Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Revisiting "And into whatsoever house ye enter"

More on the new missionary housing policy I blogged about last month. The LDS blog By Common Consent today linked to a copy of guidelines relating to the policy that are apparently being distributed to Stake and Mission presidents.

It looks like housing missionaries will generally be a calling with those called receiving a $75 a month reimbursement. It seems that most family arrangements are fine as long as missionaries are not living “in a home where unmarried people of the opposite sex live or where the spouse of [their] own sex is frequently absent.” There is also an exception that allows Elders to “be housed with a widow who is over 60 years old.” Beyond family makeup, according to the guidelines, the structural requirements for housing missionaries are:

A private bedroom with twin beds or a bunk bed and a clothes closet.
A study area with a table and two chairs.
A private bathroom.
The use of a kitchen for meals and some refrigerator and pantry shelf space. Providing meals is not required or expected.
The exclusive use of laundry facilities on preparation day.
Space to park a mission vehicle and secure two bicycles.
An environment that protects missionaries from watching TV and videos/DVDs, playing video games, listening to inappropriate music, and using computers.
Posted cleaning schedule and reminder of house rules.
Cell phones will be provided to missionary companionships being housed with members. Ideally a ward should have a pool of two to three qualified homes as a backup in case missionaries need to be moved from one home to another quickly. Members should not be asked to house missionaries longer than two years at one time.

The stated justifications for the change include:

Missionary support cost can be greatly reduced.
Missionaries [living with members] are generally more obedient, clean, and safe.
Member missionary work can be stimulated.
Flexibility is provided in assigning missionaries based on need, not on lease agreements.

15 comments:

BA said...

I've got a feeling that a lot of members are going to receive a lot of blessings. Everyone will win with the new policy!

Tara said...

Man I would feel like I was on a mission too if I had them living with me. I'd always be worried that they would come home and find me doing some of the evil things I do. You know, like watching Grey's Anatomy.

Marc said...

BA - I sense a calling coming on...

Tara - Perhaps this is just what you need to help you get over that "hump." Should I tip off your Bishop?

blondemama said...

I would like you to revisit my comments on your original post on this topic. Not to brag but I was the most knowledgeable on the subject.

Marc said...

All hail Blondemama... except for on the separate entrance thing.

Simon Birch said...

All I have to say is Thank God I'm not married or over 60 and single. As for you all have fun filling your calling.

Morris Family said...

Are they going to have to guilt trip members by having them "accept a calling" to house missionaries. If you ask me, I think the church should buy homes in different areas. Although the housing market is not great at the moment, house prices have always risen over the years. I can't get over how shocked I am! Wow, unbelieveable! I guess I just know what it's like to have company over at my house for a month straight (living in the tourist capital of the world) and that's only 1 month! and that's with people I'm excited to have come stay with me- not missionaries who I might not get along with. Wow, I wonder how it will all pan out.

Marc said...

Simon - I'm pretty sure they'd let Elders live with a single unmarried guy, depending on the situation. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.

Morrisfam - Living in the world's "other" most popular tourist destination, I fully concur. The missionaries stop by several times a week as is, that's enough for me.

Jonnnnnn said...

I'd say some of the wisdom gained on a mission comes from living out on your own... with all that that entails. For a lot of missionaries, a mission is their first chance to figure out what it takes to live on their own. Now there's gonna be a bunch of missionaries who are going to have a full-time missionary mommy and daddy potentially looking over their shoulder. like BA said... everyone wins with this policy... that sucks bad for both sides.

Marc said...

Now missionaries will all have to wait until they head to BYU to grow up.

blondemama said...

As I have been thinking about this subject, of which I am the expert, I have to assume that church leaders are guessing that there is at least one basement apartment per stake/ward/branch that has potential to be "donated". Or in urban areas w/o basement apartments or lots of space, there has to be some wealthy member who owns some crappy apartment, ect. I am guessing that living arrangements will fall into that category more often than not. The most challenging places will probably be D.C., New York City, and Southern and Northern California.......lucky Marc.

Marc said...

Blonde - Big cities aside, I think a lot of places without many members will have difficulty too.

Marc said...

The Salt Lake Trib ran an article about the new policy today.

Lizzy said...

Bar is over. Where is a new blog?

Mike Bohn said...

I know you had the bar hanging over your head, but 26 days since your last blog, that has to be some sort of record right?

--> JK Mikie