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Why are only the Young and elderly allowed to do missionary work?


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#1 Hyena

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

Here's a question I never thought to ask but just considered after meeting with my missionaries tonight: Why does the church restrict missionary work to only the quite young or very old? What is the purpose for sending virtual teenagers out to teach the gospel and retired couples, but denies this experience to willing and available individuals over the age of 26? Considering that by all other societal standards 30 is the new 20. In some ways are older age gives us an advantage because we have more experience with being mature to a degree And are closer in age to most heads of family. I am just curious, is there scripture that discusses this? Thanks, Kevin

#2 pam

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:05 AM

Just to be clear...many couples that go out on missions are not retired. Many are able to take a leave sabbatical from their job to serve a mission. I've known several such couples. Also..many of those in their 30's are at the stage where they are raising families. You can't serve a mission while raising a family. And no there are no scriptures. This is policy set out by the leaders of the church through inspiration and revelation.

Edited by pam, 30 January 2013 - 12:19 AM.


#3 DHK

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:26 AM

"Every member a missionary." - David O. McKay However, as Pam mentioned, the calling for full-time missionary service is reserved for those who haven't yet begun adult life, or are at the tail end of it. Needless to say, I don't consider myself "Elderly"... and I consider my participation on this forum a part of "cyber-missionary work". There is always a place for members to do missionary work.
"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

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#4 pam

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:30 AM

However, as Pam mentioned, the calling for full-time missionary service is reserved for those who haven't yet begun adult life, or are at the tail end of it.


Actually I never said for those at the tail end of their life. I've known couples who have been able to go on couple missions in their 50's and then return back to their jobs. I can think of 2 right now off of the top of my head. While yes it is usually those that are retired..it's not always. I don't consider 50 at the tail end of their life.

#5 Dravin

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:55 AM

Also..many of those in their 30's are at the stage where they are raising families. You can't serve a mission while raising a family.


Nor can you look to start a family while serving a full time mission, if you are on a full time mission then you aren't looking for an eternal companion. For a 30 year old, man at least, the expectation is you are trying to find an eternal companion and start a family. The reality doesn't always match up to the expectation but the expectation remains.

In some ways are older age gives us an advantage because we have more experience with being mature to a degree And are closer in age to most heads of family.


Sounds like an excellent reason to go out with the full time missionaries, or just share the gospel on your own. You don't have a to be a full time missionary to share the gospel.

Edited by Dravin, 30 January 2013 - 07:53 AM.

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#6 HiJolly

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:05 AM

I'm in my 50's and am serving a musical service mission - it's part time except for a couple of weeks every other year, when it's full time. I know a lot of people doing the same or similar missionary service. I've been set apart as a missionary, yet I'm still working at my job and raising my kids. HJ
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#7 john doe

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

#1, as has been pointed out, every memeber has the charge to be a missionary. #2, you're right, most full-time missionaries are either 18-22 or 55-65 years old. This is because most members in the intervening years of age are encouraged to be working on their marriages and raising children. #3, every ward has ward missionaries called to do missionary work as they are able to in their local area. These are the middle-aged people who have jobs and do the work as their time allows.
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#8 Eowyn

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

One exception I can think of is mission presidents. I don't know how often they call couples who are still raising children, but I know it happens. My friend's dad was called to be mission president in Fiji when she was 12, and she had older and younger brothers and sisters as well. I kind of wish that would happen to DH. :D I think the mission field is an excellent potential training ground for young men and women to prepare for leadership in the Church, marriage, and parenthood.

"Therefore, let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views. They “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” (2 Ne. 26:29). (Beware of False Prophets and Teachers, supra.)

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#9 rameumptom

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

My wife and I just concluded a 2 year service mission to our local Spanish congregation. I still worked my job, and we have our regular lives, but spent many hours each week strengthening them and their program. There are opportunities to serve at all ages, they just aren't always as a full time missionary.
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#10 jayanna

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

I am a ward missionary and I love it. I am 37. I have two kids still at home, so I can do both missionary work and have my family time. We did have a Mission President here that had kids still at home. He had been very very successful at his work and was able to take time off to serve and take his family with him. He was the MP when I joined and I really liked him. I do look forward to serving a full time mission, but my kids come first and I need to earn a living right now. Hopefully I can save up enough for retirement and a mission, if I can keep my med expenses down. Until then, part time missionary work is just fine for me.

#11 Hyena

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

"Every member a missionary." - David O. McKay

However, as Pam mentioned, the calling for full-time missionary service is reserved for those who haven't yet begun adult life, or are at the tail end of it.

Needless to say, I don't consider myself "Elderly"... and I consider my participation on this forum a part of "cyber-missionary work".

There is always a place for members to do missionary work.


I love that.. "cyber-missionary" work.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I was curious, because it seemed that all the missionaries I have encountered have been far, FAR younger than me.. and no offense, but it feels like a bit of a disconnect because of the age gap. It just occurred to me that if me being 32 feeling like that, what must someone considering conversion in their 40's+ feel like when a 20 year old kid is trying to develop a report with them.. It's like me trying to tell an astronaut about the space program.

Not that they aren't knowledgeable. In my discussion last night with them, I learned quite a few things from them, and it was sort of powerful to see individuals who have dedicated their lives to the spiritual growth of others at such a young age. It makes me feel as if if they can have such faith and blessings, I certainly can as well.

#12 pam

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

I kind of feel like I'm doing missionary work even here on lds.net. Hyena when people such as yourself ask questions and I and others are able to help answer those questions, we are doing missionary work.




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