Following are a few resources that the Church has made available for early return missionaries.  

Elder Holland's Counsel for Early Returning Missionaries found at:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:  “To those of you who have served or are now serving, we thank you for the good you have done and for the lives you have touched. Bless you! We also recognize that there are some who have hoped all their lives to serve missions, but for health reasons or other impediments beyond their control, they cannot do so. We publicly and proudly salute this group. We know of your desires, and we applaud your devotion. You have our love and our admiration. You are 'on the team' and you always will be, even as you are honorably excused from full-time service” (“We Are All Enlisted,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2011).

Called to the Work - President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, June 2017, pg 4-

"Now, a word for those elders, sisters, and couples who, for whatever reason, may not be able to finish their assigned time in the mission field: The Lord loves you. He appreciates your sacrifice. He is aware of your disappointment. Know that He still has a work for you to do. Don’t let Satan tell you otherwise. Don’t get down; don’t become discouraged; don’t despair.

As I observed in general conference shortly after I was called to lead the Church: “Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”3 That promise still holds true for you. So don’t lose your faith, because the Lord has not lost faith in you. Keep your covenants and move forward.

The world needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless all of His Saints—regardless of where we serve—with a missionary heart."

Prepare to Serve - Elder Greg Schweitzer of Seventy, New Era, Apr 2017, pg 37.

"If You Need to Return Home…….Because your health is so important, if you develop symptoms that require medical treatment, be sure to get good professional help. In some cases, if your symptoms are severe, you’ll be honorably excused from your mission. And you’ll be blessed for having kept yourself worthy. If you return home early, please know that the Lord loves and appreciates every effort you made to serve Him. Anyone who goes on a mission and tries his or her best has had a successful mission.

The Lord wants you to get healthy again and move on with your life. If you are permanently released early, pursue your education and do what Heavenly Father wants you to do in finding an eternal companion. These things are really important parts of the big picture of your life."


"I have the privilege of working with Young Single Adults. I must begin with a full disclosure: I am biased towards this group of Latter-day Saints. I love their intensity, compassion and determination. This group is remarkably candid with their questions, feelings and emotions. They have endless energy and most of them who had the opportunity to serve missions, feel deeply about the time served. They will tell you the mission helped them to come alive in their pursuit of Christian discipleship. They speak of finding themselves in service to others and love to share stories of the change they observed in those whom they taught and of their own spiritual and cultural enlightenment. This clarity will follow them for the rest of their lives.

There are some in this group who also had many of these same experiences but don’t feel justified in speaking about them because they came home early for one reason or another. I often ask the individual sitting across from me in an interview if he or she has served a mission and, if so, to tell me about their experience.

I’m concerned when an early-returned missionary responds with, “yes, but…”. “Yes, but I only served for so long” or “yes, but I had problems and came home early” or “yes, but I had some anxiety or depression issues and couldn’t finish”. I usually respond with, “I didn’t ask how long you served, I just asked you to tell me about your experience”.

Too many early returned missionaries feel as though they carry with them a scarlet letter, which must be revealed at a moment’s notice. They feel as though they must carry it with them at all times and in all places, and must be disclosed to anyone that asks if he or she has served a mission. Many feel as though this will be a spiritual ball and chain which they will carry forever. Some slip into the vagueness of inactivity rather than carry such a burden.

Many of these early birds assume, incorrectly, that there is some negative annotation on their church record that becomes part of their permanent record. Others mistakenly believe that the promised blessings recorded in their Patriarchal Blessing are now null and void due to an early return.

What I wish you early-returned missionaries to know is this:  Though perhaps a noble desire to confess an early homecoming, it is not necessary to disclose to everyone who inquires, the reasons for your early return. Just tell them where you served and what you loved about your mission. Constantly confessing your early return, to others, in not a requirement imposed by God or any Bishop, and will not hasten the healing process."

 See,……Families and individuals……. Hope & Help,…….Emotional and Mental Health.  This opens a page rich with suggestions, encouragement, and resources to help.





Dr. Gary G. Taylor