Mormons at home call twice a year to the week



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Parents of Mormon missionaries will be able to hear their children's voices much more often thanks to the new rules announced Friday that allow young proselytists to call home every week instead of just twice a year.

This initiative aims to encourage families to become more involved in the missionary experience, said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a press release. Missionaries can call, text or video chat once a week on a designated day, the day of preparation.

Previously, they were only allowed to call home on Christmas Day and Mother's Day. They could send an email or send letters once a week.

The immediate change concerns 65,000 Mormons serving on global missions as rites of passage. They are designed to strengthen their faith, broaden their perspective on the world and prepare many of them for future leadership positions in congregations.

The change triggered a wave of reactions among Mormons on social media, with some applauding the movement and others expressing concern over the weakness of faith in the missionaries. Others joked that some young people may not want to talk to their parents every week.

Jaden Bryner, who made a mission to Chicago about ten years ago, said that he thought the change would help missionaries who are suffering from depression and loneliness.

"It's a great way for missionaries to be able to express some of their feelings and their frustrations and get help," said Bryner, 29, of L & # 39; Utah. "I think it will be a good thing and help the missionaries stay longer than before."

Matthew Bowman, a Mormon scholar, said he suspected the change was related to the 2012 church's decision to lower the age for missionaries; 21 to 19 for women and 19 to 18 for men. Bowman, an associate professor of history at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, has reported more and more missionaries who are anxious and eager to return home.

"The idea here is to keep up morale and keep morale up and reduce the degree of separation they face," Bowman said.

Justin Heiden said that he had sent an email to his daughter every week while she was on mission a few years ago. She was part of the first wave of young missionaries and was doing well, but Heiden said he and his wife would have liked to talk to him more often. He said that it was good news because they have two younger children who will probably go on a mission in the future.

"For some kids who could use a little more support, that will probably help a lot," said Heiden.

The modification of the rules is the latest change to the missionary experience of recent years, many of which are motivated by technological advances.

In 2014, the church began giving missionaries tablets and expanding proselytism to social media. In 2017, the faith doubled the number of missions allowing technology and exchanged tablets for smartphones.

Last year, the church started informing people of where they would go on an online assignment rather than by traditional mail. The move allowed the church to save money on postage and allowed missionaries to find out more quickly, the church said.

According to the new rule, most calls should be able to be made for minimal or no cost due to technological advances, said the Utah-based church. Faith claims 16 million members worldwide.

Bowman said most of the mission's experience was conceived in the 1950s and had become obsolete.

"Many of these changes are designed to update it to make it more efficient, both for conversions and as a disciplinary experience for Latter-day Saint youth," Bowman said.

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