Latter-day Saint Life

Young people have responded to Pres. Nelson’s call to serve missions. See the inspiring statistics

Elders in Provo MTC Study PMG.png
Even as the number of young people drops worldwide, the number of missionaries is on the rise.
Photo by Krisin Murphy, Deseret News

The number of missionaries representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has increased significantly over the past year, with numbers expected to top 72,000 by the end of 2023.

The announcement about the influx of young missionaries was made by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Provo Missionary Training Center last week as he and other church leaders unveiled an updated version of Preach My Gospel, a manual used by missionaries and church members to help them share information about the Church.

▶ You may also like: 7 updates in the new ‘Preach My Gospel’ that can improve your approach to missionary work

Fewer children are being born today in most countries. And yet, even “with fewer available, more are going out,” Cook said. “If you look at the youth, their activity rate is higher than it has been.”

Convert baptisms have also increased, Cook said, up 25% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to last year.

The number of missionaries serving has increased steadily since Church President Russell M. Nelson asked young people to go on missions at the April general conference in 2022—from 56,000 at the end of 2021 to 68,000 by June 14 of this year.

“And we really do feel like we’ll exceed 72,000 by the end of the year,” Cook said.

The influx of missionary applications led to a need for more members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to make mission assignments. Typically, two Apostles assign mission calls weekly, but in recent months as many as four Apostles have been making up to 300 calls a week, Cook said.

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