Good Better Best is the Worst Part 2

February 16, 2013 in Education, LDS, Marriage, Mission, Mormon by thedavidpearson

So, yesterday I covered the meme. Today, I’m covering the article. Brace yourself: It’s worse.

The original article url was used as the title of the meme connecting them topically (and I suppose trying to lend credibility to the meme?). The purpose of the article was, “the first in a series highlighting the lives and examples of Relief Society sisters serving across the globe.”

Admirable goal. We need to see more strong women in our lives.

However, their first example bothers me.

“When I turned 20, I wanted to finish my university education. I also deeply desired to serve a full-time mission.”

Again, fantastic. Finish your education and serve a mission. Do what you feel like is right. She wasn’t throwing marriage completely off the table, but she was focusing on her education and missionary preparation. She did meet a fresh returned missionary and they began dating.

“After several months and much fasting and prayer, Rand asked me to marry him. I felt great love for him, but I felt conflicted because I was still determined to serve a full-time mission. As I thought about temple marriage and family, I also felt inadequate as a future wife and mother. Those fears, as well as my yearning to serve a mission, led me to decline his offer of marriage.”

Here’s where the story breaks down. She stands up for her own desire to serve a mission and finish her education. That should be the end of it, right?

“Over the next few weeks as we continued talking, Rand expressed to me that he felt that he had received his own personal revelation but he also knew that he needed to respect my own inspiration and decisions…

“Rand asked — and I declined — more than once, but at no point was he insistent or offended. He just felt that the Spirit was prompting him to be gently and patiently persistent.”

The concept that a man is able to receive revelation on behalf of his girlfriend has always baffled me. While this case is not as extreme as others I’ve heard, it still has its roots in the idea that men receive revelation for women, no matter what the relationship. It implies that women cannot stand on their own in terms of spiritual matters. Anyway, Rand begins to persist stronger and eventually convinces the author that she may not want to go on a mission, despite her determination.

“I still felt determined to serve a mission, and I felt that serving a mission would be a good decision. But marrying this worthy man in the temple would be a better decision — the best decision…”

I don’t even know where to begin…

I think that most men forget that there is an option for when their significant other wants to serve a mission. You should wait for her. Encourage her to go, promise you’ll wait. Support her in her revelation. Help her prepare. Then when she returns you can revisit the topic of marriage.

Comparing a mission or schooling to marriage is really like comparing apples to oranges. They’re both good for you in their own way. They’ll both fill you up while giving you vitamins. One is not better than the other. You can eat them both.

Isn’t it wonderful that we all have the option of what to do? Isn’t it wonderful that the Church is making it easier for men and women to have the capability to go to school, serve a mission AND get married? We no longer have to choose. We can do it all.