Acts 16:6-10 (NIV):

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

How often do Christian missionaries go to preach to specific countries or places in God's timing, when the Holy Spirit allows them to, when God explicitly leads them to do so? Is this a common practice among missionaries? Does the answer depend on the specific denomination of the missionaries?

  • This is not a good question for this site. What exactly do you think you are going to learn from asking this? Of course there are going to be Christian missionaries who claim that they are following God's lead to go to a particular mission field. Some will even claim to have received a vision. Can you or anyone here verify if that is true? Of course not.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 12:15
  • @curiousdannii - what if I ask about frequency, like this question? Would it be ok then? Update: question edited.
    – user50422
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 12:19
  • No, I don't think that really helps the question. I still want to know what you think you're going to learn from questions like this, aside from anecdotes and trivia.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 13:24
  • @curiousdannii - Isn't the Bible full of anecdotes? Do you consider those anecdotes worthwhile?
    – user50422
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:01
  • Not if you think God inspired it. If you do the all the stories are purposeful, all contribute to the greater message. Anyway, sorry for being negative, but I just don't get the point of questions like this. Why ask something when the answer is obviously going to be yes? And then after the edit, why ask something that can't be quantified?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


It's unclear what could be a good answer for your question. I'll offer some insights into how LDS missions work.

One of our the articles of faith put forth by Joseph Smith is this:

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

In general, this means for any and all callings (such as bishops, local teachers etc.) whoever is in charge seeks inspiration and confirmation from God through prayer as to which member should fill which position.

For missionaries, this works as follows:

  • prospective missionaries turn their application in
  • one of the Twelve seeks inspiration in which mission to send this missionary (a mission is a geographical area, there are more than 400)
  • each mission has a mission president which in turn seeks inspiration regarding in which city inside the mission to send that individual missionary. Every 6 weeks there are rotations where the mission president will again decide (again, while seeking inspiration) whether or not to leave the missionary there or send somewhere else in the mission
  • the individual missionaries also seek inspiration as to where to go and what to do as they plan their days

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-use-time-wisely?lang=eng (that chapter is a lot about setting good goals, etc., but always puts prayer and seeking inspiration from the Lord as top priorities)

As you pray personally and in your companionship, seek inspiration on what you should do each day. As you follow your plans, pray and ask the Lord for guidance. Have a prayer in your heart throughout the day that the Spirit will help you know where to go, what to do, and what to say.

  • Do you know how this 'seeking inspiration' process works? How do LDS know when they have received this inspiration?
    – user50422
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:27
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator That is a topic where a comment is not sufficient. May I refer to this answer, where I included a link to blog posts that may help answer that question: christianity.stackexchange.com/a/84072/6520 "Seeking inspiration" means praying and listening for the answers, basically. In my experience, on the local level this means: There is a discussion between a bishop and his counselors regarding callings, eventually the discussion settles on a name. Already during this discussion the participants search their feelings and ...
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:43
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator it's not uncommon to hear "I feel such and such". In the end, they will pray, and listen intently to what they feel. Does the decision feel good? Are there doubts? If it feels good, that's seen as confirmation. Bad is taken to mean it was probably the wrong outcome. No feeling at all? In that case the discussion will often get postponed, since the demand of "by prophecy" is taken very seriously. You don't want to look people in the eye and basically tell them God called them without actually feeling that way.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:52

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