Sunday, July 12, 2015

Angels do still dot the earth!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Time spent at home with the family.  Even when we aren't doing anything, it's just nice to be together.

2) A cleaned out freezer!  Love that! 

From the Camera:
I love looking at all the amazing photos from around the world of the Angel Moroni.  There are so many interesting photos like the one below...Isn't it cool?!!!!????



From the Craft Room:

Since I located the chalkboard fabric I had to go looking for things to do with this new found "toy", if you will.
Google searches and Pinterest are great places to find inspiration.
Here is what I found so far.....
You could make a cool map!!
The sewing possibilities are endless.....just imagine those quilt projects and Halloween themes?  OR Thanksgiving!
A
I love the lunch bag.  Too cute!  This would have been great when my kids were little!  Shoot, what about me....for my own lunch bag.

Pretty much anything you can do with fabric can be done with the chalkboard fabric....check out these labels.
And of course,.......table clothes or table runners take on a whole new meaning now.  Isn't this table lovely?
Look at the fun appliques....
Merriment :: Chalkboard pillows by Kathy Beymer
Merriment :: Chalkboard pillows by Kathy Beymer
I love these aprons too.  
A fun photo backdrop!  Just imagine the possibilities.
Christmas cards could take on a whole new meaning.
And what about in the car traveling with the kids....this would be a great way for them to keep busy without too much mess....you would still have chalkboard dust to deal with.  But it's better than melted crayons, right?
You could make some cute gift tabs too....
And let's not forget the banner....you could make one big blank one and add your letters to suit whatever event.
Wouldn't that be fun????
I wonder if you can run this stuff through a printer like people do burlap?  Wouldn't that be amazing???!!! 

I may have to give that a try.  
Just think of the possibilities when it comes to covering those walls in an LDS Cultural Hall for various events!  
Fun!  Fun!
 
From the Spirit and Heart:

What is the golden statue on the top of most temples?

Most temples have a golden “angel Moroni” statue on top.
Mormons believe that Moroni was an ancient prophet on the American continent.  Moroni was sent as a messenger to Joseph Smith, and directed him to the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Mormons see Moroni as the fulfillment of one of the angels mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible:
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters (Revelation 14:6-7)
Photo by Matthew B. Brown
Angel Moroni statue on the top of the Birmingham, Alabama temple. Photo © Matthew B. Brown.
The angel statue thus represents the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations, calling all to worship and give glory to God, in preparation for the second coming of the Lord.
Not all temples include this feature (e.g., the Cardston, Alberta temple does not).  The inclusion of Moroni is an architectural and stylistic decision; it is not a feature of worship or a requirement on all temples.
Article courtesy of mormontemples.net
Read more:

Looking Up to Moroni

Find out about the figures that stand atop the temple.

The First Heavenly Messenger Decoration

Decorative weather vanes were placed atop many public buildings when the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples were constructed. So in accordance with that practice, both were adorned with weather vanes. The Nauvoo Temple’s weather vane, however, was unique—an angel, in a horizontal position as if in flight, holding an open book with one hand and a horn pressed to its lips with the other. This was the first angel to appear atop an LDS temple. Simple weather vanes still top the St. George Utah, Logan Utah, and Manti Utah Temples.

Why Moroni?

Non-LDS sculptor Cyrus Dallin was asked to create an ornament for the central spire of the Salt Lake Temple. While he was searching LDS scriptures for inspiration, the concept of the figure of the angel Moroni was born. To Dallin, Moroni symbolized the restoration of the gospel, and since his placement atop the Salt Lake Temple, the golden figure of an angel in flowing robes with a long horn pressed to his lips has become one of the Church’s most recognized symbols.

Crafting Moroni

When President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) first conceived of building smaller temples, Utah sculptor Karl Quilter was asked to design a smaller version of the angel Moroni that could be adapted for placement on temples of different sizes. The process of creating the new figure began with the construction of a metal armature, or support structure. Foam was then sprayed into this structure and sculpted into a basic human body shape. Clay was then applied to the foam and sculpted into more detail. More clay was applied in order to sculpt the clothing. It took about eight months before Brother Quilter’s 7-foot-tall model was ready for the First Presidency’s review. Once it was approved, Brother Quilter scaled up his model to produce larger versions, and molds were made from the clay models. From these molds the figures were cast in fiberglass under the direction of craftsman LaVar Wallgren. Brother Quilter’s Moroni design is now used exclusively in the Church, and the Church owns the molds. About 10 figures can be cast from each mold. Today it takes less than a week to fabricate a figure.

Moroni’s Left Arm

In the first version of the figure, Moroni’s left arm is hanging at his side, slightly outstretched with his fist clenched. A few renditions later, the figure was slightly modified to incorporate the gold plates. In his version of Moroni for the Hill Cumorah Monument, Torlief Knaphus placed gold plates in Moroni’s left arm. For his version for the Los Angeles Temple, sculptor Millard Malin followed Knaphus’ design and kept the plates in Moroni’s left arm; so did Avard Fairbanks, who sculpted the version for the Washington D.C. Temple. (Replicas of Fairbanks’s plate-holding Moroni stand atop the Seattle Washington, Jordan River Utah, and Mexico City Mexico Temples.) When Karl Quilter designed his version of the figure, he eliminated the plates and then spent a great deal of time making sure the left arm hung in the proper position—not too rigid, not too limp, but showing slight forward movement.

Moroni’s Clothing

All figures except one show Moroni wearing long, flowing robes, belted at the waist. The Moroni figure atop the Los Angeles California Temple, however, is dressed in a Mayan-style robe and headband, wearing sandals on his feet and bearing distinctive Native American facial features.

Moroni’s Physique

Over the years, figures of the angel Moroni have become more robust as sculptors have added muscle tone and bulk to the figure. While sculpting his version of Moroni, Karl Quilter used human models to help him accurately shape muscles and correctly depict a body standing atop a ball.

Gilding Moroni

All Moroni figures are gilded, or covered with gold. The process involves rubbing thin sheets of gold onto the figure’s surface. Today that process usually only takes a couple of days, but once the figure is gilded, it must be handled with gloved hands to avoid marring the delicate surface.

Embedded Lightning Rod

Since gold leaf is a perfect conductor of electricity, and because the figures are often placed high above the ground atop a temple’s tallest spire, they are frequently hit by lightning. Today’s figures have a copper rod running through them vertically, which extends several inches above the figure’s head at the top, and attaches to a grounding cable at the bottom. This serves both as a lightning rod and as the mechanism for mounting the figure on the building’s tower.

Modern Material

Early figures of the angel Moroni were made of bronze, copper, or aluminum, and were very heavy. (The bronze figure on the Washington D.C. Temple weighs approximately 2 tons, or 4,000 pounds.) Today’s figures are made from lightweight fiberglass, and weigh only about 300 pounds.

Moroni’s Horn

In the scriptures, trumpets are used to sound warnings, proclaim news, and herald visitors. Moroni holds a horn to his lips with his right hand, symbolizing both the spreading of the gospel throughout the world and the long-anticipated Second Coming of the Savior, which will be announced by trumpet-blowing angels (see Matthew 24:31). The only version of the angel Moroni figure that doesn’t hold a horn is the one sculpted by Torlief Knaphus for the Hill Cumorah Monument. Knaphus’s Moroni is raising his right arm in a gesture of priesthood authority.

Shipping the Figure

Completed figures are laid horizontally and boxed in wooden crates for shipping. The trumpet, which is cast separately from the body, is packaged separately and then bolted to the figure’s hand after being shipped to the temple.

Placement and Orientation of Figure

According to scripture, at the Second Coming the Savior will come from the east (see Matthew 24:27). The Church’s guideline concerning placement of the angel Moroni figures is that where possible, they should face eastward. Sometimes, however, the angel Moroni figure may face another direction in order to align it with the orientation of the temple. Originally, the figure on the Los Angeles Temple was placed facing southwest, the same direction the temple faced, but the figure’s orientation was adjusted to face due east upon instructions from President David O. McKay. The angel Moroni figure is placed on the high point spire, not necessarily the central spire. On several temples the figure of Moroni is placed atop a tower that is actually detached from the temple.

Temples without the Angel Moroni

Not all temples have a figure of the angel Moroni. Some, such as the Laie Hawaii, Mesa Arizona, and Cardston Alberta Temples, were not designed with towers or spires, so they have no angel Moroni. And even though the St. George, Logan, and Manti temples all have towers, they are topped with simple weather vanes rather than the angel Moroni. Some temples have had to delay the placement of the angel Moroni because of building code restrictions. This happened in Boston, Massachusetts, and Sydney, Australia, where figures were added after construction was completed. The only other temples that do not have figures of the angel Moroni are the Hamilton New Zealand and Oakland California Temples.

Four Tallest Moroni Figures

The four tallest figures of the angel Moroni are:
  1. Jordan River Temple: 20 feet

  2. Washington D.C. Temple: 18 feet

  3. Los Angeles Temple: 15 feet, 5 inches

  4. Salt Lake Temple: 12 feet, 5 inches

Routine Maintenance

Adverse environmental conditions such as humidity, pollution, and extreme temperature variations take their toll on the figures, so they have to be periodically re-gilded and repaired. Sometimes, the figure is removed from the temple for maintenance work. At other times, scaffolding and tenting is set up so that the work can be done in place. Temple maintenance crews also must periodically clean bird droppings off the figures.
The gold figure of a heavenly messenger in flowing robes atop the Salt Lake Temple has become one of the Church’s most recognizable symbols. But the first angel to adorn a temple was a horizontal weather vane on the Nauvoo Temple as shown in this drawing (right).
By applying layers of clay, sculptor Karl Quilter (far right) created muscle tone on his version of the figure of the angel Moroni. Molds of Brother Quilter’s figure are now used to create the figures of Moroni used on all temples built today.
Brother Quilter’s version of Moroni (shown above in the casting workshop before the molds are made) depicts the heavenly messenger with wavy hair and robes draped over his muscular body while holding a trumpet to his lips with his right hand.
(Above) The angel Moroni at the top of the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York, was sculpted by Torlief Knaphus and shows Moroni raising his right arm and carrying in his left arm the gold plates.
(Right) A crane prepares to place the Moroni figure atop the Rexburg Idaho Temple. Each of these figures is placed on the high point spire and, where possible, oriented eastward.
From the Kitchen:


1 pound of mild pork sausage
(This Mama only uses Jimmy Dean)
2 cans of crescent rolls
(Pillsbury - YUM)
1 block of cream cheese, softened
(Philadelphia - Going for it - No fat free)

Sausage Crescent Rolls
Brown and drain sausage. Add cream cheese to sausage.  Spray baking sheet.  Open rolls but do not separate triangles.  You will make 2 loaves from these rolls.  Place 4 triangles together on a baking sheet.  Press out the perforated holes to seal as one piece. (Now you can buy them in sheets but either will work) Spread half of the sausage mixture on top.  Cover with the remaining 4 triangles pressed together.  With your finger press all around the edges to seal the top and bottom pieces of dough.  Repeat the procedure to make the second loaf. 


You can brush egg whites over the tops of the loaves and  sprinkles poppy seed over the egg whites. I don't do that step but if you feel like being a little fancy then go for it!  Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Slice loaves and serve hot.  You may let them cool on a wire rack and place them single layer in a Ziploc bag and freeze.  No need to thaw just reheat on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees. 

I like to spice this up a bit and I add 1 Tbs. green chilies and 1/3 cup of pepper jack cheese to the sausage and cream cheese!
Either way it is delicious! 

From the Schmidt's:

We missed church today.  Kevin, Lexi, and I ended up staying up until 2 a.m. waiting for Kyle to get home.  Truth be told I don't sleep well until all my children or husband is home safe.  I guess it's just the way I am wired or something.  Kyle was busy helping Morgan pack her stuff for her two week training.  

I know what you are thinking....

We also needed Kyle to run an errand for us late last night too.
I am trying to keep the Sabbath Day holy by not doing anything that we shouldn't.  So far so good....except for actually attending church today.  Believe me, I tried to get Lexi out of bed, but when she finally did get up she was in pain.  He arm is acting up again.  Kevin also has been in pain too.  In fact, he was gritting his all night long.  I hate it when that happens. Thank goodness tomorrow is the day.

We will be up bright and early again tomorrow and off the St. Joseph's just as soon as Danielle gets to our house in the morning.  Kyle and Lexi will stay home with the dog.  It's a little early for Lexi, plus she has school.  I feel much better with Kyle here with Lexi anyway, if Kevin and I can't be here.  I'm sure Kevin will stay in the hospital at least one day just like last time.  I'm hoping they keep him for two days.  Either way, Kyle will have to bring him home unless it doesn't get released until the afternoon, which I doubt.  They tend to discharge patients in the morning, kind of like a hotel.  I'm just kidding.  I know they could discharge Kevin at any time.  To be honest, that is the one thing St. Joseph's does not hurry on once you get the word from the doctor that you can go home, you can take your time.  I found that to be odd.

Again, if you happen to talk to Curtis, please do not mention Kevin's surgery.  We don't want him distracted.  Besides, Kevin is going to come out a brand new man and everything is going to be a-okay anyway.  Kevin can tell Curtis later on after he recovers and everything.

Well, we still have a lot to do.  A bag to pack for Kevin.  A bag to pack for me too.  We call them our "go" bags since this is surgery #6 with this back thing....not to mention countless ER visits and other surgeries too.  WOW!  Hence the need for go bags.  We weren't this prepared when each of our children where born.

~smile~smile~smile~

I hope your Sunday has been perfectly lovely.
Take care and we will talk soon.
From the Missionary:

What is a missionary:

Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)—widely known as Mormon missionaries—are volunteer representatives of the LDS Church who engage variously in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, and community service. Mormon missionaries may serve on a full- or part-time basis depending on the assignment, and are organized geographically into missions. The mission assignment could be to any one of the 405 missions organized worldwide.
The LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had over 80,000 full-time missionaries worldwide in October 2013[1] (as well as over 22,000 part-time church-service missionaries at the end of 2012).[2] Most full-time Mormon missionaries are single young men and women in their late teens and early twenties and older couples no longer with children in the home. Missionaries are often assigned to serve far from their homes, including in other countries. Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions typically last two years for males, 18 months for females, and 6 to 18 months for older couples. The LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men. All Mormon missionaries serve voluntarily and do not receive a salary for their work; they typically finance missions themselves or with assistance from family or other church members. Many Latter-day Saints save money during their teenage years to cover their mission expenses.
Throughout the history of the church, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions.

Preparation to serve[edit]

Significance and basic qualifications[edit]

LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball said, "Every young man should fill a mission".[5] Completing a mission is often described as a rite of passage for a young Latter-day Saint.[6][7][8][9] The phrase "the best two years of my life" is a common cliché among returned missionaries when describing their experience.[10][11] Although Gordon B. Hinckleyhad suggested that a mission is not to be a rite of passage,[12] this cultural aspect remains.[citation needed] With the usual starting age of 18–20, a mission provides a clear event or marker for the traditional age of adulthood, but is not necessary for continuance in church membership. For many it is a variation on tithing — which customarily involves the donating of ten percent of income to the church — by donating ten percent of the prospective missionary's life to the service of the church.
Young men between the ages of 18 and 25 who meet standards of worthiness are strongly encouraged to consider a two-year, full-time proselytizing mission. This expectation is based in part on the New Testament passage "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." (Matt. 28: 19–20). The minimum age had previously been age 19 in most countries until October 6, 2012, when church president Thomas S. Monson announced that all male missionaries, regardless of nation, could serve from age 18.[13] Prior to the announcement, some countries held that male missionaries may be 18 years old because of educational or military requirements.[14] It was also announced that young women may serve beginning at age 19 instead of 21.[13] In 2007, approximately 30% of all 19-year-old LDS men became Mormon missionaries; from LDS families that are active in the church, approximately 80–90% of 19-year-old men serve a mission.[7]
In cases where an immediate family member dies, the missionary has the choice to travel home for the funeral or to remain on the mission where they receive constant support, love and encouragement.[citation needed] Missionaries can be sent home for violating mission rules, and occasionally missionaries choose to go home for health or various other reasons. However, the vast majority of missionaries serve the whole two-year (men) or eighteen-month (women) terms.[citation needed]
As of 2007, 80% of all Mormon missionaries were young, single men, 13% were young single women and 7% retired couples.[7] Women who would like to serve a mission must meet the same standards of worthiness and be at least 19 years old. Women generally serve as missionaries for 18 months. Married retired couples, on the other hand, are encouraged to serve missions, but their length of service may vary from 6 to 36 months depending on their circumstances and means.[15] Any single retired person may also be called to serve in what is known as senior missionary service. In the last two decades, the LDS Church has stepped up its call for senior couple missionaries.

Standards of worthiness[edit]

All missionaries must meet certain minimum standards of worthiness. Among the standards that a prospective missionary must demonstrate adherence to are: regular attendance at church meetings, regular personal prayer, regular study of the scriptures, adherence to the law of chastity (sexual purity), adherence to the Word of Wisdom (code of health and nutrition), payment of tithing, spiritual diligence and testimony of God.

Other exclusionary factors[edit]

In addition to spiritual preparedness, church bishops are instructed to ensure that prospective missionaries are physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of full-time missionary work. In the same speech where he called for "every young man" to fill a mission, Kimball added, "we realize that while all men definitely should, all men are not prepared to teach the gospel abroad."[5] Apart from general issues of worthiness and ability, there are a number of specific situations that will disqualify a person from becoming a full-time missionary for the LDS Church. Those excluded include those who would have to leave dependent children in the care of someone else; young couples who are still of childbearing age; those who are in debt and have not made arrangements to meet these obligations; those who are on legal probation or parole; couples with serious unresolved marital problems; those who are HIV-positive; and those who have been convicted of sexual abuse. Additionally, members who have submitted to, performed, encouraged, paid for, or arranged for an abortion (except in the case of rape, incest, or the mothers life is in danger) are usually excluded from missionary service, as are members who have fathered or borne a child out of wedlock; men under 26 and women under 40 who have been divorced; and anyone who has participated in homosexual activity after age 16.[16]
From the beginnings of the LDS Church, people of black African descent could be members of the church, but up until 1978 the LDS Church did not call men of black African descent to serve on missions, due to the ban on blacks holding the priesthood. The priesthood ban was lifted during Kimball's presidency and since 1978 there has been no restrictions to missionary service that are based on race or ethnicity.[17]

Mission call[edit]

After application to the church and the requisite approval, prospective missionaries receive a “call to serve”—an official notification of their location assignment—through the mail from the President of the Church. The mission call also informs the prospective missionary what language he/she will be expected to use during his/her mission. Members of theQuorum of the Twelve Apostles are responsible for assigning missionaries to a particular mission.

Temple attendance[edit]

Before beginning their mission, prospective male missionaries are usually ordained to the office of an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood (if they do not hold this office already). All missionaries are set apart by the laying on of hands to preach the gospel; this is usually performed by the missionary's stake president. Prospective missionaries also usually attend the temple for the first time to receive their endowment if they have not already done so.

Training[edit]


The Provo MTC is the LDS Church's largest Missionary Training Center.
Newly called missionaries attend a short training period at one of 15 church Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) worldwide.[18] The largest MTC is located in Provo, Utah,[19] adjacent to Brigham Young University. Missionaries who will not be learning a language in order to serve their missions spend three weeks at an MTC where they practice using proselytizing materials, learn expected conduct, and study the scriptures. Missionaries bound for foreign-language missions spend six to nine weeks at an MTC, depending on the language to be learned. During this period, they are encouraged not to speak in their native tongue but rather to immerse themselves in the new language.

Missionary conduct[edit]

The Missionary Handbook[edit]

The basic standards of missionary service and conduct are contained in the Missionary Handbook.[20] Missionaries are instructed that following these standards will protect them both physically and spiritually. Mission presidents have discretion to adjust some of the standards according to local circumstances.[20]:1 The Missionary Handbook is also commonly and informally referred to as "the white bible".[21]

Dress and grooming[edit]


A pair of name-tags, part of the requisite dress code for LDS missionaries.
Previously, full-time LDS missionaries were required to adhere to a dress code: for men, conservative, dark trousers and suit coats, white dress shirts, and conservative ties. For women, modest and professional dresses or blouses and mid-calf length skirts were worn.
In recent years,[when?] the LDS Church has updated their grooming standards. Young men are no longer required to wear dark suits, and they do not have to wear a full suit during regular everyday proselyting activities. They must, however, remain in professional, conservative attire. For instance, a light colored suit is acceptable. They are also allowed to wear a sweater or suit vest over their dress shirt and are encouraged to wear brightly colored ties.[22]
Sister missionaries may now wear skirts and dresses that cover their knees and are not required to wear skirts and dresses that are mid-calf length. Young women are encouraged to dress in bright colors and patterns, and they may wear appropriate jewelry and accessories. Sister missionaries may not wear slacks (outside of service activities or exercise) and must wear shirts that cover their entire shoulder.[23]
In some areas these standards are altered slightly according to the discretion of the mission president. For example, in hot, humid climates, suit coats are not required, and dress shirts may be short-sleeved. Casual clothes may be worn only in limited circumstances, such as when missionaries provide manual labor, exercise, or during preparation day—when the missionaries are involved in recreation, cleaning, shopping, and laundry.
This has changed, and missionaries are now asked to wear their shirt and tie even on preparation days unless they are doing activities such as sports.[24]
All full-time missionaries wear a name tag that gives their surname with the appropriate title ("Elder" or "Sister" in English-speaking areas, or their equivalent titles in other languages). The name tag also bears the church's name, unless the mission president considers this inadvisable due to circumstances in the area (e.g., adverse political conditions). Missionaries are required to wear the tag at all times.

Companionships[edit]

missionary companionship, consisting of two (or occasionally, three) missionaries, is the smallest organizational unit of a mission. Every missionary is assigned by the mission president to be another missionary's companion. Missionary companionships are generally maintained for months at a time and most missionaries will have served with multiple companions by the end of their mission. These companions rarely have prior acquaintance outside of the mission. Companionships are always of the same gender.
Missionary companions are instructed to stay together at all times and not to go out of the hearing of their companion's voice.[20]:30–31 Privacy is allowed only for personal care such as showering. One of the intentions of this strict policy of staying together is to discourage missionaries from breaking any mission rules.[20]:31 Companions share the same living quarters and the same bedroom, but not the same bed.[20]:31
When companions have conflicting personalities or interests, they are encouraged to try to resolve them themselves. If a missionary's companion is having difficulty with the work or with personal problems missionaries are instructed to give criticism constructively, in private and with respect.[20]:30 In dealing with a problem missionaries are first to raise the issue with their companion and if it is not resolved to raise it with the mission president. "A missionary's first priority is to the Lord, then to the mission president and finally to their companion", as the missionary handbook states.[20]:32 High value is placed on the spiritual commitment to the virtues of humility and love. Missionaries are urged to treat the companionship as a relationship that must succeed in being cooperative and selfless, thus improving the spirituality, character and social skills of each individual missionary.

Married couples[edit]

Married couples serve as a companionship for the entirety of their mission and have more relaxed rules. Unlike single missionaries, they share the same bed and are able to travel outside of the mission boundaries.

Personal relationships[edit]

Missionaries are encouraged to write a letter to their parents weekly. Since almost all of their time is otherwise occupied, other communication is limited. However, a missionary may use preparation day to correspond with any person that is resident outside of the boundaries of the mission. Missionaries do not go on vacation and are generally permitted to telephone their parents only on Christmas Day, and one other day of the year, usually Mother's Day.[20]:37 Missionaries are provided with a free, filtered church e-mail account to correspond with their parents on preparation day only by using a computer in a public location, such as at a public library or an Internet cafe.[20]:20 In the event of an emergency, family members of a missionary may contact him or her via the mission president's office.
Single missionaries are prohibited from dating or courting while serving missions. The policy of companionships staying together at all times serves to discourage these activities. While missionaries may interact with members of the opposite sex, they may never be alone with them or engage in any kind of intimate physical or emotional activity (e.g., kissing, hugging, holding hands, flirting). They may not telephone, write, e-mail, or accept letters from members of the opposite sex that live in the area where they are assigned to proselyte.[20]:33 Missionary companionships are also asked not to visit with members of the opposite sex unless at least one person of the missionaries' same sex is present to chaperon.[20]:34 Alternatively, those contacts may be referred to a companionship of the same gender as the contact or to married couple missionaries, when available.
In the early days of the LDS Church, men were called to serve missions regardless of marital status. Today, however, married young men are not expected to serve missions, unless called to oversee a mission as a mission president. A call to be a mission president is typically extended to the married couple, and in turn, the entire family of the chosen mission president. Older retired couples also may serve as missionaries, but do not take their families with them.

Schedule[edit]

Sample schedule of missionaries serving in their native language
Time
Activity678910111212345678910
Exercise
Eat
Shower and dress
Personal study
Companion study
Proselytize
Plan and pray
Generally, missionaries wake up at 6:30 am. After praying, exercising (30 minutes), and eating breakfast, they spend two hours studying the scriptures and other materials. If they are teaching in a foreign language, they'll spend another 30 minutes to an hour studying the language. Missionaries leave their place of residence at 10 am to proselytize (or 10:30 am or 11 am if teaching in a foreign language). They have an hour for lunch and dinner, and return to their apartment by 9 pm, or 9:30 if they are in the process of teaching a lesson at the end of the day. They plan for the next day's activities, pray, and are encouraged to write in their personal journal, but are not required to. They then retire to bed at 10:30 pm.[20]:14–15[25][26]

Media rules[edit]

Missionaries are admonished to "avoid all forms of worldly entertainment."[20]:24 They are not permitted to watch television, listen to the radio, watch or go to movies, or use the Internet[20]:25 (except to use email, and Facebook for their work, see Personal relationships above). They are not permitted to listen to music that has romantic lyrics or overtones, or merely entertains.[20]:25 The general interpretation of this guideline is to listen to only religious music, such as that performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They are only permitted to read books, magazines, or other materials authorized by the church.[20]:27

Slang[edit]

Missionaries are instructed to avoid slang and casual language including when they are alone in their apartment and in their letters to family.[20]:8–9 They are also instructed to refer to missionary leaders only by their correct titles.[20]:9 However as with the members of any organization, some missionaries use certain missionary-specific jargon when communicating with one another. Some words and expressions are mission- or language-specific, while others are universal, such as calling the halfway point of a mission the "hump" or hump day,[27] or describing a missionary who is excited about returning home as "trunky" as he has already packed his trunk.[28][29] Foreign-language missionaries often develop a "mission language", distinct from but combining aspects of their first and acquired languages, that they use when communicating with each other; thesenkyoshigo of Japan is an example.[28]

Number of missionaries and number of converts[edit]


Ratio of Converts Baptized to Full-Time Missionaries, 1971–2010
As of October 2013, there were over 80,000[1] LDS missionaries serving in 405 church missionsthroughout the world. Their work, often in cooperation with local members, resulted in 272,330 convert baptisms in 2012.[30] Author David Stewart points out that the number of convert baptisms per missionary per year has fallen from a high of 8.03 in 1989 to just 4.67 in 2005.[31]He argues that the number of converts would increase if Mormon missionaries made greater efforts in meeting new people; he points out that the average pair of missionaries spends only four or five hours per week attempting to meet new people.[31]

Types of missionaries[edit]

Proselyting[edit]

The most visible and most common type of missionaries are typically those who proselyte door-to-door and ride bicycles for transportation. For many years, Mormon missionaries used structured lessons called "missionary discussions" (formally called "The Uniform System for Teaching the Gospel") to teach interested non-members and recent converts about the doctrines of the LDS Church and to commit them on the steps to take to become a member of the church. Missionaries were often instructed to adhere very closely to the six lessons, and they frequently quoted segments word-for-word (an especially helpful practice when learning a foreign language). The training materials also instructed missionaries to freely change the order of the lessons segments according to the needs and questions of the learners.
The missionary discussions were replaced beginning in October 2004 by a guide called Preach My Gospel which places emphasis on "teaching by the Spirit".[32] According to Mormons, "teaching by the Spirit" means seeking guidance from the Holy Ghost to teach; the idea is that the teachings will be catered to each person who is seeking the truth through divine guidance. According to Preach My Gospel, God knows each of His children and can guide His servants to say and teach what is best for each individual.[26]:89–90
Despite the latitude given to missionaries, the guide still contains material which should be actively taught. Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel concisely describes all of the doctrine that the missionaries are to teach to those learning about the church. The missionaries are responsible for knowing the doctrine and continually preparing to teach it. They can choose the order that this material is taught to serve the needs of each individual. This is a change from the missionary discussions which were usually taught in order to each investigator.
The book, now published in many languages,[33] is meant to be used by the general church membership. This sets it apart from the previous missionary discussions, which were used primarily by full-time missionaries, members with church callings related to missionary work, and those preparing to serve missions.[citation needed]

Online[edit]

According to The Huffington Post, the church now has online missionaries, who work at a Referral Center Mission in Provo, Utah.[34] This missionaries use the "Chat with a Mormon" homepage to talk with potential converts.[35] The Salt Lake Tribune reported that these missionaries are more successful than traditional proselytizers.[36] Furthermore,The Huffington Post also reported that it is now permissible for missionaries to use SMSblogs and even Facebook.[34]

Church-service[edit]


family history missionary couple
Missionaries with special needs or health considerations may be called as full-time or part-time service missionaries. Many fully able missionaries are called to do genealogical research or act as tour guides or hosts at Temple Square or Family History libraries and other church sites. In many areas, even proselytizing missionaries spend most of their day responding to incoming phone calls and queries, delivering requested media from the church's television and radio commercials. Missionaries may use public transportationwalk, bicycle, or in some areas drive automobiles owned by the church, or occasionally ride within a private automobile with a church member who is accompanying them to a teaching appointment, proselyting, or fellowshipping activity.

Humanitarian aid[edit]

The LDS Church also has a strong welfare and humanitarian missionary program. These humanitarian missionaries typically serve in impoverished areas of the world and do not actively proselytize. Humanitarian missionaries comply with any local laws regarding teaching or displaying religious symbols, including the identifying name tags. This allows them to provide services and aid in countries where activities by religious organizations are typically restricted or forbidden, such as in predominantly Muslim countries or in Southeast Asia. Regular proselytizing missionaries are asked to engage in welfare activities and community service, limited to four hours a week on days other than weekends or preparation day.[37]
Building missionaries were called by the president of the Tongan Mission in the early 1950s.[38] Among their major successes was building Liahona High School. From 1955 on,Wendell B. Mendenhall institutionalized building missionaries on a larger scale with skilled tradesmen called as supervisors of the missionaries. Most of the supervisors were Americans, while most of the workers were young men indigenous to the areas of the South Pacific and Latin America where the work was carried out. However, at times the situation was more complex. One example is Jose Alvarez, who was a native of Argentina, but had lived in the United States for three years when he was called to go with his family to Chile, where he served as a building missionary supervisor.[39] Often, trainee or assistant building supervisors would work under the leadership of an experienced supervisor in preparation for an assignment as a fully-fledged supervisor of some project or group of missionaries.

Administration[edit]

Organization[edit]

Main article: Mission (LDS Church)
Every part of the world is assigned to be within a mission of the church, whether or not LDS missionaries are active in the area. An adult male mission president presides over the missionaries in the mission.
Most missions are divided into several zones, a zone being a geographic area specified by the mission president (though these are often the same area as the LDS ecclesiastical unit known as a "Stake"). A zone encompasses several more organizational units called districts. Each zone and district is presided over by leaders drawn from male missionaries serving in that area. Zone and district leaders are responsible for gathering weekly statistics, assisting missionaries in their areas of responsibility, and general accountability to the mission president for the well-being and progress of the missionaries under their stewardship. A district typically encompasses four to eight missionaries, and may or may not comprise more than one proselytizing area. An area is typically a portion of the LDS ecclesiastical unit known as a Ward (or congregation), one Ward, or multiple Wards.
In addition to the leaders mentioned above, the mission president has two or more assistants. Assistants to the President (APs) are typically missionaries who have previously served as district and/or zone leaders. They serve as the president's executive assistants, administering policies and helping missionaries throughout the mission.

Expenses[edit]

Missionaries are expected to pay their own expenses while on the mission, often with assistance from family. In the past, each missionary paid his or her actual living expenses, but this approach created a disproportionate burden on missionaries who were assigned to more expensive areas of the world. In 1990, a new program was introduced to equalize the financial responsibility for each missionary and his or her family. Now, all young missionaries pay a flat monthly rate which is then redistributed according to regional costs of living. The cost of a mission as of April 2010 is US$400 per month,[40] which helps to cover food, lodging, transportation, and other mission related expenses. Missionaries are asked to bring extra personal money for any personal items they would like to purchase. Once the money is received by the church it is then redistributed to the missionaries in amounts proportionate to the cost of living within the assigned mission area.[citation needed] As families now contribute to a general fund for missionary expenses, the sum is deductible under many nations' tax policies regarding charitable gifts.
For health care, the church provides missionaries with limited medical care. A missionary will be required to pay for any medical treatment that is considered non-essential or that is considered to be associated with a preexisting condition. The local mission office will often help missionaries find Mormon doctors or dentists who can offer their services to missionaries for a small fee or for free.
Young people in the church are encouraged to save money throughout their childhood and teenage years to pay for as much of their mission as they can, although many receive assistance from parents, family, or friends. Missionaries who cannot save the required funds may obtain assistance from their home congregation or from a general missionary fund operated by the church and contributed to by Latter-day Saints around the world. Married couple missionaries are expected to pay their own costs,[41] but in 2011 the church began paying for missionary couples' housing expenses that exceed US$1400 per month.[15] In many areas, church members often invite locally assigned missionaries over for meals to help reduce the overall expenditures of the missionary program.

Returned missionaries[edit]

Notable returned missionaries
Mitt Romney (France), businessman and politician
Aaron Eckhart(Switzerland), actor
Jon Heder (Japan), actor known for title role in Napoleon Dynamite
Orson Scott Card(Brazil), author known for writing Ender's Game
A returned missionary (often abbreviated "RM") is a term used by members of the LDS Church to refer to men and women who have previously served as Mormon missionaries. Once they return home, RMs are generally encouraged to begin dating seriously and to seek marriage.[42][43][44] Those who learned to speak a foreign language must readjust, sometimes with difficulty, to speaking their first language.[28]
In Mormon culture, stereotypes and jokes abound regarding newly returned missionaries, most dealing with their difficulties in handling the reverse culture shock. Other stereotypes revolve around the fact that as missionaries, they lived highly structured, disciplined lives and avoided contact with members of the opposite sex, so many RMs have difficulty readjusting to social life and dating.[45] Other stereotypes include the supposed rush of many RMs to get married as soon as possible. Many families whose daughters are old enough to marry encourage them to date RMs since they are judged to be the most eligible.
Returned missionaries are frequently called to assist in the local missionary effort and are encouraged to stay active within the LDS Church through callings and service.[46] RMs who served in the same mission frequently stay in touch and often gather for mission reunions in Utah to coincide with the semiannual LDS General Conference.[47]
The notion of the Mormon mission as a crucible is a common one, and the benefits gained from going through it have been used to help explain the prominence of LDS Church members in business and civic life.[48][49][50][51]Mission experience has also helped prepare RMs for later engaging and prospering in non-Mormon environments.[52]

Alumni[edit]

Notable people who have served LDS missions include Aaron Eckhart (Switzerland/France),[53][54] Shawn Bradley(Australia),[55] Orson Scott Card (Brazil),[56] Stephen Covey (England),[57] Jon Heder (Japan),[58] Ken Jennings(Spain),[59] Elizabeth Smart (France),[60][61] Lindsey Stirling (NYC),[62] Jon Huntsman, Jr. (Taiwan),[63] Brandon Sanderson (Korea),[64] Mitt Romney (France),[65] Paul Alan Cox (Samoa),[66] and Shay Carl (West Indies).
In 2011, American pop singer-songwriter David Archuleta announced he was taking a two-year hiatus to be a missionary for the church. He served his mission in Chile.[67][68][69]

History[edit]


"Mormons visit a country carpenter" (1856) by Christen Dalsgaard, depicting a mid-19th century visit of a missionary to a Danish carpenter's workshop. The first missionaries arrived in Denmark in 1850.
The LDS Church regards Samuel H. Smith, the younger brother of church founder Joseph Smith, as the church's first full-time missionary.[70][71] Throughout the history of the church, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions.[3][4]
In 1898, the church began allowing single women to be called as missionaries. The first two single female missionaries were Jennie Brimhall and Inez Knight, who were called to serve as companions in England.[72]
In 2002, apostle M. Russell Ballard delivered a General Conference address stating that the bar to qualify for missionary service had been raised and that "the day of the 'repent and go' missionary is over".[73]
During the church's October 2012 General Conference, church president Thomas S. Monson announced that the minimum age for missionary service for young men had been lowered from 19 to 18 and that the minimum age for young women had been lowered from 21 to 19.[13] Immediately following the announcement, the church experienced an unprecedented influx of new missionaries. The rate of new missionaries swelled "by 471 percent, from about 700 new applications per week to about 4,000 each week, with young women comprising more than half of the new applicants." Later, the number of missionaries applying to serve slowed, but it is still double what it had been in the past and now the applicants are split somewhat evenly among young women and young men.[74]

Incidents[edit]


Headstone of a missionary that was murdered by the Zarate Willka Armed Forces of Liberation while serving in Bolivia.[75]
Although rare, missionaries have been the victims of violence. In 1974, two young-adult male missionaries were murdered in Austin, Texas by Robert Elmer Kleason. In 1977, the case of a Mormon missionary who said he was abducted and raped by a woman was covered extensively by newspapers in Britain, being dubbed the Mormon sex in chains case.[76] In 1989, the Zarate Willka Armed Forces of Liberation killed two American missionaries in Bolivia.[75] From 1999 to 2006, three LDS missionaries were murdered worldwide, while 22 died in accidents of some sort.[77] A few cases of kidnapping have also occurred, a recent one being in 1998, when two male missionaries were abducted while working in the Samara region of Russia. The kidnappers demanded US$300,000 dollars for their return. The missionaries were released unharmed a few days later without payment of the ransom.[78] In 2008, three men from Port Shepstone, South Africa were convicted of raping and robbing two female LDS missionaries in June 2006.[79]
In August 2006, three male missionaries from Idaho, Nevada and California participated in the vandalism of a Roman Catholic shrine inSan Luis, Colorado, for which desecration the LDS Church apologized shortly thereafter.[80] The incident recalled a 1972 occurrence in which a pair of missionaries in Thailand took pictures of themselves sitting on an ancient Buddha statue. Although the missionaries "probably didn't think much about it",[81] they were caught and sentenced to a year in prison, and their images were published in the newspapers. The King of Thailand pardoned them on his birthday, and they were released after six months. Missionaries of the church are counseled to respect other religions and cultures, one reason being to avoid such conflicts.[81]

In popular culture[edit]

Mormon missionaries have been portrayed in various popular culture media. Missionaries are the main focus of LDS cinema films God's Army (1999), The Other Side of Heaven(2001), The Best Two Years (2003), The R.M. (2003), God's Army 2: States of Grace (2005), Return with Honor (2007), The Errand of Angels (2008) and The Saratov Approach(2013). The musical Saturday's Warrior (1973) features missionaries and was made into a film in 1989. The DVD series Liken the Scriptures occasionally shows missionaries.
Missionaries were featured in the PBS documentary Get the Fire (2003), as well as in the Tony Award-winning satirical Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. Hollywood portrayed missionaries in Yes Man (2008) starring Jim Carrey, and British film Millions also mentioned missionaries.
Films portraying missionaries gone astray include Trapped by the Mormons (1922), Orgazmo (1997) and Latter Days (2003). Mormon missionaries appeared at the end of the American horror film The Strangers (2008); the missionaries were depicted as children as opposed to young men.
In 2008, former missionary Chad Hardy was subjected to church discipline after releasing a pin-up calendar titled "Men on a Mission", which consisted of pictures of scantily clad returned missionaries.[82][83][84]
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