“Questions & Answers: Young Women’s Mission Decision,” New Era, July 2017
Think about what President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said: “We need some young women [as full-time missionaries]. They perform a remarkable work. They can get in homes where the elders cannot. But it should be kept in mind that young sisters are not under obligation to go on missions. They should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men, but some will wish to go. If so, they should counsel with their bishop as well as their parents” (“To the Bishops of the Church,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, June 19, 2004, 27).
You should also pray to know if serving a mission is right for you. Once you’ve reached a decision in your mind, ask God if it is right, and stay attuned to the whispering of the Holy Ghost.
For young women, the question about whether or not to serve a mission is a deeply personal one. Some young women will feel prompted to serve missions, and for other equally worthy young women, the answer will be no. Regardless of what your answer is, you are beloved daughters of God, who wants you to find joy in your lives, to strengthen your families, and to help build up the Church through your righteous example and service.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures” (Oct. 2006 general conference). You can follow the “standard process” if you really want to know whether God wants you to serve a mission. You must sincerely ask the Lord in prayer and study the scriptures to know His answer. In case you have second thoughts about even asking in the first place, remember that even though young women are not required to serve missions, all of God’s children have the same potential to bless and to be blessed by preaching the gospel.
Mikaela S., 18, Philippines
When I was deciding whether or not to go on a mission, I went to those whom I trusted. I talked to my parents, bishop, friends, siblings, and seminary teachers and asked for their advice. I also studied my patriarchal blessing, looking for things that could relate to missionary work.
Just as we should when seeking an answer to any prayer, I made a decision first, and then I took that decision to the Lord. I selected a day, asked my family to fast for me, and went to the temple to ask for confirmation of my decision. I received an overwhelming feeling that I had made the right decision.
Anne W., 18, Utah, USA
Prayer, fasting, scripture study, and temple work can help someone answer questions they may have, as long as they do it with a sincere heart and love of Christ.
Tyler K., 15, Arizona, USA
I have looked to my patriarchal blessing for lots of answers to questions, including whether or not to serve a mission. After praying and studying my blessing, I have come to know that I will be serving many missions, so I am preparing to do so now. If you haven’t received your patriarchal blessing yet, I encourage you to get one.
EmmaLee H., 17, Arizona, USA
Pray and read the scriptures to find the answers to your questions. Every one of us is in God’s army, and we all can be missionaries, whether we serve a full-time mission or not.
Logan H., 17, Oregon, USA
You can pray and fast and listen to hear what the Spirit has to say. If the Lord strongly wants you to serve or doesn’t want you to go, you will know. Otherwise, it could mean the Lord has left the choice up to you, which means either choice is fine with the Lord.
Hope W., 16, Utah, USA