Monday, September 5, 2011

The Agony and Despair of Having a Son not serve a Mission

This month’s ensign article entitled “Courage to Serve”* has inspired me to do a blog post on the support group I set up a year ago within my stake for parents who have wayward missionary aged sons.

As a group they meet every two months and discuss things that they can do to support and help one another.   Many tears are shed at these meetings and they discuss positive ways to encourage their sons to make the right decision to serve missions. 

In the first meeting which I personally hosted we discussed an article from the February 2008 ensign named “Our Son’s Choices”**.  Here are some of the highlights from that article:
“As our son turned 19, it became agonizingly difficult for us to hear departing missionaries speak in church. We questioned ourselves over and over again, wondering where we had gone wrong.

I have heard it said that the death of a loved one is the most difficult challenge one has to face, but I believe the spiritual death of a loved one can be even more difficult to accept. In Faith Precedes the Miracle, President Spencer W. Kimball states that “there is no tragedy in death, but only in sin.”  While those who unexpectedly lose loved ones in death may understandably feel it is a tragedy, President Kimball’s statement is true in the ultimate sense. Children who die young are lost to us in this life but not in eternity.  Children who stray and never come back may be lost eternally. That thought weighed heavily upon us as we continued our struggle with our son’s choices.

After eight years of prayer and regular fasting, my wife and I felt we had done just about all we could. Then, finding inspiration in the Book of Mormon account of Alma praying with faith for his wayward son (see Mosiah 27:14), we decided to show our determination to do our part by fasting more often and with increased sincerity. We told the Lord that we didn’t know what He could do but that we needed serious help.”

The son in this inspiring article did end up serving a mission thanks to the eight years of prayer, fasting, faith and righteousness of his parents.  I encouraged the parents in attendance at our meeting to not lose hope that their sons could also have a change of heart and go on missions. 

In this months ensign we see wonderful faith promoting examples of how the Lord changed the hearts of potential missionaries so that they ended up serving missions.  Brother Gonzalez did not like the pressure everyone was giving him to go on a mission.  He was sorely tempted to take a lucrative job offer and enjoy worldly success but the Lord had other plans in mind for him.  He ended up getting into a very serious car accident and promised the Lord that if he were to be able to walk again he would go on a mission. The Lord honoured this promise and Elder Gonzalez ended up serving a mission in Germany where the car accident had taken place.

Brother Brando felt he was lacking in testimony but went out with the missionaries from his ward.  They taught a man about the Word of Wisdom.  Being a man of the world the person they taught did not accept the principle.  He probably enjoyed an occasional drink of red wine and cup of green tea; this causes many to fail in their life’s journey.  Brother Brando was very saddened by this mans attitude and concluded that these feelings of sadness were because he had had the spirit of the Lord with him during the lesson.  At that moment he realized that he in fact was truly converted.  Here again we see the hand of the Lord in providing this young man an undeniable testimony of the truthfulness of the Church.  Elder Brando served a wonderful mission in his native land of Italy

Likewise I am happy to report that out of the 12 couples originally in attendance at our support group 3 of them have 'graduated' in that they have been successful in getting their sons to serve full time missions. 

Brother and Sister Cunningham talked to the two single sisters in the stake that they suspected Johnny was interested in (based on his journal entries) and had them tell him that they would only date him after he had served a mission.  Johnny eventually felt the spirit, made the correct decision and is now serving in Africa.

Brother and Sister Bennett offered to buy their son any car he wanted when he leaves for college, after he completes an honourable mission for the Lord.  Jason is now serving in England.

Brother and Sister Darnley started donating more to the church than ever before.  On top of their tithing they started paying a more generous fast offering and donated to the ward and general missionary funds.  They also started giving generous donations to the perpetual education fund, the Book of Mormon fund and the humanitarian aid fund.  They fasted each sabbath and ensured they completed 100% home and visiting teaching each month.  In the end they felt inspired to lovingly tell their son that if he wouldn’t go on a mission he would have to start paying rent and cover his own university education as they could no longer afford to continue living like this.  I am happy to report that Jason is now in the Provo MTC and will be heading to Mexico shortly.

I know that as parents if we are truly doing all that we can to be worthy, the Lord will bless our sons with a desire to serve.  I would encourage any stake presidents reading this post to consider setting up similar support groups for parents with struggling sons that need to be rescued with our love and prayers, and I leave these thoughts with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.



Unknown said...

How wonderful for those parents to know that they were not utter failures as parents.

When I went off to the BYU, my father told me he would rather I come home in a coffin than return unworthy of a mission, and his words (and the esteem he held me in) affected me profoundly.

Spencer said...

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. Sometimes He calls righteous elders to serve a mission through what would seem like parents' bribes and extortion.

Sometimes He calls them home by killing them in inexplicably premature car wrecks.

Sometimes he calls them to the inside of a lion's cage in a Guatemalan zoo that the elder may be attacked and subsequently prayed for and saved so the Lord can get the holy credit.

Point being...Keep your eyes solely focused on the outcomes you desire for others to achieve in their lifetime...and NEVER give up making life worse for them and yourself until they do. (I forget the scripture on that but it totally works)

Bennion said...

I knew an Elder who had left on a mission previously, served for a couple of months, and was sent home. His parents were obviously very disappointed, and his mother spent a lot of time crying. Eventually, after months of working with his stake president, he was again called to serve, but to a different mission. I'm sure that his mother was overjoyed at this development. I wanted to share this story to show how all of our joy and happiness in life comes from the church. If we're doing what's right, then surely the Lord will bless us with contentedness and fulfillment.

Ibowedmyheadandsaidyes said...

Your account of young Johnny and his decision to serve reminds me of my own story, but in reverse. I was feeling pressure to marry a young sweet spirit that I could in no way ever be worthy of until I left to serve.

Luckily for me, this sweetest of sweet spirits found a priesthood holder who COULD be worthy of her and married him in the house of the lord while I was away, and I didn't have to break her heart by telling her I would never be able to live up to her righteousness.

The Lord truly DOES work in mysterious ways, and I know the stone will roll down the mountain to fill the whole earth with it's glory.

In the name of Christmas Eve,


Anonymous said...

Our stake has recently seen a multitude of sons return home early from their sacred assignment. Would you recommend that the parents also organize and meet regularly to call unto the Lord concerning the wickedness of the times? We have chosen to pull away from our wayward son, so he may know of our displeasure over his failure. His broad smile (at being home) is so disconcerting...

Brigham Taft Pratt said...

Your implementation of a support group for parents of wayward young men is absolutely inspired President! As has already been alluded to in the above comments, few things bring more shame and dishonor to LDS parents than to see a son forego a mission experience to pursue worldly desires (education, job, love, etc). The selfishness of such young men never ceases to amaze me. Do they have no idea how much their mothers' self esteem and mental health depends on them serving? I watched in agony as my own mother's physical and mental health deteriorated while she waited for my younger brother to make up his mind about serving. She constantly questioned her faithfulness as a parent: had family home evenings been long enough? had she been to the temple enough? should she have jogged with her garment top on? etc. Luckily for her, my brother eventually started to feel really bad and decided to put his papers in. All of the pressure led him to experience some pretty severe depression but, with the right combination of priesthood blessings and psychiatric drugs, he was eventually fit to enter the MTC. What a beautiful experience that was! He doesn't talk about his mission much when he writes home but the spirit tells me he is having a wonderful time. In the 10 months since he left, our family has really been blessed. My mother has been able to cut back on her anti-depressants and her hands don't shake as much. There is also a lot more peace in my parents' home. It has been really amazing to watch the Lord work in our lives.

I totally agree with the idea that parents should do everything in their power to push their sons to serve. As the esteemed prophet, yea, even David O Mackay, said, "no worldly success can compensate for failure in the home." My dear brothers and sisters, having a son not serve a mission is an utter failure. Unless your last name is Fredette, there is no where else the Lord would rather have your son be. The church is true brothers and sisters. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. If the Lord can safely lead seven wooden submarines full of livestock and Jaredites across the atlantic (or pacific), then he can safely lead your son on a mission. Trust in him and keep pushing your sons. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sister Abbot said...

I just wanted to say that Brother Abbot and I are members of the president's support group and it is truly inspired. Our son very much wants to go on a mission: he loves the Lord with all his heart. Unfortunately, he has terrible acne and a BMI of 39. He is also undergoing orthodontic treatment. First impressions are very important, I know this, so I do understand why the Lord can't accept the service of my lovely Ammaron, but it is so hard for us. Lots of people don't realise that large, spotty boys with braces are ineligible for missionary service, and they assume that Ammaron is involved in self-abuse or other unspeakable acts.
The support group has been a lifeline for Brother Abbot and I. My suicide ideation is much better and Ammaron has joined weight watchers, so watch this space!

Goldarn said...

President, I usually don't disagree with you, but this is a non-issue. It was taught by prophets of god that if the parents are righteous their children will eventually join them in the Celestial kingdom.

You should worry about the parents, not the children.

Donna Banta said...

President, your idea for a support group is indeed inspired. I hope that in future meetings you will focus on what has to be the underlying problem for these less righteous young men and their parents -- a secret addiction to porn.

Bishop Wigglesworth said...

I feel prompted to respond here. I am disappointed with some of the judgemental attitudes on this thread. Can I just state that Sister Abbot's son does not have a porn problem. I am his Bishop and I meet with him monthly and question him extensively about such matters (as I do with all of the YSA in my ward). Please do not cast aspersions on this young man's character.
Having said that, I must acknowledge that it is, in part, an addiction that is preventing Ammaron from serving the Lord. Addiction is truly Satan's tool of the twenty-first century. People are getting addicted to all sorts of things. I know you will find it hard to believe, but some of my ward members are addicted to what I like to call apostasy porn. Brother Ammaron Abbott is addicted to food. I caught him in KFC after institute last week and was forced to publicly rebuke him for his weakness. Don't worry Sister Abbot, he had only had a few bites from his family feast bucket, which I confiscated on the spot: Sister Wigglesworth and I enjoyed it very much.

Anonymous said...

President, you should give more credit to the wonderful work some of the young women do in persuading young men to serve. If they keep themselves looking beautiful and then tell the young men they will only consider a temple marriage to a returned missionary and promise the young man they will marry him just as soon as he gets back the young man will surely serve a mission knowing that the best looking girl in the stake will marry him once he gets back.

There is even one young woman I know who has persuaded five young men to serve missions that way.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's just my browser, but in today's post, the font is larger, or magnified, relative to the size in previous posts. At once, I felt a deep spiritual impression, a reminder of the great importance of magnifying our callings.

What a truly great blog this is, where even the formatting carries important lessons for us in these Latter Days.

Anonymous said...

I too, suffer each day from the decisions that my children chose when they became adults. Neither one of them went on missions, but selfishly decided to go to get college degrees instead. One is now teaching advanced math, and the other is in bio research. They own their own homes, and do foolish things like go to sporting events or Disneyland on Sunday. I know that in their hearts they are unhappy.

I wish they were more like all their cousins who chose missions and to serve the Lord. They have all obeyed the commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth." Sure, it's hard to give their children the time they each need, or to feed and clothe them, but I can see how much happier they are than my disobedient children.

Anonymous said...

President - You are a seriously gifted writer. Your characterization is so spot on I could see how you could appeal to both the faithful and apostate at the same time. It is like looking at the reversible figure of the young/old woman. Once you know they are both there, the perceptual ambiguity is amusing. Keep up the witty commentary.

Anonymous said...

Brothers and Sisters -- at this time of talking about the heartache that can come with our sons not serving missions, let us not forget those parents living with the shame and anguish of having a daughter who *IS* serving a mission! How grievous is their pain! Having a recently-graduated-from-high-school aged daughter who has not married in the temple to an elder freshly returned from the mission field, surely it must be horrible to publicly be such an unspeakable example of poor parenting, visible for the entire ward and stake to look upon each week. Sure, these daughters are very helpful in the nursery each week. But don't discount the humiliation for those parents, each Sunday with that "sweet spirit" sitting beside them, as she ages from 18 to 19 to 20, and on and on, until when finally as a barren spinster she finally, leaves for the MTC. It's a horrible thing to live through brothers and sisters... I hope you will remember those parents on the temple prayer roll this week.

Son of Helaman said...

Our hearts reach out to those poor parents who seemingly have done all that the Lord requires to prepare their sons for missions. These parents have made sure their sons have had mandatory perfect attendance at all church meetings and Seminary. The young men are interviewed every month by their Bishop to examine, in detail, any evil action or thought no matter how small.

In addition, they are kept away from even PG rated movies, from any friends who are not active LDS, and they have most certainly never tasted Pepsi. Their parents chaperoned every date their sons have ever been on, and have provided them with handcuffs to use at night so they don't accidentally 'pollute' themselves while sleeping. The parents have even put on a timer on the shower so it automatically switches to ice cold water after 30 seconds.

What more could a parent do?

Despite all these efforts their sons have inexplicably decided they don't want to proselyte this wonderful LDS experience to others. How does one explain that? Obviously, the ways of Satan are many.

Fortunately, a way has been revealed to our inspired SP whereby young men may be motivated to fulfill their mission destinies.

Called the "Anny Falger Program" a new calling has been developed whereby an extremely beautiful and buxom young sister promises each prospective missionary that she will be waiting just for him to 'mow her hay' as soon as he honorably returns from his mission.

Software is used to auto-write regular letters to the missionary proclaiming her undying love and promising great rewards in the 'hay field' as soon as he returns and they are sealed in the temple. Tasteful, but vaguely sensuous, photos of 'Anny Falger' posing near a haystack in the barn are included with each letter. The software is programmed to auto-write a 'Dear John' letter one week prior to the missionaries release, but promises they can 'still be friends'.

Our SP is very enthusiastic about this new pilot program and expects it will motivate young elders to fulfill their destinies to be stalwart missionaries.

Joseph K. Packer said...

Dear President Paternoster,
I wish that your inspired group were instituted in my ward. If parents having the problem of their sons not deciding to go on a mission get to gether, they can discuss of different ways to divinely encourage their children to serve. Important to put the pressure on. One of my children is diabetic, when he was 20 years of age he had decided not to go to the mission. We paid for a trip to Guatemala. Once there I felt the spirit of the Lord telling me that I had to act. I hid the three different insulins that he takes. He was close to lose consciousness when he promised that if I gave him the vials of insulin he was going to serve a mission. I rejoiced in the spirit of the Lord when I heard his very week inspired words. He served in Argentina
My nephew Johnny also had decided not to go to the mission. My brother and his family went to the amazon river on a vacation. All of them were eaten by piranhas, except Little Johnny, What a testimony, he understood that he had to serve a mission. He was sent to Brazil on his mission.
Praised be the Lord

Sister Abbot said...

Thank you Bishop Wigglesworth for watching out for my Ammaron. He went to his Weight Watchers class last night and he has lost 4 pounds this week! If he keeps it up (and finishes his orthodontic and acne treatment) he is on course to serve the Lord in 2013!

(He was thinking about starting university while he waits, but we decided that he will be blessed for putting all of his efforts into preparing for his mission, even though the fees will go up to £9,000 for students who begin after 2011. We have faith that the Lord will provide a way for him to pay back the £27,000 debt which he will now incur. Anyway, I bet the Second Coming happens before he has to repay his loan)

Anonymous said...

Your one sick hateful man. I feel sorry for any boy that has any connection to you and your cult ideas.

Elder Brown said...

Yes, young men are so tempted these days not to serve missions. It was a much easier choice in my day. The Lord had started the the war in Vietnam not only to prevent the spread of godless communism, but also to make it clear to LDS boys with low lottery numbers, like myself, that we should serve God instead of our country and, that having made that righteous choice, we should pray mightily for the war to end before we returned home. So, to aid the great missionary work and to save young men from wasted lives in school or jobs, I believe the LDS members of Congress, from Harry Reid on down, along with a president Romney, should reinstate the draft (with exemptions for missionaries, of course) and either expand the wars we currently fight or start another war in some hellish part of the world.

Anonymous said...

I didn't want to go os a mission either. Living with another man for two years was not my idea of growing up normal. Missions appear to indoctrinate the missionary for life rther than convert others. You know as well as I do that church is in decline, and having money problems. Every member a janitor rather than a missionary. Ksl no longer the main news station in Utah. Benificial life Insurence company bankrupt, over 500 radion stations sold by church to raise money, Desert news left new building they built to share space with others, missions and stakes combined due to membershiop leaving. Resigniations over 200,000 per years at Greg Dodge's offce. City creek mall cost a million a day to build, total about 4 billion dollars, distribution centers closing, missionaries living with members due to church finances. I could go on, but why do you tell your stake members in conference the above and don't forget Joesph Smith had 2 14 year old wives and 28 others he married. I never learned that in semenary or at BYU. Tell the people the truth and give them real free agency...

Anonymous said...

The words extortion, bribery, and deception come to mind when I read this post.

Anonymous said...

Ex, bitter Mormons ye are!

Joseph K. Packer said...

Too many exmormons filled with bitterness. You need to repent and to come back to the flock of the Lord. The Church of our savior even our Lord JesusChrist is doing well. God will talk to President Monson just like a man talks to another to reveal what to do and where to invest. Young men need to preach the gospel so they can enjoy the blessings of sharing the good news. May God bless the brethren specially my uncle Boyd K. Packer. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Anonymous said...

I am filled with the spirit as I write this post. How wonderful that the Lord has shown these families how to get their sons to serve honorable missions.

Our son also struggled mightily with wanting to serve a mission. He had saved all his life for it, but when he was a senior in high school, he suddenly changed his mind.

We knew he had a small window of opportunity in which to change his mind.

We made many offers to prompt him to serve. He rejected all of them. We reached our limit and told him that he would need to find a place to live after he graduated, that he would need to live away from home.

We had prayed and prayed about this decision and our bishop supported us.

Our son made the decision to live on his own. It was very hard for us. After a few months he came home begging for our forgiveness and help.

We offered to pay part of his mission. He readily accepted and is serving in Palmyra. We know the Lord gave our son struggles in order to have him serve in where he could go to the Sacred Grove.

What joy we have in our lives. Our son is on his mission. We no longer feel embarrassed at church that our son did not go.

Anonymous said...


You recently called me to head your Public Affairs Committee. But I am struggling.

Can you please reconcile this publication with the Savior's admonition to let our alms be given in secret, and to not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, President, the link is not posting. It is the church "Mormon Helping Hands Guidelines for Public Affairs Directors."

Brother and Sister Jensen said...


I sit before you humbled, and pray for the Spirit of the Lord, even the Holy Ghost, the Second Witness, to uphold and sustain me in my typing.

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform; Yea, even a mighty work and a wonder-ful life.

Sister Jensen and I are so grateful for the trials and tribulations the Lord has seen to bestow upon us, even as He bestowed upon Adam and Eve the command "Thou shalt not partake of the fruit", but he secretly meant for Eve to partake, to bring to pass the immorality and eternal life of man" -- so it is that our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to inspire us to consecrate our beautiful daughter to the building up of the Kingdom of God on the Earth, yea, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Because worthy young men do not fully understand on what they are missing out... er, out on what they are missing... (hold on, snaaaarfgg! - My cousin, Glenn Beck, and I inherited our tear ducts from our mothers, along with their fondness for "the spirit")...

So, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and in the name of Jesus Christ, I gave my sweet daughter a Father's Blessing, wherein the Lord commanded her to "give a taste, even a small ensample, to each young man you date, prior to telling them to go on a mission."

This, our daughter hath faithfully executed with six young men who, after making a sizable donation to my daughter's dowry using a Tithing slip (the laborer is worthy of her hire), have all gone on to serve missions.

We know that some may judge us unrighteously for encouraging our daughter to disobey God's commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery, or anything like unto it", but we know that, just as Eve had superior light and knowledge, and knew there must be opposition in all things, and so secretly knew the true will of the Lord was to disobey His spoken word in order to fulfill a higher law -- yea, even the higher law of preaching the gospel to every creature!

As the inspired hymn by Cowper, Bradbury, and Woodward says,

"His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower."

We know that we must pass through trials to be redeemed, and as Eve profoundly stated, "It is better for us to pass through sorrow that we may know the good from the evil."

So God has a wisdom that is unsearchable to us mere mortals, and our daughter hath been called of God as an handmaiden of the Lord, to bring to pass the knowledge of good and evil for the souls of these precious young men, that she might be an instrument in bringing to pass much righteousness.

We thank thee, President, for thy cooperation and instruction to our daughter on how much of an "ensample" to give these young men, and trust that your private time with her behind closed doors, all alone, was inspiring to both of you.

We leave you with our testimony that we are willing to do all that is necessary to build the Kingdom of God on earth. In the name of Joshua the Messiah, even the Anointed One, even Christ the Son Ahman (D&C 78:20; D&C 95:17) who shall meet Father Adam at Adam-ondi-Ahman in northestern Missouri, even that place where Adam and Eve dwelt in the sacred Garden, yea, even Jehovah, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ, who is The Eternal Father, even though the Father, Elohim, is the Father, although Joseph prayed to Jehovah, even Jesus Christ, the Son, in the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple (D&C 109), who is also called "The Holy Father", even in His name, Amen.

Hyrum Zephandecker said...

My oldest son, Chase, is serving a mission in Italy. He makes me so proud unlike his little turd of a brother, Jared. He told me that he will never serve a mission. As soon as he turns 18 he is out of my house. I'll just remind him that being homeless isn't as bad as the eternal consequences that await him in the afterlife.

Cindy said...

I never really thought about how parents with sons that don't or have delayed serving a missions would need support. I guess I just thought of that as on the shoulders of the Bishop but the idea of a support group really makes sense. It would give parents the chance to talk to others who can really relate to them. There has been a lot of emphasis, at least from what I know, on the young men gaining a testimony before they decide to go on one. However, I know many who have said that even still it was on their mission where they really found their testimony. So getting on the mission seems to be the key. I never went on a mission myself as I was married at age 21 but I do have experiences of youth leadership. There were many at the end who would bear their testimony (often in tears) saying how they hadn't wanted to go but their parents made them and how glad they were they had gone. Maybe a mission is like that for some, maybe there are those who need that little extra push. A mission provides so much experience for these young men, not just spiritual. I don't think a woman should be faulted for setting a standard wanting to marry a return missionary. Why wouldn't she want a man who can offer her the life experiences a mission would bring. Thank-you for sharing this post. We haven't had much of a problem in our own ward with young men not going on a mission but I think I'll mention the idea anyways, in case there are other wards in our Stake with those who could benefit from it.

Anonymous said...

Please note that this blog is a fake. President Paternoster is not a church leader in the LDS church. This is a made-up alias with the intent to mislead which uses

a stolen photoshoped picture of Ed Madden; a journalist for the Irish Medical Times (picture is flipped and hair is added).

Elder Shapht said...

I'll be entering the MTC this Wednesday. I know I'm worthy and, therefore, can't let my parents down (it's impossible.) But I have a friend who got his mission call last month; it came to light that he has a masturbation problem. Now he has let everyone down.

At least in the mission field I know I'll be surrounded by other worthy missionaries (none of whom masturbate ever.)

A new Life said...

you people actually think like this? wow, sad. I feel very sorry for you people. This is exactly why I resigned from the Mormon church. ugh, you people are so messed up in the head. If a 19 year old chooses not to serve a mission, he's considered "wayward?" Seriously? So because he's not conforming to your cults way of thinking and doing, he's a bad person? Sick. Sick. Sick.

Hiker said...

If indeed it is better to have your son die than not serve a mission, a good parent should have the faith to kill him like Brigham Young taught. There are prayers and priesthood blessing to be said before the sacrifice. With any luck an angel will stay the knife beforehand like Abraham and Isaac. There’s nothing like a visit from an angel to jostle a young fella into lordly service. This is not murder but Blood Atonement. It should be carried out by a priesthood leader, preferably the father and patriarch of the family.

The brethren have always said a mission requires sacrifice. Don’t you think it’s about time we quit sitting on our hands and made that sacrifice? The brethren have spoken.

For the love of the Lord and your own sons, sharpen your knives and git er done.

Anonymous said...

"I know that as parents if we are truly doing all that we can to be worthy, the Lord will bless our sons with a desire to serve."

As a dad, I have not been perfect, but I have taken my kids to church, been their primary\scouting\YM leaders. Talked to them about missions their whole lives, etc. Yet my son has decided a mission is not for him. Daily I pray that this changes, that his heart will turn, that his mom will see her son serve. But in the end, he has to make that choice. I'm afraid that telling parents that their son isn't going on a mission because they aren't worthy isn't very constructive, and really kind of hurtful.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I find this article offensive. I'm active LDS. I have a son who is 16 and we have to force him to go to church. He says he wants nothing to do with it, doesn't want to read the scriptures (though he goes to seminary), doesn't want to pray, doesn't care, says he doesn't believe. He's really obstinate about it. And honestly, I can't see myself needing a support group or feeling like my son is a failure or I'm a failure if he doesn't want to serve a mission. Isn't it his choice? You make it sound like if he doesn't go then he's doomed to hell. And I've never been the kind of person who is concerned with what others think, especially when they're judgmental, close-minded church types who look down their noses at everyone who doesn't fit into their little box. Sure, it's a challenge for us. He's a challenge for us. And sure I'd like him to go on a mission and hope in the next two years he'll have a chance of heart and attitude, but I can't see needing a support group if he doesn't. I just hope he's still going to church, but if this is the type of judgmental attitudes he'll encounter when he's 18/19 and not on a mission, I'm concerned that he won't continue.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and yes, what my son does has no reflection on whether or not I'm worthy. Please.

Anonymous said...

I'm completely offended by this outrageous's Mormons like you that push people out of the and your comments make me sick, I'm so grateful my testimony of my Savior is not based on hypocrites opinions. My son is struggling to decided whether or not to go, it's doesn't matter why he's struggling, the fact is he's struggling. The Advisory is real, he wants to convince our young men they shouldn't go, he is determined to stop this gospel from spreading. My Saviors sacrifice is infinite, and His mercy and grace will pull my son and my family through.

Unknown said...

What the heck this is horrible. Man this makes me not want to go on a mission. Send fake letters through s computer program.

Unknown said...

What the heck this is horrible. Man this makes me not want to go on a mission. Send fake letters through s computer program.