The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently approved changes in the policies regarding length of senior missionary service and missionary housing to encourage more couples to serve full-time missions and to improve their missionary experience.The new senior missionary policy comes as the church watches its missionary ranks thin from a high of 61,638 volunteers in 2002 to 52,483 in 2010.
As of September 1, 2011,
- couples may choose how long they would like to serve... including just 6 months even if you choose to go to a foreign country.
- Missions, temples, or area administration offices now will locate and secure appropriate housing and pay all housing costs (including rent, utilities, and furnishings). Missionary couples will then reimburse some or all of those housing costs up to the cap.
- Missionaries from the United States, Canada, western Europe, Japan, and Australia will be expected to reimburse the cost of housing up to the cap, while those from all other countries will be expected to reimburse the costs up to but not to exceed $1,400 a month. Couples will continue to pay for food and other personal expenses.
Joseph Smith taught: "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things." (Lectures on Faith, 6th lecture, paragraph 7)