they commit to watch no television or movies, to work hard everyday and to put schools, dating, and careers on hold.

Once they arrive in their mission, they are assigned a companion and they work together for four or five months at a time. These assignments are made by a mission president who presides over all the missionaries in a particular area.

Their message

The message they share is that God has spoken again to prophets here on earth and that He has restored His authority and His truths once more. God has always spoken to prophets from the days of Adam to Isaiah, to Peter and Paul, and now today through prophets like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In these days God has continued His ancient practice of revealing scriptures through inspiration and the power of the Holy Ghost. In 1829, Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon (the source of the nickname Mormon Church) which is Holy Scripture containing the words of ancient prophets of Jesus Christ who lived here in the Americas. Through him and his successors like Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith, God has revealed His will in revelations, dreams, and visions which are recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church.

Mormons believe in the biblical prophets and revelations, too, but since many people already know about those, Mormon missionaries typically stress the Book of Mormon which was given, according to its introduction “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.” The Book of Mormon was written for our day, to help true disciple of Jesus Christ strengthen their faith in Him against the trials and temptations that surround us.

The missionaries will also speak about families and marriage for time and eternity. They will discuss how to strengthen your family against the assaults from culture and media through family prayer, scripture study, church attendance, family home evening, and the blessings of the temple. In temples, families are united for all eternity through God’s authority, called priesthood. The missionaries will discuss who we are as human beings and where we came from. They will tell you about your true relationship to God, that you are His child and that He has a plan for your life.

The missionaries will invite you to join the Mormon Church and become active in its worship services and activities. They will discuss the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to develop faith in Him, repent of your sins and receive forgiveness and remission of your sins through baptism by immersion and baptism by the Holy Ghost.

An invitation

Mormon Missionaries: Mormon MissionariesWhen the Mormon missionaries knock on your door or approach you on the street, take a moment and listen to what they have to say. You may be surprised by what you hear. If you have been wondering about the purpose of life or how to protect your family against the onslaught of filthy music and TV shows, their message will help you in your worthy goals. Perhaps you have been weighed down with troubles or sins. Their message will help you unburden your soul. Maybe you have been feeling lonely, depressed, or suffering low self-esteem. Their message will teach you that you are not alone and that you have great worth in the eyes of God.

Please listen to their message and read the Book of Mormon, which contains the word of God for us today. Ponder and pray about their message, ask sincere questions and humbly consider what they say. God has promised (and He cannot lie) that He will answer your prayers through the peace and love that will fill your soul when you pray about this message. The Book of Mormon invites all to lay their burdens at the feet of Christ and through Him find peace, joy, and Eternal Life:

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot (from the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:32-33, pg 531).

You can request to meet with the missionaries or order a free Book of Mormon from the Church’s website.