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Cost for missions going up

FILE-- (Photo courtesy Church Newsroom)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says the price to serve a mission will be going up.

Missionaries headed to 18 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States) will see a $100 increase a month starting in July of 2020, the first increase since 2003.

Prospective missionaries for the church generally pay for their own missions, sometimes with the help of family, friends, or congregation members.

The Church equalized the cost for missionaries serving around the world in 1991 citing a “growing disparity in the cost of missions in various areas of the world.” The cost then became a flat $350 a month. It was then raised in 2003 to $400, where it has been for the last 16 years.

This increase comes after “careful consideration” from the First Presidency and is in response to the rising costs of expenses for things like rent food, utilities, and transportation in the 18 countries named.

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said church leaders wanted to give prospective missionaries and their families time to plan for the increase in expense.

“They should counsel with their families, ward or branch members, or others who may choose to assist,” he said.

“This adjustment will better help cover costs for missionary needs,” Woodruff said. “The church will continue to pay for training, transportation to and from the mission and other expenses incidental to missionary work.”

The church currently has more than 67,000 missionaries serving on more than 400 missions around the world.

“We love and are most grateful for the many young men and young women who answer the call to serve the Lord as full-time missionaries and express appreciation for those who support them,” the First Presidency said in its letter. “We know that many sacrifice greatly to help share our Heavenly Father’s love and the Savior’s restored gospel.”