LDS Church shakes up missionary program with changes
(KUTV) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced a set of changes for their missionary program Friday morning.
Such changes include:
- A new set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries
- The number of missions will be cut back
- Tablets will be replaced with smartphones
The LDS Church says the number of missions will be trimmed in order to "better fit the needs of each region of the world."
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles alluded to such changes on June 28, 2017, at the annual seminar for new mission presidents.
"For those preparing for missions, Church leaders have approved a standard set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries uniformly across the world," states a news release from the LDS Newsroom.
The LDS Newsroom continues, "The hope is that each young man and woman will be familiar with them years before they formally prepare to serve so they have a more complete understanding of the rigorous requirements of missionary work."
Five years ago the LDS Church reduced the missionary service age from 19 (men) and 21 (women) to 18 and 19 respectively. This grew the number of missionaries from 58,000 to 88,000.
Now, the LDS Church will reduce the number of missions to "better fit the total number of missionaries and the needs in each region."
The number of missionaries since has dropped to 70,000.
According to General Authority Seventy Elder Brent H. Nielson, the mission reduction is reportedly due to this decrease in missionary numbers.
On the technology front, the LDS Church is trying to improve its edge. Missionaries will now carry smartphones instead of tablets.
The change is being made to give missionaries more readily available resources to provide those with whom they interact.
"God knows where to find those are seeking truth," says Nielson, "and that's why we're seeking better ways to find them."