If you or someone you know came home from the mission before the time that the mission call originally prescribed, even if it was an “honorable release,” it isn’t easy. I want to provide a few reminders for you (even if you didn’t and you want to know how to help those who have). Whether you are the one who came home early or it is your son or daughter or niece or nephew or grandchild, these are important things to remember.
1. You Actually Went
You applied to go. You prepared. You submitted your papers. You got your call. You changed your heart. You went out there and did your best. And you’re still a returned missionary.
There are many who don’t even go. One area of the eastern US shows that only about 20% of the 19-24 year old young men are serving. And you chose to serve! That is an accomplishment in itself! You should be proud of yourself and remind yourself that you didn’t have to go. Remember that the promises from the prophet to you (in your mission call) are still true.
Here are a few to remember that apply to EVERY missionary, no matter how long you serve:
- The Lord will bless you.
- You will become an effective advocate and messenger of truth.
- The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life.
- Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully server the Lord.
These are not just promises for full-time missionaries who serve 18 or 24 months. They are for every missionary ever. I hope you know that.
2. Remember Thomas S. Monson
The man who signed your mission call didn’t serve a traditional full-time mission. Neither did Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Robert D. Hales, Boyd K. Packer, Dallin H. Oaks or Russell M. Nelson. Most of these guys were either honorably called home early, or never went. They were needed in other areas and in other ways that were very important. Did this keep them from serving God the rest of their lives? NO. Did it thwart their potential? No. Have they done significant missionary work later in life? You tell me. Just because you came home early, does NOT mean you are useless to the Lord. Get that thought out of your head because it is not of God. Someday you might just become a mission president, general relief society president or even an Apostle.
Read the rest of this article at TheReturnedMissionary.com.