This article was originally written by Maddy Richards for her personal blog. The following is an excerpt.
- We still love the Gospel. Yes, that’s right! Just because we aren’t dedicating a year and a half of our lives to solely preach the Gospel, doesn’t mean we aren’t dedicating every day of our lives to the Lord. We are looking for ways to help, serve, teach, and minister every single day. Even though we don’t wear a badge on our chest, we all have “badges painted on our heart” as Elder Nelson would say.
- When you go on about how attractive sister missionaries are, how you’ll only marry an RM, and how much of a better mom a girl is who has served a mission, it can hurt our feelings. You probably don’t mean it to be offensive, but it is. We look at the path we’ve chosen as inferior in your eyes. We see our future children and wonder if you’re right about their mother and how less spiritual she’ll be. We wonder if we should go and serve solely because it will make us more attractive to you. We think our personal scripture study, the fulfilling of our callings, our desire to serve others, our teaching and helping those around us, isn’t enough. We’ll still be great wives and mothers, promise!
- We appreciate it when you recognize those of us who haven’t served missions in your lessons/talks. We love missionary work. Honestly we do. What we don’t love, is feeling that we missed out on the only right option by choosing not to serve. The Church’s focus IS missionary work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a full-time mission. We love hearing about how to serve as a member and how to be an example to those around you no matter where you live. We’re not crazy about lessons detailing how every, single person should serve a mission, it’s always the best option, you’ll never be close to the spirit like you will be on a mission, asking people if they have a mission story they’d like to share, or saying “If you’ve served a mission, you understand this…” This can also offend guys who were worthy to serve, and weren’t able to.
- We’ve prayed about our decision. I was a little taken back when a member of my ward asked me if I’d prayed about my decision to not serve. That’s a very personal, and very frustrating thing to be asked. So let me just put all your minds at ease, we’ve prayed about it. Or we’re praying about it. We’re going to be obedient to the answer we’ve been given, and hopefully that’s acceptable in your eyes.
Read Richards’ full post at hereisthelowdown.com.