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LatterDSaint

My girlfriend is conflicted about serving a mission and marrying me

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PS this is going to be a long post. This is my first post on this site and boy, I am so grateful that this site exists. I have been reading through some discussions related to my issue and whilst it doesn't give me any answers (only prayer and scripture reading can do that) it does give me slight comfort. 

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for just less than six months. Over the first two months of dating she has mentioned on numerous occasions that she is undecided about serving a mission. Last year she spoke to her then Bishop about serving a mission but due to the lack of communication between them both, it didn't become her priority and then she and I started dating. For context I am a 21 year old international convert studying at BYU. My *girlfriend is 20 years old and has grown up in the church and is also studying at BYU. Obviously I want to be respectful of my *girlfriend when sharing certain details about our relationship, but to summarize, her parental relationship is split. I am the only member of the Church in my family. I have been a member for over two years and she has been a member for all her life. About 4 months into the relationship she had a meeting with someone very involved in her life, and she told me that the result of the meeting would going to determine whether or not she was going to serve a full time mission. I fully expected her to say that she is going to serve a mission and even in the weeks before when she and I were discussing it, I did tell her that I have no intention of dating a return missionary especially since I myself am not a return missionary and by the standard of the church, it ought to be the other way around. I did however advise her to continue praying about it. 

After her meeting she told me that she is not going to serve a mission, and to be completely honest, I was relieved. I really liked this girl and I felt that she liked me. Both of us have dated the same number of people before we met each other (under 10) and this is our first serious relationship with anybody. I remember telling myself before her meeting that if by any chance she doesn't go on a mission, I will think seriously about marrying her. So fast forward a few months and over time we begin to develop an extremely strong physical attraction to each other and it got pretty bad. After a discussion we had, we both felt that it was appropriate for us to see the Bishop. We both saw her Bishop and even though I didn't know what the outcome of that meeting would entail, I am so grateful that we both saw him together. Later, I saw my own Bishop and we have both learnt that we need written guidelines to help quell our physical attraction to each other. It has been harder and harder of recent and part of me is a little relieved that we mutually broke up two days ago hence the * next to girlfriend; however our break up is another story in and of itself. 

About a month ago after hanging out with my *girlfriend I was about to leave her apartment until she stopped me and said that the Lord has communicated to her that she should go on a mission. As you might bet, I was distraught as I had already had multiple serious conversations with her about marriage, and apart from the values we both share within the church, there are many other standards that we agree must be upheld to promote a stable family unit. She has convinced me that she understands what it will take for a marriage to be sustained for eternity and I believe I have also convinced her. However, of course, she wanted to go on a mission. After a lot of tears on my end I did not feel like I could break up with her just because she wanted to serve the Lord. It took some pride swallowing but I believed (and still do) that I will never find another girl like this girl and even though my *girlfriend has continually encouraged that while she is serving, I should date other people, part of me wants to test how long I can hold out until she gets back. I have no intention of dating other people whilst she is gone as I do truly believe that both of us have what it takes to raise a family together. 

Since last week, my *girlfriend has felt extremely conflicted about her mission and has mentioned that she wants to marry and raise children with me. She knows that I absolutely want to marry her and even though I have made that obvious months ago, I have done my best to be supportive of her mission since she mentioned it and I have even mustered the courage to say "I think you should go on a mission" even though I am well aware that she most likely won't come back looking to marry me. Last Sunday we went to church together and afterwards she shared something her mother sent her via text. For context, my *girlfriend's mother has been extremely adamant that her daughter should serve a mission. The mother has served a mission and whilst the mother's life has taken a nasty turn after she married a convert who was above the age range to serve a mission, she is extremely adamant that her daughter should serve a mission and part of my *girlfriend's mother's reasoning appears to be that her daughter will be condemned if she doesn't. Even as a convert I understand this desire for your children, boys or girls, to not only serve but to marry someone who has also served, so when I saw what my *girlfriend's mother sent her, we both discussed it and agreed upon the significance of the words from Spencer W.Kimball which said, "The question is asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer of the Church is yes, and the answer of the Lord is yes. Enlarging this answer we say: Certainly every male member of the Church should fill a mission, like he should pay his tithing, like he should attend his meetings, like he should keep his life clean and free from the ugliness of the world and plan a celestial marriage in the temple of the Lord” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Planning for a Full and Abundant Life”, Ensign, May 1974, 86).

So after a long and tearful discussion about this specific speech we both agreed that we did not have any intention to disregard the Lord's commandment and we mutually broke up two days ago. 

Just writing this to an anonymous forum makes me feel a little apprehensive but I have seen the replies from other posts and I am confident that I will be able to see extremely insightful replies regarding my situation with my *girlfriend. I know of course that I need to keep praying and reading scripture. I have seen my Bishop about this and he gave me great council regarding this dilemma in our relationship. 

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10 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Sounds like a good plan.  Write her a few supportive letters while she's on her mission.  

 

By "good plan" are you referring to us breaking up? This would make the most sense. from what she told me three days ago, she is still unsure about her desire to serve a mission even with us not being together, and i doubt we will be for however long that is

Edited by LatterDSaint

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Why is girlfriend preceded with an asterisk?

I agree with @NeuroTypical.  Great plan.  Maybe you should go on a mission too if you're eligible.

And this: "So fast forward a few months and over time we begin to develop an extremely strong physical attraction to each other and it got pretty bad."  You must love her as you were talking about marriage and all that.  Well, a person who loves his girlfriend will not put such girlfriend in spiritual and physical jeopardy.  So, it's good that she's focusing on a mission.  This will give you time to reflect and ponder the meaning of LOVE.

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3 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Why is girlfriend preceded with an asterisk?

I agree with @NeuroTypical.  Great plan.  Maybe you should go on a mission too if you're eligible.

And this: "So fast forward a few months and over time we begin to develop an extremely strong physical attraction to each other and it got pretty bad."  You must love her as you were talking about marriage and all that.  Well, a person who loves his girlfriend will not put such girlfriend in spiritual and physical jeopardy.  So, it's good that she's focusing on a mission.  This will give you time to reflect and ponder the meaning of LOVE.

To answer your first question its because I haven't quite gotten over her after three days.

"Well, a person who loves his girlfriend will not put such girlfriend in spiritual and physical jeopardy.  So, it's good that she's focusing on a mission.  This will give you time to reflect and ponder the meaning of LOVE."

I hear you

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I'm sorry this is a difficult time and a difficult decisions need to be made for both of you.  Your heart is being wrenched.  I hear you.  I'm sorry.

It wasn't clear to me in your post...has she prayed about going on a mission and received an answer from the Lord?  I think that is really important for every missionary.  When the hard times come, and they do come, the missionary can then remember back to when they felt the Spirit and knew that this is what they should do.  That matters.  It seems like your *girlfriend is wavering and trying to get someone else to make the decision for her.  If she goes out for any other reason than that she has a testimony that the Lord wants her to be there, I think she will be missing the point.  

And what about you?  Have you asked the Lord if He wants you to serve?  If not, why?  

The Lord loves you and He has a plan for you and your life.  He wants you to be happy.  He wants your *girlfriend to be happy too.  Whether that will be together or not, I don't know, but the key right now is to trust Him and His love for you both.  If you put your hand in His, and follow Him even when it's difficult, He will bless you more than you can imagine.  More than the greatest high you have felt so far in your life.  So turn to Him and our Heavenly Parents.  Pray and ask Heavenly Father His will about this relationship, about her serving a mission (perhaps the Spirit will tell you that she should go and that will give YOU strength.)  Perhaps the Spirit will say YOU should go, perhaps not.  There is a lot I don't know, but what is more important is what I do know...and that is that the Lord loves you more than you can imagine.  Trust His love and follow the path He outlines for you.  You won't regret it if you do.  I promise. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Great plan.

Let her go one a mission and maybe go on one yourself too.  At the end of 2 years you're both be more mature spiritual, physically, and emotionally.  If you want, you can look into dating again then.

Would you feel that it would not be a good idea to date her after the hypothetical scenario that we have both served a mission. Just observing the "if you want". I assume you dont believe we are any good for each since neither of us have served a mission

" At the end of 2 years you're both be more mature spiritual, physically, and emotionally"

of course not all the people that serve end up completing their mission but nonetheless I do not doubt this...

Edited by LatterDSaint

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4 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I'm sorry this is a difficult time and a difficult decisions need to be made for both of you.  Your heart is being wrenched.  I hear you.  I'm sorry.

It wasn't clear to me in your post...has she prayed about going on a mission and received an answer from the Lord?  I think that is really important for every missionary.  When the hard times come, and they do come, the missionary can then remember back to when they felt the Spirit and knew that this is what they should do.  That matters.  It seems like your *girlfriend is wavering and trying to get someone else to make the decision for her.  If she goes out for any other reason than that she has a testimony that the Lord wants her to be there, I think she will be missing the point.  

And what about you?  Have you asked the Lord if He wants you to serve?  If not, why?  

The Lord loves you and He has a plan for you and your life.  He wants you to be happy.  He wants your *girlfriend to be happy too.  Whether that will be together or not, I don't know, but the key right now is to trust Him and His love for you both.  If you put your hand in His, and follow Him even when it's difficult, He will bless you more than you can imagine.  More than the greatest high you have felt so far in your life.  So turn to Him and our Heavenly Parents.  Pray and ask Heavenly Father His will about this relationship, about her serving a mission (perhaps the Spirit will tell you that she should go and that will give YOU strength.)  Perhaps the Spirit will say YOU should go, perhaps not.  There is a lot I don't know, but what is more important is what I do know...and that is that the Lord loves you more than you can imagine.  Trust His love and follow the path He outlines for you.  You won't regret it if you do.  I promise. 

 

thank you for your post. I will definitely look to the Lord for an answer and will continue to pray for both of us. I believe I will need to graduate before I consider serving a mission due to being an international student, which is more or less two years from now hence why it hasn't been a priority prayer point for me. I also didn't expect to love this girl I have been with for 6 months and desire to marry her. I understand that people disagree about my perception of "love". Perhaps they make a good point. After all I am still just a naive 21 year old kid that hasnt experienced any of the common problems about marriage you know....

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Yes, she needs to go and serve if that's what she's feeling prompted to do.

Maybe even you could also go and serve. Or get ready for her to come back as a new person, and then marry each other if you guys feel like it.

For either one of you this time, in your youth will be the only time you'll be able to serve a full time mission, by yourself, and teach people the Gospel. Later on, you both could serve senior missions, BUT what she'll learn during her mission will help her become a better woman, wife, mother, and member of the church. Plus she'll grow so much as a woman, and daughter of God.

She needs to go if she's being prompted to go.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Chilean said:

Yes, she needs to go and serve if that's what she's feeling prompted to do.

Maybe even you could also go and serve. Or get ready for her to come back as a new person, and then marry each other if you guys feel like it.

For either one of you this time, in your youth will be the only time you'll be able to serve a full time mission, by yourself, and teach people the Gospel. Later on, you both could serve senior missions, BUT what she'll learn during her mission will help her become a better woman, wife, mother, and member of the church. Plus she'll grow so much as a woman, and daughter of God.

She needs to go if she's being prompted to go.

 

 

I understand this completely. I believe this resonates with the message my Bishop gave me. I have already felt that by not breaking up with her earlier, my commitment to her was affecting her being in tune with the will of the Lord. I do not completely know what the Lord's will for her is. I know her mother desperately wants her daughter to serve a mission but I also know that her mother is not Heavenly Father. I know where her desires lie and I know where my desires lie. I suppose this is the prime example of sacrificing something you want for the sake of Heavenly Father which I understand. If my *girlfriend chooses that she should not serve a mission from the date she originally told me she felt that she should serve, should I be disappointed in her? Would you (I know you barely know anything about her) but would you be slightly disappointed? From what I understand, marriage will eliminate the potential for a young woman or man to serve a mission so I do understand why its not something we should encourage over giving service to the Lord for two years or 18 months. 

Edited by LatterDSaint

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46 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

Would you feel that it would not be a good idea to date her after the hypothetical scenario that we have both served a mission. Just observing the "if you want". 

My "if you want" words were simply meaning "if you two want to date in two years you certainly can".  Nothing say you have to date now or never, and certainly can date more in two years.  

46 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

I assume you dont believe we are any good for each since neither of us have served a mission

Nope, I don't believe that at all.  But if either of you believe you are being prompted to serve a mission, you should do that first.  You can always date afterwards-- God's not going to lead you into a bad situation. 

45 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

 I believe I will need to graduate before I consider serving a mission due to being an international student, which is more or less two years from now hence why it hasn't been a priority prayer point for me.

If you're talking graduate with a bachelor's, I would actually look into the facts on that.  International situations are more complicated, but there are ways to make things work.

45 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

 I understand that people disagree about my perception of "love". Perhaps they make a good point. After all I am still just a naive 21 year old kid that hasnt experienced any of the common problems about marriage you know....

I don't know about your personal perceptions.  Speaking in general, the most common false idea about love people get is that they think love is an emotion- and just an emotion, something that you fall in or out of.  In reality, love is a decision.  You decide to commit yourself to this person, and be companions for (eternal) life.  To work together, to shoulder things together, and to serve each other.  Even in those hard times of when you really don't like this person and that "falling in love" emotion isn't there-- in those times you keep standing by your companion, keep working together, and strive to rekindle those emotions.

36 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

 I know her mother desperately wants her daughter to serve a mission but I also know that her mother is not Heavenly Father. I know where her desires lie and I know where my desires lie. 

This is true.  She needs to listen to her Heavenly Father's promptings, and not mom's wishes or your wishes.  

36 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

 If my *girlfriend chooses that she should not serve a mission from the date she originally told me she felt that she should serve, should I be disappointing in her? Would you (I know you barely know anything about her) but would you be slightly disappointed? 

(Incoming bluntness) 

That decision is none of your business, and it is not your place to be disappointed or excited or anything else.  It's a decision between HER and the LORD.

36 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

 From what I understand, marriage will eliminate the potential for a young woman or man to serve a mission 

Key word here: young.  Young couples do not serve missions because you are supposed to be focused on building your marriage.  

Older couples do indeed serve missions together. 

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43 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

should I be disappointing in her? Would you (I know you barely know anything about her) but would you be slightly disappointed? 

Hmm... yeah... probably... my daughter is 11, and I can see how she will be a great missionary, she talks about it all the time, so... if she was to fall in love and think twice about serving... and actually not doing it, yes... I guess some part of me would be disappointed.

I say... just my opinion, let her go, she can go, be a wonderful missionary for he and your, and by the times she comes back you'll be almost done with school, hopefully with  job prospects and much able to bless her life with you having a career, and a way to support a family.

If you guys decide to stay together while she is serving, you have to be aware that she might break up with you also, people change a lot during their missions, and she might get to feel different about you afterwards. and the same with you, you might get to meet someone else...

Just giving you more things to ponder about :)

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13 minutes ago, Chilean said:

Hmm... yeah... probably... my daughter is 11, and I can see how she will be a great missionary, she talks about it all the time, so... if she was to fall in love and think twice about serving... and actually not doing it, yes... I guess some part of me would be disappointed.

As Jane Doe bluntly told me which I appreciated, it is not your place to be disappointed or excited about the decision the person you love makes in regards to serving a mission. It is between them and the Lord and I fully recognize this. 

13 minutes ago, Chilean said:

I say... just my opinion, let her go, she can go, be a wonderful missionary for he and your, and by the times she comes back you'll be almost done with school, hopefully with  job prospects and much able to bless her life with you having a career, and a way to support a family.

I might not have been clear but I am by no means saying to her, "marry  me instead of going on a mission". Whilst she knows full well that my desire is to marry her, I have been supportive of her mission since she told me. Could I be more supportive? Absolutely. But as she told me when we broke up a couple of days ago, she still isnt sure whether she wants to serve a mission and I responded that if she decides that path, it is by no means a prompt for us to get married instead. I dont know what will happen or what the Lord wants me to do yet. Im not sure she does either....

13 minutes ago, Chilean said:

If you guys decide to stay together while she is serving, you have to be aware that she might break up with you also, people change a lot during their missions, and she might get to feel different about you afterwards. and the same with you, you might get to meet someone else...

whether she and I verbally admitted this or not, we are both fully aware of this if she does intend to serve and we are both together when she does

Edited by LatterDSaint

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3 hours ago, LatterDSaint said:

PS this is going to be a long post. This is my first post on this site and boy, I am so grateful that this site exists. I have been reading through some discussions related to my issue and whilst it doesn't give me any answers (only prayer and scripture reading can do that) it does give me slight comfort. 

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for just less than six months. Over the first two months of dating she has mentioned on numerous occasions that she is undecided about serving a mission. Last year she spoke to her then Bishop about serving a mission but due to the lack of communication between them both, it didn't become her priority and then she and I started dating. For context I am a 21 year old international convert studying at BYU. My *girlfriend is 20 years old and has grown up in the church and is also studying at BYU. Obviously I want to be respectful of my *girlfriend when sharing certain details about our relationship, but to summarize, her parental relationship is split. I am the only member of the Church in my family. I have been a member for over two years and she has been a member for all her life. About 4 months into the relationship she had a meeting with someone very involved in her life, and she told me that the result of the meeting would going to determine whether or not she was going to serve a full time mission. I fully expected her to say that she is going to serve a mission and even in the weeks before when she and I were discussing it, I did tell her that I have no intention of dating a return missionary especially since I myself am not a return missionary and by the standard of the church, it ought to be the other way around. I did however advise her to continue praying about it. 

After her meeting she told me that she is not going to serve a mission, and to be completely honest, I was relieved. I really liked this girl and I felt that she liked me. Both of us have dated the same number of people before we met each other (under 10) and this is our first serious relationship with anybody. I remember telling myself before her meeting that if by any chance she doesn't go on a mission, I will think seriously about marrying her. So fast forward a few months and over time we begin to develop an extremely strong physical attraction to each other and it got pretty bad. After a discussion we had, we both felt that it was appropriate for us to see the Bishop. We both saw her Bishop and even though I didn't know what the outcome of that meeting would entail, I am so grateful that we both saw him together. Later, I saw my own Bishop and we have both learnt that we need written guidelines to help quell our physical attraction to each other. It has been harder and harder of recent and part of me is a little relieved that we mutually broke up two days ago hence the * next to girlfriend; however our break up is another story in and of itself. 

About a month ago after hanging out with my *girlfriend I was about to leave her apartment until she stopped me and said that the Lord has communicated to her that she should go on a mission. As you might bet, I was distraught as I had already had multiple serious conversations with her about marriage, and apart from the values we both share within the church, there are many other standards that we agree must be upheld to promote a stable family unit. She has convinced me that she understands what it will take for a marriage to be sustained for eternity and I believe I have also convinced her. However, of course, she wanted to go on a mission. After a lot of tears on my end I did not feel like I could break up with her just because she wanted to serve the Lord. It took some pride swallowing but I believed (and still do) that I will never find another girl like this girl and even though my *girlfriend has continually encouraged that while she is serving, I should date other people, part of me wants to test how long I can hold out until she gets back. I have no intention of dating other people whilst she is gone as I do truly believe that both of us have what it takes to raise a family together. 

Since last week, my *girlfriend has felt extremely conflicted about her mission and has mentioned that she wants to marry and raise children with me. She knows that I absolutely want to marry her and even though I have made that obvious months ago, I have done my best to be supportive of her mission since she mentioned it and I have even mustered the courage to say "I think you should go on a mission" even though I am well aware that she most likely won't come back looking to marry me. Last Sunday we went to church together and afterwards she shared something her mother sent her via text. For context, my *girlfriend's mother has been extremely adamant that her daughter should serve a mission. The mother has served a mission and whilst the mother's life has taken a nasty turn after she married a convert who was above the age range to serve a mission, she is extremely adamant that her daughter should serve a mission and part of my *girlfriend's mother's reasoning appears to be that her daughter will be condemned if she doesn't. Even as a convert I understand this desire for your children, boys or girls, to not only serve but to marry someone who has also served, so when I saw what my *girlfriend's mother sent her, we both discussed it and agreed upon the significance of the words from Spencer W.Kimball which said, "The question is asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer of the Church is yes, and the answer of the Lord is yes. Enlarging this answer we say: Certainly every male member of the Church should fill a mission, like he should pay his tithing, like he should attend his meetings, like he should keep his life clean and free from the ugliness of the world and plan a celestial marriage in the temple of the Lord” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Planning for a Full and Abundant Life”, Ensign, May 1974, 86).

So after a long and tearful discussion about this specific speech we both agreed that we did not have any intention to disregard the Lord's commandment and we mutually broke up two days ago. 

Just writing this to an anonymous forum makes me feel a little apprehensive but I have seen the replies from other posts and I am confident that I will be able to see extremely insightful replies regarding my situation with my *girlfriend. I know of course that I need to keep praying and reading scripture. I have seen my Bishop about this and he gave me great council regarding this dilemma in our relationship. 

I don't think I could marry someone who was attached to me enough that they preferred I didn't serve.

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5 hours ago, LatterDSaint said:

I understand that people disagree about my perception of "love". Perhaps they make a good point. After all I am still just a naive 21 year old kid that hasnt experienced any of the common problems about marriage you know....

I just want to clarify that it wasn't me that raised that concern.  That wasn't my point at all.   :)  I see you as-as knowledgeable about these issues as any other 21 yr old.  I don't think you are naive.  I think your concerns, and questions are normal and understandable.  

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3 hours ago, LePeel said:

I don't think I could marry someone who was attached to me enough that they preferred I didn't serve.

Hi LePeel. I am a little surprised that you came to the conclusion that I "preferred that my girlfriend didnt serve" would you mind highlighting where I gave you this impression? I have a desire to marry my girlfriend whether she serves or not. "Preference" isn't relevant here....

Edited by LatterDSaint

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2 hours ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Sorry I meant to ask @LatterDSaint

Due to being an international student. This has been the main basis of why preparing to serve mission isn't the priority of my prayer. I have seen posts from others that there are ways around this which I plan to look into.

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26 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

Hi LePeel. I am a little surprised that you came to the conclusion that I "preferred that my girlfriend didnt serve" would you mind highlighting where I gave you this impression? I have a desire to marry my girlfriend whether she serves or not. "Preference" isn't relevant here....

Hey, I know I'm not LePeel, but these was something you said that left me wondering...

 

Quote

I did tell her that I have no intention of dating a return missionary especially since I myself am not a return missionary and by the standard of the church, it ought to be the other way around.

 

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1 hour ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Hey, I know I'm not LePeel, but these was something you said that left me wondering...

 

 

I acknowledge that I said this at early on in our relationship. I am still aware of the stigma surrounding people who haven't served a mission and are in a marital relationship. My intention was to make my girlfriend aware if she wasn't already how I felt about it. I prefer being upfront and honest about my feelings as to not lead people on. Obviously of course, this attitude of mine changed over the course of our relationship. If my girlfriend were to return from a mission, I would hope that she would still be interested in marrying me, someone who by that time likely would have not served a mission. Chances of that happening are pretty much next to nothing so I guess I my faith would be extremely misplaced. I guess the attitude I had those months ago works both ways huh

Edited by LatterDSaint

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3 minutes ago, LatterDSaint said:

I am still aware of the stigma surrounding people who haven't served a mission

I am not aware of any such stigma, especially toward a young adult convert. If you have experienced that, it's perhaps a local thing.

EDIT: To be clear, I have not personally observed that stigma, but since I'm a married, middle-aged man, I'm not exactly the most likely to see it. I can certainly believe such a stigma exists to some degree; but again, in my observation (especially in years past), adult and young adult converts normally get a social "pass" in such situations. Few people expect that a 20-year-old male convert will suddenly have the financial means, life planning, and mental attitude to serve a mission just like the kid who grew up in the Church and knew from childhood that the mission was a Priesthood obligation.

Edited by Vort

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