This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Mormonism just created its largest mission ever, and it will be in the faith's own backyard.
The new Utah Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission will become the 422nd mission in the 15.6 million-member global religion come Jan. 1. It will boast some 1,200 missionaries.
These full-time volunteers will include young "elders" (men) and "sisters" (women) as well as retired couples known as "senior missionaries," service missionaries, and retired single sisters.
These missionaries will sport the trademark name tags, suits and dresses, but they won't necessarily be looking for converts. Instead, they will assist with family history, temple work, military relations, building maintenance and more, according to a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Warren G. Tate will serve as president of the new mission, an expansion of the current Family and Church History Headquarters Mission.
"This will give our missionaries … the opportunity to assist local priesthood leaders in the Salt Lake City area," Tate said in the release, "by serving members and those not of our faith to find their ancestors by using FamilySearch, teaching them the gospel and providing service."
Craig C. Christensen of the faith's Presidency of the Seventy also pointed to the new mission's expanded reach, noting it "will allow these wonderful missionaries to further the work in many meaningful ways."
Peggy Fletcher Stack