I’ve often heard the statement, “The Church must be true because if not, the missionaries would have destroyed it years ago.”
Truth is, I had every best intention of serving the most 100% perfect mission anyone could ever serve. Yes siree, I was going to be the Moroni of my mission and no bad companion or mission president was going to influence me otherwise. Well, I think we call that pride. Today when I look back, I still feel that I was a good (enough) missionary, but that the Lord was somewhere in Heaven rolling his eyes and laughing at the stupid situations I got myself into because of my naiveté at the tender age of 19-21. Yes, I was an “adult”, but by no means had I fully matured.
But I’ve learned since that the Lord is not ignorant of this fact. Instead, as Alma said, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” I certainly was small, simple, and foolish, but what gives me hope and understanding is that despite all of that, there grew in my last area a branch of 7 new members into a ward of several hundred. Nearby, within walking distance of the apartment I lived in, a new temple will soon be built.
Though the Lord doesn’t excuse us when we intentionally sin and try to cover it up, I believe that when we make mistakes that come from lack of understanding, he applies the grace of the Atonement as we come to realize what happened and seek to repent and make restitution.
When one of my companions, a native of the area who had severe mental issues (bipolar and paranoia), sneaked away from me one night to go make out with a young woman we had been teaching with her family, I was devastated when I discovered them together. I felt so angry at him and so stupid for trusting him and not listening to the Spirit when I was told to check on him. But the Lord spoke to me by the Spirit and prompted me to not fear, but swallow my pride and the temptation to make him take the heat. Instead, I turned myself in and take full responsibility for my companion’s actions. To this day, I believe that this was one of the defining moments of my life in that the habitual excuse-maker in me was replaced by someone with enough chutzpah to do the right thing.
In the end, the mission president had mercy on my companion and I and we lived up to his challenge to not mess up again. Ever since then, when faced with a weighty dilemma, I look back on that moment and make myself apply that situation to the current one. It’s been good for me.
There will always be “bad” missionaries. There will be many more “good” missionaries who end up doing bad thing because of immaturity, peer pressure, or even pressure from home. That doesn’t mean the Church isn’t true, nor that it, as an organization isn’t perfect. It just means that the people in it and running it are imperfect. The Lord knew this and that’s why there’s an Atonement and forgiveness…to make all things right and new again.]]>
I waited for my missionary and ended up marrying him a few months after he got home. I wish I would have known the sorts of things that were happening in his mission, before we hurried into marriage. He was just about to start an intense schedule at BYU, and I wanted a summer wedding, and we didn’t think we could wait a whole year. Dumb reasons to rush marriage, for sure.
Whether or not he personally participated in terrible acts on his mission (such as naming and baptizing inanimate objects to boost numbers), it damaged his testimony severely, to the point that he only attends church out of perceived social pressure, and doesn’t support religious activity at home at all. Which is VERY hard for me. And most of his mission friends have left the church entirely.
So, consider yourself vindicated, but I do hope that the 3% and growing hopes will turn out sooner than later… :-)]]>
so in short it’s really hard to go and say what type of baptisims are legit and which are not just by looking at age or something superficial like that, but i’m not claiming that we should baptise every 8yo kid we see, that would be about as dumb as saying we should burn everyone before the age of eight so they get saved unconditionally. i think the end result for the perpetrator of either would be pretty similar though.]]>
And this isn’t a Myspace page where you get to spread gossip about all your personal enemies. What’s next? Their home addresses and phone numbers with a call for their swift excommunications? Or just a call for no one to sit next to them at the ward picnic?]]>
DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ELDER SAMAYOA. ELDER BRENT WAINRIGTH MARRIED ONE OF THE MISSIONARIES ON THE SAME MISSION (DANA WAINRIGTH NOW.) UP TO 2005 THEY HAD 5 CHILDREN AND ELDER WAINRIGTH WAS SERVING IN HIS STAKE PRESIDENCY. (SEE NORTH GUATEMALA MISSION WEB PAGE).
I JUST WISH ELDER WAINWRIGTH REPENTED FROM THOSE ACTIONS THAT CAUSED ELDER DEHLIN TO HAVE DOUBTS OF THE GOSPEL. NOW, ELDER DEHLIN HE HAS HIS PAST IN THE MISSION AS WELL. I WAS HIS SENIOR COMPANION. YOU WANNA NOW MORE? I TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT SOME OTHER TIME.
Man, that brings back memories.]]>