The First Presidency Letter to Leaders

    Service Missions for Young Missionaries
    November 2018

    To: General Authorities; General Auxiliary Presidencies; and the following leaders in the United States and Canada: Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents

    Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Service Missions for Young Missionaries (U.S. and Canada Only)

    The Lord declared, “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:3). To serve the Lord as a missionary is a glorious, sacred privilege that brings eternal blessings to the individual and those he or she serves.

    For many years, young men and women with a desire to serve a mission but unable to do so for health reasons have served the Lord valiantly in various community and Church organizations. We are grateful for their service and are pleased to announce increased opportunities for young missionaries who have health challenges.

    Beginning on January 2, 2019, all young missionary candidates will use the missionary online recommendation process. Under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, each prospective missionary who qualifies will receive a call that best suits him or her.

    Preaching the gospel to gather scattered Israel will always be the primary purpose of missionary service, so the Lord, through His leaders, will call most young people to find, teach, and baptize converts. Others, unable to serve in this manner, may be called to serve the Lord as a service missionary. Additionally, missionaries who return home early from a proselyting mission for long-term health reasons may be reassigned to serve the Lord as a service missionary. Some other candidates may, with our appreciation for their desire to serve, be honorably excused from any formal missionary service.

    For more information, please review the explanatory document enclosed and materials at lds.org/service-missionary.

    We pray that the Lord will continue to bless the wonderful young men and women throughout the Church who love Him and desire to serve.

    Sincerely yours,
    The First Presidency