“Why I’ll Serve,” New Era, December 2016
As I become old enough to serve a mission, the idea of spending two years away from home as a missionary seems daunting. My entire life, I’ve heard mission stories from my family and ward members about how missions are incredible, testimony-building, life-defining experiences. I have no doubt that this is true, but serving a mission has always seemed far away. Now that it’s so close, the reality of it has sunk in.
I know that the Lord expects me and all able-bodied young men to serve missions. I know it is a duty and a commandment, but I wanted to learn more about why I needed to serve. I was struck by President Thomas S. Monson’s saying that a mission is an “obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much” (“As We Meet Together Again,” Oct. 2010 general conference). With blessings comes responsibility, and serving a mission is one way that I can show gratitude to God for all that He has blessed me with—the gospel, my family and friends, an education, the people I’ll serve, and much more.
Even though I know this is true, I sometimes still have fears about leaving. But I just try to remember that God wants me to serve a mission, and He will help support me in the decision to serve. He will not leave me to do it alone and will be there every step of the way (see John 14:18).