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Question

 

Gramps,

An RM entered back into my life from youth, and left me questioning my own mission call. I have prayed and studied to receive the answer that it’s up to me. I decided to stay and prayed over that as well. When I broke the news to my parents they were furious. They have made life at home miserable in an effort to sway me, and promise that if I go on my mission, all of the heartache will “go away.” Am I making the right decision? I don’t want to hurt them, but If I serve now, it’ll be out of fear.

Sage

 

Answer

 

Sage,

This is a very important decision in your life at this moment, and one that should be accomplished through prayer, fasting, counsel with your parents, and I would suggest counseling with your bishop and possibly stake president. When I read your response it looks as though you have already received an answer, and if so you should follow that answer from the Lord; however, I will provide some thoughts as though you are still thinking about this decision and what options will help provide comfort:

1) We are informed to make these decisions a matter of prayer, fasting, and study. A question that enters my mind and heart is, “If you have received a patriarchal blessing? If so, does your patriarchal blessing say anything about a mission?” In 1986, President Thomas S. Monson said the following regarding our patriarchal blessings, “A patriarchal blessing literally contains chapters from your book of eternal possibilities.”

If your patriarchal blessing talks about serving a mission you may want to really ponder if that means serving with your husband later on in life, or if this means the Lord is wanting you to serve him as a missionary.

2) Counsel with your parents in love and righteousness. Your parents love you and care about your happiness. They want you to find joy, and they don’t want you to rush into anything that may cause heartache. They maybe concerned that your decision with not wanting to serve now may be made to quickly. They love you.

Express your appreciation and love them and their counsel. Express all the steps you have taken currently to know for yourself from the Lord. Express your appreciation for teaching you how to approach God and that this is exactly what you have been doing. If they can see all that you have done to discover an answer for yourself, this may provide them further comfort.

3) Counsel with your local leaders (bishop, stake president, or even may be the young women leader that you look up to).

Once you have done all this, then once again go to the Lord with your decision. Your question makes it appear that you have done some of these steps. I congratulate you. Now, if you have truly studied, prayed, fasted, and counseled, and then went to the Lord with your decision and he has given you an answer — always follow that answer — always. Are you right? If the Lord confirmed your answer, he is right, and you won’t be wrong by following Him. If you are unsure, then go through the steps again until you are comfortable with the answer.

To be frank, I had a similar situation (a little different but similar) where I had made a decision I felt was right, and it seemed right. My father wasn’t pleased and made it known. I was frustrated. My father was frustrated with me. I spoke with a local leader and he mentioned something that made sense, which was more in agreement with my father. Despite what I felt, I decided to honor my father. To this day, I am not sure I made the right decision. If I could go back, I would have gone with my first impression, do what I felt was right and made sense, and express my love to my father. I would try to help him to see that my decision is not something against him, but what I felt from the Lord.

In that light, if you are old enough to serve a mission, you are old enough to know from the Lord what is right for you. Remember though, your mother and father (just as my father) love you. Allow them to see that you know their concerns stems from love, and thank them for it. If you can’t help them to see what the Lord has shared with you, that isn’t something you can change. As the primary song goes, “Do what is right and let the consequence follow,” even if it is our own parents.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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