“What is the position of the Church concerning girls going on missions?” Ensign, Apr. 1975, 22
Elder Paul H. Dunn of the First Council of the Seventy
Missionary work is primarily a priesthood responsibility and hence it devolves upon bearers of the priesthood to accept full-time or even stake mission calls. For that reason, whenever mention is made of missionary calls, we speak of young men.
The finest mission a young woman can perform is in the role of wife and mother. We counsel young women to prepare for this role carefully, to marry young men in the house of the Lord, and to create homes where the principles and teachings of the gospel prevail.
Young women can be missionaries right at home, as indeed every member of the Church should be. They should seek opportunities to discuss the gospel with their friends and associates, invite them to Church-sponsored activities, and in other ways stimulate interest in the Church.
Young women can be a real help and sustaining influence to encourage every young man to serve a full-time mission. Give encouragement to your brothers and to the young men whom you date. Let them know that missionary service is important to you and that you want the young man you marry to fulfill an honorable full-time mission.
We recognize, of course, that many fine sisters have served and are currently serving full-time missions, and are performing an outstanding labor. We might also add that there is a need for a limited number of sisters in the missions of the Church.
If a sister is (1) at least 21 years of age, (2) has good physical health, (3) is emotionally stable and secure, (4) has no immediate prospects for marriage, and (5) meets the other requirements for missionary service, she may be recommended for a mission. Bishops should be certain that each of these five prerequisites has been met before submitting recommendations for sisters to serve full-time missions.
We are happy to accept sisters who meet these qualifications and afford them the opportunity to serve in the marvelous missionary cause. However, this is not their prime calling, and we don’t send out an appeal to young women generally to prepare for and serve full-time missions.