|Many Mormon missionaries mingling under a mango tree|
In his memoirs, Henry L. Bassett, a Mormon missionary to Samoa in the early 1890s, explains the motivation behind missionary service:
You, dear reader, will no doubt want to know what is the underlying principle that exerts such a powerful influence over a young man that he will leave home and family and friends and go to a new and strange country and endure privation and almost daily dangers on land and sea; must learn to eat food sometimes very distasteful and often indigestible; must learn a language, not merely as the average trader or the beachcomber would speak it, but learn to speak it properly so that he can explain things intelligently to his listeners. It is a fact, too, hardly understood by many and disbelieved by some, that these young men (and I one of the number) go without money and without price to the ends of the earth wherever called, no salary asked nor received, the reward offered being only of the consciousness of having spent the years, as the case may be, in trying to better the conditions of the people met with and teaching them the ways of truth and Right Living as taught by God's representatives on Earth.The same thing can also be said of the many young women and senior couples who serve missions today.
Image courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.