Back in the 60s and 70s girls that went on missions were considered misfits. Surely something was wrong with them, or they would have been married by the time they were twenty-one. Young women were encouraged to put marriage first, knowing that it was their highest priority. The few of us who did go on missions were cautious about telling people that we were returned missionaries because it might be a black mark on our resume.
But lots and lots of women who married young wanted to serve missions, and they and their husbands committed to serving together later in life. Then, about twenty years ago, the General Authorities began encouraging couples to consider senior missions. In 2010, President Monson pleaded, “We need many, many more senior couples,” and in 2011, Elder Holland exclaimed, “We need thousands of more couples serving in the missions of the Church.”
So all of those wonderful, faithful sisters who had put marriage first began to prepare for their long- awaited missions. But they didn’t know exactly what to expect. It was my own senior missions that led me to consider how I might be able to support senior missionary couples. Continue reading →
When I first heard the news that my husband, James, had been offered a job working in overseas embassies, I was elated. My joy was even more full when I discovered that our first posting would be in Frankfurt, Germany, where a commute to the temple was only 20 minutes. I am from rural Utah where a commute to our temple district of Manti took two hours. The temple became very important to me after James and I, as newlyweds, were called to be temple coordinators in our married student ward in Cedar City. To move to Frankfurt where I could attend the temple weekly with other sisters in the ward strengthened my love and testimony of the Lord’s holy houses. I learned quickly, however, that I would not always be so close to a temple.
Our next three overseas assignments were in countries where a House of the Lord had not yet been built. I realized quickly that I would need to do as the Bible Dictionary states and make my house “compare with the temple in sacredness.” We did this in many ways and it was a process years in the making. First, we started deleting a song here or there from our music library that we realized was not in keeping with gospel standards. Once we became more comfortable with the idea of erasing those things from our lives, whole albums we had grown up on were tossed. Then we tackled the movies, throwing out all the movies that contained language and other content that would drive the Spirit away. Continue reading →
Sacrifice is something we are all expected to do for Jesus Christ and His gospel. It is something that at times can be very simple, but at times can also be very hard. In my most recent study of the Book of Mormon, the story of King Lamoni’s father really stuck out to me. His willingness to sacrifice everything to know Christ is very inspirational; and in studying his story, he has become my newest Book of Mormon hero. The story of King Lamoni’s father also serves as a great contradiction to the story of the rich young man found in the New Testament. The contrast between these two stories serve as a great example of how much we should be willing to sacrifice when it comes to following Jesus Christ.
The rich young man’s story can be found in Mark 10:17-31. This man asked Jesus what he needed to do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him that he knew the commandments, then the man replied that he had observed those his whole life. Jesus’ response is the big test of faith: Continue reading →