LDS church releases online tool to optimize scheduling for prospective missionaries

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping prospective missionaries choose the optimal time to file their mission paperwork in order to accommodate their individual goals.

Some missionaries, for example, have asked to be released from their missions a few weeks early in order to start a semester of college on time.

In some cases, prospective missionaries would prefer to begin their mission training outside of peak times in order to receive more individualized attention at one of the church’s missionary training centers.

The new planning tool, available here, allows prospective missionaries to enter their desired release dates, then tells them when to submit their application forms in order to increase the likelihood of returning from their missions at the intended time.

“This planning tool uses actual data updating continuously based on the Church’s missionary needs worldwide,” said Brent H. Nielson, executive director the LDS church’s missionary department, in a news release. “While it does not guarantee a missionary will leave on a certain date, it will help our young men and women be more deliberate and thoughtful as they decide when they will be best prepared to serve the Lord as a missionary.”

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