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Mormon Missionaries: The Joy of Finding Self in Sacrifice

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Daniel Burke of Religion News Service provides valuable insight into how Mormon missionaries are impacted by their choice to sacrifice 18 to 24 months of their lives to serve others.

Former missionaries tell Burke that their “faith flourished during the mission, as they discovered a genuine joy in sharing the gospel and encountered one of spirituality's central paradoxes: by sacrificing the self, you find it.”

Burke notes that this faith-molding experience (18 months for young women, two years for young men) includes a brief visit to one of the Church’s 16 missionary training centers (MTC) that features “a strict regimen that … leaves little time for anything but prayer, scripture study and language and cultural lessons.”

After the MTC missionaries will be “proselytizing in public squares, knocking on doors and handing out religious tracts, often for nine or 10 hours a day, in fair weather and foul,” Burke writes.

Skills gained from missionary service can include a foreign language, robust work ethic, independence, problem solving and public speaking. Such abilities, Burke says, will “continue to enrich [missionaries’] faith and their careers.”

Read Burke’s entire report at

Related Resources:

Missionary Program Topic Page

The New York Times Follows Mormon Missionaries in Uganda

Mormon Missionary Experience Recounted by Journalist

Football Star Will Hopoate Gives Up Millions for Missionary Service

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