All this week "Dear Bro Jo" is going to run letters about "Missionaries and the Girls that Love Them". (On Wednesday I'll still run part 2 of "Full Repentance".)
It's a topic that's been one of the biggest we've covered in our 3 1/2 years (Wow! Has it been that long already?) and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. In fact, I was inspired to have this feature week of letters because I recently received a LONG comment on a post I made, "Waiting for a Missionary" (you can click on it to read the original post), back in May of 2009! It is, I believe, the most commented on post I've ever written.
I usually don't post very long comments, especially ones that contain citations, but I thought this one interesting and worthy of inclusion. And, truth be told, I have received and posted some Very Long Comments on this particular column.
Here's the comment:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Waiting for a Missionary":
It is interesting to me that this topic has been running for several years now.
I have such a range of thoughts, feelings and experiences on this topic, ranging from my experiences as a young woman to when my son was on his mission along with some experiences with my daughters.
I had a lengthy letter written discussing my experience along with a couple of experiences some of my children have had. However, my experience, my neighbors experience etc. really doesn’t matter. There seems to be some sort of a misunderstanding that some members of the church have regarding counsel from our leaders, in particular counsel from the Lord’s mouth piece here on earth our Prophet.
(See this LINK)
Why is it bad to steady date before guys go on missions?
“Young women, . . . avoid steady dating with a young man prior to the time of his mission call. If your relationship with him is more casual, then he can make that decision to serve more easily and also can concentrate his full energies on his missionary work instead of the girlfriend back home. And after he returns honorably from his mission, he will be a better husband and father and priesthood holder, having first served a full-time mission” (Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Young Women of the Church,” October 1986 general conference).
There is nothing to debate. He did not say this counsel was for Peggy but not for Susan etc. Young men should not have a “girl back home” because that way he can concentrate his full energies on his missionary work. So says the Prophet in General Conference, which makes it scripture.
End of discussion. Period!
If you follow the counsel to “avoid steady dating with a young man prior to the time of his mission call”, then there would never be any MGs nor Dear John Letters or distracted missionaries because they have girls back home. There would be no heart break at seeing a boy leave on a mission because you would not be in a serious relationship with him in the first place. How much heart ache and struggle would be alleviated simply by following that counsel? The young men would be free of that sort of emotional baggage which will distract them from being 100% focused on their service to the Lord and the young women would be dating as they should be during that time of their lives and discovering who they are and follow the path that will lead them where the Lord would have them go and with whom. We really must stop second guessing our Heavenly Father.
Yes girls it really is that simple. No there really isn’t an exception for you and yes your Heavenly Father knows and understands the things of your heart. He knows the beginning from the end, we do not. We are to have faith in his plan for us and know that he wants our happiness. We are to follow his counsel and know that in doing so we will be follow the path towards our happiness. We do not have to see the purpose of what he requires of us we are to walk in faith. That is what he has asked of us.
I do get a little kick out of when she says "End of discussion. Period!" and then goes on to keep writing about it for two more long paragraphs . . . HA!
So . . . what do you think?
I'l be looking forward to your comments, as always, all week. Please invite your friends to join this discussion, too.
Oh, and "Happy General Conference" to all of you!
- Bro Jo