In the last chapter of Matthew in the New Testament, the resurrected Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples with the following charge:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. — Matthew 28:19-20
This commission to preach the gospel lives strong in the Mormon Church today. Each year, tens of thousands of missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints travel to every corner of the earth preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Who Are Mormon Missionaries?
If someone knows anything about the Mormon missionaries, he or she will typically think of young men, dressed in white shirts and ties, like the young man to the left. All young men in the Church are encourage to serve 2-year missions once they turn 19.
But nineteen year old men are not the only ones being missionaries. Many young women leave their homes to be missionaries for 18 months when they’re 21 years old. Also, many senior couples embark as missionaries together for a period of 6 to 24 months, depending on the mission.
Where Do Missionaries Go?
Missionaries do not get to decide where they are asked to serve. Rather, they submit an application to the leaders of the Church who then issue a “call” or formal invitation to serve in a designated area. For example, when I was 19, I was asked to serve a mission in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
What Do Missionaries Do?
The life of a Mormon missionary is very unique. For the designated time that they’ve been asked to serve, they leave behind all worldly cares. They leave their families and friends. While they’re gone, they don’t go home to visit, or go on vacation. It’s missionary service around the clock. In fact, they aren’t even allowed to talk with their family or friends except at designated times during the year, like Christmas or Mother’s Day.
Each day missionaries visit with people who are interested in learning more about the Mormon Church. They will also often perform service for those in need. When they don’t have anyone to teach, they go looking for someone interested in their message. That’s why you’ll see them walking around town, riding their bikes, or even knocking on your door.
What Do Mormon Missionaries Teach?
The message of Mormon missionaries, and indeed the entire Church, is that Jesus Christ is our Savior. That is the main message. Missionaries have several lessons they teach to people learning about the Mormon Church including: