The Mission

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,


This will probably piss some people off, but has that ever stopped me before?  Nope.

Missions...

Every little boy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raised to believe they HAVE to go on a mission.  It's not something they can choose to do if they want to.  It's penciled right into their schedule of life.  2 years away from home where you won't be able to do what you want to do, go where you want to go, and convince other people that Mormons are right.  Small children learn this as soon as they are old enough to sing... "I hope they call me on a mission," is a tune everyone in the Mormon Church recognizes. Do they really hope they call them on a mission?  

So, what happens to men who decide not to go on missions?  It happens, and I have a couple friends who did this very thing.  They went to school, or they joined the military.  Their mothers were left wallowing in self-pity trying desperately to figure out where they went wrong.  Their fathers would do anything possible to get them to send in mission papers, including having the bishop or stake president over for a little "get together."

Know what else happens?  No dates.  What worthy Mormon girl is going to date a man who doesn't want to go on a mission?  That is something that has been drilled into her brain her entire life!  Hell, I was even told that I wasn't doing a young man any favors if I dated him and he hadn't been on a mission.  Love and feelings had nothing to do with it.  The church and it's rules and regulations meant more than meeting someone you wanted to spend the rest of your life with.

I have a co-worker who decided not to go on a mission.  When he started dating, he went to one of those LDS Singles sites.  He did a little experiment... he made two profiles, exactly the same, except for one little detail.  A mission.  You might laugh, but it was very telling how many emails he received on the "mission" profile compared to the other.  Did the fake mission make him a different person?  Nope.  It also opened his eyes to how judgmental some women are.  Who the hell cares if he spent two years walking around in a white shirt?  I sure don't.

Girls are not told that they have to go on missions.  They can if they want to, and most of the girls I know that went on missions only did so because they were not married by the time they were 21.  I am not sure if it is an unspoken rule, but it's silly.  I don't think being married at 21 is a good idea for anyone.  Just saying.

Boys go on missions for 2 full years.  Girls only go for 18 months.  Why?  Is it because we are more "delicate?"  

The whole idea of mission calls being inspired makes me laugh as well.  Does the prophet of the church sit in a room and pray over the names until the Holy Ghost decides who should go where?  No.  A group of guys sit in a room and they play musical missions.  There are tons of people I know that were really let down when they didn't get to leave the country.  There were others who had to live in really scary places with little to no clean water... and don't even get me started on the money.  They survive off of the kindness of others sometimes... they need more than what they get.  They really do.

When young men decide not to go, their parents feel like they will be judged by everyone in their community... especially if they live in Utah.  Many of the young men I know personally who went on missions didn't go because they felt they wanted to... they went because they would let down their parents if they didn't.  I think that's kind of sad.  If you want to devote 2 years of your life trying to find people to baptize, do it... but no one should be forced to, or be made to feel like a horrible person if they choose to do something else.  It's not selfish to focus on your future... 

A couple days ago, Mom and I were walking down main street and I snapped this picture.  I am always kind of amused when I see Missionaries walking around in a place like Logan, Utah.  Could you imagine waiting and waiting for your mission papers to get to you in the mail, and when you open them you find out you are going to UTAH? Ugh.  One thing Mom said to me that made perfect sense was this: "At least you know they are getting fed every day."  How true.

Andee


6 comments:

  1. [kɹeɪ̯g̊] Says:

    I couldn't agree more.

    I know that even in Western Europe we didn't get enough money to live off of, and the culture is such there that it is odd to invite anyone into your home, especially people you don't know. So we were hungry a lot, and couldn't buy a lot of basic things - or for that matter, afford to buy train tickets so we could do missionary things we actually needed do.

    Yeah, fun times.

    Oh, and why did I go?

    1) to be come straight
    2) because my parents would have freaked out if I didn't.
    3) that's it.

  1. Andee Says:

    I am sorry that the mission wasn't good for you. The church has the opportunity to really help the missionaries along, but they instead choose to spend that money on a freaking shopping mall. UGH@!

    One of my cousins left for a mission not too long ago, and they wouldn't even tell me where she went. I am the evil apostate, and I must be kept away.

    I don't think she wanted to go on a mission, I think her father pushed her into it because she wasn't married.

    It's sad.

  1. [kɹeɪ̯g̊] Says:

    Who wouldn't tell you? The family? That's messed up beyond belief. I'm sorry.

  1. Andee Says:

    Yes, the family. I wasn't invited to the farewell, or the dinner afterward. I don't even know where she went!

    It's sad, because they have completely turned their backs on my mother and I... but we will never be that cold or callous to them. I am many things, but I am not someone who treats people in that manner. Ever.

    Thanks for the comments and the concern... you are a nice guy!

  1. Joel McDonald Says:

    Andee, you've once again provided an excellent glimpse into the lives of Mormons. I especially thought the story of your friend and the dating profiles was especially telling. One of guys with me at the MTC told us of how he would wear athletic shorts under his slacks when he went to BYU dances. He said many girls would place their hands on the legs of a guy they were talking to and feel for garments. They wouldn't even dance with a guy unless there were wearing garments, which denoted that they had served a mission!

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    And you're a great girl!

    That any family, any person that picks adherence to an abstract ideal/doctrine over their own family is beyond disgusting to me. A church that fosters that is simply evil.