8.7 Helping Quorum Members Prepare for Full-Time Missions
The Lord expects each able young man to prepare spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially for full-time missionary service. The earlier a young man decides to serve a mission, the more likely it is that he will serve.
Each young man should prepare by developing his own testimony and his own relationship with the Lord. He should also prepare by studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. Many of the goals and activities suggested in the Duty to God program can help a young man prepare for missionary service.
Parents have the primary responsibility for helping their sons prepare to serve full-time missions. Other family members, bishopric members, Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidencies and advisers, home teachers, and others support parents in this effort.
Helping quorum members prepare for missionary service is a high priority for bishopric members and quorum advisers. This preparation begins in the deacons quorum and continues throughout each young man’s years in the Aaronic Priesthood. Leaders look for ways to include missionary preparation in quorum meetings, presidency meetings, quorum activities, and other settings.
Bishopric members and quorum advisers help young men prepare for full-time missions in the following ways:
They provide opportunities in quorum meetings and activities for quorum members to feel and recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost.
They teach young men the basic doctrines that missionaries teach, such as the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the plan of salvation, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. They may use Preach My Gospel as a resource for teaching these doctrines.
They encourage young men to study the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, on their own every day. They also encourage young men to study Preach My Gospel.
They teach young men and their parents about the expectations for full-time missionaries. These expectations include gospel knowledge and testimony, personal worthiness, physical fitness, social and emotional maturity, and financial preparation. Adult leaders guide young men in setting goals to reach these expectations.
They encourage young men to attend seminary.
They provide opportunities for service, including home teaching assignments for teachers and priests.
They give young men opportunities to teach the gospel in quorum meetings and other settings.
They encourage young men to share the gospel with friends and family members.
They provide opportunities for young men to learn from and interact with exemplary returned missionaries, in both formal and informal settings.
As part of this preparation, the bishopric and quorum advisers encourage priest-age young men to attend a missionary preparation class. Depending on the number of these young men, this class may be organized by the bishopric at the ward level or by the stake presidency at the stake level. The main resources for this class are the scriptures, the Missionary Handbook, and Preach My Gospel.
Additional instructions for bishops are provided in Handbook 1, 4.2.