Mission Callings
7. Appendix





When needed and as appropriate for your mission and circumstances, follow the additional guidelines outlined in this appendix.


Young Missionary Leadership Responsibilities

The assignments and responsibilities of young missionary leaders include but may not be limited to those listed below.

Senior Companion

One missionary in each companionship is assigned as the senior companion. The senior companion:

  • Leads the companionship to accomplish the work in an assigned teaching area.

  • Encourages the companionship to study, pray, follow the daily schedule, and keep accurate records.

  • Helps his or her companion to become a better missionary.

  • Recognizes and points out effective skills, talents, and efforts in his or her companion.

  • Demonstrates how to work effectively with local leaders and members to coordinate missionary efforts.


One missionary is assigned to serve as the trainer and senior companion for each new missionary. A trainer:

  • Works with and trains a new missionary with love, patience, charity, and empathy.

  • Respects the contributions and insights of the new missionary as an equal companion.

  • Spends additional training time each day in companion study (see “For New Missionaries: Additional Companion Study” in “Introduction: How Can I Best Use Preach My Gospel?” in Preach My Gospel [2019], ix–x).

  • Studies the standards in this handbook with his or her companion daily.

  • Trains the new missionary on topics found in the Safeguards for Using Technology and Adjusting to Missionary Life resources.

  • Demonstrates how to effectively coordinate missionary efforts with local leaders and members.

District Leader

One elder is assigned to serve as a district leader in a district, which is composed of multiple teaching areas. The district leader:

  • Leads, trains, and counsels with missionaries in weekly district councils.

  • Conducts baptismal interviews (see 2.3.6).

  • Conducts companion exchanges with elders in his district (see 2.3.1).

  • Works with local ward leaders and members to coordinate missionary efforts.

  • Reports directly to the zone leader.

Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders

Two sisters are assigned to serve in a companionship as sister training leaders in one or more zones. One of the sisters is designated as the senior companion. They are responsible for the training and welfare of sister missionaries assigned to them. They also are members of districts and of zones and assist the mission president, zone leaders, and district leaders in training meetings and zone conferences.

Two elders are assigned to serve in a companionship as zone leaders in a single zone. One of the elders is designated as the senior companion. They are responsible for the training and welfare of all missionaries assigned to their zone. They also assist the mission president in training meetings and zone conferences.

Sister training leaders and zone leaders:

  • Lead, train, and conduct companion exchanges with missionaries in their assigned zone or zones. Sister training leaders conduct companion exchanges with sisters, and zone leaders conduct exchanges with elders.

  • Work with local leaders and members to coordinate missionary efforts.

  • Participate in the mission leadership council.

  • Report directly to the mission president.

Zone leaders also conduct baptismal interviews (see 2.3.6).

Assistants to the President

Two elders are assigned to serve in a companionship as assistants to the mission president. Assistants:

  • Conduct companion exchanges with zone leaders and other elders (see 2.3.1).

  • Provide training in mission leadership councils and zone conferences as requested by the mission president.

  • May provide counsel regarding missionary transfers or leadership assignments, but they do not make the final decisions.

  • Report directly to the mission president.


Guidelines for Service

Follow the service guidelines outlined in the following subsections.


Formally Organized Service Activities

You can find service opportunities through organizations like JustServe.org (where available), as directed by your mission leaders.

When participating in an organized service event, keep the following standards in mind:

  • Limit service to daytime hours.

  • Avoid serving during the most productive finding and teaching times unless directed by your mission president.

  • Participate in community service projects when possible.

  • Avoid service activities on preparation day or during times that conflict with district council meetings or zone conferences.

  • Do not cancel or reschedule teaching appointments for service projects unless directed by your mission president.

  • Stay with your companion as you serve.

  • Wear your name tag if permitted and appropriate, even if you are dressed in work clothes.

  • Do not participate in activities that cost you money or for which you are paid.

  • Do not commit yourself to long-term projects without approval from your mission leaders.


Safety during Service Opportunities

For your safety during service opportunities, use common sense and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the following guidelines:

  • Only do activities you are physically able to complete.

  • Do not use power tools or operate or ride on any machinery (such as tractors, trailers, or truck beds).

  • Wear appropriate attire (such as gloves or shirts with long sleeves).

  • Do not work where you could fall from great heights (such as on roofs or in trees).

  • Do not work where you could get trapped or injured in closed spaces (such as in deep trenches).

  • Do not serve in schools, day care centers, or any other place where you would be alone with children, including in the Primary or nursery (see 3.5.2).

Watch this video for more information about giving service.


Respect for Others

Always treat others with kindness and respect. Also follow the additional guidelines in this section.


Conversation Topics to Avoid

To show respect for others and to protect your safety, avoid potentially problematic topics of conversation. Topics to avoid include local and national politics of the areas where you serve; also avoid making private or public political statements. In addition, never:

  • Joke about terrorism or terrorist acts.

  • Suggest that people move to another country—even for work or schooling.

  • Offer or make promises about financial or visa support for people in your mission area, including for work, schooling, housing, or adoptions.


Local Laws and Culture

Obey local laws and rules about distributing materials, customs and border regulations, and passport and visa requirements. If you are unfamiliar with local laws, traditions, and accepted manners, ask your mission leaders for help.

Watch this video for more information about appropriate behavior.


Temple Attendance

When you attend the temple, remember the following:

  • Stay with your companion.

  • Participate in any of the ordinances performed in the temple. However, in order to avoid misinterpreting spiritual feelings as romantic feelings, do not act as a proxy for a husband or a wife in a sealing ceremony or as a witness in an endowment session.

  • Do not worry about taking temple clothing; temple clothing is provided to missionaries at the temple at no cost.

  • Follow good phone etiquette. You may bring your phone inside the temple to print ordinance cards. However, you should not use your camera, talk on your phone, or send messages while inside the temple.

  • Do not bring cameras or reading materials, including patriarchal blessings, to use inside the temple.

  • Do not congregate as missionaries or kneel in prayer in the celestial room.

Remember to always wear the temple garment as instructed. If you have questions about wearing the garment or about temple attendance, ask your mission leaders.



Follow the technology standards outlined in the following subsections.


Following General Technology Standards

Focus on people, not technology. When meeting face-to-face, give people your full attention. Checking email, answering texts, or scanning social media when you are with others is disruptive and disrespectful.

You may use:

  • Wi-Fi where it is readily available and approved by your mission president.

  • Public computers, such as those in libraries and internet cafés.

  • A person’s private computer for teaching if the person gives his or her permission.

  • Headphones for approved missionary activities, such as communicating with your family or taking missionary courses.

Do not manage local ward or stake technology, websites, blogs, or social media accounts.

Watch this video for more information about using mobile devices in missionary work.


Using Technology Safely

You should complete the Safeguards for Using Technology online course while you are at the missionary training center. The following standards will also help you to use technology safely and with a missionary purpose:

  • Use technology intentionally. Plan activities that help you invite others to come to the Savior.

  • Do not use technology to relieve stress or boredom.

  • Listen for and follow promptings from the Holy Ghost. A strong connection to the Spirit of the Lord is your best defense against inappropriate technology use.

  • Always be in a position where you and your companion can see each other’s screens. Don’t use mobile devices when you are alone, such as while in a bathroom.

  • Work with your companion when finding or teaching online. Review each other’s comments and messages before you post or send a message so that both of you can share ideas and be accountable for the outcome of the communication. Note: This does not apply to communications with your family (see 3.9.1), the mission office, or the mission president.

  • Refer to Safeguards for Using Technology regularly in personal and companion study.


Avoiding Pornography

Pornography can come in many forms. Planning ahead and making righteous choices can help you avoid pornography (see Safeguards for Using Technology). When you come across it, turn away, turn the device off, or leave the situation. Below are a few suggestions to help you avoid pornography:

  • Avoid websites, materials, and locations where you are likely to hear, read, or see suggestive materials or pornography.

  • Learn to recognize times when you are most tempted to use technology inappropriately, such as when you are tired or bored.

  • Have a plan for what you will do instead. Your mission leaders can help. You can also find information at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/addressing-pornography.

Anyone seeking to avoid or overcome pornography can find help and healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you are struggling, talk with your mission president, who should provide loving support, counsel, and help.


Teaching with Technology

Where approved, use online technology with members and the people you teach to connect with them, help them, and share gospel messages with them.

  • Help others learn effective ways to share the gospel, and support Church members as they use technology in their missionary efforts.

  • Work online with people you are teaching who live outside your assigned area, and help them throughout their conversion.

  • When you teach someone who lives outside your area, work closely with the missionaries who are assigned to the area where the person being taught lives. Together, help that person come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

  • Use photos, videos, and other media from the Church Media Library and other official Church sites in your teaching efforts as appropriate. In your communications, do not use media that is not Church approved (for example, videos created by members or local units).

  • When posting on social media, share messages about the gospel and your missionary experience rather than focusing on your travels.

Observe the following guidelines to protect people’s privacy and personal information:

  • Know that the full names, photos (see 3.7), contact information, and personal situations of the people you teach are confidential. Sharing or posting this information could violate data privacy laws. Be particularly cautious in what you write to family members, as they may post your letters and email messages online.

  • Obtain permission from anyone who appears in a photo or video before sharing it with anyone or posting it online. Get a parent’s permission before sharing photos or videos of children (see 3.7).

Watch this video for more information about protecting the privacy of others.


Using Email

During your mission, you are assigned an individual email account to use in place of all other personal email accounts. Use this email account for all communications except your weekly letter to the mission president, which you will send through the Missionary Portal.


Using Social Media

Social media can be used to share the gospel. Make sure you use only social media sites approved for your mission, since laws about social media differ from country to country.

Follow any mission-specific standards about social media as well as the following standards:

  • Make sure your social media accounts reflect your purpose and calling as a missionary.

  • Ensure your profile picture and the individuals and groups you follow show that you are one of the Lord’s missionaries.

  • Do not create a second account on a social media site to avoid making changes to an existing account. This is a violation of the user agreement for many social media sites.

  • Do not use the title “Elder” or “Sister” in your account name. Titles like these are not allowed by some social media platforms.

  • Focus on meaningful, one-on-one interactions instead of getting “likes” or having your message shared online.

  • Do not imply that your posts are official Church communications.

  • Protect your own privacy. Be careful when sharing your schedule and location online. Be careful about people you accept into your social network; some individuals will exploit missionaries.

  • Protect the privacy of others. If you want to post something about someone you are working with, you need to ask for his or her permission (either verbally or in writing) before posting anything that mentions him or her by name or includes his or her picture (see 3.7). Because of local privacy laws, in some missions missionaries are not allowed to publicly share photos of those they are teaching.

Watch this video for more information about protecting the privacy of others.


Difficult Situations

Follow the guidelines below for dealing with difficult situations.


Dealing with Negative Situations

Like the Savior, the prophets, and many missionaries before you, you will experience rejection and perhaps even other forms of disrespect as a missionary. The following guidelines will help you handle rejection:

  • Do not ignore your emotions.

    • Realize that it is OK to express frustration and discouragement to your companion, young missionary leaders, mission leaders, and close family members.

    • Understand that sometimes talking about a negative situation can help the feeling pass.

    • Do not dwell on a negative situation or let it change your attitude for long.

  • Put rejection in perspective.

    • Know that negative situations do not define who you are, what you are called to do, or how well you are able to do it.

    • Try not to make overgeneralized statements like “People never listen.”

    • Understand that agency allows individuals to accept or reject your message.

    • Realize that people’s lives and circumstances change. Rejection doesn’t always mean the person will never be interested in the restored gospel.

  • Treat yourself and others with compassion.

    • Seek comfort in prayer. Remember that the Lord knows you, your situation, and your needs.

    • Do not criticize yourself, the situation, or the people involved.

    • Do your best to be positive.

  • Learn from the experience. Consider what you might do differently next time.


Dealing with Confrontational People

You may encounter people who are negative or aggressive. If someone is rude, be polite and leave the situation. If you sense danger, leave immediately. The safety of you and your companion (see 4.5) is your first priority.

Confrontational people and negative interactions are stressful. Take the steps you need to deal with stress (see 4.3) and to care for yourself emotionally and spiritually.

Know that any kind of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse by anyone, including a companion, is unacceptable. This can include words, gestures, or actions that alarm or abuse another person.

Immediately contact your mission president, his wife, or another trusted leader if you experience, see, or hear about any sexual or physical harassment, assault, or threat (see 7.8.2–7.8.4).


Physical and Mental Health Concerns

Follow the health guidelines outlined in the following subsections.


Contacting the Mission Office about Medical Concerns

Do not rely on self-diagnosis or the opinions of others. Although medical advice from your companion, other Church members, family, or friends can be useful, contact the mission medical coordinator when you have any questions or concerns, especially about serious injury or health problems. Your mission president will communicate with your stake president and family about serious injuries and health concerns.

Contact the mission medical coordinator if you experience any of the following health problems:

  • Illness beyond normal colds and short-term symptoms.

  • Serious injury.

  • Rapid pulse (100-plus beats per minute) when you are not exercising.

  • Any fever higher than 101°F (38.3°C), a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) for more than two days, or a fever that does not respond to medication.

  • Rapid or extreme weight loss or weight gain.

  • Excessive thirst or urination.

  • Persistent vomiting, headaches, dizziness, cough, or rash.

  • Swelling of feet, legs, abdomen, or face.

  • Blood loss or black stools.

  • Constipation or diarrhea for more than two days.

  • Dental pain.

  • Ingrown toenails.


Taking Care of Physical Health

You will have a more enjoyable mission experience and be better able to serve the Lord when you take care of your physical health. Be diligent in your missionary efforts, but do not push yourself more than you should.

To help maintain your physical health, be sure to:

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Get adequate sleep.

  • Eat healthy meals with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Wash your hands regularly.

  • Wear sunscreen and insect repellant when appropriate.

  • Find ways to relax.

  • Enjoy wholesome recreation on preparation days.


Taking Care of Mental Health

It is normal to feel occasional sadness, anxiety, homesickness, and discouragement while serving a mission. However, emotions and behavior that prevent you from functioning effectively need to be addressed. These conditions may include:

  • Mood swings.

  • Excessive worry or guilt.

  • Depressed mood.

  • Unhealthy eating patterns.

  • Difficulty managing sexual feelings.

Understand that there is no shame in recognizing and treating any health problem, including emotional or mental concerns. If you feel you or your companion needs help, talk to your mission president, his wife, or the medical coordinator. They have access to mental health resources. You can also find helpful counsel in Adjusting to Missionary Life.


Caring for Animal and Insect Bites

Animal and insect bites can cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases. If an insect bite swells or becomes unusually painful, call the mission office immediately.


You can help prevent tick, mosquito, and other insect bites by following these guidelines:

  • Avoid stagnant and standing water, where mosquitoes often live.

  • Avoid wooded and bushy terrain, where ticks often live.

  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, even in warm weather.

  • Watch the video “Missionaries Counseled to Follow Malaria Protocols.”

  • Apply a repellent to exposed skin and an insecticide to the outside surfaces of outer clothing.


If you are bitten or scratched by a tick or mosquito or another insect or animal, follow these guidelines:

  • Treat minor insect bites with ice or nonprescription medicine.

  • See a medical professional to safely remove ticks that have attached to your skin and to test for Lyme disease.

  • Wash a bite or a wound caused by an animal with soap and water (for 15 minutes, preferably), and call the mission office. Identify the animal’s owner, if possible, so that the mission office can help rule out rabies or other serious illnesses.

  • If a tick or other insect or animal bite swells, becomes unusually painful, or develops a bull’s-eye-patterned or unusual rash, call the mission office immediately.

Watch this video for more information about protecting yourself from insect and other animal bites.


Dangerous Situations

Follow the safety guidelines outlined in the following subsections.


Preparing for Dangerous Situations

The following guidelines can help you prepare for and respond to dangerous situations:

  • Pray for the Lord’s protection daily.

  • Listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit, which can warn you of danger.

  • Be familiar with your mission’s emergency action plan. Follow the steps for how to act during emergency situations.

  • Enter the information of the emergency contacts for your area and country in your phone. Keep your phone charged and with you at all times.

  • Avoid areas your mission has designated as dangerous.

  • Do not give the impression that you have items of value (for example, by carrying a bulky bag).

  • Be observant of anything that is out of the ordinary, such as someone watching you closely, asking personal questions, or following you.

  • Try to use body language to communicate you are confident and not afraid.

  • Have a code word or phrase to use with your companion to signal you want to leave. Use it if you find yourself in a situation in which you feel unsafe.

Practice applying these guidelines consistently, even if others (including other missionaries) encourage you to put your safety at risk in order to accomplish your missionary work.


Recognizing Dangerous Situations

Immediately contact one of your mission leaders or another trusted leader if you experience, witness, or hear about any physical or sexual misconduct of any kind. This may include assaults, threats, or harassment. Even though the following dangers may be defined differently by local laws, report anything that causes you concern:

  • Assault involves any physical or sexual act that is forced on someone. Examples include any unwanted bodily contact, inappropriate touch, or physical violence.

  • Physical threat occurs when someone is put in fear of bodily injury or death. Examples include verbal threats or threatening behavior of any kind.

  • Sexual harassment includes obscene remarks or gestures, requests for sexual favors, or any unwanted sexual action. Examples may include stalking (following with the intent to alarm or annoy) or exposing of private body parts.


Responding to Assaults, Threats, or Harassment

Do the following if you or your companion are being robbed:

  • Give up your belongings immediately. This may cause a thief to leave without harming you. Your life and well-being are worth more than your possessions.

  • Try not to lose your temper or react negatively. This may make things worse.

Do the following if you or your companion feels threatened or harassed and more than your possessions are at risk:

  • Only you can decide the best way to respond to the situation. You may choose to run, defend yourself, or comply. For example:

    • If you run, you might avoid an attack.

    • If you defend yourself, you might be able to protect your body by screaming, hitting, scratching, biting, kicking, or praying.

    • If you freeze or choose to comply, which can be normal responses, please do not blame yourself later.

  • Consider getting someone else’s help or attention. For example:

    • You may ask for help from others, especially from someone who has authority (such as the bus driver) where you are.

    • If you are in a public place with people around and cannot get away from a physical or sexual assault (for example, when you are riding public transportation), consider speaking assertively to try to dissuade the person from further action or harassment. For example, you could use strong body language, look at the offender directly, and speak loudly. You might address the person, state the offensive behavior, and say what you want the person to do, such as, “Hey, you in the yellow shirt, do not touch me. Move away from me.”

    • If no one is in close proximity, you could scream, yell, or try to attract attention; someone might notice you and be able to help.


Reporting Assaults, Threats, or Harassment

If you have been assaulted, threatened, or harassed (see 7.8.2) by anyone, immediately contact one of your mission leaders, someone at the mission office, or another trusted leader. Your mission leaders have the resources to support you with medical attention, professional counseling, relocation, or other needed assistance. Realize that you may be in shock after the event and that you may also experience signs of trauma. Once you feel safe, try to record anything you can remember about the incident.

Understand that if you are assaulted, no matter what you were doing, the assault is not your fault. You always have the choice to counsel with someone you trust and feel comfortable with, such as your mission president, his wife, civil authorities, or people at home. It is your decision whether to involve the police.

It is normal to question yourself and what you or your companion could have done differently. Trust that you did the best you could in the crisis. People process traumatic experiences differently. The Lord will help you as you heal.

Watch this video for more information about preparing for, recognizing, and managing dangerous situations and threats.


Housing Safety

Follow the guidelines below to keep your housing private, safe, and clean.


Privacy and Safety

Observe the following guidelines to ensure that your housing is private and safe:

  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Perform checks and replace batteries as scheduled by the mission housing coordinator. Do not disable these life-saving devices.

  • Do not burn candles of any kind.

  • Lock exterior doors and windows. If needed, your mission leaders may suggest options that allow for outside airflow.

  • Always close curtains or blinds after dark.

  • Don’t share your address publicly or with people you are teaching.

  • Don’t open the door if you don’t know the person outside or if you feel uncomfortable with him or her.

  • Never teach people in your housing or invite people inside unless they are missionaries or local Church leaders whose visit has been approved by your mission leaders.

  • Never live in a home where unmarried people of the opposite sex live or where the spouse of your own gender is frequently absent.

  • Immediately report to the mission office any safety concerns, including anyone who is watching your housing or making you feel unsafe.

  • Allow only other missionaries of the same gender on approved exchanges to spend the night in your housing.

  • Spend necessary funds to keep your housing safe. For example, replace burned-out light bulbs as needed.


Cleanliness and Maintenance

Keep your housing clean and neat:

  • Clean on preparation day (see 2.5.1) and daily as necessary.

  • Take steps to prevent insects (see 7.7.4) inside your housing.

  • Know how to safely use appliances, especially stoves and heaters.

  • Do not keep pets of any kind.

Your housing will be inspected regularly to ensure that it is adequate, safe, and well maintained.

Watch these two videos for more information about housing safety.


Transportation Safety

Follow the safety guidelines outlined in the following subsections.



When walking:

  • If possible, walk toward oncoming traffic.

  • Stay in lighted areas when it is dark.

  • Vary the routes and times you travel around your area. Follow spiritual promptings to change your route or routine.

Watch this video for more information about safety when walking.


Riding Bicycles

When riding a bicycle:

  • Follow bicycle safety laws and guidelines, including wearing a safety-certified helmet, using reflective gear, and using hand signals as appropriate.

  • Never assume you have the right-of-way.

  • Try to avoid bicycle travel during bad weather, in heavy traffic, or after dark. Avoid riding side by side or too closely.

  • Stay a safe distance away from your companion but within sight.

  • Keep your bicycle in good working order, including the headlight, taillight, and side and rear reflectors.

  • Lock or secure your bicycle when not riding it.

Watch this video for more information about bicycle safety.


Using Vehicles

If you are assigned to drive during your mission, operate mission vehicles only. To drive a mission vehicle, you must be legally licensed in the country where you are serving, demonstrate that you understand the mission vehicle standards, and have approval from the mission leaders. Also follow these guidelines:

  • Understand that both you and your companion are responsible for safety, no matter who is driving.

  • Wear seat belts, drive defensively, use headlights night and day, and be alert and aware whether you are the passenger or the driver.

  • If you are driving, do not become distracted in any way, including by using a mobile device or the audio system in the vehicle.

  • If you are the passenger, assist the driver by being alert.

  • If you are the passenger, stand at a safe distance outside the vehicle to direct the driver whenever he or she is backing up the vehicle.

  • For safety and liability reasons, you may not give rides to anyone except other full-time missionaries of your gender.

  • Limit driving to the miles you are allowed.

  • Do not tamper with the odometer or any safety devices installed in the car.

  • Keep the vehicle clean and in good repair.

  • If you are in an accident, refer to the packet What to Do If You Have an Accident, which should be in the vehicle’s glove compartment. Contact the mission vehicle coordinator as soon as it is safe to do so.

Watch this video for more information about vehicle safety.


Using Public Transportation

When using public transportation:

  • Use only public transportation approved for your mission.

  • Be familiar with the public transportation routes and areas where you travel.

  • Sit near the driver when possible. Place your bags in front of you if it is safe to do so.


Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings

Use these general guidelines for performing priesthood ordinances and blessings. The information in this section is condensed from chapter 18 of General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Note: As explained in the following sections, some ordinances must be authorized by the presiding authority who holds the proper keys.


Administering in the Priesthood: General Guidelines for Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

Melchizedek Priesthood holders should always strive to be worthy of and be guided by the Holy Spirit. They should perform each ordinance and blessing in a dignified manner, making sure that it meets the following requirements:

  1. It should be performed in the name of Jesus Christ.

  2. It should be performed by the authority of the priesthood.

  3. It should be performed with any necessary procedures, such as using specified words or using consecrated oil.

  4. It should be authorized by the presiding authority who holds the proper keys (normally the bishop, stake president, or mission president), if necessary according to the instructions in this section.

Those who give priesthood blessings speak words of blessing (“I [or we] bless you that …”) rather than saying a prayer (“Heavenly Father, please bless this person that …”).

When several brethren participate in an ordinance or blessing, each one places his right hand lightly on the person’s head (or under the baby being blessed) and his left hand on the shoulder of the brother to his left.

Only brethren who hold the necessary priesthood and are worthy may perform an ordinance or blessing. As guided by the Spirit, bishops and stake presidents have the discretion to invite priesthood brethren who are not fully temple worthy to perform or participate in some ordinances and blessings (see General Handbook, 18.3).

Inviting large numbers of family, friends, and leaders to assist in an ordinance or blessing is discouraged because it may appear strange to some and may make it physically awkward to perform the ordinance.



The mission president holds the keys for baptizing converts. Under the direction of the presiding authority, a worthy priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder may perform the ordinance of baptism. To do so, he:

  1. Stands in the water with the person to be baptized.

  2. Holds the person’s right wrist with his left hand (for convenience and safety); the person being baptized holds the priesthood holder’s left wrist with his or her left hand.

  3. Raises his right arm to the square.

  4. States the person’s full name and says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:73).

  5. Allows the person to hold his or her nose with the right hand (for convenience). The priesthood holder places his right hand high on the person’s back and immerses the person completely, including the person’s clothing.

  6. Helps the person come up out of the water.

As described in General Handbook, 18.7.6, two witnesses make sure that each baptism is performed properly. The baptism must be repeated if the words are not spoken exactly as given in Doctrine and Covenants 20:73 or if part of the person’s body or clothing is not immersed completely.



The mission president holds the keys for confirming converts. However, the bishop oversees the performance of all confirmations. He ensures that converts are confirmed in a sacrament meeting of the ward in which they reside, preferably the Sunday following their baptism. Converts are not confirmed at the baptismal service.

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in the confirmation. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the person who performs the ordinance:

  1. States the person’s full name.

  2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  4. Uses the words “Receive the Holy Ghost” (not “Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”).

  5. Gives a blessing as the Spirit directs.

  6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.


Consecrating Oil

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders must consecrate olive oil before it is used to anoint the sick or afflicted. No other oil may be used. To consecrate oil, a priesthood holder:

  1. Holds an open container of olive oil.

  2. Addresses Heavenly Father.

  3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  4. Consecrates the oil (not the container) and sets it apart for anointing and blessing the sick and afflicted.

  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.


Administering to the Sick and Afflicted

Jesus gave priesthood authority to His Apostles “to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils” (Mark 3:15). Melchizedek Priesthood holders have the same authority. Use this gift appropriately and often.

Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted. Normally two or more priesthood holders administer to the sick, but one may perform both the anointing and the sealing of the blessing alone if necessary.

If consecrated oil is not available, a blessing may be given by the authority of the priesthood without the anointing.

A worthy husband or father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood normally should administer to sick members of his family.

Brethren should administer to the sick at the request of the sick person or of those who are very close to the person so that the blessing will be according to their faith. Melchizedek Priesthood holders who visit hospitals should not solicit opportunities to administer to the sick.

If a person requests more than one blessing for the same illness, the priesthood holder need not anoint with oil after the first blessing. Instead, he gives a blessing by the laying on of hands and by the authority of the priesthood.

Administering to the sick has two parts: (1) anointing with consecrated oil and (2) sealing the anointing.

Anointing with Consecrated Oil

Anointing with oil is done by one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He:

  1. Puts a drop of consecrated oil on the person’s head.

  2. Places his hands lightly on the person’s head and calls the person by his or her full name.

  3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  4. States that he is anointing with oil that has been consecrated for anointing and blessing the sick and afflicted.

  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sealing the Anointing

Normally, two or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head to seal the anointing; however, one Melchizedek Priesthood holder can perform the blessing alone if necessary. When sealing the anointing, the Melchizedek Priesthood holder:

  1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

  2. States that he is sealing the anointing by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  3. Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.

  4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.


Giving Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

Melchizedek Priesthood holders may give blessings of comfort and counsel to others who ask for them. For such blessings, one or more priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who gives the blessing:

  1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

  2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  3. Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.

  4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Missionaries who give blessings to members should report the blessing to the member’s bishop directly or through the elders quorum president or ward mission leader, who will then tell the bishop.