The First Presidency has announced a change in the cost of maintaining missionaries who are called from the United States and Canada. The new procedure was explained in a letter, dated 20 November 1990, that was sent to local and regional Church leaders to be read in sacrament meetings.
“We express our sincere appreciation to all who contribute generously in time and money to missionary service,” the letter, which was signed by the First Presidency, began. “This service, given in response to a divine commandment, has, from the earliest days of the Church, involved individual and family sacrifice.
“Such sacrifice, on the part of families and others, has been willingly made in the past and must continue to be the basis of our worldwide missionary program.
“Now, in recent months there has arisen a serious concern over the great and growing disparity in the cost of missions in various areas of the world, with some missions at present costing as little as $100 per month and others as much as $750, placing a highly disproportionate burden on some families and wards.
“After prayerful consideration and much study, we have determined to equalize the contributions required to maintain a missionary regardless of where he or she may serve.
“Beginning January 1, 1991, the amount required to cover the service-related expenses of a single missionary called from the United States or Canada will be U.S. $350 or Canadian $400 regardless of where the missionary serves. These figures may be adjusted in the future as circumstances change. This procedure will not apply to missionary couples.
“Under this new procedure the ward bishop will be responsible to see that funds are available to meet the requirements of the missionaries called and sent from his ward. These funds will come, as in the past, from (1) contributions which the individual missionary may make, (2) contributions by parents, families, and friends, (3) contributions by ward members generally who will be urged to contribute to the ward Missionary Fund as well as to the General Missionary Fund.
“We ask that bishops be sensitive to the financial circumstances of those who presently are contributing less than $350 per month for the maintenance of a missionary, and who will be unable to increase their contributions. Other members of the ward may be urged to contribute to assist in these circumstances.
“The ward missionary account will be drawn upon by the Finance Department at Church headquarters, according to the number of missionaries representing that ward in the various missions of the Church.”