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Dear Gramps,

I’m 19 and I turned in my mission papers about six months ago. My stake president said that they sent them back because I’m not a legal resident of the United States. He said that I need to wait until further notice. I’m here illegally and so are a lot of people (almost 90 percent) in my stake. Isn’t that going against the 12th Article of Faith?

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

I drive around with out a license. I live with my Mom and I have two brothers and two sisters and it is hard for my Mom to drive us all around all the time because I study at an art school full time. So that is also going against Article of Faith number 12. I can’t work but I work for my school in exchange for tuition, that’s also going against the 12th article of faith. What do I do?

Dio

Dear Dio,

How could you, as a missionary, influence others to obey the word of God, while you yourself are not doing so? Perhaps you might consider taking things in their proper course.

“First improve yourself today, and then improve your friends tomorrow.”

It is possible to become a legal citizen of the United States. The requirements are not always easy, but they can be complied with. Fulfill the requirements and become a citizen. Then, other things being equal, there should be no problem in representing the Lord as a missionary.

You say that you are driving without a license, and that you’re working in exchange for the tuition for your school. What do you think would happen if you were picked up for speeding or were involved in a minor automobile accident? Not only would you be fined for speeding or for any infraction that was your fault, but you would also be cited for driving without a license. It would not be nearly as easy to become a citizen with that citation on your record as it would if your record were clean.

My suggestion would be to first do whatever is necessary to get your citizenship papers. Then, when you are compliant with the 12th Article of Faith, you could expect to be able to teach others both by precept and by example to obey the laws of God.

Gramps

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