If you had been a regularly called missionary in 1909 — and for many years on either side of that year; the certificates changed very little — you would have carried a Minister’s Certificate like this one, issued by the First Presidency. This is how you would have identified yourself when you arrived at mission headquarters or in new fields; you would have presented it to police and other officials when you needed permission to tract or rent meeting halls or conduct other mission activity; you would have shown it to railroad officials when you sought the special clergyman’s travel rates. If you behaved so badly that you were dismissed from your calling, the certificate was confiscated by mission leaders. It was always in English even when you served in a non-English speaking country.
I’ve clipped the name of the man this certificate was issued to; also, know that John R. Winder, first counselor in the First Presidency, did sign in the second slot, but my scanner refuses to display the light ink of his pen.
Transcription for the sake of search engines:
To all to whom this may be presented: This Certifies that the bearer, Elder [blank] is in full faith and fellowship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that by its General Authorities he has been duly ordained a minister of said Church with authority to preach the Gospel and administer in all the ordinances thereof pertaining to his office and authority. And we invite all men to give heed to his teachings as a servant of God, and to assist him in his travels and labors, in whatsoever things he may need.