Last night after I went to bed, I thought of something else in particular that I wanted to touch on about judging others. It is specifically about how others judge missionaries, or rather others who judge people who haven’t served missions. I have often heard of girls who refuse to date any guy who isn’t a return missionary, and every time I hear about it, my heart breaks. Who are they to judge them? They haven’t served missions, and all they’re looking for is a husband. Who’s to say the men won’t say the same thing now (I mention this again below)? I may be being a bit of a hypocrite and I don’t mean to. Those girls are beautiful and wonderful daughters of God, who are only looking for the best for their future families. But we need to remember that each person is of great worth to the Lord. He knows what is best for us, and though we might not understand it at the time, things happen for a reason – God is in charge. There are some people who already know they cannot serve a mission because of medical, mental, or other physical disabilities, so they don’t apply to be a missionary. Some people find out after they receive their call, just as they’re about to leave or even in the middle of their mission that something is wrong and they can’t serve anymore. The Brethren of the church state that these people are honorably excused from missionary service and can choose to serve at home if they so desire. Sometimes it isn’t a medical reason. Sometimes a person doesn’t serve a mission because they are a convert due to their boyfriend/girlfriend’s missionary efforts to bring them into the Gospel. Whatever the reason, if someone doesn’t serve a mission, it doesn’t automatically make them unworthy to hold the Priesthood or receive temple blessings. It doesn’t make them a bad person. Actually, I believe that many who find out they can’t serve become stronger and all the better for it. It is a hard trial to go through for some of them and that is, of course, the main purpose of being on Earth – to be tested and learn from our trials. If someone hasn’t served a mission and isn’t going to, love them, no matter the reason. Most likely, specifically those that can’t, they already feel bad or guilty about it, so please don’t make them feel worse. Love them and lift them up.
I know several young men who can’t or haven’t served and they are some of the most spiritual and worthy men out there. Hey, even President Monson didn’t serve a mission… And he’s the prophet for crying out loud! These men are sometimes spiritual giants. They are closer to the spirit than anyone else I know and they are amazing. I love each and every one of them for their examples.
As the missionary age has changed (quite significantly for women), I hope that the tables don’t turn and young men start judging the young women who don’t serve. Women are not obligated to serve. We are taught that if marriage is an option at the time and it is the right thing for us, that is the way we should go because families are so important. It is so sad that people judge others for things they have no control over. Heavenly Father knows each of us. He knows our desires, our wants and our needs. He knows what is best and that should be enough for us to trust in Him. If you meet someone who hasn’t served a mission and isn’t going to, get to know them. Find out who they are. They are most likely good people who love the Lord and are trying to do everything they can to follow Him.
One of the two most important commandments? Love thy neighbor as thyself . Anyone we meet is considered our neighbor. Love them and do unto them as you would have them do unto you.
I know the Lord loves us. He hears our prayers and knows us each individually. I love Him with all my heart and am striving to do all I can to come closer to Him. I know He will guide me whenever I need it, if I ask, and I know that He is there whenever I need Him. I love my Savior and I love this Gospel. I know it is true, without a shadow of a doubt. I’m not perfect, nor will I be any time soon. I just know that if we strive to be the best we can be, God will help us the rest of the way.
I say this in the name of the Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, amen.