In last weekend’s General Conference, Church President Thomas S. Monson encouraged members to give to the LDS Church Missionary Fund. This is what he said:
“My brothers and sisters, I thank you for your faith and devotion to the gospel, for the love and care you show to one another, and for the service you provide in your wards and branches and stakes and districts. Thank you, as well, for your faithfulness in paying your tithes and offerings and for your generosity in contributing to the other funds of the Church.
As of the end of the year 2010, there were 52,225 missionaries serving in 340 missions throughout the world. Missionary work is the lifeblood of the kingdom. May I suggest that if you are able, you might consider making a contribution to the General Missionary Fund of the Church” (President Thomas S. Monson, It’s Conference Once Again, April 2011).
What is the LDS Church Missionary Fund?
Many years ago, even before my time on a mission, each missionary paid his or her own actual living expenses. So a mission to Japan, for example, would have been much more expensive than a mission to South America. But in 1990, a new program was introduced to equalize the financial responsibility for each missionary by setting up the Church Missionary Fund. Now, all young missionaries pay a flat monthly rate into that fund, and each missionary is then allocated from that fund what he or she needs for the expenses in their particular mission. This approach has reduced the potential burden on individual missionaries and their families who may have been assigned to work in more expensive areas of the world.
Helping Families Afford a Mission
The Church Missionary Fund is also used to help individuals with financial needs to be able to service a mission. From LDS Philanthropies’ Missionary Fund Donations page…
“There are more than 15,000 young men and women from international areas outside the United States who, at great personal sacrifice, are serving full-time missions in their own lands and in the U.S. Many of these missionaries come from homes where the total family income is less than $1,000 annually. Serving missions, therefore, puts a severe—if not impossible—strain on family finances. Along with family support, the Church expects their local wards and branches to pay what they can. If the family and local support is not sufficient, arrangements can be made for the General Missionary Fund to take care of the remaining expenses associated with missionary service.”
Donating to the Missionary Fund
To donate to the LDS Church Missionary Fund, go to LDS Philanthropies, fill out the amount you want to give, and fill out other required information. The website allows you to make payments through all major credit cards and PayPal.