Church News: Latter-day Saint missionaries can now call, text home weekly, First Presidency announces

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  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 12:01 p.m.

    @BYU NATION

    Do you also recommend that we all stay at the chapel for a third hour on Sunday?

  • ironmania Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 10:12 a.m.

    Missionaries have always benefited from encouragement and advice from their parents. Gordon B. Hinckley recalled a time during his mission when he was full of self-pity and frustration. Then he got a letter from his father saying, "Dear Gordon. I have your letter. ... I have only one suggestion. Forget yourself and go to work. With love, Your Father."

    I had a similar experience during my mission, but using a fax machine. The near-instantaneous response made a huge difference during a difficult time.

    Imagine how much more encouragement can now be shared with regular phone calls!

  • ironmania Orem, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    Years ago, I was dating a woman at BYU. She told me one evening that she HAD to be home by 7:30pm. I couldn't understand why. Turns out, her missionary was going to call her and she needed to be back for the call. They got married when he returned.

    I'm guessing that family can include "future wife". Maybe this rule change will help strengthen those relationships and result in more weddings.

  • BYU Joe MISSION VIEJO, CA
    Feb. 17, 2019 9:47 p.m.

    Utah Bruin:

    So you call me arrogant because I suggest we be positive and get on board. And that I said "everyone" is complaining - which I never did - I never used the word EVERYONE or COMPLAINING. Go read my post. (It was mainly focused to BYU Nation's comment that missionaries should not call to get blessings).

    What I said was to find ways to turn complaints into productive wonderful wisdom. For example - figure out how to overcome time differences for foreign missionaries. It was the church leaders that said in the official statement...

    "One of the major purposes of this adjustment is to encourage families to be more involved in their missionary's efforts and experiences,"

    No one has to stick to old ways if they don't want to. 2019 - technology allows for many possibilities. Perhaps some have limitations and all missionaries need to rely upon the Lord - but it was the Church leaders that are promoting this.

    I am guessing my phrase "get on board" was too rough. I'll withdraw that to not offend the sensitive.

    This is the new normal for the church as a whole. Every missionary is invited to make calls, the like. I'm sad this makes you mad or upset.

  • H. Fullmer Springville, UT
    Feb. 17, 2019 6:53 p.m.

    @SLC MOM
    I served in Wisconsin 87-89. Was William B Green your President?

  • BradStone Draper, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:37 p.m.

    The story about more family involvement is simply PR spin to deflect from the real issue. Think about it, what problem are they really trying to solve for here? Is this going to help increase baptisms and conversions....or....is it really that too many ill-prepared immature 18-year olds fresh off the couch from playing video games and staring at their cell phones all day long can't hack the pressure and are coming home by the hundreds/thousands today. This is about Mommy and Daddy trying to convince Johnny to stick it out and not quit, not to involve family in the work. The real problem is the majority of 18 year old missionaries are ill-prepared to serve a mission, point blank.

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:00 a.m.

    Wonder how all those phone calls will get paid for from third world nations?

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:33 a.m.

    @Chummley

    Thanks for claiming to understand what every missionary or family goes through. And or how they might deal with the change. Pretty arrogant I think to think you can instruct the entire church in what they should do and how they should handle it. For example, my Son is currently serving in a foreign mission, that due to time difference and other circumstances, we will not be able to take advantage of this new exciting announcement. But according to you I need to “get on board and change my complaints to productive wonderful wisdom.” The part you might miss, and arrogantly presume is that EVERYONE is complaining. Some of us, will have to stick to the old ways, and deal with it, and will have to help not only ourselves, but our missionaries understand, and teach them to solely rely on the Lord for that help with an investigator, as you say they can now talk to families about. So instead of judging the entire church in their reactions. Might I suggest you worry about your own circumstances.

    @AggieLove

    It’s not a rule!

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2019 7:20 a.m.

    @windsor - Logan, UT

    Thank you for sharing! One of the best comments in here.

  • Chummley MISSION VIEJO, CA
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:19 p.m.

    As in all things intelligence and wisdom are the tools that guide us. Fools believe that it is the Law or the Rule that brings us happiness or "blessings" (BYU Nation for example). It is the proper application that brings happiness. This change can be use for exceptional goodness. Imagine the missionary that can now counsel with his parents about a person he/she is teaching. Imagine the young sibling that gets to see the growth of his brother or sister as they talk about the missionary work. Imagine the love that can be shared and the relief of a worried mother or father. Imagine all the good.

    Think of the comfort that can be given to one another. So much for those that apply the new rule with wisdom and intelligence.

    For those who immediately think old ways are better because they did it should go buy a Ford Edsel or a VCR.

    This the new way. Get on board and figure out how to change your complaints into productive wonderful wisdom. No reason to keep living in the past when the future is filled with new and fabulous options.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:38 p.m.

    Some of these comments blow my mind as a member of the Church. Modern-day Pharisees are well-represented here today.

    Calm down, people. There is more self-induced (and necessary) guilt and shame in the Church today than we can handle. We can be so tough on each other and ourselves. Everybody needs to just take a deep breath and worry about themselves.

    Look forward to hearing from my missionary on Monday and having him lift our family (especially his younger siblings) to higher levels of faith and devotion. Our family will be blessed because of this. No need to worry about us and my son, thanks. We'll be just fine.

  • windsor Logan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:22 p.m.

    Have really thought about my returned missionary son with this announcement today.

    He went through a long period of health issues and depression on a foreign mission and sucked it up, did what he was supposed to and relied on the Lord.

    I think of his letters from that time--and not sure the growth that happened and the testimony that deepened would have happened if he could have been calling home every week.

    He knew we loved him and supported him----but he worked out his issues and problems with the Lord (since we were on the other side of the earth)

    Am grateful for him and his willingness to suck it up and stick it out when he could have easily caved in and come home.

    There is something un-explainable that can happen when all there is you can do is go to the Lord for help.

  • Aggielove Caldwell, ID
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:00 p.m.

    It’s amazing AMAZING how some folks would say I’d still tell the missionaries to not call home so they can get extra baptisms. That’s extremely Utah.
    The prophet sets the rule to all home if you’d like and you counter it?
    Sad world in this church at times.
    I servered years back, and called home every two weeks.
    And I don’t care...

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 6:04 p.m.

    It occurs to me that from the time the first missionary served until fairly recently, letter writing was the most communication that anyone away from home was able to do. For a while, there was no technology that would allow faster or better communication than a letter. For many decades--from the widespread availability of the telegraph, through telephones--there was no other form of communication that was economical for routine contact.

    I remember needing to wait until after business hours for the rates to drop before calling grandparents when living out of State with my parents. Even as a professional, my folks could not afford to call their parents or siblings except on special occassions. And even then, if at all possible, they'd wait for the late night rates.

    Only in the last 15 years really hase it been really economical to make regular, long distance phone calls.

    I suspect the whole "avoid distractions and focus on the mission" was more a by product of simple economics than any kind of specific requirement.

    I hope this change makes it easier for missionaries to serve and to have support for tough times or health issues.

  • CBPapa Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 3:57 p.m.

    Time to change the beard policy!!

    I actually saw two temple workers - male of course - :) with beards a few weeks ago.
    Love it.

    No beards? Talk about an antiquated policy.

    Now as for today's announcement. I have mixed feelings, but I'll get over it. Just another way for all of us to increase our accountability by choosing how to act on this policy. Some will use it wisely - others will abuse it.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    Folks, I think that BYU Nation's 10:31 am comment was satirical. Or at least I hope it was...

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 3:15 p.m.

    Utah Blue Devil,

    Correction...It is NOT up to the Mission. That is why they had to pass the new "rule" Because some Mission PRESIDENTS refused to allow anyone to call home outside of the rules in the white handbook. They were so busy trying to be exactly obedient that they didn't use any compassion or common sense when dealing with a situation that would have been helped by allowing the missionary to call home.

    Some people only want to follow rules and don't want to follow the Spirit. It's sad when that person is in charge!!!

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 2:48 p.m.

    What next, cats and dogs living together.... who knew.

    And I do think this is goodness. No one is saying they have to call home every week. Neither are they saying that they must text. It's an option, and up to the mission and missionary how they use this new option. Just like just because the mission age for men is 18, and gals 19. It doesn't mean you must, or even should go at 18/19. In fact the Church has a current video emphasizing the fact that when you do go is up to you, and they have an app to help with figuring that out.

    We have the guidance of the spirit for a reason... use it. If you missionary would do better with fewer contacts - so be it. If they are in a tough place, need encouragement and support, its there to be used.

    It is all good.

  • Bear248 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 2:17 p.m.

    I'm thrilled with this change. It would have been so helpful with a physical problem my first son had on his mission. I have thought for 14 years that it would have helped to talk to him. Regardless, he survived and three sons successfully served with my fourth son serving now. He is doing great and I believe this will be awesome (not in anyway detrimental). I also believe it would have helped a couple of his friends who have come home early from anxiety, etc. I've been wondering if this was coming ever since missionaries, at least in the states, all got phones last February and have been on Facebook. There's been so many changes lately. Hope people can embrace them and carry on.

  • rocktheboat Spanish Fork, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2019 2:10 p.m.

    @Vermonter,

    EXACTLY!!!

    Thank you!

  • Cav Pilot St. George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 2:03 p.m.

    Ha! I remember a ZL that "taught" us that we were not really living the gospel unless we were paying tithing on the money we received from home every month (long before it was "everybody pay the same to offset the more expensive missions" and everyone had a debit card for expenses)
    Figuring that it would be bad form to call him out in front of all of the other missionaries, I waited till a break.
    I asked, "so, I spent 2 years in the military earning money so that I could serve a mission, and I paid tithing on that money then. does the Lord really expect me to pay tithing on it again? or does that only apply to the rich missionaries whose parents pay for their mission for them, and usually send them extra? (yes, it was well know that his family was wealthy)
    Somehow, without paying 20% tithing on my savings, my parents only had to sacrifice about $20/month while raising a houseful of younger children. What I had saved lasted the whole 2 years.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:55 p.m.

    @Jared.
    You may be right that the commenters were just trolling.

    But, their attitude is quite prevalent among a segment of active members and local leaders of the Church in North America and probably some other places. And, that attitude is, that in addition to what the living prophets say, I know a better, higher and more complete way to serve a mission, honor my temple covenants, and live the law of tithing, the law of chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and the law of the fast. This attitude focuses at outward performances, and not, with Christlike love, at the heart and spiritual progression of the individual child of God.

    This attitude, if not restrained, pushes some lifelong, faithful members to inactivity and apostasy, and impels some non-members to avoid missionaries and members and in some cases actively and publicly oppose the Church.

    Don’t want to seem harsh. But, it is not a Christlike attitude.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:54 p.m.

    I can't believe it. In my day, we served without purse or script, which meant that we begged for food and lodging, and wrote home only every six months or so. Travel was via sailing and steam ships. We also had beards and had to wear hats. Who could have foreseen that things change?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:51 p.m.

    What's the big deal? The range of comments are fascinating, to say the least.

  • F Alger Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:42 p.m.

    About time! My family was struggling at home and could have used more than a letter home.

    With long distance calls going the way of the dodo. It is cheaper than ever to call.

    Glad the young kids out now can KNOW what is happening with their family.

  • Anonymous100 Anywhere, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:42 p.m.

    I not liked to have been able to call him every week (no such thing as e-mail or video chat back then). I liked that I was able to fully concentrate on what I was there to do.

  • rocktheboat Spanish Fork, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:22 p.m.

    BYU Nation,

    It's people like you who ultimately pushed my daughter to the edge and she returned home from her mission early. An overbearing, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, controlling companion who wrote more into the rules than was there, saying that more sacrifice would bring more blessings and baptisms. Let us not forget what we learn in 1 Samuel 15:22, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice ..." Unfortunately, I've seen so many people just like you in the Church. It's that enmity or competition that the Lord warns against. It's the "I can do it better than you" mentality. Sadly, just human nature. Let's overcome the "natural man" okay? ... and simply do what we're asked to do without going overboard and therefore making it harder for others!

  • Jared Amherst, NH
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:13 p.m.

    This is a great change that will help many missionaries and families. If missionaries don't want to call or text, they don't have to.

    I'm a little surprised so many comments are in response to a commenter who was clearly trolling.

  • iluvnz Vernal, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:00 p.m.

    @BYU Nation
    I'm pretty sure if the Prophet approved this, it must be ok. I seriously doubt that it will hinder the work by calling home each week. The work is only hindered when the missionary isn't obedient. Clearly calling home now is NOT an manifestation of disobedience.

  • SLCMom Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:00 p.m.

    I served in Wisconsin from 1987-89. Back in the dark ages of sending letters each week and hoping they would get home in time for the family to send letters in return addressing all of my questions from their previous letters. Often our letters crossed so the news would take several weeks to reach each other. We couldn't ask any questions or get any more info for another couple of weeks ... ah, the good old days. I have an album of all those letters I saved that we shared back and forth. There are some real family history gems - those kinds of keepsakes will be a thing of the past now. So, I do grieve the loss of the written word in our culture.

    I hope this new policy will be beneficial. I'm sure the church will monitor things and it will be interesting if the policy stays or goes. Comparing my anxiety/depression adjusting to mission life as a 21-year-old compared to the anxiety/depression I felt sending my own child off on a mission a couple decades later, I have to say being the Mission Mom was really hard! On behalf of mission parents everywhere - particularly those who are sending children to foreign lands and/or dangerous areas - this is a huge blessing!

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2019 1:02 p.m.

    Mixed feelings on this:
    If it keeps a few of the missionaries out vs coming home then its all good.

    For those that said it will be nice to hear from parents once a week and hear of encouragement etc., they already could via email or a letter. But parents , what do you really need to say to them every week that they don't already know?

    Some policy changes (most?) haven't needed divine inspiration. An idea is considered and, "what the heck, let's try it" it is done . . and that's OK. Seems like a practical matter to keep many of our anxiety laden missionaries and parents less anxious. Time heals all wounds and if the missionaries can grow up a bit and finish their time and feel a sense of accomplishment despite the hand holding, then good. However, in many cases it just puts off the "cutting of the apron strings". I guess mom and dad could go to college classes with them when they get home . . .

    I learned so much about myself, about depending on the Lord, and hard work, and working things out with my companions, about learning the discipline necessary to be useful in the Church going forward.

    This may delay things for some.

  • Viva la Migra Denver, CO
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:59 p.m.

    This is an interesting change. During my mission we weren't even allowed the Christmas/Mother's Day calls. I'm not sure if that was a church-wide policy, or just a mission policy because we were serving in Europe and how expensive calls would've been.

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    As a parent who just had a child called to the heathen land of Utah I'm beyond thrilled at this development.

    Now I can also tease my children with 'back in my day we could only write letters and we walked uphill both ways in the snow to spread the gospel'. Exciting times!

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:55 p.m.

    Another example of a past Mormon Cultural rule that wasnt really necessary.

    Dont kid yourself, this is directly related to what seems like an increase in the anxiety and emotional stress that many missionarys face when they go on a mission.

    A good positive change. I bet more will occur leaving members even more responsible for their own efforts to Come Unto Christ.

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:53 p.m.

    In one fell swoop, the brethren just solved the problem of missionaries coming home early.

    Isolating young people from their network of friends and family hasn't made any sense for at least a decade.

    I survived 2 years in the 1980s without any phone contact with my family whatsoever, but I am thrilled, nearly to the point of tears, for my son who leaves on his mission in 6 weeks--and for his brother who is soon to follow.

    As a missionary, I was wound up so tight than I was nowhere nearly as effective as I could have been. This change is awesome all the way around!

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    @BYU NATION

    Being on a mission in and of itself is a sacrifice. Families are important, and those relationships are the big thing we take with us into the next life. There's no need to make additional sacrifices of something that can be helpful to those who need it.

    You sound like you were an overzealous AP. When you were AP, did you tell the other missionaries to pay tithing on their monthly allowance? When you were a ZL, did you tell the missionaries in your zone to work through their P-day instead of taking time to have some fun and see some sights for a few hours?

    Everyone would be better off by working a little harder at times, but we are also all better off by taking time to play and decompress.

  • Husker2 , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    I've never done a mission so I'm not going to join the "back in my day" crowd. However, I am a high school teacher so I will say that once you give permission for cell phone calls and texting, you are opening Pandora's Box. Good luck limiting it to just one day a week.

    Also, I've been in the military and I believe the "cold turkey" method is the best way to overcome homesickness and anxiety. This policy could have a boomerang effect and make kids more homesick and anxious.

    If missionaries are too young and unprepared to complete a mission, then maybe the church should look at changing the age requirement. This policy is simply an example of too many people not meeting a standard so the solution is to lower the standard.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:29 p.m.

    BYU Nation,

    On my mission, we had a term for missionaries who made up rules around the rules and then claimed it was to get more blessings: Pharisees.

    Don't be a Pharisee. Don't encourage this kind of behavior. For some missionaries, it creates a guilt complex when they can't uphold the standards others set. It's also discouraging to missionaries who are hard-working, obedient, and still not getting baptisms. For others, they become rebellious and disregard ALL the rules, including the real ones. Unless you have priesthood authority to preside over missionary work, you don't get to make the rules.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:23 p.m.

    @BAKC: "The idea that more communication will help with the anxiety - maybe, but what happens when they have to face the harsh reality of life as the adult? Mommy and Daddy can’t fix everything."

    Well, I can only speak for myself. I'm an adult, with 3 kids and a successful career. When I'm going through a tough time, one of my strategies is to pick up the phone and call my parents for advice. The policy isn't saying the parents can fly out and take over for a while, it's saying these kids can consult with their parents. Reaching out to people with more experience for advice is a pretty adult thing to do.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:21 p.m.

    Hang on everyone it's going to be a wild ride. Some of us will be challenged in the coming days by changes that we may have a hard time accepting, you can already see it in these very comments. I haven't had any issues with any of the changes so far, but I imagine that will change eventually. Just remember who is in charge and where he gets his information from and you will be fine.

  • LJLB San Jose, CA
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:15 p.m.

    This is over-the-moon joyful. Welcome to the 21st Century! As a mother of two returned missionaries I can say the policy of calls only on MDay and Cmas was very antiquated. One of my sons had to come home for surgery and I couldn't even talk with him. The info that he was coming home was relayed to us from our Stake President. Why couldn't I hear what was going on with my son from my son? We didn't even know what was happening until we picked him up at the airport. It was all just "business" for these men we did not know, but it was such a devastating event for our family. This has been long overdue! Thank you President Nelson!

  • Cav Pilot St. George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:11 p.m.

    Once upon a time, you got your mission call while sitting in General Conference, and left the next day, leaving your wife & kids for an as yet to be determined amount of time. Then, the policy changed to only those who were not married or with children would go for 2-3 years. Then it changed to 2 years, then 18 months, then back to two year. All of this was when and before a letter cost 21 cents and a 30 second phone call cost $50.
    My sweetheart loved it when our daughter could email. She knew that she had one hour every Monday, that if she needed to "talk" to her, that there was the chance of getting response immediately.
    Technology has made communication inexpensive. Missionaries are supposed to rely on each other and the President while serving. I see this as an opportunity to bring the parents into the mission experience even further. But we have to wait till our grandchildren start their missions. I wonder what else will change?

  • fight4liberty Herriman, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:07 p.m.

    Mixed thoughts on this one.

    Helicopter parents will be the worst offenders. Their children have in most cases never had to make hard choices in life. Many of these parents have a hard time letting go of their control of their children.

    Missions can be the hardest thing young adults of this age group have ever faced.

    Calling once on p-day no problem, texts are another problem. Will missionaries text home when they face a hard problem, as opposed to relying on the spirit, asking for guidance, or relying on their advisors in the mission? Therefore gaining more wisdom from the spirit, and gaining their own personal growth.

    Jury out on this.

  • dogbreath Francis, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:07 p.m.

    I think the policy change is to sooth the helicopter parents who just can't do without the hovering over their child syndrome. Personally, I wouldn't want to talk to anyone from home and at times even dreaded the bi yearly phone calls. ALSO, what about those missionaries who have no way of communicating with family even if they wanted to (poverty or disownment). I would hate to be a companion to someone who has to call home each week to sooth mom and dads anxiety.

  • OldMain Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:56 a.m.

    I love the "in my day" crowd. Well, in MY day, there was still a thing called long distance that cost an arm and a leg when making a phone call. The internet was brand new and few people had email. (My mom wasn't sure how to open the first one I sent to her.) Now there is much better technology. I can think of a few who might have abused this privilege, but I can think of others who would have benefited greatly from it. They might not have left early. They might even still be members of the church.

    This idea that you are somehow going to lose out on blessings by taking advantage of a rule change from the First Presidency is utterly ridiculous to the point of superstition.

    This change is good.

  • AlExplorer American Fork, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 12:01 p.m.

    The policy in my mission in the 80s was no phone calls at all. Not even Christmas and Mothers Day.

  • Flipphone , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    Big news

  • Mack2828 Kenton Vale, KY
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    I am grateful that we have a living prophet and am grateful to be living in this era when the Lord is revealing that we should do less and less and have it easier and easier.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:49 a.m.

    @mom.
    The D News asked BYU Nation and you both to comment. You can disagree. But D News allows everyone to civilly state their opinion or comment.

    @BYU Nation. @Den Den.
    Having said that, I disagree with your comments. You seem to be saying that this change was made for “weaker” missionaries who feel more inclined to quit and go home early. And, that “stronger” missionaries will be more blessed (with Baptisms—the only measure of success???) by obeying the old rules. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

    I think your advocated position is called “going beyond the mark.” And it is becoming all too common in other areas of church life among lifelong members who believe they are blessed temporally by living their lives with what they define as more “exactness, strictness, or piety.”

    That is not the Church of Jesus Christ that I belong too. I’ll follow the living prophets today, regardless of my earthly temporal blessings or higher baptism numbers.

    Sorry if this comes across harshly. But that is my (hopefully civil) take.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:49 a.m.

    This is a conflicting thing. On one hand, I would prefer that my child on a mission focus on the work and not worry about calling home. Personally, I would encourage them to call home as little as possible. They should be out there working and doing the things that they need to as Missionaries.

    At the same time, being able to talk with them once a week would be really nice.

    As others have said, for some with emotional issues or for those going through a hard time, this could be a great thing.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:49 a.m.

    It is about time.
    When I served an LDS Mission I could not speak with my parents for two and a half years! I wrote them often but it took forever for the mail to go thru.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:46 a.m.

    This is great news. Being on a mission doesn't mean one has to be cut off from parents. I believe this new rule will help many young missionaries stay in the field and finish their mission. And that is a good thing.

  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:45 a.m.

    hey, back in the pioneer days, even twice a year was a lot!!! We had to be tough then!!! ;-)

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:33 a.m.

    BYU Nation and Mack2828 -

    We have modern revelation for a reason. If President Nelsen has approved this new policy, which obviously he has, any other advise encouraging some "higher, more blessed" behavior is shooting beyond the mark, or straightening the ark. I think we need to be careful with that. The world has changed so much in the past decade that, as in past times, the church makes adjustments.

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:24 a.m.

    I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other when it comes to the change in the communication policy. We have a daughter currently serving and we love to hear her joy come through in her letters/emails and it was amazing to see her on Christmas Day and the joy that radiates from her smile.

    I do believe that missionaries will send home less and less letters/emails which is unfortunate because I think some are more expressive in writing then they are in verbal communication. Plus, they will lose those ‘journals’ they will be preserved by their families.

    The idea that more communication will help with the anxiety - maybe, but what happens when they have to face the harsh reality of life as the adult? Mommy and Daddy can’t fix everything.

  • RebelScum Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:20 a.m.

    Finally! This has been needed for decades. I'm personally aware of two missionaries who came home early because of the old policy. They were great people, but had some mental health issues that being in regular contact with family would have helped alleviate.

  • DETERMINISM UTAH, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:19 a.m.

    Love the change! It’s a family centered church so let’s allow families to be more involved. I would have loved some much needed support via a call to dad or mom.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    WOW! This is not one I saw coming! This is a huge change, arguably the biggest one thus far. In fact, I would have thought a change back to shorter missions (for elders) would have been more likely than this. I don't know how this would have changed my mission. I kind of liked being out of touch for a long time and then having the mother's day and christmas calls. But I of course see the wisdom in allowing more frequent real contact. Hopefully missionaries don't blow their entire pdays on the phone though. There is a lot to see out there on your days off!

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:03 a.m.

    @BYU Nation no one asked you. What was once a hard, fast rule is now getting updated, by Pres Nelson, because theres a need. Its not a rule being broken, nor does it make soneone weak to keep in touch with their parents more often, now that this is a new updated policy for missionaries.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:01 a.m.

    @Red 100% AGREE!!! I admire those who will work it out with your missionaries, but there are many, clearly by the sheer numbers of kids coming home early, who would benwfit from our use of technology to keep in touch when needed. My hubs and I served back in the day before cell phones, texting or emails, in Korea and Taiwan. My native MP was extremely disconnected and insensitive to the sisters. I learned to move forward and it made me stronger, but I fully acknowledge we are living in a very different time with my own children. My experience s are not relevant. Pretty sure all our Prophet has to do is merely check in with all of his many grands and great-grands to get a good pulse on what missionary life is truly like around the world. With 10 children, Im pretty sure hes seen it all, just within his own family.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    @BYU NATION

    Be careful with what you teach. It seems like you assume that Heavenly Father wishes for missionaries to only call home twice a year. If that is true, then yes, then doing so is good. However, if He is the one declaring through His prophets that this is not a worthiness/righteousness thing, then your advice is foolhearted and potentially damaging. Perhaps the permission to call home is the extra blessing.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    There are missionaries and families who need this. Others may stay the course...their choice.

    My children have completed their missions...always looked forward to hearing from them twice a year.

    I called home twice a year.

    Change is good.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    @BYU Nation - "My advice to the missionaries is to still only call home on Mother's Day and Christmas if you want to baptize more and receive extra blessings. "

    Do you truly believe that a missionary is going to baptize more people if they don't talk to their parents?

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    YES!!! This needs to happen!!! I personally know so many people who have had kids come home early and in every single case, the parents tell me how they wish they could have just talked with their child for a little bit, to assess what was going on and prob could have gotten them the help they need to finish. Instead, kids are abruptly sent home with parents AND missionaries scratching their heads and feeling bad that their loved one "didnt finish." Folks, its a whole different world we are living in since we were missionaries. The kids face a tremendous amount of stress with no coping strategies, they are sent out at a younger age & the world they are facing is becoming more and more antagonistic towards the LDS Church. A quick check in with the family could really help missionaries AND give parents re-assurance that their child is OK, mentally, physically & spiritually, or send off any red flags to parents when something is wrong. Parents should definitely be in the loop! This is awesome!!!

  • Mack2828 Kenton Vale, KY
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:52 a.m.

    I think if we truly desire the Lord's blessings we should be asking more of ourselves and of each other, not less.

  • cmpattberg Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:44 a.m.

    I love it. But I think Moms will be the ones that it appreciate it the most. :-)

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    My Son is in Finland. His emails come through sometime between 1am and 4am on his P-Day. That will be a little difficult. Personally, I am going to leave this up to him. He said before he left that he would not want to have the frequent communication. He thought it would make him more homesick. So whatever he decides, I will support him accordingly.

  • BYU NATION Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    My advice to the missionaries is to still only call home on Mother's Day and Christmas if you want to baptize more and receive extra blessings. The zone leaders and AP's for sure should only call home twice a year to set a good example to the other missionaries.

    Sacrifice brings forth the blessings from Heaven!

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:32 a.m.

    It's about time. Pretending that technology isn't there or hoping your Mission President can be sensitive to each missionaries needs when they need to call home (some of so blind they can't see past the "rules" that they are the only ones who can adjust)

    I think the Church made the change so the blind MP's can't keep hurting the already hurting missionaries.

    Thank goodness that long overdue rule is now extinct.

    If the Missionary is busy then he can go about his day and if he needs a little boost to keep going then he can talk to his family. Having too many rules is truly part of the problem.

  • H. Fullmer Springville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    Talk to you Monday Chloe Baby!

  • Go Utes Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    Incredible. I welcome the change in this day and age I suppose. (But I'm really glad I served before this was a thing. There is something I really gained in having that separation and in communicating through letters. I hope we don't lose that.)

  • matman Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    So many "on my mission" well your mission is over. Well guess what, It ain't your mission anymore.

    I like the change, parents can give encouragements to their son/daughter on a weekly basis.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    Next announcement text, email from home.

  • KyleC Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    I'm 27, and already have about a dozen ways I can complain to my kids about how being a member of the church was "back in my day".

  • bemorefair , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    I'm so happy right now I could cry.

  • sockpuppet Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:23 a.m.

    I've seen many young elders and sisters struggle with anxiety and stress in recent years.

    I see this as a way to help discouraged missionaries choose to stay in the mission field. And that is a very good thing

  • JT4 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    I feel sorry for RG. That was clearly a mission-specific policy.

    I'm guessing this liberalization of the policy is intended to help the increasing numbers of missionaries who aren't finishing their missions due to anxiety and other issues. I welcome the change.

  • Victory80 Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:12 a.m.

    WHOA!!!!!!!

  • appdancer murfreesboro, rutherford co., TN
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    Wow! Welcome to the modern day!! It's a MUCH-needed change!!!!

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:09 a.m.

    I would have hated that on my mission, glad I served when I did.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    Wow. In my mission (Brazil, late 1980s) we were not allowed to call home at all. Not even on Christmas or Mothers Day.