Press Kit
Missionary Work & Local Church Growth

The first Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived in Australia in the mid 1800s. Initially there was an organized emigration program of new converts to Utah so numbers remained small. Later, members were encouraged to remain in their homelands, and by 1960 there were nearly 10,000 Saints living in the country. At present there are over 136,000 members.

The missionary emphasis of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the most recognized characteristics of this worldwide faith. The program is based on the biblical pattern of sending out missionaries two by two. More than 82,000 Latter-day Saints serve missions in 173 countries and territories.

Nearly 900 missionaries from throughout the world serve in Australia, over a quarter of whom are from Australia and New Zealand. Missionary work in Australia is divided into six missions with mission headquarters located in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Most of the Church's missionaries are young men and women between the ages of 18 and 23, although substantial numbers of older couples also serve missions.

All missionaries serve without pay, most relying on their own savings or family support during the mission period of 18 months to 2 years. Prospective missionaries may be asked to serve anywhere in the world and are frequently required to learn another language.

Prior to going to their assigned area, missionaries spend a short period of time at one of 16 missionary training centers throughout the world. There they learn how to teach the gospel in an orderly and clear way and, if necessary, they begin to learn the language of the people they will be teaching. However, the greater part of their knowledge has come, in most cases, from training in the home, from attendance at worship services and gospel study classes, and from personal conviction developed over a period of years.

In the mission field, they preach from the Holy Bible and from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, now published in 107 languages. From The Book of Mormon is derived the common nickname “Mormon,” which has long been applied to members of the Church. The Book of Mormon is regarded as a companion volume of scripture to the Bible.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.