Why I won't be serving a mission

1:18 PM

*Disclaimer* This post is not meant to be rude, controversial, or judgmental. It's just my thoughts that I'm hoping will help others.




In recent months, I've heard lots of talk about LDS girls and missions. I'm sure you all have too.

For those of you who don't know, I'll break it down for you!

In my Church, we have the opportunity to go on missions. This allows us to go to a different state or country and teach other people about our religion, give service, and grow as an individual. They go by Sister and Elder, serve for 18 months or 2 years, talk to their families only weekly through letters and emails, and devote all their time to God. For boys, this mission service is a requirement. For girls, it's an option. In October 2012, a major announcement came out about the age at which men and women could serve these missions. Boys can go at age 18 or after high school, and girls can go at age 19. 

This obviously lead to a huge surge of people wanting to go on mission, including me. I thought serving a mission would be wonderful, a great opportunity for me to learn and grow, and especially serve Heavenly Father and others. I decided to make it a matter of prayer and study.

I was shocked with the prompting I felt after praying.

The answer was no.

I kept thinking, praying, waiting, studying, hoping, and the answer was still no. I decided to stop asking and live my life, telling myself maybe the timing was off or I needed to learn patience.

Right before I came back to school this year, I was very confused, wanting to ask again if I should go on a mission, wondering if going back to school was the right move.

I won't share the experience, but I'll tell you I am certain that the answer was still no. I was supposed to stay here in Provo, Utah, go to school, and stay on the path I was on. 

I'm not supposed to serve a mission. I'm quite sure I will be more blessed for being obedient, than I would be for leaving when I'm not supposed to.

I've heard things from boys saying they won't marry a girl who hasn't served a mission, I've heard people say "A mission is for everyone, you should go!" and "You'll be so blessed for going on a mission. You'll never have another chance to be that close to the spirit." I've heard people speculate about why certain girls weren't going, they didn't love the gospel enough or wanted to get married, I've heard people say that God will never tell you not to do a good thing.

Don't get me wrong, I am so happy so many girls are going. I love that people are hearing the gospel because of missionaries. Some people may say I hate missionaries, and that's not true. I hate the pressure that is being placed on every, single person to serve a mission. I am all for boys serving missions if they are worthy and healthy. I am all for girls serving missions if they feel they are supposed to. I am all for leaders and teachers helping people make the decisions, and learning how to share the gospel regardless of if they serve a mission or no. And classifying it as that. 

But I will not be going.

And let me just clear up why I won't be serving a mission.

Because I asked, and the answer was no. And that's good enough for me.

This doesn't mean I don't have a testimony of my church, this doesn't mean I don't love God. In fact, it means I love him enough to obey him, even when I don't understand. It doesn't mean I'm not good enough to serve a mission, it doesn't mean I wouldn't be good at sharing the gospel, and it doesn't even mean that I don't want to go. I do want to. But I'm not.

I know I am supposed to be doing good things here. I know I am supposed to be learning things here. I know Heavenly Father will give me the trials, blessings, experiences, people to help, things to learn, knowledge, spiritual strengthening, and anything else I could get on a mission, right here. 

And that's good enough for me. 

*If you have questions about my religion, comments about your thoughts on LDS missions, or any thoughts at all, comment below or email me at mrose.richards@gmail.com*


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5 comments

  1. AMEN. I'm glad you're happy with your choice, dear Maddy. Good for you for trusting the Lord's answer of "no." I, too, have gotten a few stinging comments from people who think I should serve a mission. Just glad someone else is in the same boat.

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  2. Maddy! I love this post, thanks so much for sharing it. I feel the same way about a lot of the stuff you said. I haven't served a mission and I'm not going to...for many justifiable reasons, but it's really easy to feel judged for my decision. My grandparents called me a "bad example" to my sisters for not serving a mission, and it didn't really offend me because my decision is mine, but it did make me mad a little bit. My cousin also wants to only date girls who are RMs and that bothers me too, because I'm not an RM but that doesn't make me any less of a member of the church or anything. But yeah, this was a great post and I just wanted you to know that I think you are awesome! I love reading your blog :)

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  3. Are guys really starting to say they won't marry a girl unless she's gone on a mission??? I guess I'm out of the loop since I got married before the age change, but still... two thumbs up to you for following the spirit, and boo to all the people who assume that a girl who doesn't serve a mission lacks faith or has a weak testimony. There are plenty of other ways to share and spread the gospel, after all!

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  4. Very interesting post! Very informative :) Thank you for sharing! I love that you were so candid!

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