1.1 Start with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (i.e.,
KJV, BoM). You can't fake or teach what is not and never has been the
truth (i.e., D&C, PoGP, BoA, JST).
Thoughtful article. Well written.
I emphatically second everything in this article. I served 3.5 years after
joining the church (30 years ago), and took the opportunity to review my mission
with these tips in mind. I had a wonderful experience. I can say that, though
only a member a few years, I complied (mostly) with these suggestions because I
had the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.And to Michigander:
I, honestly, have never even concerned myself with the authenticity of the
sacred works you cited as "never [have] been the truth." I have only
read and studied them, applied their teachings in my life, and seen my life
skyrocket upward. I humbly submit, as just an average Joe, that instead of
trying to prove things right or wrong I have accepted the testimony of others
and tried to make application of goodness in my own life. All of these works
you cited as not being true only teach men and women to go from bad to good to
better to best. Not saying you're wrong, just sayin'...
Here's something to think about. I've had two sons serve good
missions. I'll leave it to them to decide whether they were
"great." But both have come home and struggled to readjust to regular
life, and this difficult landing has resulted in diagnosed mental illnesses with
a fair amount of guilt involved.A couple of weeks ago, I got out my
journal from my college days and was surprised at how much I struggled too. I
loved my mission. It certainly changed my life. But I can see now how the
expectations it cultivated were wildly unrealistic. I paid for it for several
years.I now have another son with a mission call. He's pretty
stable. He's excited. I don't want to pour water on his fire, but I
also don't want him to come home in 2 years and fail at real life. One
thing we sometimes don't recognize is that a mission is a very artificial
existence, in so many ways. And yet missionaries are charged with teaching
people how to succeed at living the gospel in their very real lives. Seems a bit
paradoxical. Any thoughts?
Michigander, you and I have obviously read two VERY different sets of books. In
particular, for me right now, the D&C is so rich with knowledge, light and
truth!! I cannot emphasize that enough! I do, however remember reading it as a
teen and not being very impressed. Maybe that is the problem for you. If so,
time and maturity might make the difference. ;)PS If the Book of
Mormon is true, you can guarantee the others are as well. Just common sense.
Michigander, if you don't know that the D&C, PoGP, BoA, and JST are
truth, how in the world do you know that the KJV is truth?
Very good article. These things work on a mission and with some adjustments
work for the rest of your life. We have seen hundreds of missionaries on their
missions and after their missions. For the most part they are happy. We are
into our third mission in Siberia. Which is our fifth mission as a couple. I
got to serve as a young man too. All have been wonderful experiences. We love
the work and the people. We and our family have been richly blessed. Why do we
keep going? We can and are willing do it and love missionary work. Some people
we know say the Church is false and your lifetime of following all those silly
commandments is a waste. For the sake of argument, if they are right, it still
has been a good life. If we are right, eye hath not seen or ear heard what lays
ahead. I believe as mortals, we do not yet have the vocabulary to describe the
blessings to come. For those who see this as foolishness, again, if we are
right, outer darkness and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth,
doesn't sound so good. Choice is important.
Mick Stupp, I also struggled on my mission. I really think I would have been
better off if I had had an article such as this one to use and help me prepare
for my mission. In addition, there is one other thing I believe is of paramount
importance: To know you are going because you really want to, not because it is
'expected' or because of an external, earthly reward. It is also my
attitude toward anything connected with keeping the commandments. When I think
of "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath," I think
of how the commandments are given for us, because otherwise we might not
recognize the value of behaving in the best way. Knowing that, and being
willing to trust in the Lord fully is what will help get someone through the
most difficult and "artificial" two years of your life.
I've served as a ward mission leader in New Jersey for the last year and a
half. We've had a lot of good missionaries serve in our ward during that
time.The "great" missionaries are the ones that look and
listen for the needs of the ward and tailor their efforts to help the ward.
These are the ones that find great joy in their service and help a lot of
people.The missionaries who come into our ward with preconcieved
notions about how to do missionary work, like what they did in their last area,
what their fathers did on their missions or what they saw in the movies, they
are the ones who get frustrated, blame the members, and don't help as many