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Mormon Missionaries - FAQ
Mormon missionaries go throughout the world to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. They raise a voice of warning to the people among whom they serve. Their duty is to find people, teach them the principles of the gospel, help them repent, and then baptize them members of the Mormon Church.
Mormon missionaries always work together in pairs. A missionary must always be with his or her companion. This is to promote safety, both from physical harm and false accusation, and is in accordance with scripture that the word of God must be established by two witnesses (2 Corinthians 13:1). The sight of two young men in business suits and black name tags riding bicycles and knocking on people's doors is familiar to many. The Church sends over 50,000 Mormon missionaries to 330 different missions in every nation that will allow them to proselyte. The Mormon Church receives some criticism for such an aggressive missionary effort but the Church continues to send missionaries to teach and baptize according to the command of Jesus (Mark 16:15-16). They do so in the spirit of love and service and with a personal conviction of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Who Can Be A Mormon Missionary?
Those eligible to serve as missionaries are young men, single women, and older couples. Men at least nineteen and not much older than twenty-five years old have been asked to serve a mission as a responsibility of the priesthood, which worthy young men are part of starting at age twelve. Young men make up the vast majority of missionaries. Women are welcome to serve as Mormon missionaries when they are twenty-one and are allowed to serve as a single missionary at any age after that. More and more, couples are asked to serve as missionaries by the Mormon Church. Senior missionaries, as they are called, are usually retired and have no children living at home. This is the smallest group of missionaries.
What Mormon Missionaries Teach
Mormon missionaries teach the fundamental doctrines and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. First, the nature of God. Mormons believe the Trinity is three distinct, separate beings. Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God and the Savior of the world. God is a material being, perfect and immortal. The Holy Ghost is a spirit and as such is able to influence people everywhere. Knowing the correct nature of God is essential in order to have faith in Him.
Mormon missionaries also teach that God has a purpose for mankind and this is called the Plan of Salvation. This tells us where we came from, what we are doing here, and where we are going. Then they teach about prophets. The will of God is made known to mankind through prophets. Mormons believe this is true now just as it was in ancient times. Missionaries stress that Joseph Smith is God's prophet in modern times and established the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. Scriptures are the records of prophets and are given to people for worship and study. Mormon Missionaries introduce the Book of Mormon and teach its significance as another testament of Jesus Christ and evidence of the truthfulness of the Mormon Church.
Missionaries also teach about the lifestyle a Mormon must adapt to comply with the commandments of God and live a moral and chaste life. Mormon missionaries also teach about the importance of families in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Mormon temples the highest ordinance of the gospel is the sealing of a family together forever. Marriage and family bonds last beyond this life and this ordinance is necessary to receive the highest glory in heaven.
The Mormon missionaries teach the basic principles but it is up to the investigator of Mormonism to discover its truth. It is promised in the Book of Mormon that through study and prayer, the Holy Ghost will reveal the truth of the Mormon missionaries' message to the sincere seeker of truth. When a person receives this personal conviction and repents of their sins, they are received by baptism into the Mormon Church.
What Missionaries Do Not Teach
Why Do Mormons Serve As Missionaries?
The success of the Mormon missionary program is astonishing. Consider that most of the people doing this work are mostly young men 19 years-old, a demographic usually selfish and rambunctious, but they sacrifice two years and several thousand dollars to unselfishly serve God and their fellow man. There are now over 12 million members on record with over half of them residing outside the United States. The Missionary Training Centers throughout the world teach a combined 180 different languages to Mormon missionaries. The message they preach is sacred to them and they spread it motivated by love for the people among whom they work. Each one serves voluntarily, at their own expense, to share the joy the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into their own life with any and all who will listen to them.