Post-Mission Arrogance

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SamBee
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Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by SamBee » 14 Jan 2014, 04:59

What are your thoughts on PMA? Seems that some guys go on a mission and come
back with tickets on themselves.

Doesn't really seem to affect women though, oddly enough.

I know some boys go on a mission and come back men, but some really nice
guys go on missions and come back unbearably self-absorbed and
arrogant. I've seen this happen in several cases, and have heard also
that RMs think any girl is fair game.

I tend to find it usually wears off after the reality of marriage and
life...

I think part of the problem is our missionary program is the wrong way round. Missions are NOT for the missionaries, they're for converting people to the gospel. That's maybe why some return so obnoxious.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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On Own Now
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by On Own Now » 14 Jan 2014, 09:06

If I were stranded on a remote stretch of road, I'd rather have a carload of RMs come upon me than a carload of boys the same age who still live with their parents and who categorize the next release of GTA as a "life event". Honestly, I haven't observed the arrogance you have. I've seen a disproportionate serving of confidence and matter-of-fact determination, but I think it is born of their own experience, rather than what they've been told (as is the case pre-mission), so I have no complaints.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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baldzach
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by baldzach » 14 Jan 2014, 09:11

My guess is it has to do with a condensed "life cycle" that occurs culturally while on a mission. IT's not uncommon to hear a trainer referred to as "Dad", your trainer's trainer is your "Grandpa", etc. You're "born" in your first area and you "die" in your last area. You are "pregnant" when you find out you're going to be a trainer (i.e. "dad"). Thus, after 22 or 23 months, you're feeling "old" and "wise", and in comparison to your peers, you (relatively) are -- in some respects. The arrogance comes when one starts actually believing that it has something to do with reality and isn't something that's so colloquial as to have no application outside of that one condensed reality.

I hope that makes some sense...

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Jan 2014, 09:57

I think those who come back arrogant generally are those who would go to college and become arrogant. I also think a lot of it depends on the mission, since it's hard to become arrogant if you serve in a mission where baptisms are few and far between.

I think that forced humbling actually is a good aspect of missions for many young men and, to a lesser extent, many young women.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mercyngrace
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by mercyngrace » 14 Jan 2014, 10:21

A couple of ideas:

Idea 1: I think we, church members, create an atmosphere where this sort of self-centered mindset can thrive. We tell our missionaries how amazing they are and what great things they've done and how they compare favorably to their peers who didn't serve. Some of them catch hold of that idea. Sunday, a young man in our ward gave a brief talk where he mentioned being a member of "the chosen generation". I leaned over to my husband and said, "He's going to feel stupid in 30 years when they're saying the same thing to his kids." You put people on a pedestal, some people are actually going to enjoy the view and start thinking they belong there. (Not that I think our young speaker is of that mind - he's a really great kid.)

Idea 2: If you really throw yourself into your mission, it's life-changing experience. Especially if it's your first time "cutting the cord" or if you've traveled to places you never cold have previously imagined. These kinds of paradigm blowing experiences can just kind of completely overshadow everything else in your life. It's all you talk about. It's all you read about. It's all you think about. At least for a good while. Don't believe me? Go to a baby shower. Women whose babies are in college will tell you their birth stories down to the most minute detail and they will still be mad at the insensitive nurse, or aglow describing their child's first cry. So when that elder from Pensacola starts offering the prayer with a accent that sounds like Ricky Ricardo a la Jed Clampett it's not necessarily because he thinks he's all that. It's because he is hanging on to something profound and, sadly, fleeting. If all his sentences start with "I", it may be because he's been so affected by the experience. If he thinks he knows everything, it's because he learned so much. Give him time. He'll have plenty of life experiences which highlight his stupidity (as soon as he starts dating again - lol).
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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SamBee
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by SamBee » 14 Jan 2014, 11:11

On Own Now wrote:If I were stranded on a remote stretch of road, I'd rather have a carload of RMs come upon me than a carload of boys the same age who still live with their parents and who categorize the next release of GTA as a "life event". Honestly, I haven't observed the arrogance you have. I've seen a disproportionate serving of confidence and matter-of-fact determination, but I think it is born of their own experience, rather than what they've been told (as is the case pre-mission), so I have no complaints.
I would say here, that it's not a universal characteristic. Some men come back, and they're fine, just that all too many seem to come back thinking they're God's gift, even when it wasn't even really their choice to go on a mission in the first place?

Like I say though... I haven't observed this phenomenon in women. Maybe because women have to delegate baptism etc to someone else, and don't get the glory perhaps.

Some missionaries are great, but some seem to think they're too cool for school, even when they're doing it!
Last edited by SamBee on 14 Jan 2014, 11:19, edited 2 times in total.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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SamBee
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Re: Post-Mission Arrogance

Post by SamBee » 14 Jan 2014, 11:13

baldzach wrote:My guess is it has to do with a condensed "life cycle" that occurs culturally while on a mission. IT's not uncommon to hear a trainer referred to as "Dad", your trainer's trainer is your "Grandpa", etc. You're "born" in your first area and you "die" in your last area. You are "pregnant" when you find out you're going to be a trainer (i.e. "dad"). Thus, after 22 or 23 months, you're feeling "old" and "wise", and in comparison to your peers, you (relatively) are -- in some respects. The arrogance comes when one starts actually believing that it has something to do with reality and isn't something that's so colloquial as to have no application outside of that one condensed reality.

I hope that makes some sense...
This is a very leftfield, yet very perceptive interpretation IMHO. I think going on a mission, you have a lot of life planned for you - e.g. where you are going, what work you're going to do, and you don't have to pay bills, look for work, or resolve romantic relationship issues.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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