Crumbling testimony

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Crumbling testimony

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jan 2016, 13:59

I do understand that missions, especially out of country missions, are not equipped to handle most medical needs of missionaries. Some in areas where health care is especially sketchy missions have a shared doctor. The one my son had was a retired colo-rectal surgeon (no kidding) - poorly equipped to deal with the ingrown toenail my son had. I know an ingrown toenail doesn't seem like a big deal, and it really wasn't even with the infection. But my son had an issue prior to his mission with ingrown toenails and we thought we had the problem taken care of with a podiatrist. What the mission doctor did caused a great deal of pain for my son (unlike anything the podiatrist did) and caused him to be off his feet for about a week. On the positive side, the church did have some doctors in his mission that they had a relationship with and would see the more serious medical issues (at least on was a member and I think this is the exception rather than the rule in South America). I also understand obesity (as opposed to simply being overweight) has many underlying issues not always readily apparent and in the interest of the health and safety of the individual (and perhaps the legal protection of the church) it may be best in some cases to not have these individuals serving in deepest darkest Africa. I would hope that such decisions are made based on competent medical evaluation as opposed to the opinion of a bishop or SP.

Two things I wanted to point out and then we should probably get back on topic (this may be a good topic for its own thread):

1. We do have a young man who is high functioning autistic. He returned from a mission last year - it is a special mission in SLC where they work in church offices and such as service missionaries (delivering mail, doing family history, etc.). Like all missionaries he came back a changed young man and currently holds a ward calling.

2. I think we shouldn't overlook the idea of service missions for those who for whatever reason can't serve proselyting missions. Personally I think a service mission might be much more individually rewarding.
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."

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nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Crumbling testimony

Post by nibbler » 02 Jan 2016, 15:05

I'll echo what others have said. 15 years is a long time away. Talk about relative isolation, 15 years ago it could take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks for a letter to arrive to a missionary in some foreign missions. Correspondence lag could be as long as 3 months! The internet happened, missionaries now have e-mail, some have tablet PCs. You might get a response to a letter while you're still sitting at the computer. Missionaries even get on facebook now a days. The current generation may find e-mail and facebook interactions more fulfilling than prior generations do, they may feel more connected. My guess is that there will be many changes to both world and church culture over the next 15 years. It seems as thought the world only gets smaller over time and the people heading out now are already much less isolated that my generation was. I'm hoping we'll be in an even better place in 15 years.

People have already discussed leadership roulette. Missions are a place where you get to experience companionship roulette as well, you don't get to chose who you'll be with. I suppose there's no way around certain challenges, a mission is made up of a random older couple placed in charge of 200 or so random youth. It would be impossible for there to be no hiccups in that sort of environment and a bad mission president or bad companion can sour the experience.

My wife and I discussed our experiences in the mission field (we both served) as they related to some of the points you brought up. Our missions could not have been more different. Heck I bet our experiences could still have been night and day even if we served in the same mission. Our discussion focused mostly on the strict rules and whether or not all of them made sense. I reached the conclusion that I have absolutely no idea. :| Maybe I needed that level of strictness at that point in my life and now that I feel like I no longer do I allow that to change how I feel about the rules. Trying to step back into the me as a missionary shoes is an interesting exercise. It's also interesting to try to figure out how my reverence towards the rules shaped me for years to come. I can't say whether I'm better or worse off... I'm just me now.

I do think we have a problem with our culture when it comes to how we treat people that come home early or never serve. That same element of our culture is manifest in the typical reactions to why people go inactive (lazy, never had a testimony, were offended, etc.). As humans we are judgmental and things like going inactive or coming home early are things that are highly visible and seized upon. We like to compare ourselves against others to give us that little ego boost. It's human. The church is a group of humans so I'd expect to see it. I think we could do a better job of addressing these forms of judgmentalism directly. How's that for being judgmental? ;)

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