Mormon missionaries can now phone home once a week

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed its guidelines for missionaries communicating with families. Photo ©2019 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

(SALT LAKE TRIBUNE) — Forget Christmas and Mother’s Day. Latter-day Saint missionaries may now call home — as well as text, email and video chat — once a week.

Leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the new guidelines Friday for communicating with families.

“Regular communication with their families is an important part of a missionary’s service,” the church’s governing First Presidency said in a statement. “One of the major purposes of this adjustment is to encourage families to be more involved in their missionary’s efforts and experiences.”

Still, those young men and women serving full-time missions should “use judgment in determining the length of phone calls and video chats,” the statement said, “and to be considerate of their companions.”

Family members are asked “not to initiate calls or chats but instead should wait for the missionary to contact them on his or her weekly preparation day,” the leaders said.

“If a missionary’s parents live in different locations, he or she may contact each parent separately.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed its guidelines for missionaries communicating with families. Photo ©2019 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The Utah-based faith encourages weekly communication with their families “using whatever approved method missionaries decide,” said Apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf, chairman of the Missionary Executive Council.

“This may vary based on their circumstances, locations and schedules for that week. It is not expected that all missionaries will call or video chat with their parents every week. The precise manner of communication is left up to the missionary as he or she decides what will best meet their needs.”

The change also offers the chance to accommodate “varied family circumstances,” Uchtdorf said, “as well as better supporting those missionaries who would benefit from increased personal contact with family at home.”

Missionaries are encouraged still to call their families on special occasions, Uchtdorf said, such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, parents’ birthdays and other culturally significant holidays.

“We love the missionaries and know the Lord values their selfless service,” Uchtdorf said. “We continue to try to find the best ways to support and help them and their families while they serve.”

(Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for the Salt Lake Tribune.)




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Peggy Fletcher Stack / Salt Lake Tribune


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  • Everyone should probably pay attention to Mitt Romney who once served one of these mission stints, and admitted decades later that no one was converted as a result of his efforts. My wife and I met some of these fellows at our apartment door in 1971 when we had been married only weeks. We asked them in and gave them cookies we were baking. They were nice young men in white shirts accomplishing absolutely nothing. They liked cookies. We liked being open and kind. But convert to strange doctrine because of door knocks? Good grief.

  • That’s sad that Sen Romney felt that his two years accomplished nothing.

    I served an area that had seen missionaries for decades prior, the Montana Billings Mission (MT & WY) and althought it felt at times that we could almost follow the path worn by missionaries before us, we saw the conversion of a few dozen in my two years.

  • Slowly, for over 150 years their cult rules continue to be made less draconian. The now former rule allowing them to contact their parents only twice a year was sick.

  • The young men we met were nice, cordial, friendly. They were working a college town in the Midwest where the likelihood of making new LDS people was low. The area was actually more ripe for RLDS, because Independence, Missouri was closer than Salt Lake City. But, the ONLY interest we had in them was wishing to be sure that we returned kindness. I have always felt the same about Jehovah’s Witnesses.