Tiffany Gee Lewis: When the sister missionaries go marching in

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  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    The real mission is life. You can serve in so many ways. A mission is one of them. We must not fall into a cultural trap and somehow belittle or denigrate those that do not go (men or women). Or, those that go (men or women). Should we do so, we perpetuate the notion that you are only worthy if you served a mission. We must not allow it.

    The scriptures encourage us to one (even as Christ was, with the Father), to love and help each other and never allow divisions to rise between us. Let us see a mission call for what it is, an opportunity to serve, a high privilege that requires very real sacrifice. Much like life.

    But the real mission begins when you are released. The real mission is life.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    The article and comments already made as very astute observations. Especially like the comment by J-TX -- why settle as a young man for less than a returned sister missionary? Yeah, I know there will be exceptions and circumstances. I'm not trying to promote that sisters must go; the brethren didn't say that. But more will go. And the marriage pool of RM sisters will certainly grow -- and these will be women who've grown a bit more. And the answer to "will you wait for me" may now be "will you go, too, while I'm gone?" As the article said -- a cultural shift. Exciting times we live in.

  • Uncle Vic El Dorado Hills, CA
    Oct. 12, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    I agree with J-TX. I served a mission, and then married a returned missionary gal, and could not have done better. I am FULLY in favor of sisters serving missions. They're smarter, more committed, more dedicated, work harder, and know how to get along with companions. My wife has served as Relief Society President twice, and we are now serving as couple missionaries.

    I am really excited to see the change in age eligibility for both genders, but anticipate that we will see a dramatic increase in ladies serving full time missions.

  • MacMama Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    I am a returned sister missionary and I can look at my family and see how much my service has helped in raising my children. My only son chose not to serve a mission but was married at 19 instead- and has been through the temple. However my daughters.... my youngest sat next to me during conference and as this announcement was made burst into tears- turned to me and said, "Next summer I'll be on a mission!" (She turns 19 in June.) Her friends have already begun submitting papers and making preparations. Her sister is only a couple of semesters away from graduating from college and so is going to finish her program and then evaluate. The number of wonderful, spiritual young women who serve mission is just going to explode- and the Church will really head into a new era. And this group of YW and YM are so much more prepared and spiritual than we were- I am excited to see what the future brings!

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    I sort of shrugged when i heard the announcement at conference. I'm of age to be a senior missionary and perhaps a little out of touch. I see now, from this article and others, and other conversations, that the YW of the Church are excited about this change as a great blessing, and it thrills me. The Sisters who served in my mission so many years ago were wonderful people and very effective missionaries. In my own family I have regretted that some of the young women have seemed compelled to get married so soon after high school rather than taking the time to stretch their experiences and understanding. This opportunity will affect those choices, and I hope that one or more of my younger grand-daughters will choose to serve when their time comes. There is no doubt that the missionary corps will be strengthened dramatically by the enthusiasm, intelligence and spirituality of the new Sisters in service.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 10, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    We hear buzzing from both young men and women. My son has an awkward birthday for that first year of college, and would like to go right after graduation, if he can talk the orthodontist into taking off the braces early....

    raybies: I like the way you write.

    Tiffany: I loved the piece, but I think you may not see one of the greatest things about this announcement. With the advent of more sisters going on missions (and I expect the numbers to triple or more), there will be further pressure for the young men to "raise the bar". YM who might not have gone on a mission might serve because their peers in skirts are going, and YW RMs will want YM RMs for spouses, who can relate to the dedication, conversion and selflessness learned on a mission.

    I see this as a huge strengthening for our youth, our young families and our Church.

  • crismonl Gresham, OR
    Oct. 10, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    This really is going to be a cultural earthquake for the Church. I doni't hear any buzz among the 18 year old young men about last Saturday's announcement, but the young women are going nuts. The youngest of our children, a daughter, was still a year from being able to serve. She completed her mission application that very night! I believe your article was both insightful and prophetic. Get ready world, the sisters are coming!

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    This is a huge change for sisters (as well as brothers) because they can serve missions without that awkward peer sense that the sister somehow "failed" to attract a mate and now they're doing the second best thing. A mission isn't second best--it's first and foremost dedication on the Lord. A lot of young women find the confining pressure to marry right out of High School to be very tough to cope with... in the past young women had few options--and their choices often led them down dark roads full of insinuation and innuendos if they didn't choose the most obvious path of the first marriage proposal that comes along.

    Missionary service helps everyone that does it to mature and grow into adulthood--it's like a whole lifetime in a couple years. I expect that this will only make stronger mothers in Zion. It will strengthen young men, helping them focus on the Lord first and other matters second. A very exciting time... especially since I have four daughters very rapidly approaching the age to serve.

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Oct. 10, 2012 5:50 a.m.

    Loved the article. Very well written, thoughtful, and reflective of the insights of a bright woman!

    Thanks for sharing.

    My daughter served a mission and it didn't hurt her at all!