LDS Church's Provo MTC will expand south into BYU campus

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  • LKinVA Henrico, VA
    Nov. 17, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    I'm thankful the Church sent missionaries out to VA many years ago even though it may have seemed there was no work to do because few were interested in listening to the message of the LDS missionaries. In my ward there were no convert baptisms...except me!
    I'm glad my son is serving today. He never complains of no work to be done!

  • kiaoraguy Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:41 p.m.

    A whole lot of nattering nabobs of negativity on this thread...maybe some of you should try to arrange some time to meet with directors of the Missionary Department so you can share the unique insights you have that they do not...and good luck with that

  • maximum Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    I wonder if the students who went to BYU Academy felt the same way when it was abandoned or the students of the old Utah Technical College were saddened when they sold the property to BYU. We have to look on the bright side and see all the new opportunities that progress gives like the expansion of the MTC.

    I just want to say how exciting it is that there is a need to expand and grow. For a while there it looked like the mission force was dwindling as the number of of baby boomer children decreased. Now the church seems to have too many missionaries, but that's just a temporary logistics problem. There can't be too many people preaching the gospel in the world and the world can't wait until the MTC expansion is complete to train them.

    Nov. 16, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    I was a little saddened to read that the MTC expansion will displace the Auxiliary Maintenance and Laundry buildings. It seems that many of my old haunts at BYU are disappearing. It is so sad that we cannot have progress without destroying old things. First it was the Deseret Towers where I lived for three and a half semesters that went away. Now the Aux Maint building where I worked for four years will be going away. Well, at least the Auxiliary Maintenance people will have a nice new building to work from.

  • JimmyfromLA Lancaster, CA
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Mhilton said "This whole process of changing the age was done with absolutely NO planning." With all due respect Sister, YOU weren't party to the process, so you really have NO first-hand knowledge of the process. From my viewpoint, I think the "surge" in missionary-minded young men and women, such as your daughter and mine is awe-inspiring. You may remember from your own mission service that missionaries tend to live in "austere" circumstances at times. Wymount, dreary? Not really. Austere, perhaps. Quit picking a fight, where no fight exists. Enjoy the fact that your daughter and mine and thousands of others have made the decision to serve something greater than themselves, at time when most young people their age don't care about anything else but themselves.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    Why are we even publishing this article? We all know that the selfish neighbors will block it. And, yes, it doesn't matter whether the neighbors are LDS or not--dictating to another how they use their property is selfish.

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    I'm talking about the MTC not living conditions in the field. Missionaries rave about the MTC in Colombia and I've heard nothing but good about the Mexcio City MTC. The point is, they were NOT ready to have that many missionaries come out at once. And, if they were overcrowded in 1998, then why did it take so long for them to do something about it? I just think this whole process could have been done much more smoothly and effectively.

    Thanks for your comment, VST.

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    the missionaries in my town cover an area of 1 square mile. I think they are twiddling their thumbs all day long.

  • Wingnut1 USA, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Read the words of the primary song "Follow the Prophet" and you will know why people still need to serve a mission. The prophet knows the way. The prophets of the scripture have a 100% track record of getting prophecies right. Why should modern day prophets be any different? I pray a lot and give thanks that I have the opportunity to serve a mission. I haven't even been on one yet, but I have had 7 siblings serve, and the blessings that come are insurmountable. Why should we serve when there are so many? Well... why not?

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    hmilton, I'd like to see what you would say about the accommodations of most of the houses I stayed in on my mission.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    I hope MTC neighbors don't feel guilty for expressing concerns over the original 9-story MTC proposal. The Lord guides the Church, especially His annointed prophets, seers, and revelators. Humility compels a view that occasionally, some aspects of some proposals of some Church departments may be susceptible of improvement. Neighbor objections raised early on prompted an alternate, more considerate proposal. The new plan will avoid simmering resentments for years to come, as neighbors enjoy their unobstructed views of the valley--and of the MTC.

    If there was any "waste" of Church time and money, did it arise from neighbor objections or from department planning that took neighbor support for granted? Can waste even exist in the Lord's economy? Can any individual--or organization of individuals--escape learning by experience?

    Consider Zion's Camp, Kirtland, Far West, Nauvoo. Were these a "waste"? God's economy is spiritual; His kingdom will continue rolling forth to the ends of the earth.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    @Phillipine Bonita - you are correct about the availability of staff at the Provo MTC coming from the BYU student body. I was thinking more of missionaries coming from other countries who might have visa problems coming to the U.S. I don't know how prevalent that issue is, but speaking as the American spouse of a Russian citizen, it has got to be somewhat of an issue, so maybe having more MTCs in other parts of the world would help alleviate that. Although having a BYU Europe connected to a European MTC might take care of both of those issues.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    As far as the development of Provo, maybe this is one of the reasons that they're building a second temple for Provo - so that the Provo Temple next to BYU can be used for the student and missionary population, while more of the local residents can use the City Center Temple. Although if the town is growing that much, and a lot of it is the expansion of BYU and the MTC, maybe the town can implement a public transportation strategy for the increasing number of students. (Says the student who never went to BYU. ;-) )

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Part of the beauty of serving a mission when we're young is that, in a lot of cases, we don't know any better. We adapt to whatever situation we're dropped in. We learn and grow from our experiences. We testify of what we know. What a great thing to say, no matter the hardships faced, that you were part of a huge flood of Missionaries to the world!

    I grew up in Lehi. As a teenager I was asked to pick up beds from D.I. for the first Missionaries to serve in Lehi. 25 years ago Lehi got its first ever Missionaries. What a wonderful time that was. Now this new influx of Missionaries means that we no longer share one companionship for every 6 stakes but for every 2 stakes. We've seen a HUGE growth in our wards. It's wonderful to be part of and I'd hardly call our Missionaries as under-burdened. They're busy and doing things we never expected. And we all get to be part of it!

    Thanks to those young people who are ready and able to serve and to their families for helping them be ready to serve!

  • SparkyVA Winchester, VA
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    I am sure the accommodations will be better than what they will get in a third world country. It is part of the adventure. Live it and love it.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    mhilton said, " I have a right to my opinion, and to my experience. Call me what you want. You are then judging me, which you have no right to do, either."

    You can't have it both ways. You want to have your "opinion" but no one else can have an opinion about what you said? It's impossible to argue with that logic.

  • Diaspora Kolbingen, 00
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    PLease take into consideration that by this decision the number of young adults will not increase. This year were suddenly three age-groups could go on a mission. In three years time they cannot go again. The bubble will collapse, and than?
    And there is another effect: We have such a lot of missionaries, why should I go?

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I've read most of the comments, but rather quickly. I do want to say this. The 5 star accommodations at the MTC are at the "flagship" campus. The only hot meal, besides the Friday pizza night from Papa John's, that my daughter had was when she happened to be at the regular campus. Other than that, she had sandwices, begals and such. The Provo West facilities were definitely 1 star. She also did not have the TRC teaching experiences like they have at the "flagship" campus. Her teaching experiences were with her entire district. Only the 12 knew this change was taking place. Elder Holland said that. Everything else was reactionary to the announcement.

    I have much more to say but no time. I have a right to my opinion, and to my experience. Call me what you want. You are then judging me, which you have no right to do, either.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    @elarue and IrishLDS
    The Provo MTC operates as it does in VERY large part because of BYU students who are returned missionaries, fluent in in languages and mission culture/lifestyle who can provide training. The MTC in turn provides income to this employment base. It's a nice, mutually beneficial relationship. Staffing is a huge concern. Establishing a Church owned university in Europe sounds like a pretty cool idea. Lots to think about.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    To: gittalopctbi..boy your comments were wonderful and uplifting after reading some of the previous comments. But I was pleased to read many who stood in defense of the Church and their good. What you stated is TRUE. Thank you for that and just so you just made my whole day with your wonderful comments.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:25 a.m.


    I'm sure your daughter survived just fine in such "horrid" conditions. My first area, I came off a flight with layovers totaling 36 hours. I was exhausted. I was introduced to my new trainer, my new apartment,and my new calling. I opened the fridge and cockroaches came running out.
    I turned on the light and the ground looked like it was moving due to so many bugs.

    I'm sure your daughter surviving a few weeks to a few months in a first world country in less-than-good apartments will not be a traumatic experience for her. A mission is not easy. If you are so concerned about what the MTC is like and her sad state of affairs, you are missing the point of what a mission is for.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    I forgot my time in the MTC was in the Ritz Carlton. And my time in the field was even better! Nothing but 5 star accommodations. And in the field I covered such small areas that there is no way more missionaries could have possibly helped me cover the five cities I was assigned to at a time. The Church planned this out plenty well, but it is possible some missionaries and parents weren't as prepared.

  • LoveLife Riverton, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:14 a.m.


    There are pilot programs being tested in different areas for missionary preparation. I knew a missionary couple getting ready to go to Germany in the summer 2012 (before the age change). They were doing language training via Skype with an MTC instructor prior to going to Provo, then spent less time at the MTC.

    Interesting that you can speak for all the missions world-wide, that they are so inundated and there isn't much work to do. Missionaries are way more creative than that. I served in a very low baptizing mission and often we had to find things to do. I don't think there is one spot in the world that will refuse willing hearts and hands to pitch in and help with anything.

    Have some faith in the leaders. They know what they are doing, and we certainly don't see the whole picture like they do. I've never been disappointed in how they manage logistics, organization, and planning. I've even seen critics of the church be complimentary in this aspect.

    I hope your daughter has a great mission!

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Re: mhilton's post

    Murmur, murmur, murmur, murmur...

    Sure takes a lot of audacity to say that there was (all caps) no planning on the church's part for the new missionary ages. Really quite absurd, actually. There are not many organizations on the planet that plans as well as the church does. The Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve do not plan? Oh, please...

    Not enough work for the missionaries to do? In my home ward, they added a companionship, in the ward that shares the same building, they added TWO companionships, in the YSA ward in which I serve, they added a sister companionship--and the work has exploded!

    To the mhilton's of the church who want to continually complain and find fault about any aspect about the new age limits of missionaries: The Lord knows what He is doing. Your murmurings are merely a mortal, miniscule, and myopic viewpoint of His vision.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    @RBN -

    Oh, that's right. I overlooked the one in Spain. And I didn't realize that the Spain MTC covered Russian speaking missionaries and the Preston MTC covered German speaking missionaries.

    Do we know what the visa requirements are between Spain and Russia? My wife is Russian, and I just remember before we were married, we were trying to find some place where we could meet in person where neither one of us needed a tourist visa. It seemed like I needed a tourist visa just to set foot in Russia, and she would have needed a tourist visa for most of the other countries in Europe. We finally settled on Ukraine as a country that would accept both of us just for a week. :-)

    If Spain does have a visa requirement for citizens of Russia, then that would seem to make more of an argument for an MTC in Kiev - especially with tightened restrictions against North American missionaries in countries from the former Soviet Union.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:27 a.m.


    There are 15 MTCs throughout the world. One is located I England, and another in Spain. This comment page doesn't allow me to post a link to the church's MTC page where all 15 are listed, and you can learn about each MTC. At the Madrid MTC, there are programs for Spanish, Portugese, Italian, French, and Russian speaking missionaries. At the Preston, England MTC there are programs for English and German speaking missionaries. Also, a ESL program. It's pretty clear that the church is expanding the footprint of MTCs.

  • IrishLDS Castleknock, Dublin
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    Although the MTC at the Preston Temple in England is not "on the European continent" or continental Europe, it is available for missionaries "coming from the European nations" if they are serving in Europe.
    When I was called to serve in Scotland, back in 1990, I was sent to the small MTC at the London Temple. What I would like to see in Europe, in a coming day, is some sort of European BYU and a sustained rise in the number of member missionaries in Europe generally.
    The Book of Mormon shows that the pre-millenial growth of the church, while taking place in all the world, is only the beginning to the work that will be accelerated during his 1,000 year reign.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    I've heard it said that -

    Constant criticism of church counsel
    Often leads to certain calamity.

    My experience from the past suggests to follow the Brethren and things work out. It will be fun to see how this project is carried out.

  • sukiyhtaky us, CA
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    "The neighbors concerned about their unobstructed views of the mountain sounds pretty shallow and even selfish in comparison, don't you think?"

    Not everybody in the world or in Utah or even in Provo is LDS. The goal is to coexist peacefully, not to cram down the throats of the non=believers what the church wants no matter what. To expect everything and everyone to bow down and go the way of the LDS church with no give and take is what is really shallow and selfish. If the Muslims wanted to build a 20 story mosque in the same area would you be so vehemint in your unconditional support? I don't even hesitate when I type a resounding NO on your behalf. In the end the church has brought down the size of that building in question and everyone lived and is still breathing. The building has gone on with a few changes and both sides giving a little works out just fine in the long run and both sides have emerged victors. The mature POV accepts that both sides of an issue can meet in a happy middle...the church is not sacrasanct in all things.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    I thought the MTC was overcrowded when I was there all the way back in 1998, and now with the upsurge in the number of missionaries, yes it will be more crowded. On the other hand, I don't know why they aren't building more MTCs around the world. For example, why don't they have an MTC on the European continent? Certainly there's plenty of work to be done there, and if the missionaries coming from the European nations could go there somewhere closer to home, that would be a great boon to the missionary effort in Europe. Two European MTCs - one in Frankfurt and one in Kiev - would certainly lead to a rise of new missionaries in that part of the world, no?

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    Mhilton - we have three sets of missionaries in ONE ward. Every ward in our stake here in central ohio has at least 2 sets of missionaries. There is plenty of work to do. And missionaries shouldn't expect 5 star accomodations while training to be a missionary or while in the mission field.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    Ross Andersen (Rocky) the former mayor of SLC, lectured the church about a glass sky bridge between City Creek.

    I wonder why that same mayor didn't lecture his own government and the County when they built a solid bridge over the road for the Salt Palace. That obstructed the view of the mountains more than the smaller glass bridge....

    If that's the hardest thing your daughter has endured, then she's doing just fine.

    Nov. 15, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    I've long wondered if the neighbors felt guilty that they had raised protests about the 9 story building which was in the works long before the age change? That created a waste of time and money for the Church and created considerable hassle for people involved in the patchwork housing accomodations. The neighbors concerned about their unobstructed views of the mountain sounds pretty shallow and even selfish in comparison, don't you think?

    mhilton, I don't know how you know that there isn't enough work to do because out here in the "mission field" (actually I reside in a different mission but this is true for both) we see lots of investigators and interest in general. I've yet to meet a missionary that is bored or feels their efforts are wasted! Besides, missions are only about the people missionaries teach; there is real maturation that happens for those missionaries as they serve selflessly.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 5:40 a.m.

    @ mhilton
    Lancaster, CA

    Have you been there for the planning? If you paid attention the church changed the school in Mexico to an MTC. Have been expanding other MTC's around the world. I know for a fact they have been working on plans on the Provo MTC for some time now. The first plan was tossed when residents voiced concern on the height. Yes that is a set back. You can't always plan every single possible scenario. Otherwise the people in the Philippines wouldn't have been sitting where the storm surge was.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about as far as a temporary surge of missionaries. It was just a generation ago, that a few thousand missionaries were out. Ten years ago it was around 40-50 thousand. Now it's around 80 thousand. Ten years from now, who knows....

    Why don't you go ahead and give us your projected numbers. Since you seem to see into the future.

    Poor planning is the obamacare website and obamacare itself. They knew they wanted 30 million plus people to sign up, and made it to accommodate a few thousand.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 4:46 a.m.


    When the Lord reveals the brethren follow.

    Provo is anything but a mess. There is more student housing than they know what to do with.

    My son was at Wyview and loved his MTC experience there. He said the food situation could have been better (he was there in the first couple of weeks even before the cafeteria was finished) but said he loved the set up. It wasn't crowded, nice apts. I guess it is what you make of it.

    I don't know of many areas without much work due to the size of the area. That is pretty much a myth except maybe here in Utah. But even in our stake here in Orem, they are finding plenty to do. Teaching part member families or just strengthening the wards they work with.

    By the way, this isn't a "temporary surge". It is a great time to be a missionary and a great time to be a member of the Lord's church.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 4:21 a.m.

    @ mhilton continued.

    You stated: "My daughter was in the Wyview apartments for her MTC experience. It was rather pathetic accommodations." I believe its all in the perspective but is it your perspective or your daughters perspective? My first mission experience was 5 days in the old school turned dorms north of the Church Office Building. I was not a fan of bunk beds but I survived and thrived all the same. There were many pathetic accommodations I had to endure in the "mission field" but every one of them, is now in retrospect, a choice memory.

    One of my favorite early church stories is that of Heber C. Kimball and his companions prone and sick in the wagon as they were leaving Nauvoo and their families for missions, leaning on their elbows, removing their hats and shouting Hurrah for Israel. I echo that shout.

    The planning for hastening the work in our day was completed before the foundation of the world and included working around the opposition to the MTC in Provo Utah.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 3:39 a.m.


    You stated, "Unfortunately the missions are inundated and there is not much work to do in some of the areas because they have become so small." I will respectfully disagree with your sentiment. I live within the SLC West mission where it is the goal for every ward to have its own set of full time missionaries. Currently, we have 5 sets in our 7 unit stake and the effect has been truly miraculous. We've housed the missionaries for 4 years now so we know first hand how they perform.

    Much of the work they do is service and they teach continually the less active as well as those who are investigating the church. They rarely come home before 9:00 PM. Convert baptisms have increased and families are going to the temple for the first time and many are returning after long periods away.

    You also stated, "This whole process of changing the age was done with absolutely NO planning." How wrong you are. The SLC West mission has been a model for 3 years and 2 of those years were before the age change. I know because I have been in the counsels.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    Don't worry mhilton. It will all work out in the end.

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:13 a.m.


    "This whole process of changing the age was done with absolutely NO planning."

    In August of 2011, the church announced plans to build a new larger MTC building to be completed in the fall of 2013. However, after complaints from neighbors, the church saw the need to withdrew their plans. That decision came at the same time as the announcement to lower the age was made. I believe that, while they underestimated the reaction of the neighbors, plans were in place for the lowering of the age and the increase in missionaries that it would bring. They knew what the needs by this time would be and were prepared for it. Should the Lord have had them delay the announcement because of this?

    I'm sorry that your daughter's MTC housing experience was in "rather pathetic conditions." I hope she was called to serve where she could experience better living conditions, as this is not always the case.

    In addition, perhaps the student housing challenge could be relieved if BYU would recognize they are dealing with young adults who have signed an honor code, and not require them to live in BYU contracted housing.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:31 p.m.

    When the Lord reveals his will to the Prophet, he does not tell him how he wants it done. He can reveal some of that by answering prayers, but he expects the Prophet and the Church to figure things out. The Church is trying to be aware of the feelings of the people in the neighborhood around the MTC, and have come up with another plan, using resources they already have. It will all be worked out, and, we will see that it will a better situation for BYU, the MTC, and the neighborhood. We just need to have faith in our Heavenly Father and His servants, our Prophet and the 12, etc. It's not a real good idea to be critical of the Church. Let's support them instead.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    So I am just wondering, who would have more facts to base decisions on, Milton or the LDS church? Humm

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    This whole process of changing the age was done with absolutely NO planning. Then, with the surge of missionaries, the Church has had to figure stuff out piecemeal. My daughter was in the Wyview apartments for her MTC experience. It was rather pathetic accomodations. Now, the Church is taking away more student housing. Provo is becoming such a mess as it is and real challenging for students to find housing. And then, the Church is reacting to a temporary surge of missionaries. They have now captured the 3 additional years of missionaries. I'm betting the numbers taper off this next year of those going out. Unfortuantely the missions are inundated and there is not much work to do in some of the areas because they have become so small. This whole situation could have been planned much better and executed much more efficiently. How sad it would be for the students who have to leave Wyview to make room for the additional space at the MTC, then to have the MTC underutilized in the future. My husband always says "proper prior planning prevents poor performance." I think this is "poor planning and performance" on the part of the Chruch.