Monday, October 8, 2012

Or maybe... I don't feel as strongly (about missionary work) as I thought.

After I wrote the last post (I don't believe in missionary work), I went to my parents' house for dinner. I just got a new iPhone, and was browsing facebook while I was waiting for everyone to get there.

My friend, John, posed this question. I paid extra attention to it because of the post I had just written.
"Hypothetical: There's a 19 year-old LDS male who is super smart and sensitive, who does not believe that the LDS church is the one true church, but who loves the church, and would theoretically like to serve a mission -- but only if he could do it in a way where he didn't feel like he had to lie to people (testifying of things he didn't believe/know) -- perhaps inviting people to join the church if it worked for them? I don't know exactly.

My question to you all --
1) Have any of you been able to successfully serve a mission in this way?
2) If not, do you know anyone who has? Or do you have any advice on how to make this work? I'm looking for advice tips on if this is possible."
So, I asked my family. Justin told me about his friend. He (friend) is from a part-member family. His mother is Catholic, his father is Mormon. His goal for his mission (he's been out for six weeks) is to find the people that the church is right for. No one else.

In that way, I think we all are missionaries... I write a blog about the harm the church has done to me, about working to heal my life, and about abusive relationships, and part of my "mission" is to just be here in case someone else feels like I do/have felt. I'm not trying to "de-convert" anyone, but I want to be a help to someone if they are already on that road and need support.

There are people that need to hear what I have to say. (I needed to hear what I had to say.) 
There are people that need to hear what you have to say too... And now all I can think about is the plaque-thingy my mom gave me for Christmas last year.

Your story matters. (tell it)

It's a fine line... How do you say, "This is what I have found helpful," without saying, "You should do this too." MANY missionaries put HIGH pressure to get new converts. For them, it seems like they need to convert other people in order to validate themselves. That seems like it would be harmful for everyone. The missionary and everyone he talks to.... and that is what I find myself fighting against. 

So, it turns out I don't feel as strongly as I thought I did... 
And... my "mission" is still the same, LOVE YOURSELF. You are perfect and beautiful and wonderful just the way you are. You don't need to change a thing, and neither do I.


  1. Now that is missionary work I can believe in. :)

  2. I made most of my comments about this on my previous post. I have found that the best way to build bridges, is indeed by listening and loving each other, without trying to rescript it for them!! Saying soemthing perfectly is not the goal, listening lovingly is!