News Release

Answering the Call: Two Years Since the Prophet Invited Young and Old to Serve Missions for Christ

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Two years ago, Church President and Prophet Russell M. Nelson reaffirmed the importance of sharing the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.

“The Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission,” the prophet said to open the April 2022 general conference. “For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful, but optional, opportunity.”

The response to that call has been positive and significant. This is demonstrated in many ways, as illustrated by a recent national news article discussing missionary efforts.

This summer, 36 new missions will open in locations around the world. The total number of missions will be 450—the highest number in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The number of young teaching and service missionaries and senior missionaries has expanded from 56,000 at the end of 2021 to 62,500 at the end of 2022 to today’s more than 74,000. They serve in more than 150 countries and teach in more than 60 languages.

“Dear young friends,” President Nelson said, “you are each vital to the Lord. He has held you in reserve until now to help gather Israel. Your decision to serve a mission, whether a proselyting or a service mission, will bless you and many others. We also welcome senior couples to serve when their circumstances permit. Their efforts are simply irreplaceable.”

All missionaries are equipped with important tools to help them bring to others the Savior’s healing, sanctifying power. One of those resources is “Preach My Gospel,” a guide to sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The book, which received a significant update in 2023, inspires and helps Latter-day Saints as they serve and invite people to enjoy the blessings of the Savior’s teachings.

Young service missionaries have become an essential resource in the work of Jesus Christ. Each service missionary is given a customized mission experience uniquely tailored to his or her talents, skills and gifts. During their missions, it is common for service missionaries to serve in multiple assignments. These may include approved charitable organizations, houses of the Lord, Church operations, and stake-assigned service opportunities. Where appropriate, service missionaries may participate in teaching people the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Senior missionaries also play a vital role. In recent years, senior service missionary work has expanded globally. Opportunities once limited to the United States and Canada are now available around the world. These missionaries assist in mission offices, bishops’ storehouses, distribution centers, FamilySearch centers and libraries, self-reliance programs, BYU–Pathway, employment centers and many other places.

In October 2023, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called on more married couples to serve missions.

“I have called many couples to serve and watched as the Light of Christ has filled their countenances,” Elder Rasband said. “At their return, they have described growing closer to the Lord and closer to one another, feeling the Spirit of the Lord pour down upon them, and knowing they are making a difference. Who would not want that?”

Whether a missionary is young or old, teaching or serving, all are called to help bring people to Jesus Christ.

All missionaries teach and testify of the Savior,” President Nelson said. “The spiritual darkness in the world makes the light of Jesus Christ needed more than ever. Everyone deserves the chance to know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Every person deserves to know where they can find the hope and peace that ‘[pass] all understanding.’”

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