Salt Lake City, UT—The LDS Church has just released an updated version of the missionary handbook—the set of rules and standards expected of all missionaries. Perhaps the most notable update in the handbook is that missionaries are now allowed to swim.
At some point in the church’s history, no one really knows when, church leaders made swimming on missions a forbidden practice. The church never really gave a clear explanation as to why swimming was forbidden, but it’s definitely because Satan controls the waters and would drown every missionary who ever went swimming. Of course, Satan isn’t threatened by today’s missionaries which is the doctrinal explanation for the ban on swimming being lifted.
Now that swimming is approved as an activity, the church has also created guidelines on what kinds of swimwear will be allowed in the mission field. The church is reportedly preparing for a 500% increase in elders serving missions.