LDS Church launches website to recruit senior missionaries

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Senior missionaries perform a play at the Nauvoo Cultural Hall depicting Nauvoo, Illinois, when the Mormon pioneers created a beautiful city out of a swamp. (Photo courtesy of LDS Church)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched a website to recruit senior Mormon missionaries.

The new website, Seniormissionary.lds.org, helps senior members of the Church find the missionary service opportunities that best fit their situation in life.

“The website that we’ve created is a wonderful thing for us because we’ve taken all of the departments in the Church that need senior missionaries and who have been recruiting senior missionaries, and we’ve brought them all together on one website,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson, executive director of the Missionary Department, in a press release.

Unlike young missionaries who typically proselyte for their missionary service, senior missionaries have a variety of mission options, including humanitarian work, family history, teaching, leadership training, public affairs, health and education and other opportunities.

“Senior missionaries are absolutely critical to our work, and we have thousands of them serving. But we only have about half of what we need,” explained Elder Nielson. “We hope that in the retirement plans of senior couples and their plans for what they want to do in their life, that included in that is the opportunity to go serve a mission.”

The new website is similar to online shopping where members can browse the site and add preferences to their “cart.” They then submit those preferences to their local Church leaders, who then forward their service recommendations to Church headquarters. Candidates use tools to input their preferences, including how long they want to serve, the level of expenses they can afford each month and where they would like to live. They can also indicate special language skills, preferred assignments and any medical needs that could impact their service.

Even though the recommendations are considered, ultimately the call to serve a full-time mission comes from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the Church’s top leadership positions.

“What we’re trying to do is to allow a couple, in their very own home, to sit down at their own computer,” Elder Nielson said in a press release. “They can see at a glance all the opportunities all around the world — and technology has just opened up to us the ability to do that — and then to match their abilities with the needs that we have.”

Besides full-time missions, the website also lists part-time service opportunities for those unable to serve full-time missions.

Learn more at seniormissionary.lds.org.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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