“Making Home an MTC,” Ensign, September 2018
When President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) announced the lowering of the age for full-time missionary service during the October 2012 general conference, I knew it was inspired. But as the mother of a 17-year-old boy, I was also apprehensive, I have to admit. My son seemed so young and unprepared for the mission field. And now he and his three younger brothers would possibly be leaving sooner than we had planned.
As I witnessed the flood of excited young men and women receiving their mission calls and entering the missionary training center following President Monson’s announcement, I thought to myself, “They are so young! How can they be ready?” The answer came to me through the words of an inspired local Church leader: “The home is really an MTC now.”
With these words in mind, my husband and I purchased a copy of Preach My Gospel for each of the seven members of our family. We used them as study guides during our regular family scripture study. With our assistance, even our five-year-old daughter could participate.
We are continually on the lookout for other gospel learning opportunities for our children. We regularly invite missionaries to our home to teach investigators and to visit and dine with our family. Our older sons have taken opportunities to work with them.
We also try to help our children understand the basics of missionary life: obedience, using time wisely, learning to communicate well with others, and so on. We’ve even had role-plays in which our children have received a “mission call” and participated in companionship study and performed service projects.
Our two oldest sons have now completed full-time missions. Words cannot describe the joy and excitement this has brought to our whole family. I believe that as we prayerfully look for ways to make our homes like missionary training centers, we will be inspired and blessed with ideas and opportunities to teach our children.