Nearly 82,000 LDS missionaries now, new PBS piece reports

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  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Dec. 17, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    @ A Scientist

    I think I know you well enough to know your tongue was planted firmly in your cheek when you raised your "ethical" objection to folks helping other move. It made me smile.

    That said, I will think twice before I open the door for anyone on my next trip to Walmart. Wouldn't want to supplant the need for them to hire a doorman. :-)


  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Dec. 17, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    There was a time when I thought I would never need any help from the Church or it's members.
    Then came an operation and orders to lift nothing heavier than 10 pounds. When I came home from church that Sunday, there was 4 inches of snow and still falling. I sort of wondered how it was going to get shoveled before the 24 hour period our city requires snow clear sidewalks by.
    As the snow stopped near dark, I looked out to see one of the Elder's Quorum councilors hard at work clearing my walks.
    Now 20 years later, I find the missionaries when grass or snow requires physical labor. In my younger days, I did this kind of thing for members and neighbors. Now that I am over 70, with too many physical problems I allow others to reap the benefits of service to others.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Dec. 17, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    @ A Scientist

    Seems you are bothered by people trying to find a way to help. I think it's rather impossible to know others' motives or whether it's a pretext for something. Rather than being a cynic, just try it some time. It's not easy, and yes, sometimes you will come off as insincere, but if we all stayed in our own little sphere, this world would be worse off. That goes for volunteers of all kinds - religious and otherwise.

    And is there really an "ethics" question in helping someone move? Most people I know who can afford moving help do pay for it, and those who can't, appreciate having some free help. Better than no help at all...

    Just stick with the applied sciences and leave the social science to others.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Dec. 17, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Lowering the age for young men, drives up the total percentage of young men who go as well. The reality is that between graduating from high school and waiting until 19, an unfortunate number of young men got sidetracted from their stated desire to serve. These distractions include: making money and feeling that they can't quit their job now because there won't be another opportunity like it; falling in love and not wanting the young lady to have a chance to find another while he is away; school; friends.

    Lowering the age removes many of these temptations. Unfortunately, it also means that many will never experience saving for a mission because they didn't / couldn't work during high school and now mom and dad are paying for the mission. For some, they will never realize the blessing that came from paying their own way.

    This is the only issue I have with the age change. But the positives outweigh these negatives. Besides many never did earn money for their own mission.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    "It's been more than a year since the age was lowered. How long do you think until the "blip" effect goes away?"

    At minimum 18 months for women and 24 months for men since that's how long the "blip" people are on a mission. Since they didn't start their missions day 1 when the announcement was made lowering the ages I'd be inclined to say that from 18 to 30 months for women and 24-36 months for men post-announcement is when the levels should settle down to whatever they will be going forward. That way you have filtered out anyone who started a mission the first 12 months after the age change announcement.

    I would suspect that the levels at that point would be somewhat higher than they were before the age change, just not as high as they are now. I am not going to hazard any more specific a guess than that.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2013 6:25 a.m.


    The "wall" of disingenuousness is built by a Church full of people who will not befriend a person unless they are assigned, or as a pretext for "selling" their religion.

    And I am ethically opposed to "volunteers" competing with people who need to earn a living helping people move.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    Don't get too excited. The number of missionaries will drop back to 50,000 in a year. There's only double now because people who waited until 19 or 21 went, plus new ones who didn't have to wait.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 16, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    "God is hastening his work.... He's speeding it up. We have a sense that there's an urgency about spreading the message of the gospel across the world."

    If only we could see the day when all the one true religions of the world devoted the energy they now exert talking down to their fellow man to listening to others to better understand.

  • maclouie Falconer, NY
    Dec. 16, 2013 9:08 a.m.


    I used to believe in the "blip" effect. It's been more than a year since the age was lowered. How long do you think until the "blip" effect goes away? I dont think it will but interested in what your crystal ball says.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    Some expect a statistical blip with the age change. However, Des News has already reported the higher number of sister missionaries due to the age change that would not have gone on a mission. I think the expected number was from 30% to 52% sister missionaries.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:36 p.m.

    BrentBot "My experience in Latin America is members think it is culturally unacceptable to visit members in their homes."

    Where is that? I have worked in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Bahamas. I have not had that cultural experience yet.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    The statistic I would love to hear is what percentage of perspective missionaries are now serving compared to the previous 20-30 years. Willing to be that even with the higher standards expected now compared to then, the percentage serving now is still higher than before.

  • Wacoan Waco, TX
    Dec. 15, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Brother Allen gave two explanations for declining convert baptisms per missionary: an increased focus on convert retention and increasing secularism. I believe there is at least a third reason, an aging world caused by declining birth rates. In the past, the typical convert was young. There are simply fewer young people.

  • Hurricanes South korea, 00
    Dec. 15, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    I am really exicted to hear that the lds missionaries prepared for serving mission, where ever in the world. Has incereased over the last one to two years.
    My human mind thinks are these younger men and women ready for a church mission. What are their reasons for serving a mission!I hope and pray church headquarters and Mtc Provo put stragties and plans for these young men and women who serve missions for the church.
    A recent article from the Dersert news,stated some returned missionaries , felt a sense of failure when coming of their Lds missions. Why, did the returned missionaries feel this way?
    Reference to Missionaries doing member work and not so much baptism work. It makes sense to retain your membership in any church or business! This is another area Lds missionaries could be developing. Member development and church skills.
    I keep praying for the Lds missionaries of the world, that the Lds church will guide these men and women in the Lords work.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Dec. 15, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    No mention of the statistical blip that the number of missionaries currently represents because of the lowering of age of eligibility with immediate effect in October 2012. Once the wave of younger volunteers supplementing their older peers passes there will no longer be double ranks and numbers will settle down again. I wonder if when numbers settle back down in the 60K range if Steve Allen of the Missionary Department will be quoted as saying, "God is no longer hastening his work".

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    I certainly favor having more people unite with the true church of Christ.

    However, this word "hastening" really needs to be deep-sixed. It seems to suggest that until recently the Lord had been dilly-dallying. When Pres. Kimball talked of lengthening our stride, I think he really meant it. When Pres. McKay said every member a missionary, he wasn't joking.

    Maybe instead of saying the Lord is hastening his work, we could say that the Lord's Church has taken steps to increase the level of full-time missionary service, which had declined rather significantly among 19-year-old males during the past decade.

  • stampederus Ephraim, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 1:11 p.m.


    We all have a responsibility, as do the Home Teachers, to visit with and support our assigned families on a regular basis. Having said that, you also need to contact your Home Teacher and/or your ward leaders requesting that these visits take place. Sometimes individuals are struggling spiritually and do not feel worthy of their assignment, but need to be assured that you need them. Try it and I assure you it can work.

  • silvercloud41NE Fremont, NE
    Dec. 15, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    Unfortunately, Dixie Dan, when H.T. and/or V.T. slack off, the Lord will use the missionaries to fill in the gap. We should all remember how the Savior strengthened the weak and/or wayward saints (and sinners) as he showered His love on all. Wish we could all follow His example and do likewise, especially in these days of hastening the work, as it is often expressed. This gives one the chance to sit up and take notice... and hopefully act.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Dec. 15, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    I would never ask my ward members to do something I could do myself. Next time I move, I'm supporting the local economy by hiring someone.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    @a scientist,

    I remember when our new house under construction blew down. The home teachers and others showed up and cleaned it up. We couldn't have possibly done it ourselves. I'm so grateful they "infiltrated" our home.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    Dec. 15, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    @Fred ... sorry to hear the WP Branch has deteriorated in that fashion. I was baptized one week before entering the academy, and it was there that I learned the necessity of 100% home teaching (and that not simply to visit, but rather to buoy-up those one is blessed to serve). I'm incredibly thankful for the home teachers I had throughout my time there, as well as for those I had the privilege to serve. C'mon President Sparrow -- work to be done?!

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    Dec. 15, 2013 6:15 a.m.

    A Scientist,

    You are lucky. If you needed to move, they would do a fabulous job. We have moved several times around the country and the members are always there to help us. They even set up my kids beds one time. It was such a wonderful thing as I was a single mom and was so tired I could hardly see straight. You are lucky that the members come, even with what you see as a fake interest in your welfare. They are doing what they see as their duty to God, not necessarily to you but it COULD benefit you if you would put down the wall you have built up against them. How many communities would never even lift a finger to care whether you were there or not? They are not perfect. But neither are you. Instead of your wall, ask them about themselves. Try to get to know them. You may be surprised to find that you might have something in common and could even come to "like" the good people that they are trying to be.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    My experience in Latin America is members think it is culturally unacceptable to visit members in their homes. However, when Latin Americans emigrate to the United States, home and visiting teaching suddenly becomes acceptable.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    This is intent versus outcome, Dixie Dan.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Forgive me, how in the world are they doing it ?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 5:06 p.m.


    Lucky you.

    I'm not even a member, but the HTs and VTs infiltrate our home and annoy us with their superficial niceness and trite "gospel message" on a regular basis. Although my wife is active LDS and attends the Temple, even she acknowledges how much of a waste of time it is.

  • FREDISDEAD West Point, ny
    Dec. 14, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Don't know about where you are at Dan. But I have NOT had a home teacher come regularly in 10+ years.

    At least the Elders and Sisters actually VISIT people they have responsibility for.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    If the full time missionaries are to active members, doesn't this overlap with the V.T. and H.T.?

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    with that many missionaries china should open in the next year or so. After china embraces the gospel north Korea, Cuba and other countries will embrace the gospel shortly as well.