Niece wants to serve a mission

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Ashley
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Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by Ashley » 02 Jun 2017, 11:59

My SIL was a TBM until her husband left to start a second family. SIL and kids are semi active now but I would say they are all jack Mormons. So my husband found out our niece from that family wants to serve a mission ( she's 18) and this is because of what her patriartical blessing says " you will get married AFTER your mission" her mom is not happy about this either as she is not fully active, and still hates God after what her husband did. Our niece only wants to go because she's worried she won't get married if she doesn't.

Husband wants to give niece the CES letter but I told him I don't think that's the best way to handle this. We don't want to break SIL with CES letter either, that will lead to more than she can handle right now. I don't think the essays will work either, I feel like those only work if you know what your looking for.
Looking for options on the best way to help this single mom help her daughter make the right choice for her regardless of what her blessing says.

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dande48
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by dande48 » 02 Jun 2017, 13:26

First off, I think you are very wise in NOT sharing the CES letter. A "faith transition" is a very sensitive and difficult thing for an indoctrinated member. She might not be fully active, but she believes enough.
Gordon B Hinley wrote: The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve are united in saying to our young sisters that they are not under obligation to go on missions. I hope I can say what I have to say in a way that will not be offensive to anyone. Young women should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men....

...Missionary work is essentially a priesthood responsibility. As such, our young men must carry the major burden. This is their responsibility and their obligation. We do not ask the young women to consider a mission as an essential part of their life’s program... To the sisters I say that you will be as highly respected, you will be considered as being as much in the line of duty, your efforts will be as acceptable to the Lord and to the Church whether you go on a mission or do not go on a mission.

...We know that many have set their hearts on missions. We know that many of them wish this experience before they marry and go forward with their adult lives. I certainly do not wish to say or imply that their services are not wanted. I simply say that a mission is not necessary as a part of their lives.
The original talk came from General Conference, October 1997.

In most Christian Religions, including the LDS Church, "God's authority" is made "manifest" through revelations. However, as to be expected with any religion that is not 100% true, the prophecies sometimes hold up, and sometimes do not. What happens to the membership is covered in depth in Spiritualisation and Reaffirmation and When Prophecy Fails. They are both excellent reads.

In summary, when a prophecy fails, the congregation does not deny the authority or come to the conclusion, "This religion is false". Rather, they take a new interpretation of the prophecy. The preacher will either claim he was speaking his own feelings/opinion on the matter, and that the prophecy wasn't really "prophetic", or they will all reframe the prophecy in a way that makes it true. This happens all the time with predictions on the Second Coming and end of the World. "Christ really did come, but only in Spirit", "Because of your faith, God spared the world", "We didn't understand altogether the spiritual meaning"... And so the believers keep on believing.

When it comes to Patriarchal Blessings, it has been stated that it is for personal interpretation only. Not even the patriarch can interpret it. I had one of those patriarchal blessings with prophecies which failed time and time again. Specifically, there was a blessing stating that the Lord would have me serve a foreign mission and teach in a new language with the gift of tounges (I served English-speaking in California). I have talked with several bishops over the years, and gotten a variety of answers.
  • I was "unworthy" for them to come true.
  • It was meant to be a "guide" rather than direct prophecy.
  • I must've misinterpreted them; it was referring to a Senior mission later in life.
  • Another said that I must've misinterpreted them, and that it was referring to a Senior mission later in life. And another told me that he was in the same boat, decided to scrap his patriarchal blessing, and write his own. He told me not to put too much weight on it, that I was the master of my own destiney. I liked that Bishop.
An easy approach you can take, is to question what is meant by "mission". Maybe her mission is to go to college. Mayber her mission is to take a semester abroad. Maybe her mission is to accept the marriage proposal of her future husband. It is VERY much open to interpretation. And anything "open to interpretation" will often cause a "stupor of thought". If she really desires to serve for the sake of serving, she should go. If she has doubts, she should re-evaluate.

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Sheldon
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by Sheldon » 02 Jun 2017, 13:35

My take away from this is that patriarchs are now giving blessings to YW telling them they will go on missions! I wonder if this is just since the age change?

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by hawkgrrrl » 02 Jun 2017, 13:52

Honestly, I think she should just be supportive and let her go. Just as we might say we shouldn't force, coerce or pressure someone to go, likewise, (IMO) we shouldn't try to talk someone out of going, almost no matter their stated reasons. Again, it's just my opinion.

I was having lunch with a friend who no longer attends church, and we were talking about our missions. We both agreed that it was a remarkable experience to really help people who were in many cases on the margins or down & out, and the church for those people (or even just interacting with us as missionaries) really did, even temporarily, have a very positive effect for these people.

Oh, and the CES letter is just beside the point. Speaking as someone who served a mission, it's not about tapirs being horses or even Joseph Smith's wives. It's about the people we find and how we help them.

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Minyan Man
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by Minyan Man » 02 Jun 2017, 14:04

hawkgrrrl wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 13:52
Honestly, I think she should just be supportive and let her go. Just as we might say we shouldn't force, coerce or pressure someone to go, likewise, (IMO) we shouldn't try to talk someone out of going, almost no matter their stated reasons. Again, it's just my opinion.
I agree with hawkgrrrl. There are probably going to be a number of people who will question her about her motives & desires to go on a mission.
I believe in supporting dreams. I wonder how many missionaries regret going on a mission? That would be an interesting survey.
It is a great opportunity to talk to her privately & ask her about her expectations. And support her decision where you can.

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Heber13
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2017, 14:15

I would recommend to give her some advice, if you are close enough to her that she is open to your advice. If so, I would not start with the CES letter.

I would start with LDS.org and have them read through these things to see if they are prepared physically, financially, spiritually and have matured to make that commitment.

I recommend this page on the website: Preparing for a Mission

I would also recommend the essays in the Gospel Topics of LDS.org, to gently gauge how interested she is in knowing about controversial topics. Many at that age are not, and it is not a problem to them or their faith, and serving a mission could be something very exciting and worthwhile.

My son is on a mission, and has never been happier. I gave him all the essays to study before his mission. It was good for him, and he has no problem with any of it. He is having a great growing experience and I'm proud of him.

I sometimes hear we criticize members who put pressure on their kids to serve a mission, which can overbearing to the youth. Don't make that mistake on the flipside to talk them out of a mission.

It should be their choice and should supported as long as they have a decent feel for what it will be like. That LDS.org website for preparing for a mission is a good way to start.

Teach them correct principles, and let them govern themselves. However it makes them happiest.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jun 2017, 14:28

hawkgrrrl wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 13:52
Honestly, I think she should just be supportive and let her go. Just as we might say we shouldn't force, coerce or pressure someone to go, likewise, (IMO) we shouldn't try to talk someone out of going, almost no matter their stated reasons. Again, it's just my opinion.

I was having lunch with a friend who no longer attends church, and we were talking about our missions. We both agreed that it was a remarkable experience to really help people who were in many cases on the margins or down & out, and the church for those people (or even just interacting with us as missionaries) really did, even temporarily, have a very positive effect for these people.

Oh, and the CES letter is just beside the point. Speaking as someone who served a mission, it's not about tapirs being horses or even Joseph Smith's wives. It's about the people we find and how we help them.
^What she said.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

amateurparent
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Joined: 19 Jan 2014, 20:43

Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by amateurparent » 02 Jun 2017, 16:13

Maybe just be supportive of her religious journey? She is 18. We all do stupid things when we are that age. A mission is no worse and certainly much better than many other options. She might end up with another language, and some really cool cultural experiences .. Or she might end up in Southern Idaho.

A mission isn't prison. If she hates it, she can go home. It's not like her family is going to judge her for not completing it.

Support her journey .. even when the path is not the one you are on.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

unsure
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Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by unsure » 02 Jun 2017, 21:43

DarkJedi wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 14:28
hawkgrrrl wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 13:52
Honestly, I think she should just be supportive and let her go. Just as we might say we shouldn't force, coerce or pressure someone to go, likewise, (IMO) we shouldn't try to talk someone out of going, almost no matter their stated reasons. Again, it's just my opinion.

I was having lunch with a friend who no longer attends church, and we were talking about our missions. We both agreed that it was a remarkable experience to really help people who were in many cases on the margins or down & out, and the church for those people (or even just interacting with us as missionaries) really did, even temporarily, have a very positive effect for these people.

Oh, and the CES letter is just beside the point. Speaking as someone who served a mission, it's not about tapirs being horses or even Joseph Smith's wives. It's about the people we find and how we help them.
^What she said.
I'm a male who didn't serve a mission because I didn't want to, much to the chagrin of my family. That said, I still agree with these fine folks above me.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Niece wants to serve a mission

Post by DarkJedi » 03 Jun 2017, 05:26

unsure wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 21:43
DarkJedi wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 14:28
hawkgrrrl wrote:
02 Jun 2017, 13:52
Honestly, I think she should just be supportive and let her go. Just as we might say we shouldn't force, coerce or pressure someone to go, likewise, (IMO) we shouldn't try to talk someone out of going, almost no matter their stated reasons. Again, it's just my opinion.

I was having lunch with a friend who no longer attends church, and we were talking about our missions. We both agreed that it was a remarkable experience to really help people who were in many cases on the margins or down & out, and the church for those people (or even just interacting with us as missionaries) really did, even temporarily, have a very positive effect for these people.

Oh, and the CES letter is just beside the point. Speaking as someone who served a mission, it's not about tapirs being horses or even Joseph Smith's wives. It's about the people we find and how we help them.
^What she said.
I'm a male who didn't serve a mission because I didn't want to, much to the chagrin of my family. That said, I still agree with these fine folks above me.
I would say the same thing in that situation. In fact, I have done so. It really is a personal choice and it's not a commandment for men or women. It is also not a saving ordinance (were it so none of the current FP would be saved :shock: ).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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