Mormons Tell Young Women To Only Marry Return Missionaries!
I will begin this blog with a thread on lds.net concerning this very issue:
"I hope this topic hasn't been beaten to death. I was wondering what people though about the YW's manuals BASICALLY saying "only marry a return missionary" if all YW fallowed this council(which i know they don't) what is a man who joined after his 20's or a man who didn't go on a mission to do? are they left to converts and non members? even with the women who don't fallow the only marry a RM line it seems like they are stigmatized as well. any thoughts?"
Good topic, and GREAT question. Here is the first response, from a moderator of the forum, whose user name is Pam:
"It's been beaten to death. :)"
Here is my response to Pam, which I will probably try to send to her somehow on the forum:
Your response to the thread "Only marry return missionaries!" was not only offensive, but unbelievably ridiculous and ignorant. It just so happens that there are men who are currently in the Mormon Church who have never had the opportunity to go on a mission, and as a result they are isolated, and get rejected for dates. Try telling these young men that this topic is beaten to death in the Church, because NOBODY discusses it! The General Authorities sure as hell won't address it, because they want more tithe payers, and if they can make young men feel they have to go on a mission, that is how they get more tithe payers!
How about rather than responding so arrogantly, admit that you are a bitch, and address the issue, rather than avoid it!
About six months ago I found an article that some whack job named Alec Kearns wrote in the Daily Universe for BYU. I found the article to be EXTREMELY disturbing. Here is this article. Get ready to puke:
Letter: Follow the prophet
Wed, 09/23/2009 - 20:47
I’ve never done anything like this before, but this is just absolutely ridiculous.
If you were unprivileged as I was to read the letter “Mission doesn’t make the man,” you too read irresponsible and misleading statements that insinuate that serving a mission is just not that big of a deal; it’s kind of just up to you to determine if you feel like it’s a necessary thing to serve the Lord. I just can’t let that go.
Is there truth to the idea that a title, in and of itself, does not make you all it should be? Certainly, yes. Does there exist a small percentage of elders that did missionary things for two years, and returned in vain? Does that happen?
Sadly, we all know that it does occasionally.
That pathetic percentage, however, is more of a reflection on those people than it is on returned missionaries as a whole. My wife and I talk every single day about the changes we both underwent as we served. Every day. We are not unique.
Long before I ever met my wife, the Lord gave me the experiences that I needed to be ready for, and worthy of, my wife. These sacred, personal learning opportunities came while serving full-time.
As an older brother of an unmarried 19-year-old sister, please disregard that article. It is false. It will get you nowhere. Marry an RM that keeps his covenants. Follow the prophet, not “advice” from some dude.
I found this guy's comments to be so offensive, that I am not going to conceal his name. I found one of the responses to this letter to be SPOT ON, and extremely logical! Here is his response:
While I can accept that in your mind serving a mission is the ONLY way to follow the Prophets counsel, I cannot, nor will I ever, appreciate your lopsided view that women should only date returned missionaries, and nobody else.
You want to know why you are wrong? I did not serve a mission. And you want to know what? I have a condition to which going on one would be a bad idea, and I was told they would not let me go on one anyway.
By your logic, I am disobedient, and undeserving of Eternal Marriage. Why? Because I was born with an anxiety disorder? That automatically denies me the opportunity for the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom?
With all due respect, individuals I have encountered in my life who hold your viewpoint make me sick. I feel I have a duty to speak out against people like you in behalf of those in similar situations like myself.
(I can guarantee you, that no Prophet or Apostle would frown upon a young devote LDS Woman choosing to marry a young man who was unable to serve a mission for reasons outside his control. Why would they? That would be ridiculous.)
Alec, I think you need to do more research on what the Prophets have said about this issue before you deserve credibility to be taken seriously.
Amen. Spot on. The only problem I have with this poster's response is the text I highlighted in yellow. This user believes that the Prophets and Apostles would never frown upon young men who did not serve missions getting married. Actually, they would. I am pretty sure that Thomas Monson and his 14 lunatics feel that if you did not go on a mission, you don't deserve to get married, because of all the potential tithe payers you never converted.
Here is another response from an anonymous poster (Boyd KKK Packer?). You will understand why this poster decided to maintain anonymity when you see it:
I appreciate this viewpoint! From an outsider's view you would not think this school is full of LDS people.
As far as I know, serving a mission is a responsibility of a man. And sure there are exceptions, like war, but hardly any I would allow in this day of age. If not a mission, then what did he think was more important? Why are we even talking about this?
Whoever the poster was is a complete asshole. Uh, how about they have anxiety disorders? They can't afford to go? Or maybe they just have a mind, and don't want to be treated like shit for 2 years! We are "talking about this" because it is a problem, and one that needs to be addressed, but unfortunately never will. As long as there are assholes like this poster out there, young men will never feel accepted if they don't go on a mission, which is sad, especially if they have to live in Utah County!
For the rest of this blog entry, I am going to focus primarily on a discussion board on Facebook's "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" page. There is a discussion in particular named, "Would u marry a worthy priesthood holder if he didn't serve a mission?"
To start off with, here is the original poster's question:
Would u marry a worthy priesthood holder if he didn't serve a mission? i am just curious on what people think about this.
Here are the most noteworthy responses:
1. If he was a worthy priesthood holder, why didnt he serve a mission in the first place? Why didnt he put gods work before his own.
2. for guys, its a commandment, so i feel that if they had that opportunity and didnt take it then they probably wont be my first choice. ive seen the blessings and experience that come with missions and i want that to be apart of my future home and family. so its definitely a standard i hold, but im not going to hate a guy if he didnt. i have a brother who didnt go and he's still an amazing guy who married in the temple. and if that right person comes around and he didnt, and i know its right, then sure i will marry him. but personally i want someone, who if it was possible for them to go at the age of 19, willingly and worthily went.
3. (I actually know this poster, and that makes his reply even sadder) - According to the Brethren, those worthy and able (both physically and mentally) to serve a mission are commanded to serve. There may be "some young men who aren't meant to serve a mission," but those young men (if they are worthy) are those who are incapacitated either physically or mentally. President Packer said, "It does not matter if it interrupts your schooling or delays your career or your marriage - or basketball. Unless you have a serious health problem, every Latter-day Saint young man should answer the call to serve a mission" (Ensign, May 1984, 42).
It IS relevant whether or not they served a mission. It is not the only thing to look at, of course, but it is most certainly relevant. If they did not serve, what is relevant why they did not serve. If a worthiness issue in their life happened that precluded them from serving and they have since repented and are now worthy, that is another story. As people have mentioned, a "worthy" priesthood holder is the key. But don't pretend there are some young men who just aren't meant to serve for whatever reason (maybe because they just don't feel the Lord wants them to, or they're not ready, etc. - if that is the case, prepare yourself and go at a later age) - saying that is calling the prophets liars.
4. I agree with (poster 3) completely. I believe that there are too many young men that use pathetic excuses to "redeem" themselves from serving a full-time mission. I personally would not marry a worthy priesthood holder if he didn't serve a mission because, to me, those two years are an invaluable time of learning and growth that cannot be compared to other life experiences. It is also important to me because I want my children to have the example of their father's willingness and worthiness to serve as a pre-cursor to their opportunities for blessings later in life. I don't believe that a young man should be seen as a "lost cause" because he did not serve a mission but I have seen that it haunts those young men for the rest of their lives. It IS a commandment for all worthy young men to serve a full-time mission and I find it discouraging to hear that many members of our Church either do not realize this or simply find that an exaggeration of our living prophet's words.
5. If he can't give up two years of his life to serve the lord than how do I know that he would stick it out for eternity.
6. It honestly depends on what your patriarchal blessing says. Some say that you will marry a return missionary. Some say you won't some don't say if he is or not and some even say you won't get married.
7. Personally, I've always been taught to marry a Worthy returned missionary. And I know there are really awesome guys out there that have not gone on missions for various reasons. My dad didn't go on a mission and he's awesome! But I also know personally some even more incredible guys that did serve a mission. I believe that those guys that go on missions and endure to the end will be a good example to their sons. For me, that is the number one thing on my list of qualities i'm looking for in a husband, and it is extremely important to me.
8. I definitely agree that
1. just because you served a mission doesn't necessarily mean you're a saint 2. you can be a worthy young man and had not served a mission but, for me it has always been my goal to marry a return missionary. It's a commandment for all worthy young men to serve a mission. Being an RM means that you have had that commitment to God, you were willing to completely devote two years of your life to him. How awesome is that? So its not that I don't think you have to go on a mission to honor your priesthood, but it's definitely a bonus and if you love the gospel than you're willing to share it with others.
9. It DOES matter. Of course people choose to make their own choices, based on what they think is right. However, if you look at it from the perspective that the Prophet has called every worthy young man to serve, there is no greater righteous thing for a young man to be doing but to serve a mission as soon as he is able. Yes, there are individuals who are excused honourably, but would have gone in a heartbeat if they could. From my personal experience, I broke off my engagement 100 days before the temple sealing (invitations, dress, everything all done), because I knew that I had to listen to the Spirit that was encouraging em to encourage my ex-fiance to serve a mission, despite the reasons that he gave. I was responsible for the promptings I could receive, and when the two of us met with my Bishop, he was moved to tears, as was I based on the powerful witness that the Lord needed who I was with to serve. Unfortunately, he has still chosen not to serve. Gratefully however, the Lord had foresight about different issues that could have potentially arose in the future if I had followed through with marrying this young man. I want the person that I am to be with for eternity to be able to experience the most joy and reach their greatest potential in this life and in the next, and serving a mission is part of Heavenly Father's plan to make that happen. It blesses so many people aside from just the young man. I have come to realize my future family cannot afford to be without the blessings of a Return Missionary. Sisters are invited to go, but it is not required. That is not in every girl's expected actions. It is a matter of prayer and situation also. Of course I can only speak from my experience and my testimony, but I know that men chose to accept a mission before they came to this earth and they fulfill that promise that they made before this life when they serve a two year mission fulltime. It is not a matter of social status or culture. That is mormonism, not the Gospel. I just read a quote from an apostle this week that said a mission does not make a missionary. Of course, just because someone served a mission, it doesn't mean that they have all the qualities and spirituality that would be ideal for an eternal mate, but it shows a trust in the Lord to make a sacrfice that is a commandment. It is a call from the Lord, from the Lord's servants to participate in something more glorious than you can imagine until you have experienced it. I have not, but I have been deeply blessed and touched by the examples of those in my family and my closest friend who have chosen to go on missions. It is a life changing experience and sets a standard and example for the way we all should be living. I do not post this to debate other answers, but to me, it matters greatly, and an aspect of the Gospel that is close to my heart.
10. Hasn't the prophet said that all 19 year old worthy males are called to serve missions? Unless the guy I want to marry joined the church after the "mission time", I won't marry anyone who's not a return missionary.
11. (This is probably the worst of them all!) - I married a return missionary, and I'd do it again, I promised myself the best and that's what I got. It's not wrong for girls to want that perfect someone, yes reality happens and some young men don't serve, but what are we women suppose to do?! We should not have to lower our standards because young men today are the laziest generation ever in the church. The bar has been raised, and if a young men can not commit two years to the Lord what makes you think he can commit to you or to anything else? Now don't get me wrong, this is not meant for those who are physicaly unable to serve, but for those that decide that the scholarship, or that job opportunity is better, or that they just don't feel like it. And I'm not saying all return missionaries are perfect and great, some are scum I'll admit, and there are great guys out there who haven't served a mission. But there are plenty who are wonderful men and who have shown that committment. Women should not be chastized for wanting the best. We should not allow our standards to be lowered because the men of today have. Return Missionaries are more appealing, that's life and many have the freedom to choose. Let me just remind people that Choices come with consequences. If you don't like the consequence then choose otherwise.
If a girl wants to marry a man who has not served that's great, but those of us that choose a higher standard, should not be chastized. We want men that follow through with what they say they will do.
12. (Same poster as the previous, but felt she had to make another one.) - Ruling them out does not mean you don't forgive them, President HInckley said once (not word for word) You can forgive a man, but you do not have to do buisness with him again. We all have the right to decide what qualities our eternal companion has and if we choose not to settle for less, then we should not be chastized. We are only doing what our leaders and prophet have asked, Keep your standards high!
13. (Same poster as previous two AGAIN!) - What I am trying to get across, is that a large majority of young men, who are able to serve are not accepting their priesthood duty to serve the Lord for two years of their life. We are entitled to Men who up hold their Priesthood duties, are we not?
You can't honestly expect to sin sin sin and not see consequences of those actions. Once again I am not talking about those who are PHYSICALY UNABLE- let me define this- Health issues, Mental Issues, or not a member at the time. But for all of you young men who grow up knowing what the prophet has asked of you, you have to expect the consequence!
Yes I know many great wonderful men who have never served, I am simply saying, THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES! and we women DESERVE the qualities that come from the COMMANDMENTS that the LORD has set.
That is reality! So stop your poor mes and be men, be real men!
14. No. Unless he was a convert or had a good reason for not going (such as a health problem, or has since repented for his previous unworthiness). The church encourages guys to prepare for a mission. Why would God have them prepare? So they could go! duh! haha! My personal belief is that if they love God more than they love a girlfriend, they will serve a mission. If they love a girlfriend more than God, that marriage will not be half as good as it could be. So, you decide. Who do you love more? God or your girlfriend? My future husband will love God more than he loves me. :D
15. (Poster who posted 3 times felt she had to post ONCE AGAIN!) - It's called CONSEQUENCES!!! and taking responsibility, That's another thing young men especially today refuse to do, take responsibility for thier actions. All they do is critisize others for making their life hell, when it's because of their actions that they see those CONSEQUENCES. And don't preach to me about repentance, I've been there, I've seen repentence just like every body else. My point is that unfortunatley repentance doesn't fix everything, there are still consequences and it's not fair for you people to tell us who we should be "doing buisness" with again
"You can forgive someone, but that does not mean you Have to do buisness with that person again." - PRESIDENT HINCKELY
16. i would want to marry a guy that has served a mission because, the prophet has asked all the worthy man to serve missions, he didn't say well, it's ur choice, if you want you can but u don't have to. he said they should. now i'm not saying all the returned missionaries are worthy though.mission is a big sacrifice and it makes me think, if a guy wasn't willing to make that sacrifice for the Lord, would he make sacrifice for me and my children?? but this is just me and how i feel about it. since i served a mission myself i think i will have alot in common with guys that also served missions.
17. No. Worthy or not, a mission is what the Lord wants them to do and they will become better for it. I most definitely want to marry an RM.
18. We are not focusing on the flaws! We only want unwavering men who show by their past that they can obey the lord. WE HAVE THE RIGHT to want the best, to marry the men who have set those standards high. Why is it wrong to look for men who have kept their priesthood duty? Why?
Why is it that no one else seems to realize that there are consequences? You know a possible consequence is that he may miss out on a great girl! But HE MADE that decision! He did. He's the one that CHOSE not to prepare for a mission, He's the one who CHOSE not to go. We all make decisions and we all get consequences.
Could it be that once again Satan is trying to convince us that there is no responsibility and no consequences? Could it be that maybe he is trying to downgrade the importance on a mission? Yeah maybe what the prophet, or the lord for that matter isn't all that important. I don't know about you, but It is very very important to me. I refuse to let Satan blind side me.
We are not judging! we are deciding which qualities we want in our husbands.
19. (This is just STRANGE!) - hell no I wouldn't. I mean...If I could hack it my husband sure as hell had better do it. Any guy who marries a chick who didn't serve a mission is retarded as well. Thanks for your time.
Well, I've got to hand it to that poster, at least she said the same thing about women who didn't serve missions.
20. I might seem shallow or judgemental, but the men that i have dated that decided not to go on a mission were not of the same calibur of those who did. Now concerning those who could not go, my heart goes out to them and I am sure that they will be blessed if they were even willling in their hearts to go and serve. The Lord made it clear through the Prophets, that any worthy 19 year old male is called to serve and an important quality that i look for in men that i date is obedience.
21. It's a very worthy goal to marry a returned missionary. But that should not be your only goal as a young woman. Is this young man, upon returning from his mission, willing to stay faithful to those same qualities that made him a great missionary?
22. To me a man serving a mission is at the very top of my list(alongside a worthy priesthood holder). A mission turns a boy into a man that no other experience can...well, at least not as quickly as a mission can.
Of course, there are those who can't for REAL reasons like a medical problem, a past serious sin, or simply too old to go, but these guys are mostly sorry that they didn't go. Since they can't go, guys should make that their first priority pre-mission. A couple mission is always great, but you never know what might happen in your life.
I actually joined in on this discussion in about August, under the alias "Jacob Waters", and got into a prolonged argument with a real asshole named Pierce. I will now post our argument: (Mine are blue, his are red.)
I would certainly hope that there are no women in the Church out there who would refuse to date somebody just because he didn't serve a mission. Even if he was unworthy. To refuse to date him for not going on a mission is being unChristlike.
Now marry, that I can understand being up to the woman's discresion. You can refuse to marry a person for any reason, and that's fine. Marriage is afterall, a lifetime, and eternal committment.
My feeling is that if a woman dated a guy who didn't go on a mission, and fell in love with him anyway, she would realize that it is a pretty irrational quality to judge a person by.
I strongly disagree with this statement. What do you even base this off of? Who said that it's not Christlike? Did Jesus go on dates with whoever asked him? Must be in the apocrypha. A woman is never obligated to say yes to a guy that she doesn't want to date. I think you have dating confused with a Mormon church dance in when you say "you have to say yes." In the real world, dating means a lot to many people, and they view it as a means to find someone they want to marry. If they know they don't want to marry someone who is obviously unworthy, they are NOT obligated spend time with that person, especially in a formal or romantic manner.
Anytime somebody says, "This guy is not worth dating because he didn't serve a mission", they are promoting the toxic stance Young Women have been taught, and continue to be taught, horrifyingly enough, that you should only marry a return missionary.
This is ridiculous, because it implies that any man who did not serve a mission is not good enough to get married.
Based on the logic of the LDS Church, that it is the only true Church, and that it's goal is for everyone to convert, then it implies that if you don't serve a mission, you are not good enough to marry anybody.
As somebody who has not served a mission in the LDS Church, I cannot deny that my life as a single adult in Utah County has not been at times hell. Why didn't I serve a mission? Because I have uncontrollable anxiety issues, and a psychiatrist has told me going on a mission would be a bad idea. This is not my fault.
Your statement suggests that the mindset, "I only should date an RM" is not unChristlike. The opposite is true for me.
I feel that there is a lot of unnecessary pain that men who are unable to serve missions living in Utah County have to experience, and it's too much.
Whenever I am in the midst of non-members, I don't ever have to worry about the unnecessary awkwardness of being asked if or where I served.
I find the way men like me who didn't serve missions to be a testament that the LDS is NOT the only true Church. I believe all religions have truth, and not one is "The only true one".
Perhaps Church Leaders need to step it up in order to make sure men like me feel a little more at home.
If you are trying to pick a fight, you may want to consider posting in logic that is constructed less poorly than the Titanic was.
I have been insulted by far more intelligent than you, so you'll have to try a little harder if you want to get to me.
All I will say, is based on what you wrote, I consider you to be the very epitime of this toxic mindset that gives people like me such a hard time maintaining a stable testimony in the Church.
Lighten up Jake. If you read my post again (and maybe again after that) you will find that I NEVER said that men who didn't go on missions are not worth dating, as I strongly disagree with that as well. What I do oppose is the idea that a woman who is out of high school is OBLIGATED to go out with anybody, and men who are unworthy. There is a very big difference, as I don't think that a woman is obligated to go out with even an unworthy RM. That is where I agree as well as disagree with you I guess. There is nothing "toxic" about that idea. I'm pretty sure that just about ANY woman will agree that she is not obligated to date ANYOBODY who asks her. She has the choice, and she has her standards. If someone who isn't an RM meets what she is looking for, then she should go for it. I'm sure you have standards and a filter on people with whom you ask on a date. Women should have that choice too, don't you think?
Dating, where I come from anyway, is an extremely informal, social activity, in the form of just getting to know somebody. Where I come from, people go out on dates just as friends. People who go on first dates should hopefully not be thinking about marriage yet. If so, they have a tough road ahead.
I am suggesting that unworthy members of the Church are entitled to have friends. What I am suggesting is that an environment in which socially isolating individuals who are perceived to be, or even openly, unworthy, is unChristlike. People who sin deserve friends. If this were not true, nobody would be deserving of friendships, as we are all sinners.
I think where we disagree is on the terms of "dating means seriously considering a person as an eternal companion". Not true at all.
Yes, women have the choice to say yes or no. But if their only reason is, "he is not an RM", or "he is unworthy", then they are missing out on diverse friendships.
Nobody said that a woman should alienate people or not be their friends. I believe you when you say that in Provo people go on dates for fun. But when people get a little bit older and more focused, gain experience, and know what they want, the point of dating isn't just to hang out. Dating becomes a means to an end. Up until I got engaged recently, I hated dating and did it because I wanted to settle down. I didn't need anymore "friends." I needed something serious and I only considered dating people that I thought would work for me in the long run. And I know many, many people who feel the same way. I think it comes with age, as I'm in my mid-twenties, and lots of dating experience. I understand what you're saying, but to me it's more applicable to people in high school, as girls were encouraged to say yes to people who asked them even if they weren't interested. But the purpose of dating changes for people over time. It's perfectly ok to have marriage in mind when it comes to dating. There is nothing un-Christlike about it. If an unworthy man wants a woman who is looking for a worthy man, he needs to get his act together, pure and simple. Otherwise, he's looking at the wrong demographic.
I just think the standards individuals in the LDS Community expect from one another are beyond human.
It is not human to expect people to be perfect, which is how Mormons expect people to be.
I looked at the missionary rules the other day. I am 100 percent positive that there is no living man or woman on the planet who is able to live all of them. Why persist in teaching this myth?
Mormons seriously need to lower their expectations from one another.
"Real" humans are willing to date men who aren't perfect. Why not LDS Women?
So, basically this is an issue that needs to be addressed by the Brethren, but it never will, because they know that if they make it okay for young men to not go on missions, they put themselves at risk for not getting as much tithing as they could! All it boils down to is tithing! General Authorities are obsessed with tithing, and that is why it is a commandment for men to go on missions, so they can maximize their chances of getting as much tithing money as they can!