SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 25, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A new announcement by the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means changes are coming to the daily routines of thousands of full-time LDS missionaries worldwide.
The announcement — made Wednesday after being approved by the LDS Church’s First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles — means missionaries everywhere will be able to “customize their schedules for safety, cultural, health, productivity and others needs,” according to a statement posted on ldsnewsroom.org.
“The most significant change in the schedule gives the missionaries and also mission presidents the latitude to make the necessary decisions and adjustment in the daily work of the missionary,” said Quorum of the Twelve Apostles member Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
LDS missionaries have long been known to adhere to rigorous daily schedules, starting their day at 6:30 a.m. in order to prepare for a day of proselytizing before returning to their living quarters as late as 9 p.m.
Under the new rules announced by Elder Oaks, missionary work hours will be more flexible depending upon the host country’s culture.
The scheduling of the weekly missionary preparation day will also be made more flexible, allowing missionaries to attend to personal needs such as “laundry and shopping, communicating with family and the mission president, exercising and participating in recreational activities.”
According to Wednesday’s announcement, LDS Church leaders feel the policy change will not only “improve the health and productivity of missionaries” but also will reflect the reality that the Mormon faith represents a “worldwide Church and one size doesn’t fit all.”
As of January 2017 the LDS Church has 71,000 missionaries serving in 422 missions worldwide.