Acceptance Letter

By on December 22, 2011

Woman Writing a LetterI recently came across this talk by Elder David B. Haight, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which he wrote about the mission call acceptance letter.

Included in the packet is a page that may go unnoticed at first. It is a form, the Missionary Call Acceptance. This is a personal letter in which the missionary, addressing the First Presidency, formally accepts his or her missionary call. The form contains 15 lines on which the missionary expresses feelings about the singular opportunity of serving the Lord. The letters are usually handwritten, brief, and direct. Yet these few words speak volumes and convey deep meaning. Behind each one is a faith-promoting story.

“My Savior has blessed me more than I ever imagined. He gave His life for me. The least I can do is give Him two years of my life.”

…In accepting a call to serve, the missionary is expressing sufficient faith to act on his or her beliefs. Blessings will inevitably follow, as so many returned missionaries can testify. Faith in the Savior becomes an anchor to the soul.

“I can’t express the happiness and joy I feel as I accept this call to serve. I am ready and willing to commit two years of my life to preaching the gospel.”

In the acceptance letter, many missionaries state, “I gratefully accept my call to serve.” But I wonder how many missionaries realize the implications of the word accept. It means to receive willingly something given or offered; to respond favorably to; consider right and proper. It also means to be admitted into a group or community. In a gospel sense, it implies submission to the will of the Lord and willingness to follow the prophet, who extends the call. The mission “call” is to serve the Lord with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength. The mission “assignment” is to serve in the assigned field of labor. The acceptance letter implies willingness to accept both the call and the assignment as the Lord’s will.

“Preparing for my mission has been a long struggle. After deciding to serve a mission, it took almost one and one-half years to overcome problems in my conduct.”

…“Deciding to go on a mission wasn’t easy. Having a strong passion for the game of baseball made it hard.”

Numerous acceptance letters speak of sacrifice. The young man quoted above was well on his way to fulfilling a life-long dream to play baseball in college, and then perhaps enjoy a career in professional baseball. After ponderous and prayerful thought, however, the answer was certain: he was to serve the Lord. Once the decision was made, his priorities in life became clear.

…Prospective missionaries write about giving up a prized car, a girlfriend, music, a lucrative job, and many other things. Too many allow such worldly treasures to blind them to spiritual opportunity and divert them from their foreordained mission. On the other hand, we are continually amazed and gratified by those who forsake all to serve the Lord.

“Just two short years ago, I did not have any purpose in life. When I walked the streets, I was scared that people would ask, ‘How are you?’ Finally, two missionaries helped me find the love of Christ. I will find people who have the same feelings I had and show them the purpose of life.”

Mormon wrote, “Perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moro. 8:16). When prospective missionaries learn of life’s purpose and of the Lord’s love, they gain the courage to act in spite of fears. In doing so, they learn the fears were an illusion, a creation of their minds. The Lord repeatedly assures missionaries that He will give them strength to succeed in the face of obstacles. “He that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom” (D&C 52:17). President Harold B. Lee often stated, “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

…Missionary Call Acceptance letters reveal a wealth of spirituality and faith. My own faith is continually strengthened by those who accept calls to serve God, who allow their love for the Lord to overshadow their fears, and who submit willingly to the call of our living prophet. I pray always that every eligible young man, and also every young woman who so desires, may experience the wondrous adventure of a mission.

A Spiritual Adventure, David B. Haight, New Era, June 2000.

Jimmy

About Jimmy

I served a Mission in Rosario Argentina from 1995 to 1997. An amazing experience! I work for the LDS Church managing websites, doing web analytics, and SEO. I am married to the lovely Heather, and we have five wonderful children. Read more about Jimmy Smith here.

16 Comments

  1. Josh Jensen

    October 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Just a few days ago I had one year and five months left to prepare to send my mission papers in. But now I down to just five months because of the minimum age change to eighteen. What do you suggest I do to make up for this lost time?

  2. Ray

    September 17, 2013 at 2:12 am

    What do you do if you keep feeling that you were assigned to the wrong mission? I want to serve with all my heart but I can’t shake the feeling that my assignment is somehow off and praying has not cleared anything up. I want to accept my call but this is holding my back.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 20, 2013 at 10:31 am

      I’ve been thinking a lot about your situation, but I’m not sure what to tell you other than to advise you to go forward. Continue to prepare for your mission, go forward in faith, enter the MTC, and go serve in the field. In time, I am confident that you will receive a testimony from the Holy Spirit that you are serving your mission in the right place. Faith precedes the miracle. “Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6). Good luck. I will pray that God will bless you.

  3. Mary

    September 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    My call should arrive the 27th of September. Would there be any issues in waiting until the weekend after (like the 5th or 6th) to open it? I’m worried there might be things in there that require an immediate response…. =)

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

      I think you should be fine in waiting a week to open your call letter. Good luck.

  4. John

    December 9, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I received a mission call but seem to have lost my acceptance letter. What should I do?

  5. aali

    April 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    i’ve been really trying to accept my mission call but i just don’t like the area to where i am assigned. i know this is done by revelation and i know i should accept it. but i cant shake off this negative feeling. i am embarrassed of myself. but it seemed like i really cant do this. ive been trying to write my acceptance letter but what could i write? please help me

    • Tanner

      April 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Aali, when I received my call I literally sunk in my chair and said, “You gotta be kidding me.” I was so disappointed in my call, as I would be serving in the USA. Little did I know that I was going exactly where I needed to go and that I would connect with and ultimately see hundreds of people enter the waters of baptism. Where I served I taught people from several other states and many countries around the world. I would have never had any of those opportunities had I not pressed forward and trusted that the Lord knows exactly what He is doing and where I needed to serve. I have no doubt the same is for you. Wherever you have been called, there are people that need to hear the gospel from YOU. Have faith and commit yourself to being the best missionary you can become in that place. Make yourself available and God will make you capable.

    • Sione 'Ofa

      April 30, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Aali, the Lord knows how you desire so serve in His vineyard. Know this, that the “call” is for you. And the Savior may say to you as he did to his disciples on His earthly ministry,”You have not chosen me, but i have chosen you, and ordain you to preach my gospel to all the world.” Aali, i want you to know, i know the Savior Himself Personally, because “HE ALLOWES ME” to come to know Him. Not because “I” allows on my timetable but “HE ALLOWS ME”. GO TO HIM, AALI, FOLLOW HIM, ALLOW HIM TO LEAD, AND YOU FOLLOW, EVEN WHEREVER HE GOES, GO WITH HIM. I know He loves you so very much and Painfully loved you, such love cause him, “even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might bnot drink the bitter cup, and shrink—”(D&C 19:18)In his holy name i testify, even Jesus Christ who love you so much. Amen.

  6. Sione 'Ofa

    April 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Jimmy i would like to post my comment on this site as a living testimony to all who “RECEIVE A CALL” from the “THE LORD”, which then the Prophet sign on your “CALL LETTER”. That “SIGNATURE” by the First Presidency means, ” That the Lord ACCEPTED YOU TO LABOR WITH HIM IN HIS VINEYARD”.
    I know that the Lord lives. He is the Savior and Head of this Church. HE DIRECTS HIS PROPHETS OF WHAT TO DO, AT THE WHICH THOSE “SIGNATURE” ARE SHOWN IN YOUR MISSION CALL LETTER. I know what i say and commented on. IT IS TRUE. I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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  8. Emmanuel K. Dwamena

    June 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Good evening brothers and sisters, my mission call have come and am not okay with the call, and because of that i don’t know how to write the acceptance letter.

    • Shayla

      August 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Emmanuel, it is important to realize that your mission call is not for your own personal benefit. It is for those that need you there. It is not easy, but as President Hinckley’s father once told him, we need to “Forget ourselves and go to work.”

  9. Alex

    September 19, 2014 at 8:09 am

    so i got my mission call and was wondering if i could write my acceptance letter online and submit it there?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

      I’m not aware of an online place to submit your acceptance letter. What does your call packet say about it? It should provide instructions on sending in the acceptance letter.

  10. Alex

    September 19, 2014 at 8:28 am

    well i signed into the missionary portal page and then it asked it i wanted to write my acceptance letter and then it took me to a page online where it asks if i accept my call, has a section to write a response, and a submit button.

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