Missionary Preparation Class

Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once asked this of future missionaries: “Will you be a valiant and effective one or merely a set-apart missionary? This will depend on your preparation.” (from Advice to a Young Man: Now Is the Time to Prepare)

A missionary preparation class is a great way for young men and young women to further their mission prep. Missionary preparation classes are usually available from several sources:

  • From your ward or stake (branch or district). If you are under 18 and would like to take a mission prep class, talk to one of your local leaders (your young men’s president, or bishop, etc.) to see if your ward or stake offers a class.
  • From a Church college (BYU, etc.). If you are attending a Church-sponsored college, see about signing up for one of the mission prep classes they offer.
  • From an LDS Institute of Religion: If you are attending another college, see if there is an LDS Institute of Religion nearby. They likely offer a missionary preparation class.

You may also want to check out the Mission Prep Class Videos I made in 2020, where I taught the Church’s Mission Prep class to my teenagers and recorded it for others to watch. This is a convenient, unofficial way of participating in a missionary preparation class.

Mission Prep Institute Classes Open to All: Ages 18-30

According to the Church’s Institutes of Religion website, single and married young adults, postsecondary students, and all young single adults (generally 18-30 years old) are also welcome to attend Institute classes. That means that if you are a young person thinking about going on a mission in the next year or two, you could attend a mission prep class at an Institute, free of charge.

Topics Covered in the Missionary Preparation Class

Whether you take the class from your ward or through an official Institute class, your teacher will likely use the official Church Mission Prep Student Manual. Subjects covered in this official Missionary Preparation course are:

  • Understanding the call to serve a mission
  • Learning the gospel by study and also by faith
  • Teaching about the Apostasy, the Restoration
  • The importance of living prophets and latter-day scripture
  • Understanding, recognizing, and teaching with the Holy Ghost
  • Personal worthiness and developing Christ-like attributes
  • Physical preparation and using time wisely
  • The conversion process and preparing investigators for baptism
3 replies
  1. Uncle Tracy
    Uncle Tracy says:

    Jimmy, I’m in the SS presidency and have just been told that all the youth in my ward ages 14-18 will no longer do the “Come Follow Me” lessons but will be attending Missionary Prep classes for 16 weeks. They tell me this is coming from SLC. Have you heard of this? For the young men, it might make sense, but sending young women to these classes is like encouraging them to go on missions, something the Church has never done (always emphasized Motherhood first). Even very recently Pres. Monson said missionary service was a Priesthood responsibility but if women over 19 desired to go, it would be ok. Sending girls 14 to 18 to prep classes is encouraging them to go on full time missions. There are plenty of lessons in the Come Follow Me program that teaches them how to share the gospel. If I had a daughter between 14 and 18, I would not allow her to attend — unless of course this is coming from SLC. What do you know? Also, a point on what you have written here about institute teaching prep classes. Since you can’t attend institute until you are 18 and out of high school, don’t you think its a little late. At 18 you are leaving on your mission, so where do they (young men) get the prep lessons one and two years before their mission call (16 and 17 yrs old). Maybe SS is the place (but again I don’t think it is for the YW).
    Email me, lets talk.

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Tracy, It’s good to hear from you. I’m glad you found my website.

      You bring up a lot of good points. I’ll try to address a few of them. I have heard rumors that the Church is revamping the mission prep class offered by stakes and wards. This makes since given the fact, as you have indicated, that the mission prep institute class is targeted to college-aged youth. Now, with the change, most young men will go on a mission before they have any college. When the announcement was first made of the lower age, there were discussions about how Seminary should approach mission prep. It was decided that Seminary would stay the course, continue teaching sequential scripture study, and not convert itself into a mission prep course. A new mission prep class offering on the stake and ward level would make sense to me. Perhaps the Church is using your stake as a pilot program to test the new curriculum. Who knows? But, as you mention, my article does need to be updated. It was written in December of 2010, nearly two years before the announcement lowering the age of missionary service, and so much has changed since then.

      As for women attending the mission prep class, I see where you’re coming come. It is always a careful balance to let women know their full-time service is welcomed by not required on the same level as for the young men. If the mandate is really coming from the presiding brethren, perhaps it is an acknowledgment of the reality they have seen over the last year and a half. That being that just as many women as men are submitting their applications to serve a mission.

      Anyway, I’m glad to discuss this or any other topic. Please stay in touch.

  2. Christopher Denning
    Christopher Denning says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    I love the page and the resources, am glad it is still up. I wonder if you or anyone else might help me with a question? While your page references that Stakes, Wards or Institutes can hold mission preparation classes, I cannot find any guidance in current reference materials (general handbook and missionary preparation manual) that specifies who should host the class or which organization (Stake vs Ward Mission, Stake vs Ward YM/YW, Stake vs Ward Sunday School) should own it and administrate it. Do you know of any current references that specify who owns these classes? Any insight is appreciated.


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