The Mormon Missionary: Who Is That Knocking at My Door?
This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Robert L. Lively Jr. that was published in issue 55:1. To download the PDF and read the full text of this article, follow the link below.
Robert L. Lively Jr., dean emeritus at the University of Maine at Farmington, is the author of the 2015 book The Mormon Missionary: Who Is That Knocking at My Door? Lively conceived this book after inviting missionaries to visit his religion classes and realizing that a non-Mormon had never written a book that tells the story of Latter-day Saint missionaries. His research involved over 275 interviews with past, present, and future missionaries, including individuals who served in every decade since the 1930s, in the United States and forty-seven countries around the world. The LDS Church was very supportive of his project, which enabled him to interview Church officials in Salt Lake City, including President Gordon B. Hinckley, as well as mission presidents, stake presidents, and local congregational leaders. He also had the rare opportunity of visiting Missionary Training Centers in Utah and England, where he conducted interviews with missionaries in training and with MTC presidents and their staff. This article is a series of excerpts from his book.