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ashtonbailey1

Asking Boyfriend to Wait for Me?

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Yes, I have already heard the statistics. Yes, I know that me thinking my boyfriend is "the one" is nothing new and won't change the outcome, but I just have this reoccurring feeling that he is the one I will marry. The problem is that I am going on a mission, and he has made the decision to not serve. Before he told me this, I knew that our relationship would be more solidified and a better outcome if we were both serving. Now that he is not, I worry that he will find someone else while I am gone.

We are both each other's second relationship, and we have been dating for over a year. It took him two years from his last relationship to date me, so I guess I am essentially worried that someone will come into his life and I am having a hard time accepting it. He says that if we're meant to be together, we will be together in the end. But I don't want to accept a future without him. I know it is selfish and inconsiderate of me to ask him to wait for me, but if I just ask him to not get seriously involved with anyone and continue to live his life normally is that wrong? Am I being stupid?

There is also the possibility of him being inspired to serve while I'm gone. I pray for that everyday, but the way things work for me, I'm afraid it won't happen. I am just lost, and any advice would help. I am not interested in hearing anything about how I shouldn't marry him if he doesn't serve a mission, because I know not going doesn't make you a bad person, just as going doesn't make me a good person.

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Ashtonbailey, sometimes what we aren't interested in hearing is what we need to hear:

Missionary service is a priesthood obligation. A male who is physically and mentally capable of serving, and demurs at this obligation, is not honoring his priesthood and, unless he repents, cannot be relied upon to fulfill other priesthood obligations--including priesthood obligations to family that are undertaken via temple ordinances.

Now, I'm not going to beat that dead horse anymore, so moving on:

Go ahead and ask him to wait if you want; but my money is on him either flat-out telling you "no", or you returning home and learning he has been dating behind your back. My money is further on the prediction that if you serve diligently, your attitudes and standards will change to the point that by the end of your mission--you'll have outgrown him.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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You can't control what other people do.  You can only control how you react to it.  Ask him to wait, sure.  Nothing wrong with that.  But don't bet the house mortage that he'll be there when you get back.  Even married couples have this problem of transfer of affection causing lots of heartache and lots of divorces.

 

And it's high time to pull out my favorite Pretty in Pink quote:  "It's okay if you don't like me because I live to like you.".  That's love.  It's not predicated on what you can get.  It is only predicated on what you are willing to give.  And that doesn't only apply to your boyfriend.  It also applies to your mission - what you are willing to sacrifice for your mission is how much you love serving God in that capacity - nothing to do with what you can get (or not get) out of your mission.

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but if I just ask him to not get seriously involved with anyone and continue to live his life normally is that wrong? Am I being stupid?

 

Honestly, yes.  My take on it will be a little different though.  Dating, at your age, is a valuable element of the process of social and emotional maturation.  If you ask him not to date other people, you're likely to come back to a socially and emotionally stunted boyfriend.  That isn't going to work to your benefit, nor will it be good footing on which to build a marriage.

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Camilla Kimball waited for Spencer W. Kimball, then told him she was going on a mission, too. Obviously, he waited. It happens.

 

It doesn't hurt to ask him, but don't pine for him during your whole mission. Either stay home and get married now, or fully commit yourself to the work and leave the future in the Lord's hands. 

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His decision not to serve a mission should not by itself rule him out for marriage with you, but if his decision is part of a larger worldview that conflicts with yours, then I would spend some time exploring this and deciding whether you two can mesh your lives successfully.

 

I'm a huge fan of a verse from Matthew: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."  The older I get, the more I believe it, because I've seen the wreckage that results from taking my eyes off the kingdom of God and righteousness. 

 

Listen to the previous comments on this thread.  They contain much wisdom.

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Per handbook 1 "Worthy single men ages 18 through 25 who are physically, mentally, and emotionally able are encouraged to serve missions. Missionary service is a priesthood responsibility of these brethren. They should be encouraged not to postpone missionary service to pursue educational or other interests.

Single men ages 18 through 25 are called to serve for 24 months. Single men ages 26 and older are not called as missionaries."

 

This is the actual policy of the church not a GA opinion given in conference.

 

I highlighted encouraged because that's just what it is an encouragement NOT a commandment as others would have you believe. A mission is not for everyone and no one should feel obligated to go.

 

I would not recommend asking him to wait, you will be a different person when you return

Edited by omegaseamaster75

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Per handbook 1 "Worthy single men ages 18 through 25 who are physically, mentally, and emotionally able are encouraged to serve missions. Missionary service is a priesthood responsibility of these brethren. They should be encouraged not to postpone missionary service to pursue educational or other interests.

Single men ages 18 through 25 are called to serve for 24 months. Single men ages 26 and older are not called as missionaries."

 

This is the actual policy of the church not a GA opinion given in conference.

 

I highlighted encouraged because that's just what it is an encouragement NOT a commandment as others would have you believe. A mission is not for everyone and no one should feel obligated to go.

 

I would not recommend asking him to wait, you will be a different person when you return

 

Per handbook 1 "Worthy single men ages 18 through 25 who are physically, mentally, and emotionally able are encouraged to serve missions. Missionary service is a priesthood responsibility of these brethren. They should be encouraged not to postpone missionary service to pursue educational or other interests.

Single men ages 18 through 25 are called to serve for 24 months. Single men ages 26 and older are not called as missionaries."

 

This is the actual policy of the church not a GA opinion given in conference.

 

I highlighted encouraged because that's just what it is an encouragement NOT a commandment as others would have you believe. A mission is not for everyone and no one should feel obligated to go.

 

I would not recommend asking him to wait, you will be a different person when you return

 

And I highlight the rest; serving a mission is a priesthood responsibility, it is part of the obligation/duty that a young man has who holds the priesthood.  I can't quite recall a GA saying it was a commandment, but they certainly call it a duty and obligation 

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To answer the question of the OP, my opinion is to no not ask him to wait.  If he wants to wait, great, but asking him to wait is putting a huge obligation on him and yourself.  It sets up the expectation that a) you have someone when you get home and b) he has an obligation to put blinders on for 18 months.  It's like being engaged without being engaged, to put that much pressure on yourself and on him is asking too much.

 

My wife and I dated, then she went on a mission and we got married after she came back; but I did not wait on her.  I hung out with plenty of girls; I didn't go on any single dates simply because I wasn't interested in any of them, I went on plenty group dates, but we had no code that I would wait.  I was free to do as I pleased; she understood and knew that if it worked out it would and if it didn't it would be okay. I wrote her, but I kept the letters more as writing to a friend rather than a girlfriend.

 

More likely than not you will change quite a bit during your mission and in a very good positive way, the more that you are able to focus on the work without outside distractions the more likely it will be to change even more.

 

As far as being an RM; while being an RM is no guarantee of spirituality there is a much higher likelihood that an RM will be more spiritual than a non-RM.  I would give the same advice I will give my daughters; "it is your decision however, I highly recommend finding a worthy RM.  Unless one has a really good excuse (military service, older convert, etc), I cannot say that I approve of the decision to marry a non-RM. Being married is more than just living together it involves hard work, sacrifice and maturity.  In today's society, responsibility is a word of a bygone era.  Besides the spiritual growth that occurs during a mission it will teach responsibility, maturity, sacrifice and hard work.  Marry a non-member or a non-RM at your own risk."

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What happens if you ask him to wait... and he does... but, you change your mind while on your mission. There is a huge chance that that will happen. I know your heart will hurt for him for a while, but I believe you will both change so much over the time you are gone...that it won't be an issue when you return.

 

Pray and just let the Lord handle this for you. Think about HIM not him.

 

God bless you on your mission.

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*Shrug*. Young men of a certain caliber will rationalize* their decision not to serve to no end; and young women of a certain degree of naïvety will believe those rationalizations (or indeed, anything that comes out of a young man who is trying to enter a sexual relationship with them, via marriage or otherwise), however absurd.

I'd encourage those young women to go ahead and bookmark this discussion, come back to it in ten or twenty years, and consider whether I wasn't right. I think the vast majority of you will see that I was.

*(Note that "rationalizing" is different than frankly admitting to a bad decision that is, unfortunately, no longer fully remediable; and thereafter trying to atone for it through whatever means are available. This type of admission is called repentance.)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Don't be upset when I say this, but I recommend dumping him. Let me tell you why.

We all should love God more than anyone or anything. The second great commandment is to love our neighbor. Think of these commandments, then think about your boyfriend's choice to not serve a mission. His decision doesn't really make sense if he is striving to keep those commandments.

If your boyfriend is not willing to serve the Lord, I would really wonder if he would be willing to serve you for who you are; a daughter of God. Sure, people can change. People can repent, but until that happens you should look elsewhere for companionship and realize that some people may never change in this life.

What example is your boyfriend setting for his future family?

Tell him how it is and dump him.

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And I highlight the rest; serving a mission is a priesthood responsibility, it is part of the obligation/duty that a young man has who holds the priesthood. I can't quite recall a GA saying it was a commandment, but they certainly call it a duty and obligation

Not serving a mission will not make him any less worthy to exercise his priesthood or hold high offices in the church and perform his priesthood duties. Young men and women should go if they are in the correct mindset to serve faithfully, not because of pressure from their parents or church leaders.

Edited by omegaseamaster75

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From Pres. Monson in the most recent general conference:

 

We reaffirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty, and we encourage all worthy and able young men to serve. We are very grateful for the young women who also serve. They make a significant contribution, although they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men.

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I agree with the quote, President Monson is correct it is a priesthood duty, and worthy young men should be "encouraged" to serve. 

 

How effective will someone be as a missionary if they are pressured into going? Your better off not going. The OPs boyfriend has made the decision to not serve. I applaud him for it. He, his companions and the people he would have gone to serve are better off by him staying at home.

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I agree with the quote, President Monson is correct it is a priesthood duty, and worthy young men should be "encouraged" to serve. 

 

How effective will someone be as a missionary if they are pressured into going? Your better off not going. The OPs boyfriend has made the decision to not serve. I applaud him for it. He, his companions and the people he would have gone to serve are better off by him staying at home.

 

 

That is kind of the point... Does she really want to have a young man wait for her that is not going to fulfill his priesthood duties unless pressured?  Is that the kind of husband she wants?  The kind of father for her kids? 

 

The Atonement is real.  Repentance is real.  He can change.  So he could become that at some point.  But if she down the road aways marries the guy while he is in the state, then that is the man she accepted.  Will she then during the marriage start applying pressure?  If it is valid during marriage why not before?  Why not before she gets married be very clear about the type of man/priesthood holder she is looking for.

 

If he is unwilling to be that man/priesthood then that is fine and his choice.  He should look for a woman that is willing to accept him were he is.  It works both ways.

 

The questions for the OP to answer (and only she can) is what kind of qualification does she have for a potential spouse? And does her current boyfriend met those qualifications?  If he does then hold on to him, if not then do both of them a favor and cut him loose.

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Thomas S Monson did not serve a mission, he chose military service. He enlisted, he was not drafted. Somehow he is now the leader of our church despite not having served as a youth. 

 

Since we know nothing about this young man I think we should assume the best. That he is a righteous priesthood holder who does fulfill his priesthood duties, but has simply chosen a different path that does not include a mission at this time. This does not make him unqualified for marriage. In fact his ability to stand in the face of the strong pressures that surround him make him an individual who will stand up for his convictions. 

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Thomas S Monson did not serve a mission, he chose military service. He enlisted, he was not drafted. Somehow he is now the leader of our church despite not having served as a youth. 

 

Since we know nothing about this young man I think we should assume the best. That he is a righteous priesthood holder who does fulfill his priesthood duties, but has simply chosen a different path that does not include a mission at this time. This does not make him unqualified for marriage. In fact his ability to stand in the face of the strong pressures that surround him make him an individual who will stand up for his convictions. 

 

Yes assume the best,  but don't try to sugercoat error.  The young man is not fulfilling all of his priesthood duties if he chooses to not go on a mission.  And a going on a mission is (potentially) huge life changing duty.

 

The OP who knows the young man better then us, came here for advise.  The warnings of staying with a young man who is not fulfilling all of his priesthood duties, is a valid warning to give her.  What she chooses to do with that is totally up to her.

 

President Monson's case is not relevant.  The inspired church council in his day regarding mission was not the same as it is now.

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Yes assume the best,  but don't try to sugercoat error.  The young man is not fulfilling all of his priesthood duties if he chooses to not go on a mission.  And a going on a mission is (potentially) huge life changing duty.

 

The OP who knows the young man better then us, came here for advise.  The warnings of staying with a young man who is not fulfilling all of his priesthood duties, is a valid warning to give her.  What she chooses to do with that is totally up to her.

 

President Monson's case is not relevant.  The inspired church council in his day regarding mission was not the same as it is now.

Everyone's decision making process is different, and everyone's conversion is comes at different times. We do not know what is holding him back from serving a mission. President Monson's case is relevant because our earliest leaders taught us to follow their examples and serve missions. The mission of the church has never changed. 

 

"Go forth and preach the Gospel, gain an experience, learn wisdom, and walk humbly before your God, that you may receive the Holy Ghost to guide and direct you, and teach you all things past, present, and to come (DBY, 322)."

 

We can go back and forth about if the OP's boyfriend should or should not serve and if his decision makes him a less righteous man in the eyes of the Lord. I happen to think that it does not, this is only my opinion. God knows our hearts and minds. 

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Everyone's decision making process is different, and everyone's conversion is comes at different times. We do not know what is holding him back from serving a mission. President Monson's case is relevant because our earliest leaders taught us to follow their examples and serve missions. The mission of the church has never changed. 

 

"Go forth and preach the Gospel, gain an experience, learn wisdom, and walk humbly before your God, that you may receive the Holy Ghost to guide and direct you, and teach you all things past, present, and to come (DBY, 322)."

 

We can go back and forth about if the OP's boyfriend should or should not serve and if his decision makes him a less righteous man in the eyes of the Lord. I happen to think that it does not, this is only my opinion. God knows our hearts and minds. 

 

 

The the young man may or may not do a lot of things with his life.  What might have been could end but being a very cold comfort for the OP.  For us poor mortals the best indicator of what a person might do in the future is what they have done in the past. (Yes it is a sucky and flawed indicator because people can sin and fall and/or they can repent and rise but its what we have)

 

The young man choosing not to go is not a good sign.  It is not the only factor but it is very much a negative one for where he is right now in his life. 

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If you decide to ask him to wait, and if he does wait, when you get home I would strongly suggest you date him for at least six months before any consideration of marriage.  You will not be the same person when you come home from your mission.  He may not be what you are looking for (and vice versa).

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I would not consider someone for marriage that used serving a mission as a marriage acceptability filter.

There is more to righteousness than if someone serves a mission or not. Are they the type of person striving to progress and improve upon themselves, their faith, and live closer to the commandments of God?

A mission is only one act of many, Certainly a good one, if other actions line up.

 

 

If I felt prompted to go on a mission, and marry later (as it sounds you are), I would follow that prompting. 

I would not ask him to wait, but to stay in contact, people change, they grow apart or grow together. 

 

You have prayed for him, which is wonderful. Have you tried fasting and praying that you may be guided and comforted in making the best decisions for your life? Seek to follow the spirit. :-)

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I would not consider someone for marriage that used serving a mission as a marriage acceptability filter.

There is more to righteousness than if someone serves a mission or not. Are they the type of person striving to progress and improve upon themselves, their faith, and live closer to the commandments of God?

A mission is only one act of many, Certainly a good one, if other actions line up.

 

 

If I felt prompted to go on a mission, and marry later (as it sounds you are), I would follow that prompting. 

I would not ask him to wait, but to stay in contact, people change, they grow apart or grow together. 

 

You have prayed for him, which is wonderful. Have you tried fasting and praying that you may be guided and comforted in making the best decisions for your life? Seek to follow the spirit. :-)

I would say pray and fast for a confirmation of the decision that you have made. Our agency guides us and we can get confirmation through prayer.

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