The Longer Ones

Monday, November 7, 2016

Motives to Fly Away

So what are motives to go on a mission?

(By the way this is a part two of the other post but I'm posting it in parts because I believe it would simplify it like segmenting a market in homogeneous groups.)

There are many reasons to go with the most emphasized one being because you have a desire to go and you feel you are commanded to go on a mission. In what I once believed as an ideal world, this is the only motivation to go on a mission and because it is genuinely good, they should go on a mission.

However I was soon proven wrong.

There are other reasons to why people go on missions. For simplicity I will refer specifically to guys (I'm not doing this because I am sexist or anything of the sort, because I'm not sexist, but only to simplify an already complicated topic because of lack of time).

Let's be realistic and intellectual. Other reasons why guys go on missions are because they feel obligated to go, even if they have no desire to go. Peer pressured into going because everyone else is. Going on a mission for husband points because they know it's easier to get married as an RM (returned missionary). They go to other to other nations to run away from their old lives for solace. And flirt to convert others into the church.

Just to list a few.

I didn't know some of these existed until I arrived in BYU. In fact, there are even some who are blatantly lying to their stake presidents (church leader) so that the can go even though most of their friends know they are unworthy. And that's sad... A mission is supposed to be a sacred action between you and the Lord, where you fulfill his work. Confounding His doctrines with the hopes of marriage or to flirt with others is wrong. It's not only sacrilegious but it's also disgusting that they would use something as sacred as this as a strategy to sleep with someone. And unfortunately some RM's pull it off.

Myth: If you're a returned missionary, you're so much more mature and holier than everyone else. Please excuse my language but that's bullshit. Sure it may mean you have sacrificed a part of your life to the Lord and that's honorable but does not guarantee that you are more spiritual than anyone else on campus. It's simply an additional experience. In three months I've met good RM's and ones that I later reported to the honor code office for lewd behavior and sexual misconduct, and others that though didn't do anything explicitly wrong have disgusted me to the core. For instance, I've met groups who degraded women to tally marks, groups who would imagine/brag sexual positions with their female friends for entertainment and one guy who said, "the church should excommunicate anyone who disagrees with me," and, "at first I thought I was an atheist but nah I'm a god."

Of course this does not mean that all RM's are like this, these are extreme examples and we shouldn't base assumptions by extrapolating on outliers. There are a lot of great returned missionaries who I love and are currently my best friends. But regardless of whether or not they served a mission it DOES NOT MAKE THEM EXEMPTED from the temptations and sins in the world.

On a lighter tone others go on a mission because they feel peer pressured or obligated to go. And if that's the case then I don't think that's enough of a reason to go. This is 10% of your life, if you don't feel comfortable going to the church you are only going to feel angry and frustrated with the church for leaving you in a place you don't know. It wouldn't be a fulfilling moment but rather a moment that you'll regret. As awesome as a mission is, if you don't have your own intrinsic desire to go then it is a mistake that will ruin your testimony and it wouldn't convert anyone. If you don't have a strong testimony or desire to go then this isn't a spiritual experience, this is an experience that will only deter one from the truth.

If you do want to go on a mission and genuinely want to go, then it is right for you. It can bring so many blessings to you and generations upon generations of people.

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