The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have approved several updates to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ handbook for missionaries.
“Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ” was first published in 2019. Updates to the text, published today, August 21, 2023, address commonly asked questions from missionaries and mission leaders and provide clarifications on existing standards.
In chapter 3, Church leaders clarify several points to help missionaries use time more wisely as they lead people to Jesus Christ. For example, communication with those who are not immediate family should happen only on preparation day (a missionary’s day of rest). And when missionaries communicate with friends, they should do so only via email or letter, not phone or video chat.
The same chapter adds a reference to the “General Handbook” entry on prejudice. Latter-day Saints, the handbook teaches, “strive to be persons of goodwill toward all, rejecting prejudice of any kind. This includes prejudice based on race, ethnicity, nationality, tribe, gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religious belief or nonbelief, and sexual orientation.”
Chapter 3 also clarifies that missionary companionships should always have an adult of their own gender present when meeting with a single person of the opposite gender. Also, physical contact with the opposite gender and children should be limited to a handshake.
Below is a list of additional updates to the missionary handbook:
- New artwork for each chapter
- Time added to the daily schedule for missionaries to study English, if needed (chapter 2)
- Guidelines related to appropriate types of music (chapter 3)
- Modified wording in the personal finance section to clarify the use of missionary support funds (chapter 4)
- Alignment of the dress and appearance section with recently approved and published guidelines (chapter 4; also see here and here)
- Clarification that one missionary is designated as the senior companion in all companionships, such as sister training leaders and zone leaders (chapter 7)
- An explanation that Wi-Fi may be used when readily available and approved by mission leaders (chapter 7)
“Missionary standards help missionaries to focus on being disciples of Christ and staying true to their sacred calling to invite and help others come unto the Savior,” said Elder Marcus B. Nash, executive director of the Missionary Department. “These updates provide helpful guidance to missionaries on how they can most effectively teach the gospel and represent the Lord and His Church, wherever in the world they may be serving.”
Read the updated version of “Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ.”