The value of holding Pre-Military Service Church Orientation for young men or women who join the military cannot be overemphasized. These guidelines help answer three important questions: (1) Why conduct Pre-Military Service Church Orientation? (2) Who should conduct it? and (3) What should be accomplished?
Why Pre-Military Service Church Orientation?
Church members who join the military are often unsure what to expect as they enter basic training. Many have heard stories that no longer reflect conditions in the military but still raise concerns for military members and their parents and spouses. Most people are not familiar with what the Church has done to ensure that the blessings of Church membership are afforded those who serve in the military, regardless of where they are stationed throughout the world. This orientation will help answer many questions regarding military service and explain what the member can expect regarding Church services and activities during basic and advanced military training.
Who Should Conduct the Orientation?
- Pre-service orientation is under the direction of the stake president.
- An instructor who is either on active duty or who has recently completed active military service should be called to conduct the orientation.
- The instructor should have extensive military and Church experience and a strong testimony of the gospel.
What Should Be Accomplished in the Orientation?
The following things should be accomplished:
- Show Serving Your Country video and review Serving Your Country brochure.
- If not previously provided by the bishop, present the Military Scripture Set and LDS identification tag to the member, and review contents.
- Discuss the physical and mental challenges of basic training. This information must be current. The military environment has changed significantly over the years, and it would be counterproductive to discuss basic training during an earlier period, such as the Vietnam War era.
- Discuss living the gospel amid peer pressure to do otherwise.
- Discuss how to find the Church no matter where members are stationed. Stress the importance of attending church, praying, studying the scriptures, avoiding temptations, and establishing wholesome friendships with other Church members.
- Review the importance of setting a good example and looking for missionary opportunities.
- Emphasize the importance of writing uplifting letters to parents and loved ones.
- If some of the individuals receiving the orientation are married, consider having the instructor's spouse participate in the discussion to provide her perspective on the opportunities and blessings of military service.
For More Information
For additional resources, contact the Military Relations Division at 1-800-453-3860, extension 2-2286, or e-mail PST-Military@LDSChurch.org.