I know you are back from your mission, many of you have been back for some time, and for those of you who have not yet left--I am writing to you on behalf of the ladies who have waited patiently to marry someone like you.
First of all, I want you to know why it's significant that many of us would like to marry men that have served missions. Most importantly, you have been asked to serve by divine revelation to the prophets, who are messengers of our Heavenly Father. You are literally commissioned by God the Father to do so. To not is a huge sign of open rebellion. I understand there are various reasons why some of you can't go or must come home early, so if that is the case, please understand that such outstanding circumstances beyond your control don't penalize you. I am talking frankly about those who have the opportunity and means to serve, and willfully choose not to go. Not only is it a task requested of you by the Lord, it is also a growing experience that is arguably impossible to replace. Think of the souls you could have saved, but chose, for whatever reason, be it school, career, a girl, or mere selfish indulgence, to let wait longer, or miss their chance to hear the truth in this life. Try to imagine the spirit(s) that you may have made a promise to find in the pre-mortal life, that you have let down. I have not been on a mission, so I am carefully treading dangerous waters. However, while I have not served a full time mission for the Church, I have dated many gentlemen who have. I know so many young men that both have, and have not served missions. In fact, every guy I have ever dated has been a return missionary, except one. That one told me he didn't see the problem with premarital sex. Try not to misunderstand, I am not saying that's the viewpoint of every man who didn't serve a mission and it may be the viewpoint of many who have, and I absolutely do not, in any way think boys that don't serve missions are bad people-but I say with honest conviction that there was a difference. Its not something entirely easy to explain, but it was different.
At this time, I would like to present you with a question: for those of you young men that did make the choice to serve a faithful, honest mission, can you remember why? Why did you serve a mission? Did you serve because your parents wanted you to? Was it because your surrounding community expected you to? Or was it because you had a desire to be obedient? Maybe you didn't want to go, but you wanted to obey the council of the prophets. Just think.
This next part, I hesitate to write. I don't mean to get on a high horse, and it is not my intention to persecute, demean, or belittle any of God's children. Upon recent reflection and conversations with close girl friends, I am utterly in awe at the way women are treated by some of you returned missionaries. I understand that women can treat men poorly, and that although we are not all victims, my heart is broken again and again to hear and experience the mistreatment of people. In a society so twisted, so confused, I would hope that Church members could find solace in each other. I wish now, to speak to the trusting girl that is taken advantage of by men who have returned from missions. In particular, I reach out to the naive girl who went to institute one night and met a cute boy there that taught seminary every morning, worked at the MTC, and got back from his mission a couple years previous. He asked her if he could take her on a date. She graciously, trustingly, accepted his offer. This is a girl that in the many years I have known her, has always tried her hardest to be temple worthy, to follow the commandments, who is far from perfect, but has kept herself chaste and virtuous. Simply minutes after he picked her up and started driving, he began expressing how attractive and sexy he thought she was. She started to feel uncomfortable, but despite her best efforts to change the subject, he was not interested in discussing anything but her body. He drove out a way to a lake and stopped the car. The girl grew very nervous and started to feel uneasy. The boy reached across the seats to put his hands all over her, kissing where his mouth could reach. Struggling to get free, pleading for him to stop, she finally managed to get her seat belt off and got out of the car, where she immediately started walking home. Gropey McGee followed her and tried to coax her back into his vehicle, apologizing, promising it wouldn't happen again and that he would just take her home. Knowing she shouldn't trust him, but with no service and it being the dead of winter, she went against her better judgement and walked towards the car. He came up behind her and started kissing her neck, trying to put his hands in places he shouldn't. She tried to stop him, but he was stronger than her and physically held her against the car. By a miracle she managed to get away and get home with all her clothes intact.
I honestly don't understand how a girl in Provo, Utah--Mormon capital of the universe, can't trust an RM to protect her. I have two older sisters that are still in the dating world, and a younger sister that just turned 16, (legal Mormon dating age.) If the aforementioned man had tried something like that on one of my sisters, excuse my French, I would have snapped off his cajones and boiled them in motor oil. If we, as ladies, cannot trust you men that dedicated two years of your lives, serving others, who can we trust? How is it possible to have been so incredibly selfless for two years, and come back and be so indescribably selfish? This is a real, honest to goodness question. How does a man go from teaching families and individuals about the plan of happiness, and then attempt to destroy a woman's virtue? I am careful in trying not to lump all returned missionaries in this group of self destructive men (and women,) I am just trying to understand why the majority of first dates that I myself, as well as many of my friends have been on, are.
Life is hard. The world is full of evil. We all face challenges and adversity every day. I personally, make a habit of totaling cars. But let's focus specifically on dating. Where, in a world of prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, and even with gay marriage, can the women who are striving to make it to the temple, turn to be protected? Who can we trust? Who do we want to love? Someone that will take us to the temple. Whether anyone agrees with my stance on serving a mission or not, any devout, faithful, converted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that believes in the plan of happiness wants to be married in the temple.
The purpose of this letter is not to point fingers and degrade. It is to plead. I am literally begging you young men of the Church to remember who you were on your mission. Remember the spirit that you taught by and felt. Remember that each girl you meet is a daughter of God that deserves to be loved and treated with respect and dignity. I do my best to encourage those around me, men and women, to be their best. I know this may seem one sided, and I know we as girls are neither perfect, nor are we entirely victims--after all, this is a relatively feministic society--but my plea to the girls is for another time. Elder Holland gave a talk to BYU called "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments." The following passage that I wish to share namely addresses sex, but I feel it may be applicable also in dating and courtship:
Indeed, most tragically, it is the young woman who is most often the victim, it is the young woman who most often suffers the greater pain, it is the young woman who most often feels used and abused and terribly unclean. And for that imposed uncleanliness a man will pay, as surely as the sun sets and rivers run to the sea.
Be the kind of man you want your son to be. Treat women the way you want your daughter to be treated. I understand that mission life must be different than college life, but why wouldn't you want to have the spirit to be with you now when you take girls on dates, the way it was when you wore a name tag? Dating is where a lot of temptation comes in to play. Nights cuddling with your girlfriend on the couch are when the adversary will turn the heat up, just a little hotter. It is when you are most vulnerable that he strikes the hardest, and I know you rarely have your heart more exposed than when you are with someone you love. So fight to be the man you became on your mission. Fight to be the protector. Always be worthy of your priesthood--because we need you. We can't make it to exhalation without you, and being the ones who get to hold the priesthood, we look to you to take care of our spirit as well as protect our bodies. The women are literally trusting you with our souls when we say yes to that date. Yes, I recognize that we must equally be respecting and that you need to trust us, but I don't want to have to worry if every guy that takes me out is too strong for me to get away from.