LDS church announces major changes to missionary communication policy

SALT LAKE CITY — Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can now communicate with family members via text messages, online messaging, phone calls, and video chat on a weekly basis.

The LDS church announced the new communication guidelines on Friday, and the guidelines take effect immediately.

"Under these new guidelines, missionaries are encouraged to use judgment in determining the length of phone calls and video chats and to be considerate of their companions. Additionally, to avoid disruption to missionary schedules, family members are asked not to initiate calls or chats but instead should wait for the missionary to contact them on his or her weekly preparation day. If a missionary’s parents live in different locations, he or she may contact each parent separately," the announcement from the LDS church said.

Previously, LDS missionaries were allowed to communicate with their families on a weekly basis by email and handwritten letters.

Under previous guidelines, missionaries could only call home twice a year - once on Christmas and once on Mother's Day. Missionaries could also call home on Father's Day if their parents were divorced.

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