Young Church-Service. Missionary Resource Book

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1 Young Church-Service Missionary Resource Book

2 Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City, Utah 2014, 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America English approval: 4/17

3 We are all spirit children of a loving Heavenly Father. Each person is sent to earth with different abilities, capabilities, and talents. Because of God s capacity to love each one of His children, He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to provide the infinite Atonement so that we can return to Him. We are all the same in this regard. With our unique abilities, each one of us can make a meaningful contribution to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work (D&C 4:3). Everyone who is worthy and has a desire to serve is called to the work as a missionary. iii

4 The Charge to Move Forward Under the direction of the First Presidency, authorization has been given to establish the young Church-service missionary program throughout the Church. iv

5 Contents Purpose... iii The Charge to Move Forward... iv Introduction... vi Desire to Serve... 1 Who Can Serve as a YCSM... 1 Benefits of Serving Where to Serve... 2 Mission Experience... 3 Overview... 3 Designing a Unique Mission... 4 Service in the Community... 5 Daily Schedule Example... 5 Matching the Prospective Missionary to the Right Opportunity... 6 Interview and Call Process... 7 Wearing the Missionary Badge... 8 Attending the Temple... 8 YCSM Guiding Principles Handbook... 9 Mission Release Support Network Families and Parents Priesthood Leaders Stake YCSM Specialist Church-Service Missionary Group Coordinators Support Network Prior to Service Operation Managers Areas with Many YCSMs Support Network during Service Summary Appendix Exceptions to Typical Living Arrangements Finances Medical Insurance Not All Young Adults May Be Able to Serve Unusual Personal Needs Ward and Stake Callings Opportunities on the Wasatch Front YCSM Office Contact Information v

6 Young Church-Service Missionary Resource Book Introduction Because not all of Father s children will be called to serve a full-time proselyting mission, there is an opportunity for young men and women with a strong desire to serve to be called as young Churchservice missionaries (YCSMs). A young Church-service missionary is called by the Lord to serve in specific assignments at Church operations or nonprofit community organizations. DESIRE TO SERVE S U P P O R T N E T W O R K MISSION EXPERIENCE Young Church-Service Missionary How could serving a Church-service mission bless the life of a young adult you know? vi

7 Desire to Serve Who Can Serve as a YCSM n Worthy young men of missionary age (18 25) honorably excused from serving a full-time proselyting mission who have a strong desire to serve n Full-time missionaries who return home early from their proselyting assignments for reasons other than worthiness and want to continue serving n Worthy young women ages Standards for worthiness are the same as for full-time proselyting missionaries. Benefits of Serving Men and women of mission age who are unable to serve a proselyting mission can counsel with parents and leaders to consider options for a service mission. While service missions vary in terms of assignment and length depending on the missionary s abilities, they involve real work, real service, and real sacrifice that make a difference in building the kingdom of God on earth. Elder Adrián Ochoa ( Ye Are the Light of the World, Ensign, Sept. 2012, 30) When these young adults have a strong desire to serve, the young Church-service missionary (YCSM) program is a good option. It is designed to: n Provide meaningful mission experiences that will help bring souls closer to Christ and bless the missionaries, their families, the Church, and the organizations where they serve. n Provide the opportunity for the missionaries to meet the expectations of their service assignments and feel a sense of accomplishment. n Deepen testimony, faith, and self-esteem. n Build life skills that prepare them for their futures. Young Church-Service Missionaries n Follow the example of Jesus Christ. n Render meaningful service. n Study and pray. n Build life skills. 1

8 Where to Serve Most YCSMs live at home and serve locally. For ideas about where YCSMs might serve in their area, priesthood leaders can refer to the stake page of the Church Directory of Organizations and Leaders (CDOL) at cdol.lds.org under Associated Organizations. They can also contact the assigned Church-service missionary (CSM) group coordinators for their geographic area. Some general opportunities where YCSMs currently serve include: n Family History: FamilySearch indexing*, worldwide FamilySearch support*, family history center assistance, family history library assistant, family history image processing specialist, and family history data specialist. n LDSTech: many aspects of information technology.* n Various Church Offices: administrative assistant, referral management, materials, and office support. n Meetinghouse Facilities: building maintenance and supplies. n Seminaries and Institutes: office work, computer support, social media, student recruitment and enrollment, special-needs assistance, and events support. n Temples: grounds maintenance. n Welfare Operations: various types of assignments in bishops storehouses, production facilities, farms, orchards, Deseret Industries, and employment resource centers. n Community Service: food banks, pantries, shelters, senior citizen centers, nonprofit service organizations, and more. Note: YCSMs should never serve alone with children. * These assignments can be fulfilled while serving at home with a personal computer and a high-speed Internet connection. What other service opportunities could be developed for YCSMs in your local area? 2

9 Mission Experience When speaking about different kinds of missionary work, Brigham Young taught, And the Spirit of the Lord is here in these labors... just as much as it is in preaching the gospel (in Journal of Discourses, 11:294). Each type of mission is an acceptable offering to the Lord, and each mission is uniquely designed to fit the personal abilities of each missionary. When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Mosiah 2:17 Overview n When a young Church-service missionary is called, he or she will receive a call letter and be set apart by his or her stake president. n The Young Church-Service Missionary Guiding Principles Handbook will be provided to the missionary. It gives counsel and guidance about such topics as commitment to serving the Lord, personal conduct, daily schedule, and more. It allows for modifications to be made for 3

10 each missionary. n The YCSM will wear a missionary name badge. n The missionary will generally serve as close to full-time as possible for a period of 6 to 24 months. n The YCSM may be asked to speak in sacrament meeting at the beginning of the mission as well as at the conclusion. n The missionary will generally live at home and serve locally; he or she may have opportunities to serve in more than one venue. n Information about the mission service will be added to the missionary s membership record. n At the end of his or her term of service, the missionary will receive a certificate and letter of release. n In addition, a letter of appreciation will be sent from the First Presidency to the YCSM. Designing a Unique Mission Individual strengths, talents, and abilities should be considered in coordinating the mission experience and selecting the service locations and schedule. The prospective missionary should be consulted and involved in this process. Parents can also provide insight into ways the individual can effectively serve. It is appropriate to design a schedule for each day see an example on page 5. (Sample schedule also in the YCSM Guiding Principles Handbook.) We each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ( Waiting on the Road to Damascus, Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 76) In the United States and Canada, Church- 4

11 Daily Schedule Example Modify as appropriate. service missionary (CSM) group coordinators assist operation managers in matching opportunities with qualified candidates. They work with parents, bishops, and stake presidents in finding appropriate opportunities and can answer questions about the program. If you do not know the CSM group coordinators in your area, ask your local priesthood leader for their contact information. CDOL lists the coordinators for your stake in the section Associated Organizations. For questions, contact the central YCSM office in Salt Lake City at or In other countries, the human resource manager in the assigned area administrative office is responsible for overseeing the YCSM program and provides similar resources to local priesthood leaders. Service in the Community Where there are not adequate service opportunities in Church operations within reasonable commuting distance, CSM group coordinators can help parents, bishops, and stake presidents in arranging appron Arise and pray. n Exercise for 30 minutes. (Consult with your health care professional regarding your physical health and circumstances.) n Finish preparations for the day. n Take part in devotional or gospel study. n Report to your assignment on time. (Attend a prayer meeting or devotional before your shift if one is scheduled.) n Serve until your assignment time is completed. n Follow your off-assignment plan from your daily schedule. This should include an hour of personal gospel study, and it may also include temple attendance, institute classes and activities, work with ward missionaries, and more. n Pray and retire to bed. 5

12 priate opportunities in the local community. CSM group coordinators need to ensure that personnel at the community operation understand the purposes of the young Church-service missionary program and support adherence to Church standards. The organization must agree to provide requisite training and appropriate supervision, as well as ensure that the YCSM will be able to render meaningful service and wear the missionary name badge. Matching the Prospective Missionary to the Right Opportunity The missionary assignments must be a positive and productive experience for both the YCSMs and the locations where they serve. The CSM group coordinators work with the prospective missionaries and their parents, priesthood leaders, and the managers or supervisors of the service opportunities to determine the best match for each missionary. The managers may interview the prospective missionaries to make sure that they meet the job requirements. It is also appropriate for the priesthood leaders or parents and the prospective missionaries to visit the place of service to meet the people there and see firsthand what the service will involve. YCSMs can serve on weekends and in the evenings as well. The Young Church-Service Missionary Recommendation Form is used by parents, bishops, stake presidents, CSM group coordinators, and operation managers to find the best match for the YCSM. The YCSM Recommendation Form is available online at ycsm.lds.org. YCSMs may be assigned to more than one Church operation or service location in order to fill the amount of time they are available to serve. 6

13 To find real happiness, we must seek for it outside ourselves. We cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. President Thomas S. Monson ( The Joy of Service, New Era, Oct. 2009, 4) Interview and Call Process The process begins when a candidate goes to ycsm.lds.org and prints the form to hand to their bishop. The bishop interviews the prospective missionary to ensure mission worthiness as well as the missionary s desire and ability to serve and live according to the mission rules as outlined in the Young Church-Service Missionary Guiding Principles Handbook. Once the bishop approves the candidate, the missionary goes online to complete the Young Church-Service Missionary Recommendation Form on ycsm.lds.org. Once the online form is completed and submitted, an is sent to the CSM Coordinator or YCSM Facilitator who helps identify opportunities to serve. After those opportunities have been identified and arranged (service location, beginning date, length of service, and hours per week), the CSM Coordinator or YCSM Facilitator enters the assignment(s) online. The bishop and stake president then receive an notification requesting their final approval. Following their approval, the YCSM office will process the recommendation and a call letter packet is mailed to the stake president. Upon receipt of the mailed call letter packet, the stake president takes out the missionary call letter, signs it, and mails it to the missionary s home. The stake president, bishop, or designated stake specialist should contact the particular operation manager or supervisor to establish regular communication regarding the performance and progress of the missionary and to discuss any other considerations needed to ensure a positive experience for the missionary. The missionary should be set apart by the stake president or one of his counselors. In certain international areas, the setting apart would be handled by a member of the mission presidency. The missionary should then report to his or her assignment(s) as previously arranged. 7

14 Wearing the Missionary Badge The missionary badge will be sent to the stake president. It should be presented to the YCSM at the time he or she is being set apart as a missionary. YCSMs should always wear their missionary badges while serving in their missionary assignments and while at Church meetings. It is not worn at other times, including YSA ward activities. Because stake presidents may allow group and single dating, it is important to ensure missionaries understand that they would not wear their badge on those occasions. Attending the Temple While temple worthiness is required in order to serve a Church-service mission, receiving the temple endowment is not. Priesthood leaders determine if and when the young adult should receive his or her endowment. Instructions for making these determinations can be found in Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops (2010), Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 8

15 YCSM Guiding Principles Handbook Details about missionary conduct, schedules, activities, relationships, and well-being are found in the Young Church-Service Missionary Guiding Principles Handbook. Together with the YCSM and his or her parents, priesthood leaders are encouraged to review and modify the handbook to match the abilities of the missionary, as guided by the Spirit. The My Mission Commitment section at the back is provided for the missionary to acknowledge those modifications and affirm his or her willingness and desire to serve. The handbook can also be used to record the progress of the individual YCSM, track regular interviews, and guide discussions. YCSMs should have a schedule for each day that includes their service assignment(s) and off-assignment activities. The My Schedule section is provided for this purpose. During their off-assignment time, missionaries should study the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. They should also take care of their personal needs, such as washing and ironing clothes, getting a haircut, and cleaning their living space. Other good off-assignment activities could include serving family, neighbors, the ward, and Young Church-Service Missionary Guiding Principles Handbook the community; doing family history research or indexing; and attending the temple. YCSMs are encouraged to share their mission experiences with their family, keep a journal, exercise as appropriate for their physical circumstances, provide service, and participate in other activities that strengthen family relationships. They are also encouraged to continue participating in institute and young single adult meetings and activities. Group and single dating may be approved by priesthood leaders, in consultation with parents or guardians and as directed by the Spirit. However, dating should never interfere with the YCSM s regular service assignment. Wholesome activities and relationships help build self-esteem, social skills, and independence that are important for continued individual growth. Cell phone and computer use, recreation, and entertainment (such as viewing movies and television and using the Internet) should be in harmony with gospel principles and should not detract in any way from the Spirit and calling of a mission. More details about these activities are found in the Young Church-Service Missionary Guiding Principles Handbook. 9

16 3.3.3, under Members Who Have Disabilities. Where a temple is available and when it is appropriate for the YCSM, regular temple attendance is encouraged. This would not be part of the YCSM assignment, but it is an excellent way to provide spiritual uplift during the mission experience and to provide service to others. Mission Release At the conclusion of the mission, a letter of appreciation will be sent to the missionary s home from the First Presidency, expressing that the Lord has been pleased with his or her service. In addition, a certificate and letter of release will be sent to the stake president, who will sign it and present it to the missionary when he or she is formally released. Priesthood leaders may choose to give the missionary an opportunity to speak in Church meetings at the beginning and the end of his or her service. This can include the YCSM reporting on his or her mission to the high council and speaking with high councilors in their monthly sacrament meeting assignments if the stake president feels so prompted. Young Church-service missions are rarely extended beyond two years. The bishop should continue to help guide these young adults as they pursue other opportunities to serve and prepare for their futures. This could include using the services of development counselors at LDS employment resource centers, who can work one-on-one with a missionary to help 10

17 Support Network him or her explore and evaluate options, complete a job application, create a résumé, apply to technical school or college, and so forth. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength. President Henry B. Eyring ( Mountains to Climb, Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 24) Families and Parents Our families here on earth are patterned after our heavenly family, and the family is the central unit of Heavenly Father s plan. Families play a critical role throughout the mission service. An important aspect when designing a mission for the YCSM is to build on the relationship already established between the prospective missionary and his or her family. Parents provide needed direction, reinforcement, encouragement, and so forth. Priesthood leaders consult with parents regarding appropriate expectations for each YCSM. Priesthood Leaders Bishops and stake presidents are authorized to honorably excuse proselyting mission candidates when appropriate. In circumstances where there is a question about a young adult s capacity to serve a full-time proselyting mission, priesthood leaders may consider requesting a pre-mission evaluation from LDS Family Services to help them make the correct determination. The stake president is the YCSM s ecclesiastical leader and sets the spiritual and behavioral expectations, as well as providing guidance and support during the missionary s term of service. In planning mission assignments for a young Church-service missionary candidate, priesthood leaders might consider: 11

18 How else could this individual serve in my ward or stake? The stake president may delegate responsibility to help oversee the missionary s well-being and progress to one of his counselors, a high councilor, a stake YCSM specialist, or the bishop. Continued contact and follow-up with each YCSM throughout his or her mission might include: n Regular interviews. n Gospel study progress and spiritual development encouragement. n Reviewing with the missionary the individual commitments he or she recorded and accepted in his or her YCSM Guiding Principles Handbook. n Continuing to involve the parents in the mission experience. Stake YCSM Specialist The stake YCSM specialist helps CSM group coordinators in identifying service opportunities and assists stake presidents as appropriate. Church-Service Missionary Group Coordinators Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days. Doctrine and Covenants 64:34 Church-service missionary group coordinators play a vital role in the service of YCSMs by assisting in the following activities: n Matching the missionary to the right opportunity n Designing a unique mission n Arranging opportunities for YCSMs to serve at Church operations and local community nonprofit organizations 12

19 Support Network Prior to Service Prospective Missionary Parents and Family Bishop CSM Group Coordinators Must have strong desire to serve. Should be involved in planning and selecting the mission assignment(s). Help define the prospective missionary s interests, abilities, and talents. Commit to provide the support needed during the mission. Determines worthiness and readiness to serve and helps complete the YCSM recommendation form. Recommends Melchizedek Priesthood ordination, as appropriate. Work with stake YCSM specialists and assist prospective missionary, parents, priesthood leaders, and operation managers with identifying and selecting appropriate service opportunities. In areas with many YCSMs this responsibility would be handled by the YCSM facilitator couple. Stake President Validates worthiness, reviews and approves the assignments, and signs the recommendation form. Signs and mails the call letter, sets the missionary apart, presents the missionary badge, and reviews mission commitments. CSM Office Development Counselor Sends call packet to stake president, including call letter, missionary badge, and YCSM Guiding Principles Handbook. Upon request from a bishop or stake president, the development counselor meets with the prospective missionary and performs an assessment. The counselor then provides this information to the bishop or stake president to facilitate the placement process for a Church-service mission. 13

20 In areas with many YCSMs, this responsibility would primarily be handled by the YCSM facilitator couple. Operation Managers The operation manager or supervisor sets the service expectations, supervises the day-to-day assignment of the missionary, and provides needed guidance and support. This is a crucial relationship, since the progress made as well as the missionary s perception about the mission experience are largely determined by how he or she is valued and encouraged by the designated supervisor and by the employees and other missionaries in the course of his or her service. In instances where multiple YCSMs are serving at the same location, the operation manager might find it helpful to designate an on-site YCSM leader who can: n Schedule gospel study, utilizing the format best suited to each YCSM. n Encourage the YCSM to his or her stake president, bishop, operation supervisors, and parents or guardians an update of his or her mission experience each month. Suggest the missionary share his or her recent successes and challenges, gospel study progress, personal development, and commitment and feelings about serving the Lord. Depending on individual abilities, will not always be suitable. Alternate methods for reporting should be considered, such as a simple checklist. n Organize devotionals to be held during the day at the assigned service location. Areas with Many YCSMs For geographic areas with a higher concentration of YCSMs, the following leadership structure may be implemented, as directed by the Spirit. A YCSM mission leader may be called by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy to help 14

21 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5 6 shepherd the YCSMs within the area of a specified group of coordinating councils. In addition, a couple should be called as YCSM facilitators to be the primary source for arranging and designing YCSM mission assignments. Their responsibilities mirror those listed for the CSM group coordinators. The YCSM mission leader s influence for good can have a lasting effect on the YCSM and help him or her grow in the gospel and strengthen testimony during his or her mission. To that end, YCSM mission leaders might consider: n Conducting regular progress interviews with YCSMs. n Holding area conferences for the YCSMs who live within those coordinating councils. n Reviewing how missionaries are performing at their mission assignments and providing appropriate feedback. When appropriate, a YCSM mission leader can call a YCSM mentoring couple for the coordinating councils that are a part of the YCSM mission leader s area. These couples function as assistants to the YCSM 15

22 Support Network during Service Stake President Parents and Family Operation Managers Development Counselor Is the ecclesiastical leader of the YCSM, provides guidance and support during the mission, conducts regular interviews. Provide full support of the missionary, follow up on day s activities, provide transportation as needed, maintain insurance. Provide day-to-day oversight of service assignments, training, and performance. As each missionary nears the end of his or her mission, the development counselor helps identify how the skills the missionary has learned during service will apply to life skills after the mission ends. On-Site YCSM Leader Mission Leader Church-service missionary who assists operation managers with day-to-day oversight, coordination, and support. Can be a couple. Called as needed. Helps ensure a positive mission experience, encourages the missionary to grow in the gospel, organizes conferences, coordinates any issues with the stake president and operation managers. Called as needed. 16

23 mission leader and serve as the direct contact to both the stake presidents and the YCSMs living within the area of those coordinating councils. Summary A young Church-service mission is a fulfilling and successful experience that will strengthen and develop the missionary and his or her family in many ways while providing meaningful service to others, to the Church, and to the community organizations in which the missionary serves. It requires dedication and commitment by the missionary and his or her family, priesthood leaders, mentors, and service assignment managers. It will bless the lives of all who faithfully serve. 17

24 Appendix Exception to Typical Living Arrangements Most YCSMs live at home and serve locally. In some cases, YCSMs may be able to serve away from home while living with relatives such as grandparents, stepparents, aunts and uncles, or siblings. These family members must fully understand the commitment they are making and be willing and able to support and be responsible for the YCSM for the duration of the mission. The home bishop and stake president should coordinate with the priesthood leaders of the relatives with whom the missionary will be staying since the missionary s membership record will be moved to their ward and stake. Priesthood leaders and families should not place expectations for support on these local units. If a senior couple or single sister desires to serve a full-time mission away from home and has an eligible YCSM living in the home, a suitable opportunity may be found for the YCSM candidate as well so that they may serve away from home together or in close proximity. Finances The missionaries and their families should be responsible for the expenses related to their missionary service. This includes but is not limited to transportation, food, clothing, medical and dental care, and medical insurance. Fast offerings are not used to help finance missionary service. Any questions about income tax deductions should be referred to a tax professional. Medical Insurance The family is responsible to ensure that the missionary is covered by adequate medical insurance. Any medical expenses incurred because of an accident while serving at the assigned location and not covered by the family s insurance may be eligible 18

25 for coverage under the Church s activity medical assistance program. Coordinate taking care of any such incidents with the operation manager and the family. Not All Young Adults May Be Able to Serve A wide range of physical, mental, and emotional conditions exists among the YCSMs who serve. Serving a mission can be a challenging experience in a young person s life. Every effort will be made to accommodate every worthy young adult according to his or her capabilities. Nevertheless, depending on the nature and severity of the missionary s condition, the geographic location, and the availability of family support, there will be some individuals who will not be able to serve. Priesthood leaders should express their love and support and continue to work closely with these young adults to provide them with other opportunities to serve in the Church, adapted to their individual needs and capacities, and to pursue other worthy goals. Unusual Personal Needs Some young adults may need assistance to take care of their personal needs (such as feeding, bathroom, medical, or transportation needs). Expectations to provide this care should not be placed upon local Church units, operation managers, or peers. Where care or personal support is required, family members may need to volunteer their own time to fulfill these needs in order for the missionary to serve successfully. If necessary, the supervisor may contact family or priesthood leaders to solicit their assistance and coordinate help for any such need that has not already been addressed. Ward and Stake Callings At the discretion of the bishop and stake president, YCSMs can be given ward or stake callings if those callings do not interfere with their mission assignments. While temple service and assisting the full-time proselyting missionaries are valuable activities, they are not part of the formal calling of a YCSM. Such activities can be assigned at the discretion of the local priesthood leaders. Opportunities on the Wasatch Front For those living in the greater Salt Lake City and Wasatch Front area, there are a number of additional operations or departments at or near Church headquarters that have YCSMs, including: n Bishops Central Storehouse n Publishing Services Department n Church Headquarters Building Hosting n Deseret Manufacturing n Family History Department n Food Services n Headquarters Gardens n Global Service Center n LDSTech Riverton Office n Welfare Square n Other Church Headquarters Departments and Welfare Production Operations (for example, Deseret Soap, Deseret Meat, and Deseret Dairy) YCSM Office Contact Information Any questions or feedback can be directed to the local CSM group coordinators or to the central YCSM office at or 19

26 Notes 20 11

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