Do Not Repent of Your Mission!

To repent means to do an about-face and go in the opposite direction. Many young men, as they return from their missions do just that. They stop doing many of the good things they did on their missions.

Here are some of my observations.

Many of these returned missionaries:
  • No longer get up early to study the scriptures
  • No longer wear a white shirt and tie to church
  • No longer pray multiple times a day
  • Immediately want to start growing a beard
  • Begin listening to questionable music
  • Want a Smart Phone with all the latest social networking and video apps.
  • Want to make up for all the time they missed playing video games
  • Want cable TV with access to all available movies, without restrictions.
  • Want unlimited access to the Internet to see everything that was off limits.
That is what I call "Repenting of your mission!" It's not unlike stuffing yourself at the end of Fast Sunday to make up for the food you did not eat while fasting.

These returned missionaries don't feel they need to be as spiritual as before. After all, they just want to be "normal" and "fit in with the crowd." In other wards they want to live right next door to the great and spacious building.

Yet most of those I know in the Addiction Recovery Program, including myself, are returned missionaries. What happened to us? Had we continued following the rules and standards that protected us while on our missions, we probably would have avoided the temptations that led to our addiction.

And I would suggest that if we were to go back and reinstate those same rules and standards into our lives that we would be able to recover much faster. 

Isn't that what the 12 steps are trying to get us to do?

While on our missions, we did give our will over to God; but now that we're home, we've taken it back.


Here are some comments I have received back after sharing this blog:

Missions are literally giving your life and will to God for two years, some how we seem to think that's all we need to give. But the reality is we are supposed to use that as a training ground on how to live the rest of our lives.

 That's a great take on returning missionaries who do exactly what they taught others to not do. 

After our mission, we should move forward and upward, not backward and downward.

Our mission should not be the spiritual high of our entire life.

Our mission should be the MTC for our future lives.

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