Greetings, readers! Before I launch into this week’s column, I wanted to encourage those of you who live in or near Southern California not to miss this weekend’s Mormon Stories Conference in San Diego, featuring Mormons for Marriage founder Laura Compton and a raft of other excellent Mormons like you sharing their stories, bonding, and eating tacos. More info is here. And now, on to the show . . .
I am an active, LDS, young-adult female about to turn 21. I have a desire to serve a mission. Living the principles of the gospel and trying to emulate Jesus Christ has been a wonderful foundation in my life as I’ve been striving for enlightenment. I would like to share it with people who are not as fortunate as I am.
However, I’m not entirely sure that the organization of the Church would like me representing them. I’m not a very orthodox believer. I feel in my heart that saying that this church is the only true church is wrong. I feel that all religions have a great deal of truth in them and to belittle the value of that truth only does us, as members of the church, a disservice. We could greatly benefit by learning about and taking into our lives the perspectives and truths of other religions. I also have questions about the historicity of the Book of Mormon and about many of the things that Joseph Smith did. I feel uncomfortable saying “I know” that the Book of Mormon is “a true record” and Joseph Smith is “a true prophet.” I also can see a lot of problems in the church. Faithful Mormons do a lot of wonderful things, but in a lot of ways, I can’t help feeling like we’re the ones who refuse to come down off our Rameumptons and repent.
Do you still think that going on a mission could be a good thing for me? That maybe my unique opinions and skepticism could be a potential boon in relating to investigators and non-members? Or do you suppose that the ultra-conservative atmosphere of a mission and the MTC would swallow me up and spit me back out like a bad pill?
A Would-Be Preemie