Saturday, June 22, 2013

Special June 23rd Worldwide LDS Missionary Broadcast "The Work Of Salvation" Generating Considerable Buzz Throughout The LDS Community

A special worldwide broadcast by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to take place on Sunday June 23rd, 2013 is generating considerable discussion and excitement throughout the LDS community. What makes it unusual is that the entire First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve will be present. The broadcast is characterized as "historic", and the Salt Lake Tribune has picked up the story.

NOTE: Mormon Newsroom has now published a story about the meeting and links to the archived video. The broadcast was also live-blogged by By Common Consent and here on this separate post.

According to, ward and stake council members, their spouses, full-time missionaries, and other interested Church members are invited to participate in a special session of a Seminar for New Mission Presidents entitled “The Work of Salvation”, which will be broadcast from the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on June 23rd at 4:00 p.m. MDT. The 90-minute program will be subsequently rebroadcast to many areas of the world. President Thomas S. Monson, President Boyd K. Packer, and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will share messages about how members and missionaries work together in a unified effort. Local leaders have been asked to adjust scheduled worship services so that members are able to participate in the live broadcast of this historic event. It is extremely unusual for local leaders to be asked to change local meetings for a church broadcast except for the Conference sessions, so I don't think this is being oversold. The official broadcast schedule is available HERE.

A new website entitled “Hastening the Work of Salvation: A Unified Effort in Conversion, Retention, and Activation” will accompany the broadcast. The site will provide information and help for priesthood leaders, for ward councils and ward mission leaders, and for members and missionaries. It will also help youth know how they can best prepare for and participate in the work of salvation as they serve in the priesthood, receive temple ordinances, and accept calls as full-time missionaries.

The close hold on the information has triggered much speculation, particularly on By Common Consent and and the LDS Freedom Forum. One person was told by his local missionaries that the missionary department informed them that this meeting will be the most important meeting on missionary work in this dispensation, on the same level as Moses bringing the keys of the gathering of Israel.

Here are some of the more realistic projections:

-- There could be changes to the way a typical ward and its assigned missionaries interact. Instead of the missionaries being in charge of missionary work and the members being a resource to them, it will be reversed (ie, missionaries being a resource to the membership doing missionary work). This proved to be true.

-- The missionaries will ask the members to befriend people for them to teach or if any of their current non-member friends wish to be taught. What this means is that missionaries will spend less time on door-to-door tracting, which has become burdensome to them and the public, and spend more time teaching. On, one person speculates the efforts of the ward mission and the full time missionaries will be combined. This also proved to be the case.

-- Missionaries will possibly be asked to spend a portion of each day on service projects and restrict proselyting/teaching to the late afternoon and evening hours. No such division was announced, but there will be a reduction in cold-call proselyting.

-- Because the lowering of missionary age limits has produced a glut of missionaries, Church members will be asked to personally house more of them until the available lodgings can catch up with the increase. This was not addressed.

-- One person thinks that some mention will be made about the last days and what we should prepare for. This did not happen.

-- Church leaders may announce that all missionaries in North America will be issued iPads and required to work a certain number of hours per day as part of the “internet mission” effort. This proved to be the case.

-- One person thinks that the Church may raise the monthly allowance (perhaps gradually) from $400 for North America, to $500 or even $600. It was $350 US/$400 Canadian when it started in 1991 – that would be $605 now. This did not happen.

However, one person posted a rather intriguing link on LDS Freedom Forum. The link is six pages of notes from a NASW Mission Presidents' Seminar entitled "The Scattering And Gathering Of Israel", held in Scottsdale, AZ on April 13th, 2013. The poster seems to think the information could be a precursor to the June 23rd meeting, since Elder Russell M. Nelsen of the Quorum of the Twelve was present. It's embeddable, so I present it after the jump and you can make up your own mind: [This was not discussed.]

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