First let me say that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That is the actual and proper name for our church. Our church is often referred to as the LDS Church, or the Mormon Church. This series of posts was at the request of some of my friends on Facebook. You can read more about that here–on my Landing Page or introduction for the Write 31 Days Challenge.
Missionaries have lots of rules that they must keep while they are serving their missions. These rules are to help keep them safe, healthy, and focused on their responsibilities as missionaries. They are given a Missionary Handbook to keep with them at all times. This little book is filled with the guidelines that a missionary needs to know at any given time. We called these little books “The White Bible” when I was on my mission. Mainly because they are white and filled with important instruction.
Some of the rules that are in this book have to do with your daily schedule. It tells you what time you should get up in the morning and what time you should retire to bed at night. It tells you that you should not watch any television or go to any movies while on your mission. These can be destracting to the purpose of your mission. The handbook also has rules regarding members of the opposite sex. Full-Time Proselyting Missionaries are not allowed to date while they are serving as missionaries. They should never be alone with a member of the opposite sex. They shouldn’t even hug a member of the opposite sex. A handshake will do just fine. This is probably one of the most important rules as it keeps the missionaries focused on the work of the Lord, and not on how to gain favor and catch the eye of that cute girl or boy.
While the Missionary Handbook does contain a lot of rules, it doesn’t contain them all. Each mission will have specific rules that are in place under the direction of the Mission President who is the Priesthood Leader in charge of that mission area. Some of the rules he will put in place will be for the safety of the missionaries. Others may be as simple as the music that the missionaries are allowed to listen to during their missions. Music choices are conservative in nature. Some Mission Presidents only allow their missionaries to listen to Hymns. Others allow some classical music as well. While others let their missionaries listen to any church music, including contemporary pieces. It really depends on the individual Mission President and what he feels won’t be distracting to his missionaries. The important part of it is that the missionary is obedient and follows the rules.
Other rules that may vary from mission to mission may be the missionary attire. Elder (male) missionaries generally always wear a white shirt and a tie. They often wear suit jackets as well. However, in some areas, it may be too hot to wear suit jackets year round. So the missionaries are allowed to not wear those during the warm months. Sister missionaries usually wear nylon stockings, but in some missions, it is too hot, so they don’t have to. Again, these sorts of things will vary from mission to mission.
Unfortunately, not all missionaries are good at keeping the rules. They are human and make mistakes. But keeping all of the mission rules helps them to have the Spirit with them and helps to keep them safe. Missionaries are truly blessed when they keep the rules of their mission.