pt 1Dektol, I served a mission and I've served my country. Still do.
And hands down I have to say that the mission was a thousand times better,
prepared me more effectively and was a more important step in my life to
developing me as a human, a citizen, a man, a father, a student, and a
leader.I've flown an awful lot of combat missions and been to
the best training our country has to offer and very little of it has compared to
the lessons I learned 15 years ago in a foreign country sitting on a ragged
couch baring testimony of Jesus Christ in a language I barely understood to
people I didn't even know how much I loved at the time.
I am all for the change, and think that if a boy is immature at 18, he likely
won't improve much after a year of college, for which he will likely be
similarly unprepared. Much has been written about the preparation
necessary for youth going on missions. What I didn't understand myself
because of my family situation growing up is the importance of being taught
correctly in the home. I wasn't a particularly good missionary myself; I
was the first of my extended family to go on a mission, and did so out of a
feeling of obligation rather than a desire based on a knowledge of the rewards
of living the Gospel. From an early age, my wife and I have been trying to
teach our kids by word and deed so they will go because they have the desire to
bring the blessings they have experienced to others. Finally, quite
unrelated: I hope Church leaders have the safety of our missionaries as their
top priority. I think more can probably be done to prevent things going wrong.
For all of you that are worried about these young men and women being too
immature to serve. Stop!!!!!The revelation wouldn't have been given
if this were an issue. My son isn't even 18 yet and is leaving this
summer. He will be a much better missionary than I was, and I think that I did
o.k.I was old for my age so I left the fall after high school graduation.
I didn't have any immaturity issues, or any out of the ordinary homesick
problems. He has had the same opportunities to grow up that I had. College
doesn't give you that. Most of my companions had gone to a year of school
and were less mature than I was. Most of them had experimented with
alcohol/drugs while in school. This is a good thing and a positive step
forward. This generation of young people is up to the challenge!
Older couples should embark on an exercise program. At least walk 30 minutes a
day. Even better do 40 minutes to an hour. Also go to the gym and work out
your larger muscle groups. This is a year of destiny and these young people will
benefit if there are more senior couples in the field. The greatest experiences
of my wife and my life were in Tonga, Dominican Republic and New Zealand. Non
members should understand that we do not want to convert everyone, but we do
want everyone to hear about the Restored Gospel so they can make a choice.
To go to a foreign mission you need to insure you complete all years of
seminary. Most country's require this. What an inspired change. I can think
of many young men that didn't go on a mission because of the timing. There
is no question in my mind that the leaders of the church received revelation
from God on the subject. I have worked with the youth for many years and know
they are ready to go strait out of high school as long as they are participating
in the youth program of the church. It is our responsibility as leaders to
insure they complete the duty to god requirements and help them early in life.
Loved Vernal Mom's post.
Dektol,Reference the military being a good option, that depends on
the individual. It was not for me and certainly was not an option for my son
(now on a mission).The mission is not a sales training program.
Yes, there are aspects of it that are that way. But there is serving, and
studying, loving the people, teaching and learning yourself.I had
been to college for a year and my own experience was that college was a lot
easier to handle when I returned. I knew how to study, how to organize my time
(a lot better than I did before) and I had much more maturity than just two more
years would indicate.I don't know about top athletes - but
there are really very few of them. Those I have known who had athletic ability
were glad they went no matter how things worked out later regarding playing or
scholarships.Perhaps the most personally valuable attribute one
gains on a mission is perspective. What is important and what is not. Returned
missionaries are hardly perfect, but the mission does give them a leg up on life
and its challenges.
Dektol, just like a mission is not for everyone, neither is the military. I bow
to those who give us the freedom so others can serve missions. I hope I'm
wrong, but I sense you are putting down missions. Both offer service. No one can
ever take anything away from our brave men and women of the military. I also
wish no one will take anything away from missionaries. After disasters,
missionaries off thousands of hours of free assistance and service to people.
Looks to me that everyone wins.
I must say that I am impressed with the maturity and commitment of young men I
am aware of who are about to enter the mission field.One young man,
with whose parents my wife and I were friendly years ago but from whose
neighborhood we had moved, recognized me at a store where he was then working.
He came up to me and,after having confirmed I was who he though I was, excitedly
informed me he was going to the MTC in a few weeks. The young man was
courteous, genuine, and showed no signs at all of egotism. He was on fire with
his call and wanted to share it with those he knew.Another two young
men at our ward came up to me, at different times,each telling me he was going
to go on a mission. They had the same excitement and exhibited great maturity.
There was no swagger or sense of self importance apparent, just enthusiasm that
could hardly be contained. Two of the three told me where they were going, and
one said he did not know but would go anywhere he was sent.No room
to talk of grandsons!
This is a fantastic idea. My only concern is the sisters are close enough in
age to the elders that there may be too much fraternization. The typical
21-year-old woman will not find an 18-year-old man interesting.
I find it fascinating that while much of our society is struggling with young
adults "failing to launch," the church is "launching" its youth
even earlier. No sports, education, military training, or any other
silly so-called equivalent training, as some here recommend, can compare to
giving up everything that you are to become something even greater.Sure, there will be problems with missionaries sent home early--that's
always been the case. Every mission has the kid who wasn't ready, or is
there because dad promised him a car when he gets home.But having
taught college freshmen for many years, I've also seen young men completely
lose their ways in that limbo-stage between high school graduation and missions.
Now, that wasted phase is eliminated, and I predict that in 5-10 years
we'll see more young men ready to launch into a real world of adulthood,
having gone straight to missions after high school.Awesome thing
that, being led by the Lord . . . He always gets it right.
Most would be much better off going into the Military than the future sales
training program that is Mormon missionary duty. The Nation would be much better
off as well.Those who are top athletes will lose out the most on
fulfilling the potential they have in sport because of the two years off.
I hope money isn't the main reason, but we need way more elder couples I
think. Lots of older couples waste so much time in retirement. They are bored. A
mission is so rewarding.
My son is graduating from high school and has received his mission call. He is
excited and understands it is not going to be all fun. I served a mission many
many many (really, many!) years ago. I never sugar-coated my mission
experiences. It was a great experiences but it was not easy. I have told my son
about my wonderful experiences and my miserable times when my testimony was
rattled. I have another son who served a faithful mission and he has also been
upfront about the good and tough times of being a missionary. My sons have also
grown up knowing missions are not for everyone and a person who does not serve a
mission is as valuable to this world and to God as those who do serve. In short,
the only times my sons got in serious trouble in their lives was if they were
disrespectful or did not stand up against bullies. I am not an active LDS person
for a bunch of reasons, but I know the gospel is true and pray for success of
those who serve an those who do not.
Out of the 18 year olds that have entered the MTC, nothing is mentioned about
those who have been sent home because of immaturity or are missing family,
specifically their mothers. I think there are definitely some 18 year olds
that are ready, but probably just as many that are not. Same applies to the
women Mission presidents or senior companions, at the best of times,
don't need to babysit these immature missionaries. This is a serious
work. I've encountered too many immature missionaries that are an
George of the jungle - you are right, necessity is the mother of invention. In
this self indulgent world older teenagers and young adults need to learn:the world doesn't revolve around thema good life takes hard workthere are people who are looking for more meaning in their lives, appreciation for their parents, to sacrifice their own interest for
others, to really cement what they believe,to serve, respect
for authority, respect and love of other cultures and peopleEtc.Most return missionaries have learned these things - and more - at such
a young age. Thank goodness for missions in the LDS church.
remember, when they said that they could go at 18, they also said that not
everyone should go at 18 and some might be better off waiting until they are 19.
Necessity is the mother of invention. No jobs, can't afford collage.
What's there to do.
Kids these days are more mature, and then much less mature then even 20 years
ago. This new program will push parents to focus more on training there kids
President Monson said you don't have to go at 18 can. I do know one kid
that finished one year of Schooling first. That said I think most will go at
18. For sisters I don't think every sister will go however a higher
percentage will go than did before. Not all are fit for missionary service.
For worthy and able men for the last several decades it has been expected
though. Our stake will have seminary graduation tonight and I would
like to see how many of the Seniors already have mission calls. One kid in our
ward does. Some kids may have had distractions between now and High School but
will go now that may not have. Interesting how the Lord hastens his work.
This is one of the greatest changes I've witnessed in my life. Super!
I love this article! Having a Sophomore Boy, we have seen a great change in our
high school - especially the Senior boys. Where there used to be initiations,
teasing, and even slight hazing in the three sports my son plays - we instead
watched these fine young men take the younger boys under their wing and be great
examples and mentors. As Seniors, they decided as a group that they did not want
to treat the younger boys the way they were treated in the past. I'm so
proud of them! Four boys who just graduated have already entered the MTC.
I do not have mission age children, as they are all married, but I feel the
energy, too. It's all encompassing. I am so happy that the youth are able
to go after their time spent in Seminary. It gives them a great jump start. May
God bless the Seminary teachers who inspire these young people by their
teachings. And may God bless the missionaries so that they absolutely know the
Lord is mindful of each one of them and they have a great purpose in His plan.
It's my utmost prayer and desire that all those young people called are
well prepared for the task at hand. Missionary work is very hard and requires
total commitment, dedication, and a burning desire to serve the Lord even in the
face of difficult opposition. It's the kind of work that tries men's
soul let alone teenagers still in their youth. I know the Lord calls the weak
things of the world to confound the wise but I had still witnessed a few young
men who I thought were not quite prepared enough, eg...weak testimony,
difficulty adjusting to missionary life, easily frustrated and want to go home,
etc, etc. The work is not for the faint at heart so I hope the kids are made to
be aware of that and not just be caught up in the excitement of the moment just
because their friends are going. It's serious business and the Lord needs
the best, the willing, and the totally committed! May our noble youths are made
to understand that during their preparation. God bless the youth of this