“Formal missionary service is not limited to those who are able to serve proselyting missions,” says Elder Adrian Ochoa, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “There are many young adults for whom a proselyting mission isn’t possible due to physical, mental, or emotional challenges. These young men and women do a great deal of good in Church organizations throughout the world as Church-service missionaries."
Who can serve as a young Church-service missionary?
Young men ages 18-25 who have been honorably excused from serving a full-time proselyting mission can serve as young Church-service missions. Elders who return home involuntarily from full-time missions because of an accident or an illness are encouraged to complete their missions as Church-service missionaries. Worthy, single young women ages 19-25 are also eligible to serve a young Church-service mission if they desire.
Those wishing to serve a young Church-service mission must also:
· Be worthy to hold a temple recommend
· Be physically, mentally, and emotionally able to fulfill the specific call and its related duties
· Provide their own transportation
· Be responsible for their own financial support, including living expenses and insurance
· Be endorsed by a bishop and stake president
· Be responsible for their own medical and dental needs, including eye care and prescription drug expenses
What do young Church-service missionaries do?
Typically, young Church-service missionaries (YCSMs) live at home and serve as close to full time as possible. Usually, YCSMs serve for eight hours a day, and their missions usually last 24 months, but shorter options are available. During your child's time as a YCSM, they can serve in a number of different areas. Some typical areas of service and assignments are:
· Family history: This calling involves research, process images, index, or provide assistance at a Family History Library. One role of a missionary is to enable the salvation of the dead, and family history is one way your child can fill that role.
· Information and Communication Services: If your child has access to a computer and a high-speed internet connection, they can preformed IT-related service during their time as a YCSM.
· Mission offices: Serving in the mission office is an awesome way to interact with other missionaries all the time. Those working in the mission office as a YCSM will help manage referrals and materials. They will also provide office support and administrative assistance.
· Meetinghouse facilities: Meeting houses are important to Latter-day Saints, and it is important that they look the best they can. As a YCSM, your child can help Church buildings look their best through building maintenance and landscaping.
· Seminaries and Institutes: If your child serves with the Church Educational System, they will work seminary and institute offices. They will provide computer support, help with student recruitment and enrollment, provide special needs assistance, and help with even support.
· Welfare Operations: These bishops’ storehouses, Deseret Industries stores, employment resource centers, and canneries are all include in welfare operations. As a YCSM, your child will have the opportunity to serve in these daily and bless the lives of many.
In addition to these options, missionaries can serve with an approved non-Church entity.
How do I become a young Church-service missionary?
The first step toward becoming a YCSM is filling out a recommendation form. Once this is filled out, applicants should meet with their bishop to let him know they're interested in serving. Your bishop can help determine what area of service would be best.
Unlike a full-time proselyting mission, YCSMs are able to select where they'll serve. The service mission website provides a list of opportunities in your area. As mentioned above, your child can serve with a non-Church entity. Just make sure the organization's purpose is in line with the teachings of the Church. Ask your bishop and stake president for recommendations if that interests you.
Some worthy young men often feel a mission is out of the question if they are not physically or mentally able to proselyte. If your child has always dreamed of serving a mission, but is not able to serve a proselyting mission, a Church-service mission may be right for them.