Application dating returned missionary
Those excluded include those who would have to leave dependent children in the care of someone else; young couples who are still of childbearing age; those who are in debt and have not made arrangements to meet these obligations; those who are on legal probation or parole; couples with serious unresolved marital problems; those who are HIV-positive; and those who have been convicted of sexual abuse.
Additionally, members who have submitted to, performed, encouraged, paid for, or arranged for an abortion (except in the case of rape, incest, or the mother's life is in danger) are usually excluded from missionary service, as are members who have fathered or borne a child out of wedlock; men under 26 and women under 40 who have been divorced; and anyone who has participated in homosexual activity after age 16.
All Mormon missionaries serve voluntarily and do not receive a salary for their work; they typically finance missions themselves or with assistance from family or other church members.
Many Latter-day Saints save money during their teenage years to cover their mission expenses.
All missionaries must meet certain minimum standards of worthiness.
Among the standards that a prospective missionary must demonstrate adherence to are: regular attendance at church meetings, regular personal prayer, regular study of the scriptures, adherence to the law of chastity (sexual purity), adherence to the Word of Wisdom (code of health and nutrition), payment of tithing, spiritual diligence and testimony of God.
Throughout the church's history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions.
With the usual starting age of 18–20, a mission provides a clear event or marker for the traditional age of adulthood, but is not necessary for continuance in church membership.
Married retired couples, on the other hand, are encouraged to serve missions, but their length of service may vary from 6 to 36 months depending on their circumstances and means.
Missions typically last two years for males, 18 months for females, and 1 to 3 years for older couples.
The LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men.
The mission assignment could be to any one of the 407 missions organized worldwide.
The LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had more than 70,000 full-time missionaries worldwide at the end of 2016 Most full-time LDS missionaries are single young men and women in their late teens and early twenties and older couples no longer with children in their home.