Dos and Don’ts of LDS Missionary Papers
It’s happening. Your son or daughter has grown a foot or two and they are ready to be a missionary! But if this is your first go-round (or if it has been awhile) you might be confused about missionary paperwork.
Let’s start from the beginning and learn what you need to know about LDS Missionary Paperwork!
When do you turn LDS missionary papers in?
You can turn your mission papers in 120 days prior to your missionary’s availability date. A missionary’s availability date must be:
1) After they’ve graduated high school
2) After they are 18 years old (for men) and 19 years old (for women).
Is there a benefit to getting my papers turned in early?
As you might expect, there is a huge influx in submission of mission papers in the springtime as youth prepare to graduate from high school. With a higher number of potential missionaries, they will be assigned to missions as spots open up in those missions.
If you are able to submit your papers 120 days before your eligibility (and you’re eligible in the beginning of summer) it is possible that you’ll be assigned to start your mission closer to your eligibility date.
However, this isn’t always the case! There are definitely times that missionaries send in their mission papers early, have an early summer date of availability and still end up reporting late in the summer or fall. That’s okay!
It is important to trust in Heavenly Father’s timing and use that “extra” time to prepare diligently for your mission.
How do I start filling out LDS Missionary papers?
Have your son or daughter talk to the bishop about starting the process for filling out their missionary paperwork. They will be given access to the Missionary Portal that will allow them to fill out the paperwork.
How early can you start your LDS mission papers?
Your bishop has to add your name to give you access to the portal…so he might have guidelines of when he can do that. However, since you can’t submit them until 120 days before your eligibility date you probably don’t need to start filling them out until about a month prior to that (approximately 150 days before your eligibility date).
How long does it take to complete mission papers LDS?
In my son’s case, we were able to get his paperwork and doctor and dentist appointments done fairly quickly. We had his paperwork done within 3 weeks. I would say the speed at which you complete your mission papers is dependent on a few things:
- Availability of getting doctor and dentist appointments
- Ability to schedule bishop and stake president interviews
- How quickly the bishop and stake president submit their portion of the recommendation. You might want to have your child follow up with Bishop to see if the papers are fully submitted (they will have access to the portal that shows if they have been received at church headquarters).
The actual filling out of the paperwork took approximately an hour total for us because we had documents scanned and information ready.
What do LDS Missionary Papers include?
The papers submitted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to apply to be a full-time missionary and/or a full-time service missionary include the following information:
- Interview Preparation: This includes all of the questions (for review) that your missionary will will be asked in the bishop and stake president interview. It is a great way for your missionary to get prepared for the interview portion so they know what to expect. Encourage your missionary to read through this prior to their interview.
- Individual Information
Personal Identification: including:
- Availability date (remember they must be 18 for males, 19 for females and have graduated high school)
- Closest airport (for mission flight booking purposes)
- Correspondence addresses including mail, email and phone number
- List any states/countries you have lived in recently
- Criminal Record
- Citizenship and documentation status and possible citizenship restrictions
- An open ended question to list ancestry (this is considered in your mission call, but does not guarantee your mission assignment)
- Passport information (if you already have it you will need it on hand including expiration date and passport number)
- Driver’s license information (you will need to provide driver’s license ID number, country and expiration date)
- Father’s information including birthplace, occupation, phone number, email address. You can also check a box saying you don’t want your father notified of mission information
- Mother’s information including birthplace, occupation, phone number, email address. You can also check a box saying you don’t want your mother notified of mission information
- Residence and caregiver information (if not living with parents)
- Relatives serving missions (this question asks if father, mother and grandparents have served a mission and where their call was). Additionally, it asks if you have any “parent, brother, sister, grandparent or boyfriend/girlfriend currently serving a mission. If yes, it asks for their name, relationship and mission for each person.
- Education and Experience:
This section is to find out information that could be helpful while serving a mission including:
- Language experience (primary language, average grade)
- If you speak another language and how well you speak it. You can also choose at this point to take a 35 minute language assessment that will be emailed to you.
- You can also add other languages if you are tri-lingual+.
- How interested you are in learning a language (from very interested, interested, slightly interested or not interested)
- Rate how successful you feel you would be in learning a language for your mission (from very successful, successful, slightly successful and non successful)
- Seminary and Institute: How many years did you attend seminary and/or institute and if you graduated. This can impact where you are called to serve a mission as some countries will only grant Visas to people with a certified religious education.
- Schooling: Highest level of education achieved, date of graduation, rate your performance at school work (extremely good, very good, good, average, not very good, poor), post-secondary education including number of years, degree, major and school, post-graduate education including number of years, degree, major and school.
- Work Experience: Open paragraph to explain work experience outside the home including number of years in each job. Checkboxes to show if you have experience in general bookkeeping, word processing, how many words per minute you can type, computers and an open paragraph for details.
- Other experience: Open paragraph to list extracurricular activities, special skills, hobbies and special accomplishments
- Previous Church Callings and Leadership Experience: Open paragraph to list this information.
- Open paragraph to explain any special circumstances or situations that the Brethren should consider when making your mission call.
- Military Service: Do you have any previous military experience (yes or no), Are you a current member of a military reserve unit (yes or no).
- Financial Commitment
- Source of Funds: Your missionary will need to know how much money self (per month), family (per month), ward or branch (per month) and other (per month) will be able to contribute in support of their mission. Currently, the required monthly contribution for all missionaries is $400 per month
- Health Insurance: Have health insurance information handy including your insurance card (or cards if double insured).
- Health History: This is a BIG part of the application. I would have your son or daughter fill out this information on their own (great practice for the mission!). You will need to have the following information handy when filling out the medical evaluation: dates of surgeries (if any) current medications and dosages (have pill bottles nearby!). I would offer to help if/when they have questions but have them take the wheel on this one!
- Photo and Other Documents:
- You will need a photo of your missionary dressed and groomed according to missionary standards (LINK). Photo should have a white background and be cropped to show close-up of upper body/face.
- Drivers License: You will need to attach a scanned image (Front and back of your drivers license.
- Passport: You will need to attach a scanned image of your passport if you have one and indicated you had one in the Personal Information Section
- Optional Documents: If you listed information in your Personal Health History that needs clarification you have the opportunity to scan and attach any medical or other documents that “in your opinion clarify your condition.”
- Privacy Agreement: At the end of this section you will check “I accept” or “I do not accept.” Please carefully read the entire privacy agreement but the general information includes:
- Access to Personal Info: You allow “officers, leaders, employees, affiliated entities and departments including mission leadership couple and home unit priesthood leaders” to process your personal and sensitive data for purposes relating to your missionary service.
- Missionary Funds: You agree that missionary fund donations become property of the church to use at its discretion
- Approved Technology: You agree that the Church can inspect and monitor approved technology for your mission at any time
- Insurance, Liability and Medical Expense acknowledgement: Note the different information for Service missionaries and Proselyting Missionaries
Medical Privacy Agreement
- This agreement gives the Church Health Department administrators access to medical information for the purposes of treating your missionary. You can read the entire Medical Privacy Notice here.
- Health Information Notice and Release: This authorizes the release of your Personal Health Information to specific people listed in the document. Your missionary can also add people that they allow to access individual health information (you will need their name, relationship and birth date to add them).
- Psychotherapy Notice and Release: Similar to above, but for psychotherapy.
- Medical and Dental Evaluations: You will need to print out paperwork, including a copy of the health history you will fill out, to give to both a doctor and dentist. Since missionaries will possibly be away from medical and dental professionals while serving their mission, it is important to have this check-up to make sure they are healthy and ready to serve.
You will need to print:
- Completed personal health history form to give to your physician
- Physician’s Evaluation Packet (this is what the doctor will fill out at your physical)
- Dentist Evaluation Form (this is what your dentist will fill out at your dental examination
This is the part of mission papers that YOU are responsible for. Now the responsibility is shifted over to your branch leader/bishop and stake president. Your son or daughter will need to meet with their priesthood leader to review the recommendation and then meet with the stake president for a final interview. Once you’ve hit “submit” on your paperwork, and both the your priesthood leader and stake president have made their recommendations, your mission papers are officially submitted!
Encourage your missionary to follow-up with the Branch leader/Bishop about a week after both final interviews have been completed (and you’ve submitted your portion). Have them ask if the papers have reached headquarters…the bishop can find out that information on their portal. If yes, your exciting waiting game for a mission call will now begin!!
While you wait, you can check out this post about Waiting for Your Mission Call: What to Expect
And after your son or daughter gets their call, look at 10 things to do after opening your mission call
Congratulations!! You’re on your way!