This article was originally written by Natalie Smith for LDS Smile. The following is an excerpt.
Call this a disclaimer if you will- I have the highest respect for returned missionaries. I myself served a full time mission. I was 19. I loved it. It became one of the most defining periods of my life. My mission meant everything to me. It shook me awake and stripped me of selfishness and naivete (Well somewhat. I still have those things) I could write volumes on how much I loved my mission but you get the idea I hope.
My husband and I met at a church dance. I know, it’s pretty cliche. We were married exactly 90 days after we met. I know, even more cliche. I never expected that to happen, I’m a slow mover and somewhat of a skeptic, but I got ‘swept off my feet’ (I’ll try and cool it with the cliches here.) I knew I had met the man I was going to marry, but I had one itching concern. He wasn’t a returned missionary.
On our first date I asked him if he served. He said no, and explained himself in a short story that I knew he must have recited many times in response to that frequently asked question. He had all the qualities I could have hoped for but no missionary plaque to show for it. He did not serve a mission due to personal circumstances. The decision was made with much prayer between him, his bishop, and the Lord. I don’t feel it’s necessary to go into the details here, but I support the choice he made and I’m proud of his character.
Read Smith’s full article at LDSsmile.com.