What Percent Of LDS Missionaries Go Inactive?

Are you curious about the percentage of LDS missionaries who go inactive? Well, you’re in luck because we have the answers you’ve been looking for! In this article, we will explore the trending question of what percentage of LDS missionaries end up going inactive during or after their missions. We will uncover the truth behind this phenomenon, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the situation. So, sit back and relax as we shed light on the intriguing world of LDS missionaries.

Factors that Influence LDS Missionary Activity

Age of Missionaries

The age at which individuals serve as missionaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) can have a significant impact on their missionary activity. Historically, young men were encouraged to serve at the age of 19, while young women were encouraged to serve at the age of 21. However, in 2012, the age requirements were lowered for both genders – young men can now serve at the age of 18, and young women at the age of 19.

The earlier age of service allows young missionaries to embark on their missions while they are still teenagers, which can be both a benefit and a challenge. On one hand, they may have less life experience and maturity compared to older missionaries, making it more difficult to adapt to the demands and responsibilities of missionary work. On the other hand, their youthfulness can bring energy, enthusiasm, and a relatability that can resonate with the people they are trying to serve.

Length of Missionary Service

The length of a missionary’s service can also influence their activity levels. LDS missionaries typically serve for a period of 18-24 months, with some exceptions depending on specific circumstances or medical reasons. The duration of this commitment can be both a blessing and a challenge.

A shorter mission period allows missionaries to more quickly transition back into their regular lives post-mission, potentially reducing the risk of inactivity. However, a shorter mission may also limit the time available for missionaries to fully acclimate to their new surroundings and develop meaningful relationships with the people they are serving.

On the other hand, a longer mission can provide more opportunities for personal growth, language acquisition, and an increased impact on those they are serving. However, this longer commitment can also lead to homesickness, burnout, or feeling overwhelmed, potentially affecting a missionary’s ability to maintain their activity levels.

Location of Missionary Service

The location where a missionary serves can significantly impact their activity levels. Some missionaries are called to serve in their home countries or regions, while others are assigned to foreign countries or unfamiliar cultural settings.

Serving in familiar surroundings can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity for missionaries, allowing them to better focus on their work and adaptation. However, serving in a familiar location might also make it easier for missionaries to remain within their comfort zones, potentially hindering their growth and willingness to fully engage in their missionary activities.

On the other hand, serving in a foreign country or unfamiliar cultural setting can be challenging. Missionaries may face language barriers, cultural differences, and homesickness, which can impact their emotional well-being and level of activity. However, these challenges can also provide unique opportunities for personal growth, learning, and development.

Personal Preparedness

A missionary’s personal preparedness can play a crucial role in their activity levels. This includes their level of spiritual preparedness, personal discipline, emotional resilience, and overall readiness for the demands of missionary service.

Missionaries who have a solid foundation of faith, a strong testimony of their beliefs, and a deep understanding of the scriptures and doctrines of the Church are more likely to have a higher level of activity. They are better equipped to handle difficult situations, doubts, and challenges that may arise during their mission.

Additionally, personal discipline and emotional resilience are essential qualities for successful missionary work. Missionaries who are self-disciplined in following the rules and guidelines set forth by the Church, as well as those who can effectively manage stress, homesickness, and setbacks, are more likely to maintain their activity levels and thrive in their mission assignments.

Relationship with Companions and Mission Leaders

The relationships that missionaries build with their companions and mission leaders can greatly impact their activity levels. Companionship dynamics play a crucial role in missionary work, as missionaries spend the majority of their time together, working side by side, and supporting each other.

A positive and harmonious relationship with a companion can enhance a missionary’s experience and contribute to their overall activity. Companions who share similar values, goals, and work ethic can create a conducive environment for growth, learning, and effective collaboration. The support and friendship received from a companion can also help alleviate loneliness and difficulties that may arise during the mission.

Moreover, the relationship with mission leaders, such as mission presidents and their wives, can also influence missionary activity. Mission leaders provide guidance, support, and spiritual mentorship to the missionaries under their care. A healthy and nurturing relationship with mission leaders can positively impact a missionary’s emotional well-being, motivation, and overall activity.

Support from Home and Local Members

The support received from home and local members of the Church can significantly influence a missionary’s activity levels.

Having a strong support system from family, friends, and congregational members back home provides a sense of connection, encouragement, and motivation for a missionary. Regular communication, letters, care packages, and visits can help alleviate homesickness and remind the missionary of the love and support that surrounds them.

Additionally, the reception and support received from local members in the mission area can greatly impact a missionary’s activity and motivation. Missionaries who feel welcomed, valued, and embraced by the local community tend to have higher levels of activity and engagement in their missionary work. Local members can provide practical assistance, friendship, and opportunities to serve, ultimately contributing to a positive missionary experience.

Access to Technology and Communication

In recent years, advancements in technology and communication have had a significant impact on missionary activity. Missionaries now have access to smartphones, email, social media, and other digital communication platforms, enabling them to stay connected with their families and friends more easily.

This increased connectivity can have both positive and negative effects on missionary activity. On one hand, being able to communicate with loved ones more frequently can provide emotional support and alleviate some of the challenges associated with homesickness. It can also offer a means of seeking guidance, advice, and encouragement when needed.

On the other hand, excessive use of technology or indulging in non-missionary activities through digital platforms can distract from the primary purpose of missionary work. Balancing the use of technology and adhering to mission rules and guidelines is crucial for maintaining activity levels and staying focused on the work at hand.

Health and Mental Well-being

The physical and mental health of a missionary can greatly influence their activity levels. Maintaining good health is crucial for the demanding nature of missionary work, which often involves long hours, physically strenuous activities, and constant engagement with people.

Missionaries who are in good health are better able to meet the physical demands of their assignments, have more energy and stamina, and experience less downtime due to illness or physical limitations. Good health also contributes to a positive mental outlook, emotional stability, and overall well-being.

Moreover, mental health plays a significant role in maintaining activity levels. Missionaries who experience mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma, may find it more difficult to engage fully in their missionary work. The strains associated with mental health issues can impact their motivation, emotional resilience, and ability to fulfill their responsibilities.

Language and Cultural Barriers

For missionaries serving in foreign countries or regions with a different language or culture, language and cultural barriers can significantly impact their activity levels.

Learning a new language is an essential aspect of effective missionary work. Missionaries who are able to communicate with the people they are serving in their native language can establish stronger connections and build trust more easily. Language fluency also enhances the ability to teach, understand local customs and traditions, and navigate day-to-day interactions.

Cultural barriers can also pose challenges for missionaries. Understanding and respecting local customs, practices, and beliefs are vital for effective engagement and building meaningful relationships. Missionaries who approach the local culture with humility, curiosity, and a desire to learn are more likely to adapt and engage fully in their missionary activities.

Missionary Expectations

The expectations placed on missionaries by themselves, their families, fellow missionaries, and Church leaders can influence their activity levels. The desire to meet and exceed expectations can be a motivating factor for missionaries to maintain high levels of activity and commitment to their work.

Missionaries are expected to adhere strictly to the rules and guidelines set by the Church and their mission president. These expectations include dress and grooming standards, daily schedules, teaching methods, and professional conduct. Living up to these expectations can instill a sense of purpose, accountability, and pride in their missionary service.

Additionally, the expectations and support from family members and peers can play a crucial role in a missionary’s activity levels. Family members who have served missions themselves may have certain expectations or hopes for their missionary children or siblings. Fellow missionaries provide a sense of camaraderie, support, and healthy competition, which can further motivate missionaries to maintain their activity.

Statistics on LDS Missionary Activity

General Activity Rates

Understanding the general activity rates of LDS missionaries can provide valuable insights into the overall engagement and commitment of missionaries. While specific data on activity rates can vary from region to region, the Church tracks and evaluates the activity levels of its missionaries.

To maintain accurate statistics, missionaries are often required to report their daily activities, including the number of hours spent proselytizing, teaching, and engaging with the local community. These reports help measure the level of involvement and commitment of missionaries across the globe.

These general activity rates provide a snapshot of the overall engagement of missionaries in their assigned areas and can be used to evaluate and improve missionary programs and initiatives.

Activity Rates by Gender

Analyzing the activity rates of male and female missionaries separately can offer insights into any potential differences or trends.

Traditionally, a larger number of young men have served as missionaries in the LDS Church compared to young women, although the gap has been closing in recent years. Understanding the activity rates of both genders can allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of the overall missionary activity.

Factors such as cultural norms, societal expectations, and personal motivations may influence the activity rates of male and female missionaries differently. By examining the data separately, the Church can identify any patterns and implement initiatives to support the individual needs and challenges faced by both genders.

Activity Rates by Age

The age at which missionaries serve can also impact their activity rates. By analyzing activity rates according to different age groups, the Church can determine whether there are any significant differences in engagement levels based on age.

For example, comparing the activity rates of younger missionaries (those who serve immediately after high school) to older missionaries (those who serve after college or later in life) can provide insights into the potential impact of life experiences, maturity, and personal circumstances on missionary activity.

Additionally, tracking the activity rates of returned missionaries who have been home for various lengths of time can shed light on the long-term effects of missionary service on continued engagement with the Church.

Activity Rates by Location

The location where missionaries serve can significantly influence their activity rates. While each missionary has unique experiences and challenges, comparing activity rates by geographical regions or countries can help identify any patterns or trends.

Cultural, social, and religious dynamics in different areas may impact the reception and engagement of missionaries. Some regions may have strong religious traditions that may present challenges for LDS missionaries, while others may be more receptive to their message. Analyzing the activity rates by location can inform the allocation of resources and strategies to effectively support and engage missionaries in specific regions.

Activity Rates by Missionary Service

Analyzing activity rates based on the length and timing of a missionary’s service can provide valuable insights into the impact of these factors on activity levels.

For example, comparing the activity rates of missionaries who serve the minimum duration of 18 months to those who serve the full 24 months can help determine if the added time has a positive effect on continued engagement. Similarly, comparing the activity rates of missionaries who serve immediately after high school to those who serve later in life can offer insights into potential differences based on life experiences and maturity.

Understanding how the duration and timing of missionary service impact activity rates can inform adjustments to mission policies and programs to optimize engagement and retention.

Activity Rates by Missionary Expectations

Examining activity rates based on the expectations placed on missionaries can offer insights into the impact of those expectations on missionary engagement.

The expectations placed on missionaries by themselves, their families, fellow missionaries, and Church leaders can vary and influence their activity levels. By exploring activity rates in relation to specific expectations, such as adherence to mission rules, daily schedule compliance, teaching effectiveness, and interpersonal skills, the Church can identify areas for improvement and support.

Analyzing these activity rates can also help identify any common challenges or shortcomings in the way expectations are communicated or understood, allowing for adjustments to better align missionary expectations with the actual experiences and needs of the missionaries.

Factors Influencing Inactivity

Experiences During Mission

The experiences missionaries have during their time of service can significantly influence their involvement and activity in the Church upon returning home.

Positive experiences during a mission, such as successful conversions, meaningful relationships, and personal growth, often contribute to a missionary’s continued engagement and activity. These experiences can solidify their testimonies, strengthen their commitment to their faith, and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Conversely, negative experiences, such as rejection, homesickness, conflicts, or personal struggles, can impact a missionary’s emotional well-being and motivation. They may question their beliefs, feel disheartened, or struggle to reintegrate into their regular lives after their mission. These experiences can lead to a period of inactivity as missionaries navigate their post-mission transitions.

Post-Mission Transitions

The transition from full-time missionary service to regular life can be a significant adjustment for returned missionaries. This period of post-mission transition, often referred to as “RM slump,” can influence a missionary’s level of activity.

After dedicating themselves fully to the demands and routines of missionary life, returning to everyday responsibilities, decision-making, and personal choices can be challenging. Some returned missionaries may experience a sense of aimlessness or a loss of identity as they navigate their post-mission plans, whether that involves further education, career choices, or family life.

Furthermore, the social support system that missionaries had while in the field can change upon returning home, potentially affecting their motivation and activity within the Church. Efforts to address post-mission transitions, such as providing resources, support networks, and guidance, can contribute to a smoother reintegration and decreased inactivity rates among returned missionaries.

Change in Beliefs or Doubts

The nature of missionary work can bring missionaries face-to-face with individuals who have different beliefs, backgrounds, and perspectives. These encounters may lead to personal growth and increased understanding, but they can also raise questions and doubts for some missionaries.

Experiencing changes in beliefs or developing doubts about one’s faith can impact a missionary’s engagement and activity level upon returning home. Missionaries who grapple with doubts may take a step back from active participation in the Church while they seek answers, reassurance, or alternative paths. Creating safe spaces and resources for missionaries to discuss and explore their questions is crucial for addressing this factor of inactivity.

Disruptive Life Events

Returned missionaries, like any individual, can face disruptive life events that may affect their activity levels. These events can include significant personal or family crises, major health challenges, or unexpected career or educational opportunities.

Life events that divert focus, require extensive time and energy, or disrupt the usual routines can contribute to a period of inactivity. Additionally, the emotional toll of these events may impact a missionary’s spiritual well-being and ability to engage fully in Church activities.

Understanding and supporting returned missionaries during disruptive life events requires a compassionate and flexible approach. Providing resources, assistance, and understanding can help mitigate the effects of these events on missionary activity and encourage long-term engagement within the Church.

Mental Health Challenges

Mental health challenges can significantly impact a missionary’s activity levels. The demands and stressors associated with missionary work, as well as the adjustment period after returning home, can exacerbate or trigger existing mental health conditions or create new challenges.

Anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental health conditions can hinder a missionary’s ability to engage fully in Church activities, maintain relationships, and find a sense of purpose or motivation. Providing mental health resources, including counseling services, support networks, and education, is crucial for addressing this factor influencing inactivity.

In addition to addressing mental health challenges, creating an environment that destigmatizes discussions about mental health and encourages help-seeking behaviors can contribute to higher levels of activity among returned missionaries.

Lack of Continued Support

The presence of ongoing support networks plays a vital role in a returned missionary’s activity. Once a missionary returns home, their support system may change, leading to potential feelings of isolation or a lack of continued guidance and understanding.

Building and maintaining support networks for returned missionaries is crucial for their ongoing engagement and activity. These networks can help address challenges, provide social connections, and offer guidance as returned missionaries navigate post-mission transitions and questions that may arise.

Efforts to establish mentoring programs, organize reunions or gatherings, and facilitate connections between returned missionaries can contribute to a sense of belonging and continued support, thereby reducing the risk of inactivity.

Efforts to Address Inactivity

Mission Leadership Training

Equipping mission leaders with the necessary training and resources to support and motivate missionaries is crucial for addressing inactivity.

Mission leaders, including mission presidents and their wives, play a significant role in the well-being and activity of missionaries. Providing mission leaders with training in areas such as effective communication, mentorship, mental health support, and creating a positive and motivating environment can positively impact missionary activity rates.

By nurturing healthy relationships and fostering a culture of support and understanding, mission leaders can contribute to the overall experience and engagement of missionaries, thereby helping to reduce inactivity rates.

Preparation before Mission

Preparation before serving a mission can have a lasting impact on a missionary’s activity levels. The Church emphasizes the importance of pre-mission spiritual, physical, and emotional preparation.

Ensuring that prospective missionaries receive the necessary education and training, as well as guidance in developing strong testimonies, can better equip them for the challenges they may face during their missions. Pre-mission programs that focus on teaching effective study and teaching skills, language acquisition, and cultural understanding can help missionaries feel more prepared and confident in their abilities to engage fully in their work.

Encouraging families and local congregations to actively support and engage in the preparation process can also contribute to long-term engagement and activity among missionaries.

Support Networks

Establishing and strengthening support networks for returned missionaries is essential for addressing inactivity. These networks can provide emotional support, resources, mentorship, and opportunities for continued growth and engagement within the Church.

Support networks can take various forms, such as mentorship programs, community groups, or online platforms that connect returned missionaries with others who have had similar experiences or challenges. These networks can provide a sense of belonging, understanding, and camaraderie, reducing the risk of isolation and inactivity.

Additionally, involving returned missionaries in the support and mentorship of current missionaries can create a cycle of sustained engagement and activity within the missionary community.

Mental Health Resources

Recognizing and addressing mental health challenges among returned missionaries is crucial for reducing inactivity rates. Providing access to mental health resources, including counseling services specifically tailored to returned missionaries, can support their well-being and engagement.

Engaging mental health professionals who understand the unique challenges missionaries face, and who can provide culturally sensitive and faith-based support, can be instrumental in addressing mental health concerns. Offering educational resources, workshops, and regular check-ins can help missionaries navigate challenges and improve their emotional well-being.

Addressing mental health openly and destigmatizing seeking help can contribute to higher levels of activity among returned missionaries, as they feel supported and understood in their unique experiences.

Transition Assistance

Implementing robust transition assistance programs can support returned missionaries as they navigate the challenges of reintegrating into regular life. These programs can provide resources, guidance, and support in areas such as education, careers, relationships, and spirituality.

Offering career counseling, mentorship, and networking opportunities can help returned missionaries transition into meaningful employment or further education. Providing guidance on establishing healthy routines, personal goal setting, and maintaining spiritual practices can contribute to continued growth and activity within the Church.

A comprehensive transition assistance program can alleviate the challenges and uncertainties that often accompany the post-mission period, reducing the risk of inactivity and fostering long-term engagement.

Individual Perspective: Stories of Inactive Returned Missionaries

While general statistics and factors can provide valuable insights, individual stories and experiences can offer a rich understanding of the challenges and motivations of returned missionaries.

Hearing from returned missionaries who have experienced periods of inactivity can shed light on the factors that influenced their engagement, as well as the resources or interventions that helped them navigate challenges and regain their activity.

Sharing these stories can provide hope, validation, and inspiration for other returned missionaries who may be experiencing similar challenges or doubts. By amplifying diverse voices and experiences, the Church can address the unique needs and circumstances of returned missionaries, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages continued engagement.


LDS missionary activity is influenced by a multitude of factors, including age, length of service, location, personal preparedness, relationships, support networks, expectations, and access to resources. Understanding these factors and their impact on missionary engagement and inactivity rates is crucial for the Church in supporting and empowering its missionaries.

By evaluating statistics on missionary activity, exploring the factors that influence inactivity, and implementing targeted efforts to address these challenges, the Church can create an environment that encourages continued engagement and fosters personal growth among returned missionaries.

Through mission leadership training, preparation before mission service, support networks, mental health resources, and tailored transition assistance, the Church can provide the necessary support systems for returned missionaries to navigate post-mission challenges, find fulfillment, and maintain their activity levels within the Church community.

By placing emphasis on individual experiences, sharing stories of inactive returned missionaries, and fostering understanding and compassion, the Church can create a culture that embraces diversity, supports individual needs, and encourages long-term engagement and activity within the faith.