Not all are right for mission

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  • RE: KF
    June 8, 2008 4:21 a.m.

    Amen to that my brother. I agree with you completely. I have three son's and I will NOT put the kind of presure on them to be a missionary that was put on me as a young man. I am raising them to become good men, good husbands, good fathers, and good productive mebers of society. I served an honorable mission and I have since served 15 honorable years in the USAF. My service to my country has been by far more challenging and fulfilling.

  • Convert RM
    June 7, 2008 11:53 p.m.

    I am a female convert. Immediately upon finding out about missions, I wanted to go. I really felt like I owed something to God for the Atonement of His Son and for bringing me this great gospel. I love the church. I love the story of the restoration. It is very tender to me. I was more than happy to serve. I loved talking to people and helping them gain a testimony.

    God gives us guidelines and rules. Young men are told to prepare themselves to serve. I think the problem is many young men don't invest in preparation and therefore cheat themselves out of the experience they could have had. I knew a young man who had no clue why he was even out there, (his words, not mine!) He went because his dad said he would not pay for school and Suzie Q wouldn't marry him if he didn't go. He had never read the BoM and had no idea what was in it. He was challenged to read, he gained a great testimony and became a fully functioning, baptizing, great missionary. He realized he should have prepared earlier. Great would have come sooner with prior preparation.

  • wrz
    June 7, 2008 11:22 p.m.

    Is he nice to his mom?"

    A better question would be: "Is his father nice to his mom."

  • Anonymous
    June 7, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    "Judge not least ye be judged"

    I wonder what will actually happen when faced at the judgment bar of God and all of you who are supposed "faithful" members of the church who have spurned those who didn't go on a mission, or who circumstances caused them to get a divorced, or have various disabilities or come from a large, but poor family, etc, etc.

    The members of the church in this state have much to answer for before God. I am just interested in what their reactions will be; "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart from me ye that work iniquity." Mathew 7: 22-23

  • to: gripping
    June 7, 2008 10:32 p.m.

    The reason many have issues with members of the church is this kind of treatment. Educate those in and around you to behave towards those who have not served missions the same way they treat those who have. Is that not how our Lord and Savior would have us treat one another? Just because a person doesn't serve a mission doesn't mean there is serious sin involved.

    I agree that young men should be counseled to prepare, while young, to serve a mission for the Lord. If they choose not to do so, it is their choice and they must deal with any consequences from said choice. Some of those will live happy, full lives and walk among us in our wards as bishops, stake presidents, general authorities, and more. Some will digress and go down sinful roads and will have difficult lives full of misery. The rest are likely normal folk just like the rest of us!

  • gripping
    June 7, 2008 9:20 p.m.

    The message is directed to young men who have a mission before them.
    They should be encouraged and guided into that path of service and growth.

    Sending mixed signals, that "so-and-so did not serve a mission and turned out just fine"; is not helpful or instructive. It only assuages the evidently deep raw resentments of nonRMs over their perceived crummy treatment. It is the old: "don't have sex but if you do use a condom" line of persuasion. Young men deserve undivided positive counsel and support. It is not about you, Bro "brooding nonRM"; it is about the young man with that choice before him.
    Of course some men who do not serve missions live full lives.
    Some fornicators repent and live full lives. Some substance abusers repent and live full lives. Some dabble in homosexuality and repent and live full lives.
    Do we then counsel youth "the gospel is not a one-size-fits-all doctrine, and it is not the right choice for everybody"?
    Of course not.
    We diligently and uncompromisingly teach them the right thing to do. If they make a mistake we help them recover and move on.

    Sorry if your Ward treats you crummy.
    They shouldn't.
    Move on.

  • KF
    June 7, 2008 8:58 p.m.

    Some of you people need to get a grip. I did not serve a mission. I served my country in the US Air Force when my friends were all on missions. I also got married in the temple, put my wife through college, graduated from college myself, retired from the military after 20 years, and provided a good life for myself and my family.

    I am pretty tired, though, of being treated like a second-class citizen in my ward by all the holier-than-thou men who did serve missions. I can hold my head up high and know that my I am an active, worthy member, and don't their approval to be a good member of this church.

    I know many RMs who have cheated on their wives, committed crimes against society, and have treated others despicably throughout their adult lives. My younger brother, a RM apostatized from the churh when he was 35.

    So to all you judgmental people out there, get a life and take care of yourselves and quit worrying about who around you is a RM and who is not.

  • darn good post
    June 7, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    The post you find mean spirited does not differentiate between full or part or service missions; they are all missions. The posts points out that there is an honorable mission opportunity for any and everyone. The post refutes the notion that some people are not "right" for a mission, whatever that means.
    The post's message is hopeful and encouraging to every LDS young man. Thank you for your suggestion but I shall not be finding shame in it. Have a nice evening.

  • Response to mean-spirited post
    June 7, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    seize the opportunity: "Though it is a great challenge and some young men will have to stretch their native abilities more than others to succeed any young man who makes it his goal and works toward it can succeed and his life will be greatly blessed for it. There are various types of service available for young men depending on their abilities."

    I have no idea what you mean by "depending on their ability" but it is clearly offensive to those who don't serve or who are forced to serve part-time or service missions.

    Why don't you say "there are full-time mission opportunities available for those who don't have the ability to serve part-time service missions?" What about those who don't succeed in a full-time mission? Do you tell them that it wasn't their "goal" and that they didn't "work" towards it?

    You should be truly ashamed of your post.

  • seize the opportunity
    June 7, 2008 6:08 p.m.

    "LDS missions are not a one-size-fits-all event, and they are not the right choice for everybody."

    I disagree.

    All young men in the Church are counseled to prepare for and serve missions.

    Though it is a great challenge and some young men will have to stretch their native abilities more than others to succeed any young man who makes it his goal and works toward it can succeed and his life will be greatly blessed for it.
    There are various types of service available for young men depending on their abilities.

    "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

  • Actually...again...
    June 7, 2008 5:29 p.m.

    I should have clarified more by saying that it is the title I'm critical of, not the mission itself. I fully appreciate that many men, but not all as you claim, do go for the right reasons and grow both spiritually and personally. But that is not a trait of missions alone, a man who does not go also can grow in those ways.

    A problem does exist in Mormon culture when former missionaries enjoy an exalted position merely because they went.

    You said, "certainly there are young men...(who) did not serve missions and went on to have fulfilled lives."

    Yes, examples include Elders Uchtdorf, Eyring, and Monson.

    My whole point, and I'm sure the letter writer's, is that it's the title that means nothing. Yes, returned missionaries CAN be good men, but so can those who are not returned missionaries.

    Judging someone based on the title alone is folly.

  • Actually not
    June 7, 2008 5:03 p.m.

    a touching story, if true.

    "as the title means nothing as to the quality of the man"
    "solely based on the fact he lacks a title which means nothing."

    Serving a two year mission serving your fellow man doesn't qualify one for Sainthood, granted, but it is more than "nothing". Sourgrapes?

    It does say something about a young man's discipline, obedience, willingness, among other traits. All good starting points.
    And everyone who serves a mission will tell you that they grew greatly from the experience, and are much better for having done so.

    Certainly there are young men who had the opportunity but did not serve missions and went on to have fulfilled lives. Anecdotally.

    But, I would repeat, if a young man had an opportunity to serve a mission and did not I would be very concerned for him and for my daughter.

  • georgiaonmymind
    June 7, 2008 4:52 p.m.

    If you have not served a mission (which I have) I really don't think anyone really knows how difficult a mission can be and no it is not for everyone. I can recall a few who should have never been out there. If you have not served one you do not know what it is like and it is not an easy thing to do. I do not regret my mission. I married a returned missionary and he is wonderful but I knew him before and loved him before his mission. It comes down to free agency! No one has the right to judge anyone whether or not they served! We don't know why they chose not to and we are not to judge anyways. Love one another y'all!

  • I'm glad....
    June 7, 2008 4:40 p.m.

    I went on a mission and I will never regret having done it. The things I learned while on a mission gave me a firm foundation to start my life as an adult and of course it strengthen my own personal testimony after all the years of piggy banking on my parents testimonies.

    Having said that, I also understand that there is a need to have balance and not go too extreme on certain principles. I for one don't have a "holier than thou" attitude towards my friends and relatives who did not serve missions and I'm not going to rub it in their faces that they need to serve. We all have our Free Agency...

  • Actually...
    June 7, 2008 4:04 p.m.


    I am one of the many men who are fully active in the Church, have a testimony, was married in the temple to a beautiful woman, and all while not having served a full mission.

    What a shame the young women of this Church are facing if they isolate potential partners to those of RMs, as the title means nothing as to the quality of the man. And what a shame if parents judge a man as being of lesser quality solely based on the fact he lacks a title which means nothing.

    Instead of putting expectations on all young men that just going is what's important, and that the title somehow sets you above others, perhaps it would be better to actually encourage men to go for the right reasons, and respecting them if they feel differently.

    The writer of this letter is spot on.

  • PS- the moral of the story...
    June 7, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    ....young man, is get off you fanny; prepare and serve a mission.
    Don't spend the rest of your life regretting a poor decision.

  • Former Missionary gone bad
    June 7, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    a sad story, if true

    Sure, lots of RMs are jerks and worse.

    Limiting your consideration to RM (along with other criteria) is just a STARTING point.
    You will still winnow the group down a lot more.

    However if you consider the universe of RMs vs nonRM you're going to have better odds with the RM group.

    And I would repeat, if a young man had an opportunity to serve a mission and did not I would be very concerned for my daughter.

  • Former Missionary
    June 7, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    Be warey of the RM. I am an RM and I was excommunicated a few years ago. I too am glad that I served but just because I am an RM does not mean that I was the best choice out there. To tell you Daughter that she should only marry and RM is really handcuffing her to an inflexable gidline. You would be better off help her choose.

  • Timj
    June 7, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    I was a bit reluctant about serving a mission, but I'm glad I went. I learned things that I would have had difficulty learning anywhere else.
    That being said, many returned missionaries are still idiots or jerks, and many who don't serve (or who don't complete) their missions are excellent and mature people.

  • prerequisite
    June 7, 2008 11:41 a.m.

    If I was a young lady looking for a spouse I would have a checklist of qualifications my potential beaus would have to meet before I would even consider them.

    Is he nice to his mom?
    On the list would be "Did he serve a mission? (assuming he was a member at an age when he could have)

    Of course there are RMs who are jerks and remember the list is just a starting point but serving a mission would definitely be on the list.

    Our Heavenly Father has given us everything we are blessed with and and the Savior has done more for us than we can comprehend.

    In return they ask very very little.

    Obey the commandments (which instantly brings us joy and happiness and blessings)
    Serve a mission (if you are a young man)

    If a young man is unwilling to respond to the call from his Savior who has done everything for him to give a measly two years service then I would wonder how he would treat me and our children.

    What kind of husband and father would he be?


    A mission would definitely be on the list.

  • President Monson
    June 7, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    has been serving a mission his whole life.

  • If that's what you want
    June 7, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    Several years ago, I was on a date with a a young lady whom I had known only for a short time. The plan was for dinner and a movie. However, before we had even had a chance to place our order with the waitress, my date asked me where I went on my mission. When I told her I hadn't served one, she rerponded with a disgusted sounding, "Oh." The date was essentially over. We went through the motions of pretending we both still wanted to be there for the rest of dinner and the movie, but I would have been better off taking her home at that point.

    The indoctrination of our young women that they should only marry an RM does a disservice to a lot of good men, and only raises the expectation for the women that they won't end up with a jerk. Well, they are welcome to a lot of the RM's I've known that turned out to be jerks, losers, and worse.

  • Missions not everything
    June 7, 2008 10:09 a.m.

    It amazes me that people often forget that NONE of the current members of the First Presidency served missions, and it appears they all turned out to be fine men. Yes, young men should try and live good lives as preparation, but missions are not for everyone because of thousands of variable circumstances.

  • Anonymous
    June 7, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Good missionaries will be thinking about their future. They should be getting the post-mission life in order while ON their missions.

    To not do so would be a disaster.

    Judge not that ye be not judged.

  • Jimmy
    June 7, 2008 8:02 a.m.

    Wasn't Steve Young from CT?
    Good point. But best of luck in hoping that anyone will buy into it.

  • KM
    June 7, 2008 7:36 a.m.

    I could't agree with you more. the church could't agree with you more. Heck, nowadays the church is a lot more strick on readiness to serve a mission. I think it should be between the person and God.
    If the stars align and you go it can be a very fulfilling experience. If you are not ready and don't go, well you'll be just like every body else and every returned missionary. you'll have to work out life one day at a time and endure to the end.

  • Every Young Man
    June 7, 2008 7:22 a.m.

    Every LDS young man should have as his goal preparing and qualifying himself (morally, physically and intellectually) to serve a mission and doing so honorably if called.

    To suggest that a young man "should be focused on whatever it is he has his heart set on to do" is flippant and shallow. Older wiser figures (parents, teachers, etc) should be counseling a young man into paths that will serve him well, not merely observing and cheering as he flitters from one fancy to another.

    Unfortunately not every young man will receive appropriate guidance or respond to it; but most,if given the opportunity, will find a mission will be a life changing and defining service opportunity.

    Don't penalize young men with the "prejudice of low expectations".

    They deserve to be challenged.

  • georgiaonmymind
    June 7, 2008 5:47 a.m.

    Well said!