Why Serve a Mission?

    “Why Serve a Mission?” New Era, Nov. 2014, 46–47

    Why Serve a Mission?

    Dan R., Idaho, USA

    boy and girl video chatting

    Illustrations by Craig Stapley

    I was stumped by the question. A night at the movies with a friend had somehow turned into a one-hour discussion about religion. We’d discussed our beliefs and read Bible verses, and now my friend had posed this question:

    “Why are you going to serve a mission?”

    I’d been preparing for my mission all my life, and now, somehow, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Why would I give up two years of my life—college, scholarships, friends, family—for a mission? It didn’t seem logical from a worldly point of view.

    I don’t remember my answer from that night, but whatever it was, it didn’t satisfy me. I pondered the question over and over again for the next several months.

    One day I was chatting online with a friend. She’d met with the missionaries but wasn’t really feeling the Spirit, and another friend of ours kept encouraging her to listen to the missionaries. She asked me why our friend was so eager, and I told her, “Well, if you had something in your life that meant everything to you, you would be a pretty bad friend if you didn’t try to share it with others!”

    Suddenly, my answer started to come to me. As I lay in bed that night, I remembered a time when I’d felt the Holy Ghost very strongly. I’d been struggling with a decision; I’d finally prayed about it and felt an overwhelming sense of joy and peace, knowing that everything would work out. I realized how much I wanted everybody to feel that same feeling. I thought about how if you discovered a cure for cancer, you wouldn’t just hide it in a laboratory—you’d share it with the world! I understood that the gospel was a “cure” for all of life’s problems, so why wouldn’t I want to share it with others? I realized that nothing the world offers can ever measure up to the wonderful opportunity of serving the Lord and sharing the gospel with others.