From the Church

Though senior missionaries may miss family, blessings of service are ‘gold,’ says Church leader


On this week’s episode of the Church News podcast hosted by editor Sarah Jane Weaver, Elder Rutherford T. Clayton, a General Authority Seventy and Assistant Executive Director in the Church’s Missionary Department, outlines the blessings and dispels the misconceptions of senior missionary service.

One of the most common issues preventing potential senior couples from serving is the fear of missing out on important family time and memories.Elder Clayton addresses that concern from the outset of the episode.

“If you choose to serve the Lord, He will bless you and your family. As we give our all to the Lord, then He can unleash power. He can open the windows of heaven to bring forth blessings that our family needs—our children, our grandchildren, those in the extended family, our nearby friends even—that had we not gone on a mission, we probably wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. But when we trust Him, then we open this magnificent opportunity for our family to be blessed. And not that we go on missions to have our families blessed—it’s just what happens when we’re out doing the work of heaven and helping others find Him.”

Elder Clayton’s colleague in the Missionary Department, Arthur Johnson, serves as manager of Senior Missionary Services and joined him in the discussion. Johnson noted that senior missionaries have so much more flexibility in terms communication with family members back home than young missionaries do.

“Senior missionaries also have the opportunity to interact with their family, even on a daily basis if they chose to do so,” Johnson says. “And so for those that are concerned about those family connections, we encourage them to maintain frequent and constant contact with children and grandchildren to share with them the experiences that they’re having.”

“What a blessing to be able to talk about what you’re experiencing [with your family],” Elder Clayton added. “Those experiences are gold for your family. It teaches who they are. It informs them about what their family means.”

Elder Clayton and Brother Johnson also outlined the vast and varied opportunities that senior missionaries can have in their day-to-day service and the vital role senior missionaries are playing in President Nelson‘s recent charge to gather Israel on both sides of the veil.

You can listen to the podcast episode below or find the episode and read the full transcript at Church News.

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