The Lord asks every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission. For Latter-day Saint young men, missionary service is a priesthood responsibility (see Doctrine and Covenants 36:1, 4–7).
The Lord also welcomes worthy, able young women to serve missions if they desire. For young women, a mission is a powerful, but optional, opportunity. Preparing for a mission will bless a young woman whether she decides to serve as a missionary or not. “Pray to know if the Lord would have you serve a mission, and the Holy Ghost will respond to your heart and mind” (Russell M. Nelson, “Preaching the Gospel of Peace,” Liahona, April 2022).
Senior missionaries are also needed and invited to serve (see General Handbook, 24.0).
For the most recent prophetic guidance on this question, see “Preaching the Gospel of Peace” by President Russell M. Nelson.
Yes. Young missionaries and senior missionaries can serve either proselyting or service missions. Whichever type of mission you serve, the Lord is pleased with your sacrifice in helping to gather Israel. In his general conference address “Preaching the Gospel of Peace,” President Russell M. Nelson stated: “You are each vital to the Lord. He has held you in reserve until now to help gather Israel. Your decision to serve a mission, whether a proselyting or a service mission, will bless you and many others. We also welcome senior couples to serve when their circumstances permit. Their efforts are simply irreplaceable.”
Visit the young service missionary website and senior missionary website to learn more about these opportunities.
Preparing spiritually for a mission includes strengthening your conversion to Jesus Christ and His restored gospel (see General Handbook, 24.3.1). Preach My Gospel chapter 5 states: “The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion. It provides powerful evidence for the divinity of Christ. … As a missionary, you must first have a personal testimony that the Book of Mormon is true.”
Commit to study the Book of Mormon daily to strengthen your testimony of its divine power and truths. You should also become familiar with Preach My Gospel, especially chapters 1 and 3.
To learn how to be a missionary, you could share the gospel with a friend, go to teaching appointments with the full-time missionaries, or ask recently returned missionaries about their experiences in the mission field. For additional ideas on how to “love, share, and invite” others to come unto Christ, explore these resources to help members share the gospel, as well as Elder Gary E. Stevenson’s April 2022 general conference address, “Love, Share, and Invite.”
Become familiar with the Adjusting to Missionary Life and Safeguards for Using Technology resources, which will be available to you throughout your mission. For additional support, consider enrolling in the course “Finding Strength in the Lord: Emotional Resilience” through your local ward or branch or working through the materials with a friend or family member.
A complete list of necessary items is provided on the Missionary Portal after you receive your mission call. Refer to the “Personal Funds” section of Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ for additional direction on purchasing personal necessary items in the field.
Many factors may affect when you should begin missionary service. These factors include family needs, health, and schooling, among other things. However, the most important consideration is the will of the Lord.
You can also use Mission Planning Tools, available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, to plan when your stake president should submit your missionary recommendation.
To start the recommendation process, first meet with your bishop. He will give you access to the Missionary Online Recommendation system.
If you are attending a young single adult (YSA) ward and living away from home, speak to your YSA ward bishop first. He will guide you and coordinate with your home ward bishop based on your individual circumstances.
Every young teaching missionary is called to serve by the President of the Church. A specific mission assignment is given by revelation to an Apostle (see General Handbook, 24.2). Learn more by reading “The Divine Call of a Missionary,” Elder Ronald A. Rasband’s April 2010 general conference address, and “Called to the Work,” Elder David A. Bednar’s April 2017 general conference address.
As a missionary in the MTC, you will participate in guided instruction and personal and companion study. You will also have dedicated time for meals, exercise, and temple attendance.
For most missionaries, the MTC experience now includes at-home training and on-site training at one of the 10 MTCs worldwide. When you receive your mission call, you will receive specific instructions regarding your MTC experience on the Missionary Portal and in your call packet. To learn more about what to expect during the at-home portion of your training, see these frequently asked questions.
A missionary’s day is filled with activities that help accomplish the missionary purpose of bringing souls to Christ. Read the “Daily Activities and Schedule” within the Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ, and study the lessons in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel to find what missionaries teach.
Chapter 24 of the General Handbook provides important information about missionary service. You can also find information in Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ and Preach My Gospel. If you have additional questions, talk with your parents or your ward or branch leaders.