10 Things Girls Who Aren't Serving Missions Want You To Know

6:05 PM

Nobody panic, I'm not becoming the spokesperson for girls who aren't serving missions. This may also apply to young men who aren't serving! And maybe not every girl feels like this. But I've been in situations where I've seen girls struggle with the decision about a mission for reasons that they shouldn't have to worry about. I'm not insecure in my decision, nor am I angry or offended. I've just seen so many girls, myself included, become discouraged because of these issues. Some say they don't see the judgment happening, or that I shouldn't have to address it. But it's out there, and I feel like it needs to be addressed, if only so people can understand what it feels like. Also, I know that not everyone assumes things about girls going on missions, some people are very open and happy with anyone's decision. This is just my rambling to those who I have come in contact with who don't understand some of these things, and I want to clarify.


10 Things Girls Who Aren't Serving Missions Want You To Know


1. We still love the Gospel. Yes, that's right! Just because we aren't dedicating a year and a half of our lives to solely preach the Gospel, doesn't mean we aren't dedicating every day of our lives to the Lord. We are looking for ways to help, serve, teach, and minister every single day. Even though we don't wear a badge on our chest, we all have "badges painted on our heart" as Elder Nelson would say.

2. When you go on about how attractive sister missionaries are, how you'll only marry an RM, and how much of a better mom a girl is who has served a mission, it can hurt our feelings. You probably don't mean it to be offensive, but it is. We look at the path we've chosen as inferior in your eyes. We see our future children and wonder if you're right about their mother and how less spiritual she'll be. We wonder if we should go and serve solely because it will make us more attractive to you. We think our personal scripture study, the fulfilling of our callings, our desire to serve others, our teaching and helping those around us, isn't enough. We'll still be great wives and mothers, promise!

3. We appreciate it when you recognize those of us who haven't served missions in your lessons/talks. We love missionary work. Honestly we do. What we don't love, is feeling that we missed out on the only right option by choosing not to serve. The Church's focus IS missionary work, but that doesn't necessarily mean a full-time mission. We love hearing about how to serve as a member and how to be an example to those around you no matter where you live. We're not crazy about lessons detailing how every, single person should serve a mission, it's always the best option, you'll never be close to the spirit like you will be on a mission, asking people if they have a mission story they'd like to share, or saying "If you've served a mission, you understand this..." This can also offend guys who were worthy to serve, and weren't able to.

4. We've prayed about our decision. I was a little taken back when a member of my ward asked me if I'd prayed about my decision to not serve. That's a very personal, and very frustrating thing to be asked. So let me just put all your minds at ease, we've prayed about it. Or we're praying about it. We're going to be obedient to the answer we've been given, and hopefully that's acceptable in your eyes.

5. We aren't all looking to get married. Sometimes it seems there are two options; go on a mission or get married. Some of us aren't doing either. Sure, we're open to the idea of marriage, but we didn't stay home from missions to get married right away. Some of us are focusing on school, careers, church service, and some of us were just plain told not to serve a mission and we're making it our goal to be a tool in Heavenly Father's hands, wherever he needs us. I'll go where you want me to go, oh Lord...even if that means staying right here. 

6. No two of us are the same. We have different goals, different reasons for not serving. Some sisters don't have the desire to serve, and that's ok! Some do have the desire, and couldn't go for medical or other reasons, and that's ok too! Some of us have the desire to serve, and through personal revelation realized that serving a mission was not part of our plan. And that's ok too! Some of us are older, some of us are younger, it doesn't matter! We're all different, we all love the Gospel, and we're all striving to be our best selves.

7. We appreciate when you're proud of our accomplishments. Sometimes it's hard to watch you get so excited when someone is submitting their mission papers, gets their call, or is heading out, and not be as excited for the good things we're accomplishing. Sometimes, we feel like the things we're doing aren't important or wonderful. Help us see that going to school, getting that job, acing a test, or taking time out to help others, is exciting and important too. 

8. We're proud of our fellow sisters. We applaud them and their diligence, we appreciate them and we love them. We want to help the missionaries and show our support for them. We value their service as our sisters and we want them to accomplish great things. Our choosing not to go has no reflection on sister missionary service, or women's place in the church for that matter. 

9. We are busy. We probably aren't busy in the same way full-time missionaries are, but we are busy! We're going to school or working, serving in church callings, helping our families and friends, taking time for personal worship, reading, learning, growing, helping, teaching and a million other things! 

10. We need your love! Sometimes it's easy to feel down, beaten, and inferior. We appreciate every single person who lifts us up, makes us smile, and helps us realize we aren't alone. And we love you right back!


You Might Also Like

137 comments

  1. I LOVE THIS! Until just a couple months ago I wasn't planning on a mission and I can agree that 100% of these are true. For a girl, a mission is a really personal decision, not a commandment, and it's not for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a commandment for young men either. Many seem to forget this.

      Delete
    2. The church does say that "every worthy and able young man should serve a mission." It is a part of their priesthood duty. That being said, we need to work on being less judgmental to everyone and help people feel welcome into the church regardless of their circumstances!

      Delete
    3. My only issue with that is some choose other ways to serve that are not acknowledged whatsoever. My husband (then boyfriend) made the just as honorable choice to join the Army. Then deployed to Afghanistan. While that isn't the choice for everyone, it seemed looked down upon because "every worthy and able young man should serve a mission". It saddens me to no end that when he gets asked if he served/where he served his mission and he says "I didn't, I joined the military" people aren't as open to that idea as they are a mission. I think there are things men who aren't serving a mission want everyone to know as well. :) food for thought.

      Delete
    4. Instead of "I didn't," I'd say, "I served my mission in Afghanistan." And if further pressed, "A mission for my country." Because that is a true statement.

      Delete
    5. Maddy Richards, it is not a commandment for anyone, male or female, to go on a mission. Therefore when people say things like "men have to go on a mission but women don't", they are wrong! Sure, serving a mission can be great. It can be a time of self-maturation and can benefit those to whom you preach the gospel. But it isn’t for everyone. In the church, boys are pressured to serve missions from a young age. You’ll hear primary kids say stuff like “Girls don’t have to serve missions, but boys do.” This just simply is not true. Many boys feel insecure about their decision because they are afraid that people will give them a hard time about it and that they will be viewed inferior by others in the church. I feel this issue needs to be addressed. While I’m sure God would like it if all of his children chose to serve a mission, he does not require it of us. It is not a commandment. He wants us to use the agency he gave us. Whether or not an individual serves a mission, male or female, it has no effect on their standing in the church. Please remember this. The other thing is that while the priesthood is a wonderful and powerful thing, it has no effect, absolutely none, on someone's ability to preach the gospel and/or serve a mission. There's nothing special about being a man on a mission. Women can do the same thing without the priesthood. So you're wrong, serving a mission is not a priesthood duty. That's like saying that you, Maddy, have a relief-societyhood duty to birth many babies! So in the future, redhead (who appears to dye her hair, FAKER! :P) please refrain from making sexist and gender stereotyping comments.

      Delete
    6. Brittany, you're right, it's not a commandment! I never said it was, it is, however, a priesthood duty. Plain and simple, general authorities have said as much! We all have agency and we all need to work with our priesthood leaders, and pray, to find our own path. My call is to stop the judgment for everyone, men and women, regardless of their choices! People who serve missions are wonderful, and people who don't serve missions are still wonderful! Everyone has a place in this gospel! Also, I am a natural redhead, and have been since birth! My comments were neither sexist or gender stereotyping, just simply quoting the General Authorities! Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
    7. President Thomas S. Monson has said: “Every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary” (“As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 5–6).

      Delete
    8. Yes, it is a commandment. President Kimball said "We are not merely inviting people to go on missions. We are saying, this is your work!" He went on to say "I was asked a few years ago, “Should every young man who is a member of the Church fill a mission?” And I responded with the answer the Lord has given: “Yes, every worthy young man should fill a mission.” The Lord expects it of him. And if he is not now worthy to fill a mission, then he should start at once to qualify himself. The Lord has instructed, “Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and them upon the Jews.”
      This commandment has not been rescinded, and it has been reiterated nearly every General Conference since then. Do not tell anyone that it is not a commandment, because it is. For the young man who joined the military, thats great. But he had the opportunity to take a 2 year leave and serve a mission for the Lord. The Lord will never tell a young man NOT to serve. He needs them all serving Him in the field.
      For girls, its not a commandment...but don't assume that because other young women are going on missions and getting pat on the backs because of it, somehow they are saying you should have gone. Thats not true. Be ok with being happy for them, and they will be happy for you.

      Delete
    9. There is a detrimental stigma about serving missions. My husband and I got pregnant and married as teenagers and he devoted his life to school and work to create a future for us. He remained faithful at church, but felt ostracized because he didn't go on a mission. We had one situation where once the Elders quorum found out he wasn't a return missionary, they no longer called on him to pray, answer questions, or included him. He was still a worthy priesthood hold er. People talk like everyone should have gone or has and treat you like some sort of social pariah if you haven't. What about converts or others in our situation doing the best they can? It's wrong to go around talking and assuming everyone has served a mission and they're not good people if they didn't. There is an elitist culture in this church that needs to be corrected.

      Delete
    10. It does seem clear that serving a mission is a commandment for young men. I am not sure there is a difference between a priesthood duty and a commandment. Priesthood duty seems to fall under the category of commandment. But it is also a commandment to love one another. There are many reasons why young men don't serve missions. My husband did not serve a full time mission. When he graduated high school, he was not at a strong place spiritually in his life. He joined the Marines instead and has been invaluable to our country, and still is. He is currently serving his 7th deployment. The military has also been invaluable to our family. It was in boot camp that my husband, and many other Marines either join the church or come back from inactivity.

      Also, it is not true that The Lord NEVER instructs young men not to go on missions. Some pray about it and receive an answer not to go. Many cannot go because of health reasons. I even knew a young man once who put in his papers and when he received his call in the mail, it told him not to go because he was needed at home. He had no idea why.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for writing this!

    When the age change was announced, I had been dating my husband for a year. We had been talking and praying about marriage. All of a sudden, everyone started pressuring me to go on a mission. Even when I asked for my temple recommend interview (for marriage), the ward clerk, who knew my boyfriend, asked if I was getting in the interview for a mission. This was a very hard decision for me because I had always dreamt of going on a mission, but I was dating the perfect guy. Every time I prayed, the answer was to marry him. All the outside pressure was not helping!
    Also, at the time, a lot of my guy friends started saying they weren't going to date for 18 months because they wanted to marry an RM for all the reasons that you stated above. Just like for you, I began questioning if I was going to be a good wife or mother. I wondered if my boyfriend would come to the same conclusion and break up with me (Thankfully that never crossed his mind!)
    Even after we were married, I still felt judged for not going on a mission. We were visiting family when my husband saw an old friend who was serving in the ward. He introduced us, and she asked me if I had served a mission. When I said no, she gave me a dirty look, and didn't even acknowledge me the rest of the conversation (Sadly, this has happened multiple times).
    That is why I am so grateful for you post! You clearly articulated what is happening and why it should stop! Thank you so much! I love it!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughts! It can be a hard experience, but it's nice to know we aren't alone!

      Delete
    2. It doesn't matter what others say. The most important is you're doing what the Lord wants you to do! I know that God loves you. and You're the best! and this will never change!

      Delete
  3. Thank you so much. This describes exactly how I have felt the past year, and it is a comfort to me to know that I am not alone. Would it be alright with you if I shared this? I think you got it spot on and I would love to show others your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Of course, feel free to share!

      Delete
  4. Oh my goodness Thank You! I prayed after preparing solidly for a year and was told in the most loving way from the Lord no. I was devastated at first, but I knew that the Lord knew best. Not going led me down the road of helping to save souls in three different and amazing ways. Yet when people ask if I served I technically have to say no, yet I feel that I have touched so many lives as a tool in the Lord's hand, but as soon as I utter the word "no", it is as though all of that doesn't matter to the one who asked the question and suddenly I am in that category. So thank you, thank you, I love your post!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am just disgusted to know that anyone is passing judgement on girls choosing not to serve missions. Serving a mission is not necessary for salvation, for anyone. I've known spiritual giants of both genders who didn't serve, and I've known people who did serve that later became utterly and grossly apostate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it's easy to feel angry, but I have to keep remind myself that people aren't perfect, but the Gospel is! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Delete
    2. Applause! Thanks for bringing up that this applies to men as well -- I was thinking the same thing!

      Delete
  6. This is so great! Thank you for sharing this! I've had so many friends go on missions and sometimes it's hard to feel like I don't measure up to them, even though I know that's not what I'm supposed to be doing right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kira! Never feel like you don't measure up!

      Delete
  7. I love this post! I just got finished with chemotherapy th 4 years ago and it is been a difficult time for me. It was also a difficult decision but I've decided not to go on a mission either. I feel that this has been my mission already, and even if I wanted to go as a full-time Church Missionary, I couldn't go for another year. This post makes me feel so much more confident in my decision Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you have such a good attitude about your experience, thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  8. I think we could reverse this entire thing and apply it to the other gender as well -- I've often cringed when I've heard girls talk about how they'll only marry an RM....when I know there's probably a couple guys standing within earshot who didn't serve a mission, for whatever reason. Goes both ways! I agree with what Gregory said above about how a mission isn't always a clear indicator of commitment to being LDS -- plenty of ppl serve and leave the church later, while plenty who don't serve stick with it for life. Thanks for writing this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like putting "RM" on those lists of qualities you want in a future husband you make in YW is a given. I was guilty of it too. When I was 17 or 18 there were some situations in my ward that made me realize how unnecessary this is because not all people who return are great and not all who don't go are unworthy. Really, the qualities that need to be emphasized are "temple-worthy" or "worthy priesthood holder." Everyone has a history; everyone has a future, and the two can be drastically different.

      Delete
    2. Kelly I totally agree! While it's important to know why a person might not have served a mission, that isn't the only important thing!

      Delete
    3. As an eighteen year old young man trying to figure out if a mission is right for me or not, I really liked this article and your comment, Maddy and Katie. I have some minor health issues that make serving a mission possibly not the best thing for me. I have talked with my bishop about this and he even said that a regular is mission does not sound right for me and a possibly any type of mission might not be right. I totally agree that young men feel bad too when young women say they only want to marry a return missionary, which definitely is not a bad thing to want. One big fear of mine is that young women will not be able to understand or ignore the reason I have to not serve a mission. I hope the young women I meet later in life are as open and understanding as you are! With a year left in high school still I have some time to figure whether a mission is right for me or not. I know my heart can still be in the right place even if a mission is not in my plans. Overall a wonderful article and opinion!

      Delete
    4. @Jacob Kerchner
      Jacob, I've known plenty of young women who aren't phased at all by the absence of the RM label. After four years in college, three as a 19, 20, and 21-year-old "Pre-Missionary," I've seen both the judgmental ones and the ones that understand that spiritual strength and marriage-worthiness are not caused by full-time missionary service. It was always my desire and goal to serve a mission, and I eventually did (and I recommend it to every worthy young man or woman able to serve), but the wonderful young women who never would have judged me as an aging non-RM are the same kind of women that I date now. You have to expect that some will be a little closed-minded, but you also have nothing to fear about finding others who will understand if you ultimately choose that a full-time mission is not for you.

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for this post! It's so nice to know others sisters have felt the same way I have felt and that I'm not alone! Deciding to not serve a mission can be be difficult and I don't think many understand that. You couldn't have worded it any better and it helped me so much! Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found #2 interesting. Girls have been saying the same thing to boys for years. Perhaps now that the shoe is on the other foot, we can stop being so harshly judgmental about one another. It is certainly no less hurtful to a worthy young man (who may not have served for any number of reasons just like young women) to be dismissed because he hasn't served a full-time mission than it is to a young woman. Serving a mission is a personal decision and we should be willing to support our young women--and young men--and respect whatever decision they make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree that we should work on being less judgmental! Thanks for your thoughts!

      Delete
  11. I can't tell you how thankful I am for this post!!!

    When it was first announced that women could serve a mission at 19, I was more than excited. Even though I was only 17 I knew that was what I wanted to do and started to prepare for my mission. I even got my temple cloths and garments. My friends and family were very excited that I chose to serve. I would be the first woman in my family to serve a mission and for the first time I felt that everyone was proud of me. Not once did I really pray for an answer, I just assumed that it was what I need to do. It wasn't until a year later when I really prayed for an answer, and I received nothing. I didn't get a yes or a no. I started to become frustrated and confused. I continued to pray and fast, hoping my yes would come while I continued to prepare for my mission. As the weeks went on I started doubting myself and my choice. I was only a couple months away from when I could put in my papers, But it seemed like nothing was going right. My branch president said I needed to wait a little longer before I could start them, but my parents were saying he had no right to do that. I didn't know what to do. I started looking at colleges and what classes I should take just to get my mind off of all the chaos. For some reason the thought of college excited me, and everything was going smoothly. Even though I didn't have any scholarships or a way to pay for my classes, the money I needed came, sometimes in the strangest ways. I finally prayed and asked if going to college was what I needed to do. I didn't get a definite yes, but more of a comfort and peace. I knew that was my answer. Telling everyone that I wasn't going on a mission but going to college was the hardest thing. People would almost interrogate me when I told them. My family was shocked and gave me strange looks. I knew that they wanted me to smile and say just kidding. I started to become embarrassed for my choice. Many guys my age looked at me like I was making a horrible decision, and some stopped hang out with me. Again I started doubting, but I would always find comfort when I thought about college and a career. I will be 19 in a little over month and college will be starting in a week. Even though I still get those looks and scoffs, and people say I'm just desperate to get a man, I know I made the right choice. I have many beautiful friends that are going or are on their missions and some days I feel sad or depressed that I'm not joining them, but way to go girls! They are amazing and I am happy for them. One if my friends returned from his mission a few weeks ago and we will be going to college together. That is my adventure!
    Thank you so much for helping me see that my decision wasn't bad. While reading this I kept agreeing with everything and it has helped me understand The Lord a little bit more. For some reason I don't know college is where The Lord wanted me to go and I am willing to go where he wants me to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this story! You're not alone!

      Delete
    2. You're the best sister! God always wants you to be happy. I love your beautiful testimony. And yes! Way to go! Never give up as long as we're doing the right things :D

      Delete
    3. I think you had this experience so that you could learn how to receive and recognize personal revelation. This will be equally important as someone else going on a mission. We can miss so much when we focus so much on "going on a mission" and sometimes ignore the great missionary work that needs to be done right in our own families, neighborhoods, and wards. If it's just the badge of honor that many are after, it's not the right intention.

      Delete
    4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm at an age right now when I'm thinking about whether I need to serve a mission or go to college. I know that I will do what the Lord wants be to do and I think that you are so brave for doing the same!

      Delete
  12. Amen. Just.... amen. *Shares on Facebook*

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes. I love you for writing all my feelings out. This is perfect. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes! I'm went on a mission and #3 especially bothers me. Missionaries don't have a corner on the spirituality market and assuming that they know more about how to feel the Spirit or live the gospel than anyone else is ignorant and rude.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've seen this posted a few times on Facebook but just got around to reading. My husband and I have been married five and a half years and have two beautiful boys. When I went to college I specifically applied to state college rather than BYU because I wanted to get an education, and serve a mission. Not be one of "those girls" who "just" got married. Of course my husband who was just returning from his mission had similar thoughts and we met in the singles branch- getting married just 18 months after I left for college. I struggled with the thought that I wouldn't be serving a full time mission- especially because my husband LOVED his and has so many amazing stories. When the age change happened (after I was already a wife and mama) my heart sank and I felt almost jealous- but as I prayed and reflected- I realized how many missionary opportunities I would not have experienced if I had gone. I finished my degree as an educator and now I have opportunities to share the gospel with so many people I would not have met otherwise, and my own experiences have been personally invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be careful about judging all "those girls" who went/go to BYU. Not all of us went to get married. I got a great education and have never been married. The whole point of this article is not to judge....

      Delete
    2. Stereotypes are everywhere, the intent of the article is just to help everyone remember not to judge, and see how judging can be hurtful! Thank you both for your comments!!!

      Delete
    3. In fairness, you should even be careful about judging those who went to BYU to get married! There are many people who don't have good LDS prospects where they come from, and they just want to find a mate who believes like they do. Even those who attend BYU to find someone to marry also *gasp* get a useful education while they're there!

      Neither me nor my wife attended BYU, and neither of us went to college just to find a wife/husband, but as we were BOTH earning our degrees we were thankful to have found each other.

      Delete
  16. I read your blog about sister missionaries and I realized that I shouldn´t be just trying to have a golden standard for a future spouse. I loved your thoughts because they are clear and concise. Thank you for helping me, a BYUI student, to open up my mind just a little bit more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for sharing! I really appreciate that:)

      Delete
  17. This is a fascinating shift in mormon culture because a few decades ago the girls who went on missions were seen to be the ones who couldn't get dates on the weekend, the ones who no one wanted to marry, etc. With the age change for missionaries I can't believe how it has flip flopped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree, and neither stereotype is correct! Thanks for bringing this up!

      Delete
  18. I love the points you have made. I went through all of those things and each emotion when I got my answer to take a mission off the table...for a little while. Now, however, I have my mission call and I think these views that have been expressed in your article actually get turned around to bite perspective missionaries in the behind. I have had people approach me and say, "Oh, no boyfriend after your first year of college? You should definitely go on a mission then. Marriage just must not be in the cards." Likewise, I have been criticized for my desire to marry a returned missionary. I think when we push either side to the extreme rather than see both sides of the spectrum, we are disabling one another. I respect your perspective and have felt all those things during a time when a mission was not in the cards, but at the same time, I don't think those of us who are about to serve should be condemned or accused of being judgmental or close-minded just because we have decided to serve/want to marry an RM/are called on to share mission experiences/have different insights to share, having served a full-time mission. The intent of my comment is not to be a troll, merely to state the other side of the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not at all accusing missionaries. Actually usually the opposite is true. People who are heading out on missions are usually the kindest, most supportive of someone in my situation. This isn't meant to hurt anyone at all, in fact one of the points is that girls who aren't serving missions totally support people who are! We are supportive of missionaries, and the misconception that we aren't supportive is everywhere! This post is merely to point out that there is some judgment happening, whether people see it or not! My goal is that everyone in the church will be a little kinder. That's all! Thanks so much for your comment!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my comment! You are a very impressive person. I like what you're aiming to do and I think that taking the time to have written this is awesome. Thanks for your insights and for trying to help change the stigmas that exist with either side of this topic. I hope that members in both situations (sister missionaries and faithful young women who have opted not to serve) can continue to work to be supportive of one another. I believe that girls who choose not to serve are very honorable, because they are being true to their own personalities, promptings, and impressions. Thanks for your words and respectful reply. :)

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate having an open dialogue and knowing there are lots of people willing to have a conversation! Your comments are amazing, thank you!

      Delete
  19. As a returned missionary and mother of four daughters, I have always encouraged my daughters to be worthy to go, prepare to go, and have the desire to go. After that, it is their decision. Going on a mission for the wrong reasons is not productive for elders or sisters. There is a range of reasons that people have for going (pure desire, obedience, boredom, charity, pressure from others, etc) and a range of reasons for not going (fear, other righteous activities, lack of testimony, selfishness, following God's will, etc.) Each of us needs to prayerfully discover the will of the Lord and then have the courage to obey. I hope all of my daughters go. There is a spiritual maturity and level of doctrinal knowledge that is very difficult to achieve without the mission. My mission has blessed me every day of my life and has made me a better wife, mother, church member, citizen, teacher, and Christian. We all need to judge less and be more supportive of other peoples' choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, I agree that people should be worthy and prepared to go on a mission. I'm so glad your mission was a good experience, and I'm quite confident I'll be learning things in these years of my life that I'm not on a mission, that will also make me a good wife, mother, church member, citizen, teacher, and Christian. I'm sure your daughters will learn the right lessons either way! I know Heavenly Father asked me not to go for a reason, so he'll obviously help me be spiritually mature without it. From your other comment I realize I may have offended you, and I apologize. I also believe that egos and arrogance have no place on missions, and in this gospel, and neither does judgment and unkindness! Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  20. What an amazing article! Like Mark, I too am a BYU Idaho student. But unlike most of the guys out here, I was not able to serve a full time mission. I was inactive from ages 14-18 (inactive mom, and non member dad...), so I never was pushed to go. Thank goodness my grandma never gave up on me. Anyways, I got back active when I was 18 without the slightest idea of how important a mission was, nor did I truly know that being sealed in the temple was so pertinent to me and my future family. Having such a weak amount of testimony and knowledge, I went ahead and got involved with a 25 year old girl at my local branch. At this time I was working with my bishop to serve a full time mission, but somehow I got distracted. Not only that, but I married this girl civily, and then was divorced a month later (sad I know, but the atonement is so incredible). Needless to say, it's been almost 6 years since that time. The reason I wasn't able to serve a full time mission after that short marriage, was the fact that a child came into play. I was worthy and ready to go, but I had a commitment to child support and seeing my daughter grow. My ex wife is now remarried (almost 4 years now), and her husband has decided to adopt my daughter. Even after all of that, the church doesn't allow you to serve a full time mission if you have had a child. I love missionary work with every fiber of my heart. I have been apart of over 35 different baptisms in the past 6 years, and I've also been endowed and served a 6 month church service mission. Though all of these things have been extremely hard for me, the hardest is when I start dating a girl and break the news that I didn't serve a full time mission (not only that, but being married at age 18 for a month and also being a father really takes it further). I've met some amazing girls, but they continue to drop me after learning of these things. It destroys me everytime, but now that I'm 24, a senior in college, and I have come so far.... I don't let it get me down. Thank you so much for sharing this information with me. It's helped me in so many ways. I'll make sure not to count out girls who haven't served full time missions as I continue to date. You're an inspiration! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so very much for this comment! You are incredible, thank you!

      Delete
    2. Daniel...just continue to press forward and remain faithful..the Lord will take care of you.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Maddy! You're also incredible! We're all incredible right? Not any of us are dull creatures. We're literal children of the Most High. And thanks Lisa, I'll do my best. I'm not letting it get me down. I've been changed completely, and I know I'm right with the Lord. I appreciate both of you, really I do.

      Delete
  21. This is a wonderful and wholesome article. Thank you for this! It made me think of my own papa and best friend (and most likely my brother as well) who all haven't gone on missions due to enlisting in the military, work, and school. It's sad that they (and many others including women) are looking down on this. I love how you said not going on a mission doesn't mean we aren't any less spiritual than those who have. We all love the gospel and are striving to be the best selves we can be. I really needed to read this. It has truly made my morning that much nicer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing! We all need to remember we can be as spiritual as we try to be!

      Delete
  22. I served a mission almost 30 years ago, and met my wife upon returning, and though an honor to have served, it was an inspired personal choice, that does not make me any better than others. She shared her personal experience of a distinct "no" about serving a mission--not because she wasn't prepared, and could have with an RN degree completed; and I would have not met her had she done so (big chance anyway). I look up to her for her spiritual strength and knowledge of the scriptures. I married up, and I'm blessed to know she believes the same. Her father did not, as a new convert, at the time, but I have great love and respect for his strength, key in teaching my wife to be a scriptorian and family history buff. I like the idea of appreciating people for who they are, and though experiences can add to ones character, so can other experiences, even the regretful ones. I known people that didn't serve due to a lifestyle experience, and since have become so strong in their convictions I too look up to them. I frown on judging people, and believe the admonition, if you are going to judge, judge righteously. Our Father in Heaven does so perfectly with great understanding of all' potential. Still a love I want to still develop. It wasn't mentioned about the military choice to serve, of which I have a great respect for that service also, many times a mission of sorts, definitely a way to prove to oneself the spiritual adversities in that setting also. The main issue appears to be choosing now our trek of being spiritually strong to face our current adversities while celebrating the diversities. Thank you for the article, and caring comments generated by previous responses. Much needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing! It's so uplifting to hear the experiences of others and learn from them. Thank you!

      Delete
  23. Thank you for this. As a 26 year old who didn't serve but is endowed, it's frustrating when people just assume that I served or ask me why I'm not. I agreed with each of those points, they all hit close to home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing! It's wonderful to know about others in the same situation.

      Delete
  24. Topics like this are kind of a hot button for me as I despise anyone being bullied or treated in less than a dignified and respectful manner. No one should EVER be made fun of or treated as if choosing an apple versus an orange somehow makes them evil. (Emphasis on: they're both fruit. Chemical composition may be different, but neither is bad.) That doesn't mean that everything that anyone does is right, but love people first. Judgment is reserved for those with authority, and that usually is not granted to those tossing out unkind quips or digs.

    I'm a female RM married to a man who isn't an RM. He was inactive for 15 years (including mission age) due to members ignoring and excluding him because he wasn't exactly like all the cookie cutter people around him. He is active, temple-attending, and a regular home teacher, and was when I met him. If I married an RM it would have been nice but not a dire necessity. I wanted to marry whomever God said was right. God said no to a bunch of RM’s. God said yes to my kind, gentle sweetheart who I have every confidence is the father of my someday children. We work better together than apart. I believe that following God's will IS the top reason for the eternally significant impact that marriage has.

    Church conversations need new coding (how we say what we say) and filters (doctrine of love versus a damning culture).
    Righteousness has nothing to do with whether or not someone served a mission. Doing the best that you know how to do according to the best of your abilities and following God's plan for you is exactly what the gospel teaches. The Church that needs people who are willing to fight for truth (not culture) to be taught, and for cultural problems to be stomped out akin to stomping out a pernicious brush fire. People who are outside of the Church wouldn't know that there was a moiré: it’s all internal struggles that are digging, damaging, and needs soothing kindness to douse them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! I'm too am hoping that we can all work together to be less judgmental and more loving in our gospel discussions. Thank you!

      Delete
  25. Thank you! So well written. Valid points. Needs to be said! Much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support! It means so much!

      Delete
  26. God bless you for this! Thanks for sharing your feelings with the world.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you so much for writing this. When I broke off my first engagement at 22, (before the age change,) everyone seemed to assume that I was going to go on a mission, to the point where ward members trying to be friendly would ask "When are you putting your papers in?" I had prayed about it long and hard for the previous two years and I knew that serving a mission was not in the plan for my life. I stayed home and kept teaching Primary and after just a few months, I started unexpectedly dating my best friend; nine months after that we were married, and just over a year later now our first baby is on the way. Missions are great but they're definitely not for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teagan thank you for sharing your experience! I really appreciate you being so willing to share, you're wonderful!

      Delete
  28. Wow. I hadn't even noticed this happening. I'd wondered about it potentially happening when the new age options were made, but I'll have to be aware in the future. I'm way beyond sister missionary age and have a husband and 4 kids, but this is definitely a cultural thing we should be aware of. I chose not to serve a mission (but did finish school) and, yes, there are things I would have learned had I gone (my patriarchal blessing even says that), and in some ways I regret not going, but it's okay, and I'm okay. But, I am excited to go later with my chosen partner! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found a lot of people don't realize what's happening, but for girls at the age I'm at, it's everywhere! Thank you for sharing!!

      Delete
  29. <3 This! I have a daughter that is serving and a son that isn't going to. To tell you the truth it is my son that has always been closer to the spirit and and has always been very close to the church. My son believes in the church with all his heart and will one day make an amazing father and husband! He is going to college, working and always attends church and is a worth priesthood holder. He just doesn't feel like he can be gone for 2 years and feels like he would end up coming home.. It has been hard on him.. the pressure from members, girls that won't date unless he will serve.. etc.. I have a daughter that is giving 18 months of her life to serve the Lord. I have seen such growth in her and she is simply amazing, she has me in awe with the things she is learning and teaching.. When my kids marry BOTH of their spouses and kids will be some of the luckiest people, because they are marring some pretty great people!! I actually hope that some of these girls that are feeling the pressure will take time and realize that this pressure is put on YM all the time. I hope they will all learn to fall in love with the person and their qualities more than the Label!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am a female RM, but I don’t want anyone being harassed or mistreated, ever. I don’t live in a special echelon. When I hear people ask for mission stories, that would exclude the vast majority of my city ward of converts, and I’m grateful that only new move-in’s make that mistake here. I didn’t marry an RM and know that Church conversations need new coding (how we say what we say) and filters (doctrine of love versus a damning culture). Some of my experiences have been different from his, but it doesn’t make them better or detract from anyone. My husband is the best man that I know, and we’ve done all the right things besides him not serving while he was inactive. I met and married him while he’s been an active, temple-attending, home-teaching man and we’re not stopping our activity and sincere commitment. I don’t see him going to hell for other active members driving him from activity when he was a teenager. We don’t share the exact same experiences, but if anyone was to criticize him in that department, I’d shred them like coleslaw. He’d be the one asking me to love my neighbor and to leave it alone.

    Righteousness has nothing to do with whether or not someone served a mission. Doing the best that you know how to do according to the best of your abilities and following God's plan for you (ie. doctrine and revelation) is exactly what the gospel teaches. The Church needs people who are willing to fight for truth (not culture) to be taught, and for cultural problems to be doused akin to stopping a pernicious brush fire. People who are outside of the Church wouldn't know that there was a moiré: it’s all internal struggles that are digging, damaging, and needs soothing kindness to heal them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for adding your insights to the discussion! I really appreciate having the perspective of those who have served missions and understand the feelings that some of us may be having. It means so much! Thank you!

      Delete
  31. My mother is an identical twin and a convert to the church. She worked to support her sister financially on her mission and therefore did not go on a mission herself. My mother and my aunt are both equally amazing and spiritual, they just had different paths to journey down. I have two sisters, one older and one younger, neither of whom served missions. I was blessed to have been able to serve, and both of my sisters were an amazing support, constantly sending me letters which helped me during the process. They both married fairly young, and have children, and they are amazing mothers, while I am still waiting for that blessing due to the timing my choices required. To say that people don't miss out on something when they choose not to or are unable to serve would be false - they do miss out on certain things - but those things are replaced with other experiences they would not have otherwise had. It's like ordering ice cream - for some people chocolate is best, for others it is vanilla. Both different, but both delicious and both still ice cream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I agree, there are things people miss if they don't serve, and other things at home people miss if they do serve! What's important to me is that nobody feels like they are less because of their decision. Love the ice cream analogy!

      Delete
  32. I absolutely agree with you. I did serve a 2 year Mission many many years ago and it was good for me and I loved it. Not everyone should serve a full time mission. It is a personal decision between you and your Heavenly Father. No one has the right to think for you or be concerned about your reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment! I totally agree!

      Delete
  33. It's interesting, and somewhat ironic, how these arguments are now being made against and by women, when traditionally they have only applied to men. They do, indeed, apply to non-missionaries of both genders. Especially #2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true, thanks for pointing that out!

      Delete
  34. Thank you for your post. I am sorry if people feel bad sometimes when someone else is praised for something and they perhaps are not as recognized for the good they do too. I thank the world and all the Saints for their righteousness. I would also add however that we all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ are in a great debt to the missionaries out their serving; both the men and the woman. It is because of their selfless service in that sacred missionary organization that the Lord established himself that we can enjoy any blessing that comes from the gospel. I am grateful for all the people who have a overwhelming desire to serve God and do his will. I recognize that those people exist among returned missionary and non-returned missionary alike. I do however find that there are many among the returned missionary population who maintain a strong desire to serve God throughout their lives. I am inspired by that desire! I greatly admire our ever growing missionary force and honor them for how they continue to serve you and I in the greatest work that can be done. In the words of Joseph Smith the Prophet of God “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." In the words of another Prophet of God Spencer W. Kimball “If you could only see the vision I have. I wish I had your bodies to do this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone of the gospel, and after I lost strength to run I would begin to walk, and after I collapsed from walking, I would begin to crawl, and after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them I would use my arms to drag myself, and once my muscle in my body was gone I would begin to yell…oh, only if you could see the vision as I have.” I would go as far as to say a Mission is for everyone! If someone with the desire to serve God was called to a different field of missionary work than that which we are accustomed to in the church and not able to serve with the name tag I thank them for their service. Every member a missionary!!! Let's keep sharing this gospel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree, missionaries are a crucial part of this gospel! We need them! But we also need members! I love how you put it, thank you!

      Delete
  35. You turned a lot of my thoughts into words. Missions are so great (shoutout to all my missionaries ) and the choice is very personal to everyone. I too have felt the pressure & questioned my decision several times. Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us. Right now is not my time for a mission but I'm blessed to continue my education and become a nurse. And I'm happy with that! I hope to serve a mission someday and will continue to be a missionary and example in my everyday life.
    Cute cute blog by the way. I'm a BYU student as well, gotta love it! Follow along on my blog: brookiebrooks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, can't wait to check out your blog!

      Delete
  36. when i turned 21 everyone assumed i was going on a mission! it was so hard and i almost thought about going on one but it wasn't for me. i had a girl once ask me if i was going on a mission and when i said no she asked me if i had a boyfriend, i told her that i did but he was going on a mission and she laughed and turned around. i don't know what she was laughing at, my not going on a mission or me waiting. but i felt like her follow up question was inappropriate and had no influence in my decision. i never knew girls could have so much pressure. i was asked over and over if i was going and told that if i went i would be a better mother/wife. i was really hurt, though never expressed it, ultimately i had to tell people to back off. it's hard but i definitely prayed for my decision. now that i am 23, i don't regret not going! i know heavenly father has another path for me! thanks for writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your experience!! You are wonderful!

      Delete
  37. I served a mission a long time ago. I am much older (48) than the majority of you commenting on this blog post. I'm VERY glad I came across your post. I am a convert and knew I wanted to serve. It was the right thing for me. I am now the mother of an almost 16 year old girl. We live in a place with a high percentage of LDS. No early morning seminary around here. My daughter received her patriarchal blessing and there was no mention of anything remotely related to missionary service in her younger years. The girls around here are all talking about how they're going on missions now. She gets odd questions when she expresses that she isn't going to serve a mission. She has other goals that fit her. I really wish more of the young women would consider this more seriously. I loved my mission but I saw missionaries (both sisters and elders) that didn't want to be there. They were there because someone else wanted them out there. They were ineffective missionaries and a real strain on their companions and the mission president. I'm glad the age for sisters was lowered. I had to wait for two long years after I knew I was going. But all the pressure you young sisters are now under is tough. And all the questions you are being subjected to is terrible. Whatever your choice is just make sure it's in the Lord's plan for YOU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much for your comments! I really, really appreciate it!

      Delete
  38. Thanks for this post. It says a lot of things that needed to be said. I did serve a mission, it was a great experience, and sisters are definitely a valuable asset to any mission (they get in many doors elders can't) but the Lord has plans for people, and sometimes a mission is not part of it. I really hope and pray that one day soon this judgement will stop. Every time I see it, Matthew 7:1, part of The Sermon on the Mount comes to the forefront of my mind. "Judge not, that ye be not judged". All commandments lead us back to the greatest commandment, to love one another, and it is hard to love someone when you are judging them.
    Last Sunday, I ventured down to spend the day with my cousin and her family. We went to the singles ward (she is married but is a fair amount older than me and helped raise a lot of them). After sacrament, the bishop came down from the stand and talked to me as he usually does, but this time he said "Nick, are you dating anyone?" "No, sir just dates every once in a while" "How old are you?" "27" "Did you serve a mission?" "Yes, sir" "Let me know when you are coming back down this way, I would like for you to meet a sister who is at a family wedding this week". He went on from there... After reading your post, it has gotten me thinking, my mission ended in 08, almost 6 years ago. Instead of asking about missions at points like this, wouldn't a better question be "Do you live worthy to attend the temple? How often do you attend?(this one especially, because I live 10 mins from the temple, and he knows it.) Do you do your Home Teaching? Seek to serve others daily?" If we are truly trying to get to where someone stands with the Lord, current actions speak louder than any mission gone on previously. I have known a few RMs who have come home, gone inactive and are doing things you would hope no one would do. On the other hand, I have known a few spiritual giants that the Lord told to not serve a mission. I guess what everyone here is saying is don't judge a book by its cover, even if it is emblazoned with the letters RM.

    ReplyDelete
  39. As a mother of two sister missionaries, one an RM and the other currently serving, I admit I took issue with your post. I did recently come across this article that was written about your post and I wondered if you agreed with what they had to say at all.

    http://forthwriter.blogspot.com/2014/08/response-to-10-things-girls-who-arent.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, let me say I am in no way suggesting that sister missionaries are bad. In fact, I even wrote that we love sister missionaries! I'll be addressing this article in a post sometime this week. Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
    2. I'm not saying that you think sister missionaries are bad. I don't think anyone has said that from what I can see. What concerns me is how you seemed to depreciate what missions accomplish. If I had sons I would hope they found themselves attracted to the kind of qualities that I've seen my daughters develop as missionaries that they otherwise couldn't have. Like the other writer said there are other ways to develop, but we've heard time and time again in general conference that nowhere can you experience growth like you do on a mission for the Lord. I just think you could have been more encouraging to those not sure whether they should serve that serving is often the best choice.

      I look forward to reading your post.

      Delete
    3. Missions accomplish amazing things and I appreciate that more than anything! I understand 100% the importance of missions. What I do wish, however, is that the accomplishments of others are seen for what they are as well! There are lots of amazing things that a mission can help someone become, but I'm more than confident the hundreds of general authorities and their wives who haven't served were able to reach their potential without a mission. Especially now when women are fully given the option, not the obligation, to serve, I want everyone to understand that there is a unique plan for everyone, and that a mission just may not be part of it. Both serving a mission and not serving are good options, and the best choice, in my opinion, is following the council God gives you. Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  40. Thank you so much for posting this!! Ever since the age change I've received so much pressure to serve a mission and even though I fully know the blessing a mission can bring to someone's life and the lives of others, Heavenly Father has a different plan for me. I know He is pleased with the choices I am making even if people at church are not! Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment, I fully agree!

      Delete
  41. I pretty much just wanted this post to reach the 100 comments mark, so here ya go. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm sure the last thing you need right now is another person thanking you for your beautifully written post, but I'm gonna do it anyway. Thank you SO much! Trying to explain how I've felt to other people who asked why I wasn't serving a mission over the last year has been close to impossible. You phrased everything perfectly! I hope your call for others to not be so judgmental of those whose paths are different from their's continues to be successful and they continue to have their eyes opened. Our stories are all different, but we are all promised the same happy ending if we live righteously! And I think a part of living righteously is learning to be accepting of others and learning to not be judgmental! Heavenly Father is teaching me to be a missionary in my own right! If I had chosen not to follow that prompting to stay home, I wouldn't have learned the things that he needed me to learn. I know that is the same both ways: whether you go on a mission or not, if you make your decision guided by the spirit, God will put his children in your path that he needs you to help! Not being on a mission doesn't make us any less worthy to serve God in our own ways. Again, THANK YOU so much. I don't know that you will ever comprehend the amount of people you have impacted by choosing to follow the spirit and post this. You're great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate all you had to say:)

      Delete
  43. Several years ago I had just experienced a broken engagement. I was at a loss as to what to do at that point. I was 21 and so naturally thought maybe a mission was the answer. I prayed daily to know if this was right until one day my answer came. It was clear and unmistakable. A mission was not what was planned for me. I felt good about this answer, not be a I didn't want to serve, but because I knew it came from God. My step-father, however, felt differently. He asked if I had prayed, and when I told him I had, he told me I was wrong about my answer, that the Lord would never tell someone not to serve a mission. His reaction hurt me, but the comfort of the Spirit has helped me then and now to know that my mission was and is to help direct those at home whom I can influence.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have my own unique mission story, but this puts into words exactly how I feel. Thank you so much for writing this post and sharing your heart. This post makes a difference and I'm so grateful you took the time to write out your thoughts. Thank you for your incredible example!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I shared your post on my blog as I wrote about my own experience with deciding on a mission. http://ashleyfrederickson.blogspot.com/2015/08/my-mission-decision-and-his-will.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely read! Thank you so much for sharing - your story is wonderful and I think it will help so many people!

      Delete
  46. Thank you so much! I really needed to hear all of this! It's nice to know that other people feel the same way that I do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are not alone! If you ever want to talk more, feel free to shoot me an email! Nobody is alone in this!

      Delete
  47. Thanks so much for sharing your comments. Even though I have served a mission, loved it with all my heart, and would love others to know what it feels like to serve a full-time mission, I know like what you have said that it is not for everyone. I had so many friends asking me for advice on what made me decide to serve a mission because they were having insecurities as to why they didn't get the answer to serve. But like you said, it's still okay whether you serve a mission or not. It really is an issue that needs to be brought up because many women have struggled with this issue especially since the age change. But a couple things I realized from my friends that didn't serve a full-time mission were still missionaries in my eyes. My best friend helped fellowship so many people into her ward by following the promptings of the spirit and helped them come unto Christ as a member missionary. And frankly, these people that she helped, probably wouldn't have come unto Christ if she did serve a mission. God knows everyone and their needs and He will provide a way for everyone to learn of Him. For those that received the answer to not serve a mission, don't be discouraged. There are people still waiting for you to reach out to them whether they be friends, family, or people that you are going to meet. I fully support your reasons for coming out publicly with this issue. I know this will help others know that it's actually okay not to serve a mission and it has nothing to do with their spiritually. Thanks again for your efforts and I wish you the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts as an RM! I love hearing from my girls who have served. Thanks again, and so good to hear from you girl!

      Delete
  48. The mere fact that this article has to be written makes me angry. I am the father of LDS children. I am not LDS myself. I HATE LDS culture. The judging and the shaming that goes on is unbelievable.

    Oh and for those that are wondering, if my kids decide to serve a mission, I will support them because I love them. It doesn't mean I have to agree with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes the culture can be hard, but I just keep telling myself that people aren't perfect but Jesus Christ is! And that's all that matters really! You sound like an incredibly supportive dad, your kids are very lucky!

      Delete
  49. Thanks for sharing! My dad and husband didn't have the opportunity to serve missions but they are very spiritual. My dad was inactive until about a year he met my mom, and my husband was a convert to the church and not in a good position to go when he could have, plus his Bishop told him not to. My husband also prayed about it and felt that the Lord had other plans for him. Plus I've known some awesome people who the Lord told to serve in the military instead of missions. Serving a mission doesn't automatically make a person more spiritual. Spiritual growth is a personal process and different for each person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing! You're totally right, spirituality comes from people striving to find it, and doing the best they can!

      Delete
  50. Thank you so much for writing this article. I came across it in my news feed on Facebook today after just telling my friend how frustrated I was about this exact topic. Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting - this is the whole reason I posted it in the first place! Lots of unheard voices!

      Delete
  51. I loved this article! The attitude I get now, because I'm 23 and unmarried, is that my only option left in life is to go on a mission. I have had random strangers go, "Oh, your not married or engaged or even dating someone seriously right now? Your going a mission then right?" When I answered no to all, one women seriously asked me if I even had any goals for my life. No joke. People need to understand its a personal decision that is not made lightly. As for not dating anyone but an RM, that is such a cruel thing to say. You don't know why someone didn't go on a mission. I had a conversation with a friend about this once. I simply said if they didn't go because they had no testimony and still hadn't gained one it would be a concern of if they didn't resolve a matter with the bishop, say like chastity, and it was still unresolved. Other than that, if they are an active, worthy priesthood holder or striving to become one, than don't judge just because of a mission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments! I was also put in that situation a lot before I got married - my career has always been a hugely important goal in my life and people were so quick to disregard that, which was too bad. Thanks again for sharing!

      Delete
  52. I think this is a very good thing to point out. Yes ad many here have stated that it's basically a commandment for young men to serve missions and it's only aloud for them not to go either if they have health problems or received an answer not to. But my thoughts go not to that more to how women treat men on the factor of how less attractive a man is because he didn't go. I think that is still wrong. I have literally been turned down in a relationship because of that. Although that was sad to experience it should go for men also that just because they don't serve a mission doesn't mean they don't have standards or try to do their best. The judgment statements are good but I feel are too narrow of a field. Because in many things in this article apply to how men are treated just the same. For years I was treated differently and even avoided at times because I was over 19 and still had not served a mission not unail I ended deciding to. Them everyone that acted that way changed like it was the only thing that was keeping them from talking to me. But even after having served a mission I will say that I am not treated very much differently by either male or female as I was before I decided to serve. So I will say I enjoy this article and that it applies to all not just women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're totally right, this applies to all! Everyone has a story and we need to support all. Thanks so much for sharing your story, hopefully you and others just like you can help keep the conversation going so this stops being a problem!

      Delete
  53. My daughter served her mission right here at home by setting a good example for her then-inactive brother, his then-nonmember wife and children. Last year, my son became reactivated, and was later able to baptize his three children, who were then 14 and 12 years old (the twins). Earlier this year, my son baptized his wife during the Mother's Day weekend. Yes, my daughter served a mission, and continues to do so through her single adult branch activities, as a visiting teacher, and within our extended family. Before all of this happened, I remember asking my daughter if she was planning to go on a mission. She responded, "Mom, I feel like I'm already on one." She taught me a great lesson then: We can be member missionaries right where we are.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I appreciate this article, especially now with the lowered age for sisters! I planned to about serve a mission back in my BYU days (in the early 90sswhem many more girls were serving). I was excited and had told my friends that I was going to put in my papers when I went home for the summer. I went home, prayed about it, and the answer I got was no! I was so sad! I didn't understand why but I now see that it was important for me to stay in college. Heavenly Father knows where we need to be and knows the beat path for each of us. If we will trust Him we will be fine! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your story! You're right, we need to trust and believe that Heavenly Father knows the best path for each and everyone one of us!

      Delete
  55. Thank you for this article. My daughter has chosen to not serve a mission, but she loves Family History work. She has found thousands of names, and she does Baptisms for the Dead once a week. She is doing missionary work! Even as an adult woman who did not serve a mission, I have at times felt that the women who did serve are treated better than those of us who didn't. That somehow we don't know the scriptures as well or aren't as spiritual. I know this isn't true, but it still bothers me.

    ReplyDelete
  56. It's kind of odd how the stigma has changed with the age change. I served a mission back in the day when you had to be 21. And I felt stigma from alot of different corners- guys thought I wasn't married, so I was serving. RM's didn't like RM sisters because we knew too much about the mission, and even sisters were slightly condescending, as if "Well, you couldn't get married- like me!- so I wish you the best on your mission". Of course, not eveyrone was this way and I think I was overly sensitive because I felt judged. But it's odd to see non serving sisters being the ones judged now. Either way, judgement sucks and doesn't serve any helpful purpose and we don't know how to do it which is why we should leave it to God. The only thing I feel about sisters who don't serve is a little sad- there is no life experience that is like the mission and you learn so much, in such a short time, and you have to learn to rely on Heavenly Father and you see so many miracles- (you also feel like you are going crazy, dream of being alone- away from comps- one day, deal with intense and routine rejection, etc) I wouldn't trade my mission for a million dollars and it has made me the person that I am. That's why I feel sad for sisters who don't serve- not because they are less righteous or won't be amazing wives and mothers but because you learn so much- about yourself, your faith, how to talk to people, how to handle rejection, how to serve, how to forget yourself, what kind of shoes to wear in the rain, how to compromise with a crazy companion, what it feels like to step outside the secular world for a brief time and wrap yourself up in the Gospel through music, scriptures, and dedicated service.- you learn how to be a counselor, a confidante, a teacher, a coach, a stand in mom, a leader of hymns- you learn how to fight fair (with a comp), you learn that it's ok to ask for help, you learn to trust yourself and listen to the Spirit, you learn that you can do things you thought were impossible, you learn to value your family and that you can go almost a whole year without talking to them and be ok. You learn how to pack and clean rapidly, you learn how to connect with someone you just met in one minute or less. You learn how to listen, how to give, without recieving, how to stand up for yourself and your beliefs. I guess, in all of this rambling, what I really wanted to convey is that God has a different plan for each of his daughters and sons. He knows what we came here to learn and how we need to grow. He will judge us and so its not fair for us to judge each other. And that, if you are thinking of serving, and you don't have a medical issue or a firm "no" from Heavenly Father, I could not recommend more highly that you go. There has not been one day in the 13 years since my mission that it has not impacted me in a positive way. Chicago (where I served) is my Promised Land. I hope that if you have desires to serve, you find your own promised land. You won't regret it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment and your story! I totally agree that the stigma has changed which is so interesting! Having less judgment all around would be awesome, which is the what the post is all about!

      I hope you don't feel sad for sisters who don't serve. I certainly am not sad I didn't serve; I know it was the right thing to do, and I'm very happy with how my story is going! There are experiences that we have not serving missions, that other people will never have. I think it's fair to say that any experience you have can and will shape your life, and is maybe something other people won't experience. For example, I was a Relief Society president while I wasn't serving a full time mission. I learned so much about trusting God, loving people I normally would not have interacted with, learned about being non-judgmental, to forget myself, how to handle rejection, how to teach lessons to people who had never heard anything like this before, and to people who had heard it all their lives. I also learned about being a stand-in mom, a companion, a counselor, a confidante. I had hard conversations with parents who were worried about their children, counseled with Bishops and spent a lot of time praying, trusting, fasting, and learning. Not everyone will have this experience, because it's not something everyone will be called to do. I do believe, however, that people who don't have my exact experience will still learn those things in the way that is best for them. In the way they are called to learn it.

      I totally agree that people should find their promised land. Mine just happens to be Provo, Utah. It's the place where I went from knowing ABOUT Christ...to truly KNOWING Him, as my friend and my Savior.

      Thanks again so much for your comments!! Everyone has a wonderful story, thanks for sharing yours:)

      Delete
  57. Thank you SO, SO much for this. I am 19 years old and my twin sister left on her mission to Singapore just a few months ago. All through my teen years, I had a desire to go on a mission, but when I prayed about it, I felt it was the wrong choice. Even so, it was very hard for me to watch her prepare, get her call, and leave, and it's still hard now. It was especially hard because almost every time someone found out she was going, they would ask me if I was, too. And when I told them I was not, I always got one of a handful of responses. "Oh." "Did you pray about it?" "That's too bad." "Why not?" "Oh, well, you'll change your mind!" "Don't you want to?" "I think you should really consider it prayerfully." "I think you should go." All of which totally ignored the fact that I DID consider it prayerfully, I DID want to go, and I shouldn't have to feel bad about my decision. Eventually, when they asked, I just started telling people, "The Lord told me not to." That stopped all but the most stubborn. Even then, they'd say something like, "Oh, well, I'm sure the Lord has something for you to do too," sounding rather unconvinced. It was a very painful time for me and I'm glad your article addresses it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel dear, thank you so much for commenting! I know exactly how you feel, it's such a frustrating place to be in. But know that you're doing what's right for you, and nobody can take away that peace. In some ways going through this has given me a confidence in my decisions and capabilities that I may never have had. It's wonderful to see the good that Heavenly Father can place in a tough situation. I wish you the best of luck, please reach out if you need anything!

      Delete

They like what they see

Featured On


Subscribe