Service Missions: The Work Moves Forward
There are a wide array of opportunities for those who have a desire to serve the Lord in His vineyard.
I remember learning about the Gospel from missionaries some ten years ago; bless their hearts, all four sets of them (Elders and Sisters alike). I may have loved coffee more than Jesus back then.
Same as it is for others, conversion took personal dedication, prayer, and the power of the atonement to foster my conversion.
Notwithstanding, it was wonderful to have a direct link to authorized persons who could help me:
- They answered my barrage of questions and looked for answers for me,
- They continued challenging me to seek out personal revelation,
- They cared about me despite my shortcomings!
It was the servants of the church who provided the real-time love and example of Christ.
If you labor all your days and bring one soul unto me, how great shall be your joyD&C 18:15
How great the works of Missionaries; teaching, serving, loving. Jesus spent most of his life doing these things, and missionaries are His authorized representatives. As Saints, we are also called to take upon ourselves His name and proclaim the gospel in our daily lives.
How much does it matter to the Lord which title of Missionary work is assigned? Does my desire to serve a senior mission trump another’s desire to serve just because she is younger? Does a mission count for less in the eyes of the Lord if paid for by the ward mission fund? These questions all result in a resounding NO.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we acknowledge the need for progression and change. Marvin J. Ashton observed, “The Lord does not want His church to become root-bound and stagnant.” He taught this over forty years ago!
Let’s mix it up!
A few years ago, a well-intentioned though negative cultural stigma was attached to young brothers and sisters who had chosen service missions over proselyting missions. Thankfully, those days are starting to fall away. Perhaps this is one of the few blessings of the pandemic, but I have recently been to more home and church farewells for service missions than ever before. Yes, mission call gatherings for service missions exist, and they are awesome!!! Embracing change and celebrating decisions of good rapport are what we do!
Serving a service mission allows the individual to stay home; not necessarily required
One young man just recently left to serve in a different state. He planned to stay with his grandparents, who lived in the same state he planned to work in. He started with the company he had been recently employed with and served a mission for the church.
Another young lady, or as I refer to her, “Tech Savior for the Stupid” (since she is my personal IT person), asked to serve a service mission where she could use her God-given, educationally refined talents to serve while at home. Done!!
I was able to chat with the Service Mission Leader in my stake who did confide that if young adults have a desire to serve they should follow the church’s guidelines (noted below); still, if they have the option of a service mission, the need for help is great.
The world is changing; the church can offer a more customized option for those willing to serve! The church is literally worldwide now; missions are no long root bound; if you desire to serve the Lord, there is a way.
Check out the church’s website for Exploring Mission Opportunities. It is a wonderful blessing to see young adults acclimating to expedient and ever-developing field of Missionary.
Noted: “A missionary candidate does not choose which kind of mission he or she will serve. All applicants are considered first for proselyting missions. Young men and women who are unable to be called as proselyting missionaries for physical, mental, or emotional reasons are called as service missionaries. If an applicant is called as a service missionary, the applicant’s service is tailored to his or her unique talents, skills, and gifts and to the local environment.”
- “Service Saves” -Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, October 1977
- “Finding Joy through Loving Service” -Elder M. Russell Ballard, April 2011
- “Now is the Time to Serve a Mission!” -Elder Richard G. Scott, April 2006