LDS Launches Website to Recruit Senior Missionaries

By Paul Moncur ([1]) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Both full-time and part-time missionary work is available.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun to use technology to help in its missionary work. It launched SeniorMissionary.lds.org, a website to help senior LDS members locate missionary service opportunities which best suits them. Elder Brent H. Nielson, the Missionary Department's executive director, said the website is a wonderful thing for the church as it brought into one place the church departments in need of senior missionaries and the department tasked with recruiting senior missionaries.

Elder Nielson explained the importance of this website. He pointed out that senior missionaries are critical to the functioning of the LDS church. The Church has thousands of senior missionaries working for it right now. The numbers, however, are inadequate. Unlike the young missionaries, whose main task is missionary service, the senior missionaries are tasked with a number of mission aims. These include leadership training, humanitarian work, public affairs, family history, and health and education. Many other opportunities are available as well. The LDS Church needs twice the present number of senior missionaries. Elder Nielson said, “We hope that in the retirement plans of senior couples and their plans for what they want to do in their life, that included in that is the opportunity to go serve a mission.”

The LDS website resembles a typical online shopping site. Members can browse through the site and then add their preferences to the “cart.” These are then sent to local Church leaders. The latter then forward their recommendations to the church headquarters. The candidates use the built-in tools to input preferences. They can put in the length of time they want to serve and the amount they can afford every month. Prospective candidates can also state their preferred residential location while on missionary duty. They can indicate any preferred assignments, unique language skills and any other kind of medical needs which may influence their service.

The Church’s higher authorities consider the recommendations. The ultimate decision, however, is taken by a member of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Nielson said the website would enable a couple sitting in their own home to choose what they want in a relaxed environment. If they cannot leave home and be dedicated full-time missionaries, they can also apply for part-time work.

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