Africa Southeast Area
Africa West Area
Ghana Accra West
Nigeria Benin City
Asia North Area
Japan Tokyo South
Korea Seoul South
Brazil Curitiba South
Brazil Fortaleza East
Brazil Juiz de Fora
Brazil Sao Paulo West
Central America Area
El Salvador San Salvador East
Honduras San Pedro Sula West
Europe East Area
Idaho Twin Falls
Mexico Ciudad Juarez
Mexico Ciudad Obregon
Mexico Mexico City Chalco
North America Central Area
Colorado Fort Collins
Illinois Chicago West
North America Northeast Area
North America Northwest Area
Washington Federal Way
North America Southeast Area
North America Southwest Area
North America West Area
California Rancho Cucamonga
Australia Sydney North
New Zealand Hamilton
Papua New Guinea Lae
Philippines Cebu East
South America Northwest Area
Bolivia Santa Cruz North
Ecuador Guayaquil West
Ecuador Quito North
South America South Area
Argentina Comodoro Rivadavia
Chile Santiago South
Utah Salt Lake City East
Reports of the Church’s demise were premature.
Hey, Col —
Did you know about this???
(I forgot to ping you as an add-on re: post #23...where 71% of countries don’t have an Lds temple...almost 63% have 0-1 stake located in these countries — and almost 53% have ZERO stakes...NO REAL LOCAL community...)
So...territorially...BRAND "new" missions for Mormons = less than 7% even of its "NEW" category...
Well, let's review some things that occurred from February to November 2012:
OCTOBER 2012 - The Lds church lowers age requirements of its missionaries...males can be age 18 (vs. age 19); and females age 19 (vs. age 20)
Lds Church motivations for this?
I have it on EXCELLENT authority precisely TWO primary reasons (these two may not be the ONLY two reasons):
(Reason A) The Lds Church thought that the years 2013-2020 would be their...
Hence it was of vital import to the G.A.s that they GREATLY increase the # of Lds missionaries to take FULL advantage of this then perceived "opportunity."
Well, so much for Lds General Authority spiritual discernment...
This reason began to be unraveled last February.
Which Lds General Authority (a hierarchy position) tipped his hand?
FEBRUARY 2012 Marlin Jensen -- now ex G.A. -- was speaking with some transparency before a group in Logan Utah. The Lds Gen Authorities were NOT happy to see the following quote appear in a Reuters UK article:
"Not since...the 1837 failure of a church bank in Kirtland, Ohio, have so many left the church, Jensen said. 'Maybe since Kirtland, we've never had a period of - I'll call it apostasy, like we're having now,' he told the group in Logan".
* Special report -Mormonism besieged by the modern age [Lds church is hemorrhaging in member losses]
The USA Today then picked up on that -- see Why Mormons flee their church -- and mentioned "This year, Elder Marlin Jensen, the Mormon Church's outgoing official historian, acknowledged that members are defecting from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 'in droves' and that the pace is increasing."
Well, guess, what? This apostasy Marlin Jensen referenced includes college students. (And even among those who don't leave the church the first year out of high school, the process is often jumpstarted that very year!)
What Lds sources do we have that this is GREATLY impacting the Lds college-age crowd?
NOVEMBER 2012 This BYU newspaper opinion -- Viewpoint: 'Hold on to what you believe' [Lds: 'Does it feel...everyone you know is falling away?'] -- was published just after Romney's loss:
In this piece, the BYU author, Laura Thomas, jumped right to the point in her opening paragraph:
" A couple of months ago I ran into a dear friend of mine. After exchanging pleasantries and walking along campus, she turned to me and said, Does it feel that everyone you know is falling away from the church? Relieved that someone could understand how I feel, I looked at her and sighed. It seems like more and more of my friends are losing their faith in God and leaving the church".
For one thing, if you're on the mission field, you're chances of apostasy are minimal; but of even greater import is that the GAs have found that those who serve missions are of much greater likelihood to become pillar-type stalwarts of their church in later years.
In fact, there are HUNDREDS of districts where these GAs have found little-to-no benefit of having missionaries active within them; but they do see a long-term trend of what they label as internal benefits for these missionaries themselves in "steeling" them within their religion.
The younger folks are more easily prepared to follow a few, simple rules:
- Learn and obey all missionary rules.
- Keep your thoughts, words, and actions in harmony with the gospel message.
- Read only books, magazines, and other material authorized by the Church.
- Don't debate or argue.
- Center your mind on your mission.
- Dress conservatively. Elders: white shirts, conservative ties, and business suits. Sisters: conservative colors and skirts that cover your knees. No floor-length skirts or dresses.
- Cut your hair regularly.
- Keep your hair clean and neatly combed at all times in the approved style.
- Be neat and clean.
- Bathe frequently.
- Use deodorant.
- Polish your shoes.
- Iron your shirt and business suit.
- Arise at 6:30 A.M.
- Study for 2 hours every morning.
- Proselytize for 10 hours between 9:30 A.M. and 9:30 P.M.
- Turn off your lights at 10:30 P.M.
- Exercise regularly.
- Write in your journal regularly.
- Follow the "Missionary Gospel Study Program" (31157) for your personal study.
- Regularly study the Missionary Guide and the Discussions.
- Attend Sunday priesthood or Relief Society meetings, Sunday School, and sacrament meeting.
- Attend the general session of Stake Conference.
- Attend general conference broadcasts if available.
- Avoid all other church meetings unless you have a special assignment or are brining an investigator.
- Proselytize as much as possible on weekends and holidays because this is when you'll find people home.
- End your preparation day at 6:00 P.M. and proselytize from 6:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M.
- Wear your missionary uniform in public on preparation day while not engaged in recreational activities.
- Arise at 6:30 on preparation day and study for 2 hours from the approved books.
- Take care of your physical preparation for the week on preparation day: wash your clothes, clean your apartment, wash your car, get your haircut, and shop for groceries.
- Write to your parents every week on preparation day.
- Write less frequently to your siblings, friends, and acquaintances.
- Don't communicate with any friends or acquaintances that are within or close to your mission boundaries, except as a part of official mission business.
- Plan safe, wholesome, and uplifting activities for preparation day.
- Stay with your companion during all activities.
- Do not go on road trips.
- Do not leave your assigned area without permission
- Do not watch television.
- Do not view unauthorized videocassettes.
- Do not listen to the radio.
- Do not listen to unauthorized audiocassettes or CDs.
- Do not participate in musical groups.
- Do not participate in athletic teams.
- Do not sponsor athletic teams.
- Do not engage in contact sports.
- Do not engage in water sports.
- Do not engage in winter sports.
- Do not engage in motorcycling.
- Do not engage in horseback riding.
- Do not engage in mountain climbing.
- Do not embark on a private boat.
- Do not embark in a private airplane.
- Do not handle firearms.
- Do not handle explosives.
- Do not swim.
- Do not play full court basketball.
- Do not play basketball in leagues.
- Do not play basketball in tournaments.
- You may play half-court basketball.
- Never be alone.
- Seek advice from your mission president if your companion is "having difficulties".
- Be loyal to your companion.
- Ask your mission president for help if your companion doesnt obey the rules.
- Pray with your companion every day.
- Study with your companion every day.
- Plan your work with your companion every day.
- Take time at least once a week for companionship inventory.
- Seek to be one in spirit and purpose and help each other succeed.
- Always address your companion as Elder or Sister.
- Sleep in the same bedroom as your companion.
- Do not sleep in the same bed as your companion.
- Do not arise before your companion.
- Do not retire after your companion. (apparently, being together is more important than getting the correct amount of sleep that your unique body requires.)
- Frequently study with your companion the Missionary Guide section on companions.
- Never be alone with anyone of the opposite sex.
- Never associate inappropriately with anyone of the opposite sex (conversely, they don't mention whether or not it is against the rules to associate inappropriately with anyone of the same sex).
- Do not flirt.
- Do not date.
- Do not communicate via phone or letter with anyone of the opposite sex living within or near mission boundaries.
- Do not visit a single or divorced person of the opposite sex unless accompanied by a couple or another adult member of your sex.
- Try to teach single investigators in a members home or have missionaries of the same sex teach them.
- Always follow the above rules, even if the situation seems harmless.
- Use the commitment pattern to get referrals from members.
- Keep your dinner visits with member briefs and during the customary dinner hour in the area.
- Remember to say thank you to those who feed you.
- Visit members and nonmembers only at appropriate times.
- Do not counsel or give medical treatment.
- Do not stay in the homes of people when they are on vacation.
- Only write letters to family members and friends at home.
- Do not telephone parents
- Do not telephone relatives.
- Do not telephone friends.
- Do not telephone girlfriends.
- Contact your mission president in case of an emergency.
- Take problems and questions to your mission president.
- Do not write to the President of the Church or to other General Authorities. Letters from missionaries to General Authorities are referred back to the mission president
- Respect the customs, traditions, and property of the people who you are trying to convert.
- Obey all mission rules.
- Obey the laws of the land.
- Do not get involved in politics.
- Do not get involved in commercial activities.
- Do not give any information about the area.
- Respect the customs and cultures of those who you are trying to convert to your own customs and culture.
- Respect the beliefs, practices, and sites of other religions.
- Do not say or write anything bad about the political and cultural circumstances where you serve.
- Do not become involved in adoption proceedings.
- Do not suggest or encourage emigration. (This rule is a bit ironic, given the now-defunct doctrine of gathering the believers to Zion)
- Be courteous.
- Provide community service.
- Do not provide community service that isnt approved by your mission president.
- Do not provide more than 4 hours a week of community service.
- Do not provide community service during the evening, weekend or holidaysthose are peek proselytizing times.
- Your mission president must approve your housing.
- Keep your housing unit clean.
- Do not live with single or divorced people of the opposite sex.
- Do not live where the spouse is frequently absent.
- Your living unit must have a private bath and entrance.
- You may occasionally fast for a special reason, but generally the monthly fast is sufficient.
- Do not fast longer than 24 hours at a time.
- Do not ask friends, relatives, and members to join in special fasts for investigators.
- Maintain your health.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Sleep from 10:30 to 6:30.
- Follow the approved exercise program.
- Keep your body, clothes, dishes, linens, towels and housing unit clean.
- Dispose of your garbage properly and promptly.
- Follow the safety rules for all of your stuff.
- Seek medical care if you are in an accident or become sick.
- Be immunized.
- Spend your money only on things relating to your mission.
- Budget your money carefully.
- Keep a record of what you spend.
- Do not spend more than your companion.
- Do not loan money.
- Do not borrow money.
- Keep a reserve fund of $50 to $100 at all times for transfers.
- Pay your bills before leaving an area.
- Pay cash for all resale literature and supplies ordered from the mission office.
- Do not waste money on souvenirs.
- Do not waste money on unnecessary items.
- Be a frugal photographer.
- Do not accumulate excess baggage.
- Obey custom laws and regulations.
- Pay fast offerings each fast Sunday to the bishop or branch president where you serve.
- Pay tithing on outside sources of income (i.e. interest) to your home bishop or branch president.
- Evaluate your funds a few months before the end of your mission. If you have more than you need, ask that less be sent so that you can return home without excess money.
- Do not drive without a license.
- Drive only Church-owned vehicles.
- Do not drive members cars.
- Do not drive nonmembers cars.
- Do not give rides to members or investigators in Church-owned cars.
- Use cars only on approved mission business.
- Use cars only within the assigned geographical area.
- Be conscious of safety at all times.
- Drive defensively.
- Wear your seat belt.
- Pray for the Lords protection while driving.
- If your companion is driving, assist him or her.
- Do not tamper with the vehicles odometer.
- Know bicycle safety rules.
- Use extreme caution on your bicycle.
- Do not ride your bicycle after dark.
- Do not ride your bicycle in heavy traffic.
- Do not ride your bicycle in adverse weather conditions.
- Go directly to your new area when transferred.
- Find your new companion without delay when transferred.
- Have a maximum of two suitcases and a briefcase.