Missionary work is difficult and daunting. Exhausting and endless, it seems. But that’s not the point here.
How many of you have heard a returned missionary utter this phrase: “When I was on my mission”?
When this happens I often think to myself “your mission?”
When a mission call is given it will read “Dear Elder or Sister _______, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary…”
When I was a youngster in church we sang “I hope they call me on a mission” not “I hope they call me on my mission.” I think there was careful thought that went into this. It truly is a mission to invite others to come unto Christ. It is not my mission or your mission to try to gain any glory or credit.
If your motive is to go for any personal gain I ask you to consider your Savior’s love for you. Attempt to emulate His love by putting your life on hold for Him and strangers in an area far away. It will make all the difference.
“How else can I talk about my mission experiences” you may ask. Rather than “On my mission” consider saying “I was a missionary in _____.”
I love and appreciate the missionary work that continues to cover the earth. Millions of years of service have influenced and affected countless souls. However, let us consider how others inside or outside the church may perceive our attitude toward missionary work.
My motive in this is not to deter those who are thinking about serving but rather to open the discussion of whose mission it really is. People have argued “It is my mission. After all, I’m giving up two years of my life.”
Let us be careful of the reasons we serve and how we speak about that amazing experience.
I echo the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith. “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”
I do encourage you to go on a mission for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Not for yourself.
These are the people I went for. Who will you go for?
Related articles: 8ways2: Be a Missionary without realizing it.