14 videos of high school graduates opening LDS mission calls

Published: Tuesday, June 4 2013 11:34 p.m. MDT

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Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced the age change for full-time missionary service for young men and women last October.

During a press conference following the announcement, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, happily stated that he was “bordering on the giddy here with this announcement.”

Elder Holland then went on to discuss the impact of the announcement.

“We expect that with this new option the number will increase steadily over the coming months — and perhaps will grow dramatically next spring after high school graduations.”

This proved to be true, with LDS missionary applications jumping 471 percent shortly after the announcement. And the numbers have continued to grow, as President Monson announced this April during general conference.

“We have 65,634 full-time missionaries serving, with over 20,000 more who have received their calls but who have not yet entered a Missionary Training Center and over 6,000 more in the interview process with their bishops and stake presidents,” President Monson said.

As the number of missionaries has grown, so has the number of YouTube videos featuring young men and young women opening their calls. Since President Monson’s October announcement, the excitement surrounding mission calls has been increasingly shared through social media.

Here are 14 of those viral videos we have gathered over the past few months, including videos recommended by our Facebook fans.

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
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Midway, UT

When most high school graduates will go to college, live off of their parents while they hang out with friends, show up to an occasional class, and postpone actually growing up, this reduction in the age limit for missionaries will give young adults an alternative. The experience of living on your own often in a foreign country, managing your finances and time, and setting aside personal gratification to devote yourself to serving others has an amazing impact on the development and maturity of our youth.

Aside from the faith building experiences that taught me how to love and serve others before myself, I had the opportunity to teach literacy classes, write articles for a national paper, write tv and radio ads that were published, not to mention learning how to put in a 12 hour day 6 days a week. These skills have helped me throughout my military and professional careers as well as my personal life. I acquired more practical and usable skills on my mission in the South Caribbean than I did earning my degree (not to discredit higher eduction at all- one has served me more than the other.)

I am excited for these youth.

Mesa, AZ

Equal honor is needed.

Granted, most missionaries would like to serve an exotic foreign call, so everyone gathers and the call is opened..Japan Kobe Japanese-speaking, the oohs and ahhs are joyous. But when the missionary reads their call to Michigan Detroit, not so much..unless they have the caveat..Spanish-speaking, which is somehow a consolation prize.

As unfair as it may seem, that is the nature of true voluntary missionary service, to make oneself available to be called anywhere in the world, even to a neighboring state. While some may get to go to the far side of the planet, missionaries are still needed close to home. Most accept their calls with immediate dedication to the call from the prophet.

Elder Scott said, "I am constantly amazed at how the Holy Ghost matches the characteristics and needs of each missionary and couple to the widely varying circumstances of missionary service throughout the world. I have observed how some of the strongest, most capable elders and sisters are called to the United States and Canada to keep the roots of the Church strong there."

We should not be overjoyed for some, while others serve with equal honor next door!

Provo, UT


You have to give credit where credit is due, yes, many students do have their parents support them in school. But many missionaries are only managing their parents finances, their whole mission is paid for! I just completed my first year of school at BYU with 0 financial support from my parents. I have paid insurance, rent, tuition, and any other fees on my own and I have grown up more in the last year than I thought possible. Missions do bless lives, but don't generalize, you have to give credit where credit is due my friend.

Midway, UT


My hat's off to you. You are among a shrinking minority. Most students either mooch off their parents or get into such student loan debt that they are buried for decades.

My point was that regardless as to where the money comes from, each missionary is expected to live on a budget. If they run out of money before the end of the month, tough. They'll be more frugal next month (that is unless they have parents that will bail them out time and time again, and at that point its a family issue).

Good luck to you!

Taylorsville, UT


My sister was one called to Japan Kobe in one of these videos. I can assure you the family wasn't pleased because she got called somewhere far, but because she got called to the same mission as our Dad. She's going to follow up on his work. And though it is foreign, this is where she prepared herself to go.

When my brother got called English speaking state-side, we were just as excited and thrilled for him because that is where he was meant to go. I agree that many are "disappointed" when they don't get to go far or foreign and they shouldn't be. You are not called to serve in a place, you are called to serve in place of the Lord.

I can guarantee though that no matter how someone feels when they get their call, they will end up loving their mission more than any place in the world.

Temecula, CA

I love our girls Hermana Jaeger and Hermana Jaeger!!! Their brother's papers were just sent off TODAY!!! They are loving their missions and these 3 are so grateful for the age change. It has been and incredible blessing in their lives.

It will be 5 years until we have all of our children back. Another son will over lap the one soon to go out! After the 5 years we will have a little break until the youngest wants to go. We love our children dearly and we are so joyful in their eager desire to share the gospel and to serve others. :)

Mom Johnson
West Jordan, UT

I hope another video is made with the returning missionaries with some kind of testimony to the love they have developed for God, Jesus Christ and the people whom they served!

Greenway, AR

I want to let every missionary who might serve in the Little Rock Arkansas mission how very grateful I am to have you here. I love seeing all of the missionaries together at Stake Conferences and finding out where each of them is from. You all are doing so much good.

Mesa, AZ

I agree, each call is where each missionary should serve, as Elder Scott taught, the calls come at the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and are no doubt designed to fit the needs of the missionary. I have seen many who have taken years of language classes and have prepared themselves for certain destinations, and not be called there.

And I agree, although some may have momentary disappointment, and some may choose to even turn down the call, the vast majority realize and accept almost immediately their destination because they are called by the prophet to represent the Lord. They adjust and they accept the Lord’s will in their lives.

A young sister recently received a call in our ward, and stood before the congregation to announce her destination as South Carolina Columbia - English-speaking! She was more than thrilled with her call to immediately express her testimony in her native tongue.

Nonetheless, because it's human nature to celebrate someone's call to a far-off people, as well as human nature to not be too excited about the Boises of the world, we should strive to celebrate and support all mission calls with equal honor!

Cache county, USA

The field is white. Jobs are not.

Provo, UT

@Bridger, many missionaries mooch off their parents too. Yes, there are definitely those that pay their own way, but I know of many whose parents paid for it and who also send extra money, which they're not supposed to do.
Also, some students who "mooch" aren't actually mooching. In my case, my parents set up an education fund for me starting when I was born (though it just covered a portion). I'll pay it forward by doing the same for my kids.


This isn't news. Try harder.

Lake Havasu City, AZ

One of my sons was called to serve in the Eastern States Mission, Bob McCulloch the founder of Lake Havasu City, who had become his friend, offered to pay for his mission. However our son thanked him and told him he had worked and had the money he needed in the bank. We were very proud of him, for that, and were prepared if his savings did not meet his needs. That Son has a returned missionary son, and a daughter currently serving, so he has been blessed and so have we. I also had the privilege of serving a stake Mission when I got to old to serve a full time mission.

Provo, UT

People quibbling over something that comes from God via the Prophet reminds me that we are in the last days.

New York City, NY

@ImABeliever: Thanks! I could not have said it any better. The cultural expectation of serving far away is overshadowing the main issue, which is serving our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I think we all need reminders to focus on what's important. The gospel, and not culture. It's all about JESUS not us. People should be delighted to serve wherever they are called to serve. If anyone has a specific place they would like to be for 18 months or 2 years, they can just book a vacation there, or study abroad or something. When you fill out mission papers, expect to be sent where you are needed!

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