“An Acceptable Offering,” Ensign, January 2019
The Church has announced changes related to service missions for young elders and sisters. Beginning in January 2019, young Church-service missionaries will be called simply “service missionaries.” They will fill out the same online missionary recommendation form as proselyting missionaries, and their call will come from the prophet.
The service missionary program provides service opportunities for those who for various reasons have been excused from serving a proselyting mission.
According to lds.org/service-missionary, “proselyting missions and service missions are both acceptable offerings to the Lord,” and almost any worthy young adult (under age 26) who wants to serve can be called as a service missionary.
Those called to a service mission will work with their stake president and local service mission leaders to find the best service opportunities for them. Service missionaries typically serve at a Church facility and at approved nonprofit community organizations anywhere from six months to two years and don’t proselyte.
Bishops and stake presidents will counsel with prospective missionaries about serving either a proselyting or a service mission. Each recommendation will be reviewed by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles before a call is issued by the prophet.
Proselyting missionaries from the United States and Canada who have returned home due to mental, physical, and emotional health reasons may be reassigned as service missionaries to finish their service.