Quiet Dignity

Categories: The Mission

Quiet DignityNote: This article was meant to be tongue-in-cheek – please read it as such.

When you get to the MTC, one of the first things you’ll be taught about is Quiet Dignity. I’d never heard the phrase, and let’s just say it didn’t come naturally to me. Quiet dignity is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. As a missionary you are expected to carry yourself with grace, poise, and dignity, being quiet and reserved in all that you do. And they are pretty serious about it. If you start to speak too loudly, or laugh too boisterously, without fail someone will (quietly) rebuke, “Quiet dignity, Sister (Elder)!” It’s . . . pretty much the most annoying thing in the world.

Here is just a small list of things that are off limits as a quiet, dignified missionary:

  • telling jokes
  • thinking anything is funny (you’re allowed to be mildly amused, just be sure not to laugh loudly)
  • yelling (e.g., quietly yelling across a small room, “Hey Elder, can you grab one for me, too?”)
  • using slang (this includes, but is not limited to: hey, like, sucks, freakin’, you’re the man, chill, dang, cool) *actual list from ’06 Minnesota mission handbook
  • running, or even walking inappropriately fast
  • getting overly excited or animated about anything
  • high-fiving
  • calling attention to yourself in any way

Basically what I’m saying is, you may have to say goodbye to your personality. If you’re anything like me, get ready for your spirit to be squashed. Unless you’re already quiet and dignified, in which case you’re going to make a wonderful missionary.


Author: Sister F

I served a lady mission in US, Spanish-speaking. While I loved my mission, and am glad I went, there's a WHOLE lotta stuff I wish I'd known before I went. I hope to bring an honest look at day-to-day missionary life to FutureMissionary.com.

4 Responses to "Quiet Dignity"

  1. Steve Posted on July 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

    The more I read from this site, the more I doubt that you guys really went on missions.

  2. Debbie Posted on October 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    This sight claims to be honest and open. I was a missionary and I have daughters serving as well. Your views are definitely not accurate in so many ways. I would not recommend this sight to anyone. Your focus is on such negative things. It’s like telling my kids how hard it is to have a baby, all the pains, the changes that are permanent signs of being a mother, the gory details of those few hours +… however true it may be. Those moments are so small, for such a short amount of time compared to the complete joy that giving birth brings. I could scare all my kids into thinking that giving birth and being a parent is the most difficult thing in the world. And what would that do? It would prevent them from the greatest joy one could ever experience in this life. Is that what you intend to do? I am sure that is what this sight has done for some. How sad that is. Instead of focusing on all the hard stuff, focusing on the power of the Atonement , and it’s amazing enabling power of carrying every single missionary through the hard times to the most wonderful times is a better focus. Because in the moment of giving birth, it is darn hard, but immediately after the joy follows. That is what a mission is like!!!! Helping others be reborn and the joy is the greatest joy one can feel. Tell future missionaries that stuff more. Alot more!!!

    • ElderJ
      ElderJ Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:26 am

      I think your analogy of having a baby is perfect. Everyone tells you how wonderful children are and regardless of the difficulties, they’re worth it. That doesn’t mean we should hide the fact that child birth is incredibly painful. Everyone knows how wonderful missions are. We’re just the honest look at the other side. I hope you wouldn’t send your kids into labor or a mission without them knowing what they’re getting into. :)

  3. David Garcia Posted on August 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I found that the first time I heard quiet dignity was also at the MTC. My experience was very different though. I’m an extrovert, competitive in sports and not always the quietest in the room. However, when I really prayed about quiet dignity and practiced it, I found it a huge aid to help towards my reverence to God. This quiet dignity then allowed for a fountain of personal revelation which has helped me even after the mission.

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