- It helps those who may be interesting in the LDS Church recognize those ordained and qualified to teach the Gospel.
- It helps the Church become more recognized in the public.
- It helps missionaries remember who they are and what they are doing
The third reason listed may be the most important of them all.
I strongly believe that the missionary tag does as much or more in protecting the missionaries than mission rules. It is a constant reminder to them of their callings and expectations.
I will share a story that helps illustrate this. One night on my mission I awoke with an asthmatic attack. I reached for my inhaler but it was not there. I got up and searched the apartment but it couldn't be found. My breathing became heavier and my wheezing louder. My companion called the Mission Medical Coordinator. She first advised us to call 911. I told her that I would be fine if I could just get a replacement inhaler. Knowing that, she advised me to go to a 24 hour drug store and purchase an inhaler. We both threw on our dress clothes with tags and left.
It was 3 a.m. and my companion and I felt very uncomfortable as we drove the dark and lonely streets in the middle of the night. Neither one of us had been out past 10 p.m. in a long time. I began to realize how horrible it would look if a member saw two missionaries driving out at 3 a.m. I started to become very aware of the tag I was wearing. Every time I saw it looking at me in the side mirror of the car my worries would grow stronger.
Of course we were not doing anything wrong, and following the direction of our mission leaders. Of course if a member would have judged us harshly the fault would be theirs. But I became very aware of how important the missionary tag is in keeping Elders and Sisters out of trouble and reminding them of who they are and what they are doing. They are representatives of the Church and of Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I couldn't help but wonder if we as members need tag. Do we need reminders of who we are and what we should be doing? We are members of the Lord's Church and also represent Jesus Christ.
Missionary tag or not, I hope that I can live my life continuously remembering what I stand for and who I represent, my Savior.