Speaking during the April 2001 general conference, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve addressed four reasons the "four F's" of why there aren't the tens of thousands of missionary couples that are needed: fear, family concerns, finances and finding the right mission opportunity.
- Fear. "Fear of the unknown or fear that we don't have the scriptural skills or language required can cause reluctance to serve. But the Lord has said, 'If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.' (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30.) Your life is your preparation. You have valuable experience. You have raised a family and served in the Church. Just go and be yourselves. The Lord has promised that angels will go before you.
- Family concerns. "The Savior called upon fishermen, entreating them, 'Follow me.' (Matthew 4:19.) He beseeched them to leave their familiar settings behind and become fishers of men. What is asked of couple missionaries is less than half a tithe of the time they will spend on earth. In the eternal perspective, a mission is but a few moments away from familiar settings, family and having retirement fun with old friends.
- Finances. "Missionary work has always involved sacrifice. If some sacrifices are necessary, then the blessings will be all the more abundant. Children, encourage your parents to serve and assist them with financial support if necessary. You may lose a baby-sitter for a short time, but the eternal rewards you and your family receive will more than compensate for the brief sacrifice.
"To younger couples with children still at home, I urge you now to decide to serve in your later years and to plan and prepare so you are financially, physically and spiritually able. Make certain that the great example of missionary service is a heritage you will leave your posterity.
- Finding the right mission opportunity. "The ways in which couples can serve are virtually limitless. From mission office support and leadership training to family history, temple work, and humanitarian service there is an opportunity to use almost any skill or talent with which the Lord has blessed you."