Why you shouldn’t go on YOUR mission

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 people

These are the people I went for.  Who will you go for?


Related articles: 8ways2: Be a Missionary without realizing it.

You won’t save a single soul: The truth about missionary work

5 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t go on YOUR mission

  1. This is great! I find myself doing this all the time when talking about my church service mission…hey I did it right there MY mission. Not I will forever be self conscious when talking about my mission…wait I mean the work I did for the Savior’s mission!


  2. Matt, I love your stuff! Thanks for continually sharing your thoughts.

    I’ve contemplated what it is you’re trying to convey and I agree with your underlying premise. On the other hand, it seems to be splitting hairs by condemning someone for referring to such unique and tailored experiences like a mission in a possessive way.

    MY mission was to go and serve the Lord wherever He called me to go. MY mission was to preach the gospel on every clime, sweeping every country I found myself, to every ear that would listen and by so doing, fulfill the purposes of God. No one had a mission like MINE. No one shared every experience, trial, challenge, success, sorrow, or joy on THEIR mission as I did on MINE.

    We go forth and serve and, like most of our frail, human attempts of making an offering to our Heavenly Father, He takes our best efforts, magnifies them for His purposes, then returns to us a glimmering pearl of the greatest price that is uniquely, OURS.

    I love MY mission. MY motivation to serve had nothing to do with what I would get out of the experience, but the blessings that I still receive from that experience are immeasurable and I know they are things that my Father wanted to give ME. So, all of that makes me think that it’s okay to be highly possessive of MY mission. Hope that make sense, I could be way off base.. 🙂


  3. I love this, thanks so much! My daughter is currently serving a mission (less than 5 months left, WOO!), and she often talks about knowing why she was sent. She was sent to reach certain people who never would have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ without her. She knows it is a strengthening, growing, faith-building experience for her, but that it’s also not *about* her but rather about the people only she can reach and touch.


  4. Pingback: An exclusive interview with Jermaine Sullivan: The Bishop from ‘Meet the Mormons’ | 8ways2

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