@aggielove....that's an awful thing to say. An no, you can't.
I would hope nobody judges a young man who doesn't go. I have a child who
is high functioning autistic. Most people don't know unless they are told,
they just find him somewhat obnoxious in his mannerisms, although obviously a
good kid with a testimony. I don't know if he's going to be able to
go, or if he'll be allowed to go. Some are, some aren't and it's
a very individual decision. Certain other kids will make one time mistakes that
keep them from going, or join the military out of high school. Some don't
have a strong testimony at the right age. It's nobody else's
In this church, it's easy to tell who went and didn't go on a mission.
As for me, I never had the opportunity to go on a mission, but knowing what I
know now, I wish I had been able to. However, I wonder if I would have married
the same wonderful woman, had the same kids etc. No, I didn't get to serve
as a youth, but since my wife joined the church and I became active, I can
hardly wait until WE have that opportunity as oldsters. As for Jabari, the Lord
will help him in his opportunities as he prays and thinks about it. Whatever he
chooses may God Bless him and keep him strong and content in the gospel. I
support his decision, and I'm sure the church does also, just remember to
express your support and love for him as he goes forward. Thanks for allowing me
@ junkgeekAnd lastly, if you can't understand the incalcuable
influence that "ambassadors" of the Church like Steve Young, Danny
Ainge, Sid Going, Brandon Flowers, Dale Murphy, Gladys Knight, and even our
politicians Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, and Orrin Hatch have in dispelling
misconceptions and opening avenues for the Church then...well (sigh), I
can't help you.
@ junkgeekWell, if the Church doesn't need any more
"ambassadors" then maybe the Brethren would scrap the "I'm a Mormon" campaign all together. Hilarious, we should all
be ambassadors of the Church.It's ludicrous to suggest the
Church doesn't need "ambassadors". We're highly misunderstood
and categorized. A huge percentage of people think we can't dance, eat
chocolate, use electricity, still have multiple wives, live in commune, ect,
ect. If anything, we need more ambassadors who live productive, social, and
community-active roles then ever before.I kindly, but passionately,
disagree. And, evidently, so does the marketing department of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint.
The Church doesn't need any more "ambassadors".
Great article, especially is you read all the way to the end. About most
members looking down on a young man who doesn't serve two years, some
people do. I hope "most" is not true, especially outside UT. A
stake leader made the comment that if one comes home early, they'll never
make it to the celestial kingdom, and after doing a lot of research on this, I
have it on good authority, that is not accurate. Only the Savior makes the
judgement calls, not any man presently walking the Earth. My concern goes out to
all those who don't serve; you are missing out, and "you" have
changed my Life completely, and, if you came home early, get into Church asap.
No need to make any confessions to anybody about early release. You don't
see others confessing whatever, left and right. Just stick to the scriptures,
be involved, and keep moving forward.
I have never been present in any meeting of the church where anyone's
mission service was tabulated or tracked. I have, however, been asked personally
about my past and present missionary service; mostly looking forward to what I
am going to do next.This author surely knows the difference and I
hope those of you who remain members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints are also focused more on personal missionary service and less on others
serving missions, whether celebrities or not.
Wendell Hoop,Choosing to not serve a mission does not preclude
anybody from going to the temple, being sealed in the temple, being a father,
being a Bishop (or Prophet see current one), or obtaining any eternal blessing
promised in scripture. Choosing to not serve a mission ALSO does not label you
as UNFAITHFUL. Jabari Parker should probably forgo a mission if it means it
would limit his ability to become a wonderful lifetime ambassador for the
Church.And he can serve as many missions as he wishes later on in
life. STOP IT!! GET OVER YOURSELF and read President
Uchdtorf's talk from Conference. What about that talk don't you
Thanks for clarifying Bishop Ainge's comments. I must admit, I did think
the original report on what he had said somewhat surprising. As for Jabari,
he'll choose to serve a mission and will still make the NBA when he
There are many good arguments expressed by people as to why someone else should
go on a mission. The bottom line in Parker's case is that it would cost
him many millions of dollars. In the end, no matter what he does there will be
plenty of people who are critical of his decision. Only Br. Parker can make
this decision. I'll support what ever he decides after his prayerful
@USAlover & @Montana Mormon - just because we shouldn't judge them, per
se doesn't meant that we should beat around the bush. he should go. every
young lds person should go. or else he either is incapable (which Jabari is
not), unworthy (which jabari IS worthy), or unfaithful (which he has been to
this point). It is selfish not to go. I'll make that judgement. It is the
right thing to do. Even though you are a good person, you still are disobedient
to God and the prophet by choosing not to go.
President Uchtdorf gave us his opinion of our judging others, "STOP
IT!"A few of you should listen. Best wishes to Jabari in
whatever decision he makes. He appears to be a tremendous young man.
Pres. Monson did not serve a full-time mission as a young Elder, but just prior
to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he served as mission president of the
Toronto Canada Mission, at the age of 31. So Pres. Monson did indeed serve a
full-time mission--as mission president.
Of those I know who are active in the church still yet did not serve missions
I'd say that 99% regret not having served. Most of these will be very
diligent in trying to 'make up' for what they perceive as a missed
chance. They are not judged by those around them yet do much to judge
themselves. We all have something we regret not doing and this is another of
those things; the chance to learn and grow and develop beyond one's years
is a great blessing in the lives of the 19-21 year olds who decide to sacrifice
and serve yet does not hinder those who do not from becoming such.
Travis,Nice article. You thoughts about seeing how others in the
world live, those not given so much, rings home with me. I too had the
privilege of serving in Chile, though in Vina Del Mar. I had a pension mother
who was one of the most faithful women I have ever known. She was single with
several children and struggled to make ends meet. There is much to
be learned from serving that I believe it is half the reason the Church wants
all young men to go. However it is a decision that each must make for
themselves. No one should be pressured to go by their leaders or their family.
Yet I also believe that to say, 'I can do more missionary work playing ball
(or singing, dancing, whatever) is a justification not to go.
Oh and almost forgot, when you leave you out by not participating, you most
likely leave behind important personal experiences more easily found.. And
least we forget that when one CAN'T but would the needed help and promises
do come, by other means. In the end, that Spirit which enlightens can leave
clear knowledge as to the right decision, regardless.Mark
Thanks Trav!!!! Powerful article. Missions are first and formost about the
missionary, second about those you serve. To say that well you can serve
instead by this or that, removes the most important reason to go
YOU!!!!!!!!!!!With that it is a personal decision, one not to be
judged one way or the other.Mark
I just had lunch with a friend named Steve who served a mission 21 years ago and
who tearfully told me that he would not have qualified to serve a mission today.
After "raising the bar", he would not have been deemed worthy to go.Now he is a Bishop on the East Coast with 5 kids and enjoying the
gospel. He credits his mission for where he is in life.I'm
concerned that "raising the bar" too much excludes young men who are
perhaps a little "rough around the edges", but who grasp on to the
gospel during their missions and it changes the course of their life.We need to remember these applicants are KIDS! And their whole life of change
is BEFORE them. Raise the bar...but if a kid has a desire to serve than his
past foolishness should matter little.
No NCAA wrestling championship has been won by an LDS returned missionary. Two
years off in this demanding sport erodes the skills enough they can't be
brought back at a high enough level to compete for a title. Every LDS kid who
has won an NCAA wrestling title has chosen to compete, not leave for two years
of being nice.
@Sir Brave RobinIt was President Kimball who frist stated that Every
Young Man should propare to serve.He was also President when the Church
advised the Osmonds not to serve.Many ways to serve. It's an
individual thing, period.Don't pry and don't judge.I've known those who would have been awesome as missionaries and I served
with a few who had no business going on a mission and wasting the Lord's
time and their Parents money..Chill Brothers, chill.Ciao
I'm torn about "articles" like this. I use quotes because it's
not really an "article"; it's the same testimony I hear in church
several times per year. Not much of a journalistic angle or even something to
make me think. Sure, mission was great, lots of unique experiences, best two
years, etc, but there ARE other paths you can take and still be a faithful
church member. I know many RM's who are not exactly the grinning,
uber-zealous poster child for Mormonism that fill BYU co-eds' heads when
they first head off to Provo.To the poster(s) that say "the Lord
doesn't make exceptions for exceptional athletes/entertainers, etc," I
say please get off your high horse. It's that type of insufferability that
gives the LDS church a bad name. Jabari will have plenty of experiences that you
and I will never have whether he goes on a mission or not. Him sacrificing two
years for church service is not equal to you or me doing the same. Whenever he
does take the court, I'll be rooting for him.
I really enjoyed the article, and loved the fact that Ainge's comments were
clarified. I had a great experience in Bolivia, and also feel like it moved me
in a different direction with respect to my future. I NEVER would have married
the woman I married had I not served (married so high I get nosebleeds...).I completely believe Jabari will make the right choice because he has
the Spirit with him (and it might not be to serve...it's completely between
he and The Lord). He is a great kid who is already blessing many lives.
@Coach BiffIt is a statistical fact that religious conversion (not just
Mormons) is higher in Africa and S. America. Are people looking for a message
everywhere. Absolutely, but in an impoverished 3rd world country more people are
looking for a message. Those people have less hope than someone in a Western
country and religion is hope (sorry you can't prove any religious belief is
real, they are all based on faith)I mean do you really claim conversion is
easier in Tokyo than Bogata?
Oh man that is a question between him and the Lord, I just hope he stays cool
like he seems to already be, whatever gets decided between him and the Lord.
EXCELLENT article Travis. You came to our ward to do a Fireside when you played
for the Hawks. I loved my mission. I have one son that did not serve. His
little sister served in the Las Vegas West mission. Her mission changed my
life! Because of her service a younger brother is serving in Phoenix and
another younger brother is preparing to go. Here the definition of a missionary
(noun) Someone who leaves their family for a short amount of time, so that
others may be with their family for ETERNITY.
What's your point, Lvalfre? I have a daughter in Chicago serving a mission
and she has seen great success. People are looking everywhere. I served in
Tokyo where peoples lives were "stable" and they still listened. Your
venom towards the LDS faith shows in almost all of your posts on here. Why?
My wife and I have one son. As he was growing up, we would talk in terms of
"when you go on your mission." However, as that decision came closer to
reality, we reiterated that the decision was between him and the Lord. If he
went on a mission, we told him, it had to be for the right reason: that he had
his own conviction that it was the right thing to do and that he would make a
wholehearted commitment to the task.The decision to serve a
full-time mission is intensely personal. Articles and comment threads such as
this open up the opportunity for people to make a lot of judgmental,
self-righteous comments--as we have seen. Jabari has a major, extremely
personal decision ahead of him. It will be between him and the Lord, with
meaningful input from his parents, his bishop, and his stake president. The
rest of us need to mind our own business and let him to study it out, make his
decision, and take his decision to the Lord for confirmation.The
rest of us need to mind our own business and lose the self-righteous,
I served my mission in Australia almost 60 years ago. While it had a decisive
and very positive effect on the rest of my life, I value that experience most
highly because I had the blessing of bringing gospel light to two families whose
influence has spread throughout the Far East. Seeing how they have blessed the
lives of so many in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam and now Papua
New Guinea is one of the greatest joys of my life.
Dennis,Read the statement you quoted. He/she clearly state "...I
believe..." There was no statement of fact or knowledge, only belief.
I agree 100% with Travis Hansen's article. It truly is ultimately the
decision of the individual to make the choice of missionary service.Jimmer
Fredette chose not to serve, but still seems to be blessed, like Danny Ainge,
for that matter.However, it doesn't make any easier, for those of us
in the many local wards and branches, to convince young priesthood holders to
serve missions, when they see these other promising options.
What a wonderful article. It brought back the fond memories of serving my
mission in SC, USA. Other than being in the Military before my mission, it was
the best two years of my life. When I served I was a bit older than the young
men already on the field; so I think I had a better maturity level and of
setting goals, etc... Although I am not a member of The LDS Church any longer, I
hold no regrets about the values and life lessons learned while on the mission
field. Who I am today is because of serving. If it wasn't for some
theological issues that I disagree with, I still would be a member. I have a
fondness in my heart for all the great people in The LDS Church and wish them
nothing but the best.
@the truth...."Otherwise I believe he would served a mission if he
could." And you know this for a fact? Don't make the mistake of being
able to read others thoughts and intentions. It'll get you into a big jam
Thanks, Travis. I served a mission in the late 70's and still consider it
the best two years of my life. Not that I have not had great years since then,
but those two years took my life in a whole new direction and made possible all
of the great years since.I hope Jabari chooses to serve a mission.
But it is his decision and I will not criticize him if he chooses not to. I have
two sons that chose not to serve and two that chose to go. I love them all the
i went to Manila on my mission and really loved the people. I learner so many
things from my mission. Ive heard from a friend who just got his mission call
and they do background checks. Ive had background check done due to the nature
of my job. Good thing I went on my mission in the dark ages don't know if I
could pass the physical part of it.
"It should be everyone's goal to both serve a mission and to become a
missionary, for the two are different in every aspect."But not
everyone is a Mormon. Why would you make such a blanket statement like this?"Just months before I had sat down next to the father in a bus, he
was smoking, unemployed and at the verge of losing his wife and their children.
I testified of the restored gospel and the plan of salvation. I looked him in
the eyes and I saw a light that was ready to be lit. He invited us into his home
and was overwhelmed by the message."He was desperate for the
message. Try converting Americans or Europeans who have a solid, stable life.
RE: David HPres. Monson was in the military and could not serve
because of a war.Otherwise I believe he would served a mission if he
could. In any case his whole has been dedicated to serving the Lord
from being bishop in his early twenties to President and Prophet of the
church.Other general authorities of the Church have similar
reasons.If you are worthy and able to go there really is no excuse
(unless you are Donny Osmond and you are so famous it may be problematic).
Yes a mission is a wonderful thing. I am thankful for my mission. It set a
course for me to follow for this life. Yes it is correct that we shouldn't
judge either. I'm just thankful for what it did for me. I shall forever
Jabari should go on a mission when Jimmer goes on a mission. The responsibility
is the same.
@David HPresident Monson was a young man long before President
Hinckley's 1995 counsel that "every worthy 19-year-old male should
serve a mission". If he were, I have no doubt he would have obeyed.President Hinckley's counsel did not make exceptions for promising
young athletes, singers, actors, or other celebrities. Nor did it make an
exception for those who think (or are told) that they will do more missionary
work by furthering their careers than going on a mission, like a lot of local
leaders were doing 30 years ago.This isn't 1981 any
more...everyone needs to get with the times.
I'm not LDS but I enjoyed your very sincere article. I've traveled and
worked in third world countries as did my father and grandfather before me. Both
of them spent most of their lives in Chile by the way. People here simply have
no idea how lucky they are to be Americans.It is a real eye opener
to talk to people from these countries about their government and the problem of
the "disaparicidos" - the disappeared. Thousands of people in Latin
America have simply disappeared because they were caught disapproving of their
government's policies. It seems that's all we do here and nobody
worries about being taken away in the middle of the night. I think
it is commendable to learn about other peoples and other cultures. I would only
caution those who engage in that work to understand they are guests in another
land and to try to learn from local peoples before they attempt to teach them.
If you can go in a spirit of mutual sharing, people will love you for it.
Missions are incredible! I speak from my own experience. That service has
effected everyday of my life since then. I feel an amazing gratitude for that
opportunity. The cultural expectations of some members can weigh
heavy on those who don't serve missions. It's unfortunate. I suppose
it's part of our growth as a people. Heavenly Father seems to be far more
patient with our spiritual growth, than we as members are with each other.
If members of the Church look down on pepole who did not serve a mission, then
why don't members also look down on President Monson? He did not serve a
mission. Since when is it right to judge someone based on two years of his or
Travis, good article, I agree, a mission is an unbelievable experience and the
benifits are hard to find in any other endeavor one can attempt. Jabbari seems
like a great kid and I hope he realizes the importance of a mission and decides
to go. If Jabbari doesn't go on a mission I hope he has a great and
successfull ncaa and NBA experience and that he can still be a great missionary
by his example and his communications with others. If I read things right in
other artiacles his older brother went on a mission and feels it was a great
experience and invaluable to him, I hope Jabbari follows his brothers example.
Basketball will still be there when he get home.