Jump to content

If You Were Dying; Would You Call Your Child Home From A Mission.


Recommended Posts

I would. Your emotional well being comes first. Just like on the job, you need time to prepare & mourn. I believe its potentially psycologically dangerous to not be able to grieve. I suppose if this can be done in the mission field, then great. But you also have to consider the person dying. Its my belief that if you are dying, and choose not to be alone during your death, and be surrounded by family, it would be good for you and your family. That wont always be possible such as with an accident, but it would be my goal.

When my Dad had a heart attack, I was a Customer Service Consultant for MCI. MCI refused time off so I could see my dad, which was illegal. He had his heart attack on Wednesday, I had to fly out on my day off; Saturday, spend that day with him, and fly back on Sunday. 6 months later a VP was looking at potential layoffs. He was interviewing every employee one on one. He asked me, what he thought MCI should improve and what position I would be best for if I had to re-apply. I told him that story, and told him that was a tough thing for me to deal with - working for a company that wouldnt support me when I needed it. He got quiet, and I said, "the only position I am interested in is the Procject Manager position (double pay from where I was). Although it wasnt my intention to leverage that; I was truley speaking how I felt. I really didnt want to work for a company that didnt at least share in the legal requirements of this situation, unless I had a little more freedom from a management level to work around them. I was promoted the next day.

But, back to the topic, there are a million variables I'm sure. And I dont think there is a right or wrong answer.

* MCI was later purchased by Worldcom, which went backrupt and the CEO is still in jail for fraud. Verizon aquired the assets and MCI name.

Link to comment

My reaction is "no." But I agree with Jeff K. A person dying should send their missionary a lengthy letter, explaining their feelings of why they aren't to be called home... quote scripture... tell a couple of favorite memories of child... how proud they are that the missionary chose to serve, etc etc. Then, as time drew close (if it was an illness) I'd ask special permission for a phone call to say goodbye with the promise that they would be reunited.

Just in case something would happen because of an accidental, sudden death, I think such a letter should be prepared NOW, to be sent to the missionary before the funeral. The person's spouse should be supportive of this action and able to talk about the decision not to call the missionary home...

Just my thoughts...

from the beach on a "beachy" cool morning, with a mist in the air that should burn off before noon... I love the cool mornings before the sunny afternoons...

GG

Link to comment

If you were dying; would you call your child home from a mission?.

Simple question…no more information.

Simple answer based on the info you have shared:

Absolutely not. If I had a conclusive medical diagnosis that I was dying and had a short time to live and this time expired before my child were to return, then I would discuss it with my Stake President and inform the Mission President to get their counsel on how best to deal with the situation.

It is also not the place of a parent to 'call' them home--the missionary is not serving at the pleasure or behest of the parents, they serve the Lord Jesus Christ as one of his representatives on earth and under the authority of his church leadership.

Link to comment

It might depend on how sure I am that I'm dying. Medicine's predictive power in some such situations, even at its most cutting-edge, still is limited. Conversely, the Spirit can tell me things which medical science cannot (provided the wires of my receptors for such things aren't crossed; sometimes, that's as Big If!).

Personally, I would hope I'd reared the kind of child I could trust to make his or her own decision about what to do in such circumstances. In some instances, the right decision might be, "I'll be on the next plane home once the appropriate arrangements can be made." In other circumstances, the right decision might be, "If it's the Lord's will that I see you again in this life, I'll see you when I get home; if not, I'll see you again when I Get Home."

P.S.: Personally, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable calling my child home from a mission, since I'm not The One who called him on a mission in the first place. Just food for thought.

Edited by Kenngo1969
Link to comment

If you were dying; would you call your child home from a mission?.

Simple question…no more information.

My mother died while my brother was on his mission. It was her wish not to call him home and it was honored. That said the missionary should be informed of both the situation and that the parents wish for him/her to remain on their mission and fulfill their mission. The help of a loving mission president to council him/her really helps.

Link to comment

I have a friend whose mother died while he was on a mission and did not want him called home, so he stayed. He said he was okay with it, ultimately, but it was very difficult.

I think it should be the decision of the individuals involved and not encouraged or discouraged, either way. Some people may be perfectly fine continuing on their mission, while others may seriously need the time to say goodbye and an extended mourning period.

Link to comment

Simple answer based on the info you have shared:

Absolutely not. If I had a conclusive medical diagnosis that I was dying and had a short time to live and this time expired before my child were to return, then I would discuss it with my Stake President and inform the Mission President to get their counsel on how best to deal with the situation.

It is also not the place of a parent to 'call' them home--the missionary is not serving at the pleasure or behest of the parents, they serve the Lord Jesus Christ as one of his representatives on earth and under the authority of his church leadership.

One thing to think about .... Medically, when a person has an issue and needs to get treatment back in the USA, it is up to the MISSIONARY to ultamately decide. I know, cuz its happened with me. After prayerful consideration, I decided it would be best to go home and have surgury and then go back out. My Mission President disagreed. The area president disagreed with my Mission President, and agreed with me. I left the next day. Medical reasons can be the same as emotional or mental health reasons in my opinion. Again, I think every situation is different. But, I think it should be the choice of the missionary involved.

Link to comment

It would depend on a lot of things, including care options for the parent and other members of the fmaily (single parent with one other child for example might require an older sibling to come home for the sake of the younger one) and how long the child has been out for, but in most cases where a decent support system can be put into place for the dying parent definitely not. Like alter stated succinctly, your child is not in the mission field for their own sake or for yours but for the Lord's. Would you insist if you were dying that a married child leave his or her family or give up his or her job to be by your bedside or is it appropriate in those cases for him to care for those responsibilities he has taken on?

Having said that, I think there are many things that can be done to help both parent and child deal with the emotional and other issues involved, one of which would be for the parent to make a record/journal so that the child can 'share' in the experience after the mission (too much detail during the mission could be distracting and detrimental) and not feel excluded, a video can provide a 'face to face' experience where the parent can share feelings and insights, hopes and dreams and positive thoughts about their child as well as what is going on and what is to come. Perhaps setting up something the child can do to help those left behind in the family after the mission if it is possible the child might feel he didn't do his part for the famitly. If one's health has not reached the point of being bedridden, perhaps would be possible to arrange a family meeting with the missionary with the permission of the mission president and if the missionary thinks that would be helpful and not make the separation more painful (when my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, it was helpful to make connections with my son on his mission on Utah so he could have that emotional reassurance, but honestly the farewell that occurred then was much harder at least for me than the original one...perhaps because now I knew exactly what it was going to mean).

I don't think the missionary should be expected to act like nothing had changed or that the parent should act as if life was going on as before or to downplay suffering and grief completely in favour of the mission (though I think the day to day dramas shouldn't be dwelled on since the missionary has no way to contribute to them in a positive way). It is our mutual human experiences that bind us together and who knows, perhaps some investigator will be touched to seek out the Lord and his gospel because the missionary's hardhsip has spoken to their heart and mind.

Also while the separation at that time may be difficult, it might be worse if the child were to come home off the mission and end up at lose ends with little to do where he has nothing to fill his days save dwelling on his parent dying since he would not be prepared to go back to school yet even if he were emotionally able to and he likely is not in a stable enough position to start a new job, if it was easy enough not to require his concentration and commitment to learn new skills and such, it would probably be more of a burden than a blessing and if it was a job that captured his interest or contributed to his chosen career he would feel torn between devoting time and effort to it as opposed to caring for his parent and family members. OTOH, having been on the mission for awhile means he's already familiar with the work but it's also a type of work that can engage his heart and mind in positive ways. Having to think of others and interact with them in unselfish ways during what is one of the most tramatic experiences in anyone's life can contribute to less obsession and therefore less overall pain and depression.

I think a parent needs to ask him or herself exactly why he wants the child to come home, how much selfishness or fear or guilt might contribute to that desire/need and such things before he chooses to suggest it. If after having done this for himself along with much prayer, then the next step is discussing it with other family members and the missionary's leaders to see if it is absolutely necessary and then only if judged to be an absolute necessity either for the parent, the family or the missionary should the possibility then be given to the missionary, otherwise she will waste way too much time debating with herself what she should or should not be doing. Better to present her with a solid position of confidence in her ability to continue the mission (if this is possible for her) though also encouraging her to pray about the situation herself for peace and guidance from the Spirit.

Link to comment

If you believe that the Lord called him on a mission, then no, I would leave him there. But I would tell his MP that I was dying and ask for dispensation to talk with my son before it happened, even flying to the mission to see him and tell him personally, if that is physically possible. For some children, telling and giving the choice to stay or come home (and telling them that you want them to stay) will help them feel good about staying.

And, PaPa, if this is for real. Godspeed.

Link to comment

I lived with a member on my mission that lost both of his parents to a plane crash while he was serving. He prayed about it and made the decision to stay out. Said it was the best thing that could be done in that situation.

Link to comment

If you believe that the Lord called him on a mission, then no, I would leave him there.

Really? I suppose some might think that. And I respect that. For me, however, I never doubted that I was called to Australia - In fact I had a pretty good spiritual experience regarding going there. But, when I prayed about going home after a year to get knee surgery, I was willing to sacrifice my health to stay if that’s what the Lord wanted. My knee had damage to the cartilage under my knee cap which made it not only impossible to walk without pain, but every step also made it more likely the damage would not heal by growing more cartilage; eventually it would become permanent. Knowing this, I went to Heavenly Father and asked him for help in deciding. The factors that came to my mind were these ...

1) How useful am I to the Lord in my condition?

2) Because of my condition, how likely would I be able to serve him in the way he intends me to serve?

3) How much time would it take to have surgery and be sent back out?

4) Would the Lord want me to sacrifice my knee, to stay?

It was clear to me, I was not nearly as useful as I could be if I had the surgery and finished up stateside. I was back out on my mission in two weeks. I was sent to South Dakota, where we taught a family, and baptized them. When my 18 months was up, I had an opportunity to extend. I prayed about it and wanted some inspiration about what to do.

I was sitting outside my 4th mission president’s office waiting for an interview to discuss what I wanted to do. My mission president left it up to me. While waiting, I got my answer. I've never regretted coming home after 18 months ... further, if I had not had the revelation I had while waiting outside my Presidents office, I may have wondered if I had made the right decision. I mean, would I have ever felt like I had done what the Lord had sent me to do after being on a mission in three missions, 4 mission presidents, 12 companions, in 18 months? :shok: But when the Lord took me on a tour of the people I had taught, the experiences I had, and finally thanking me for the sacrifice - I knew it was fulfilled. I will say this ...... The lord loves his missionaries, he also loves families.

You see, we can all look from the outside in and SAY what we would do. But is that really what we would do? Would we just decide and that’s that? I don’t think so. I think that we pray for inspiration, to know the situation, and being priesthood holders we are able to use that power to decide, and have courage to follow through.

We are all called to sacrifice from time to time, and maybe our lives if asked. I would encourage you to think about this .... Would that be one of those times? Do you think you could make that decision without the Lords help? Further, would you follow the direction the Lord gave you if he asked? Because if you can't, you shouldn’t ask.

Further, I will say this… the experience had taught me a lot. Looking back, I would say “not bad” for a young convert only 19 years old.

;)

Link to comment

If you were dying; would you call your child home from a mission?.

No.... But I would try to see them, no matter where they are, and I would say in person, over phone, and more importantly everything I want to say to them in writing. I would make sure they know all my feelings for them, and that I'll always be with them, and am proud of them, and encourage them to always seek the good, right, and joy in life, etc.

I might also first try and see if they can get a temporary leave of absence. But, that's an iffy thing, and might not be the best thing for all cases. I would consult with leadership and prayer on that.

Edited by ldsfaqs
Link to comment

Really? I suppose some might think that. And I respect that. For me, however, I never doubted that I was called to Australia - In fact I had a pretty good spiritual experience regarding going there. But, when I prayed about going home after a year to get knee surgery, I was willing to sacrifice my health to stay if that’s what the Lord wanted. My knee had damage to the cartilage under my knee cap which made it not only impossible to walk without pain, but every step also made it more likely the damage would not heal by growing more cartilage; eventually it would become permanent. Knowing this, I went to Heavenly Father and asked him for help in deciding. The factors that came to my mind were these ...

1) How useful am I to the Lord in my condition?

2) Because of my condition, how likely would I be able to serve him in the way he intends me to serve?

3) How much time would it take to have surgery and be sent back out?

4) Would the Lord want me to sacrifice my knee, to stay?

It was clear to me, I was not nearly as useful as I could be if I had the surgery and finished up stateside. I was back out on my mission in two weeks. I was sent to South Dakota, where we taught a family, and baptized them. When my 18 months was up, I had an opportunity to extend. I prayed about it and wanted some inspiration about what to do.

I was sitting outside my 4th mission president’s office waiting for an interview to discuss what I wanted to do. My mission president left it up to me. While waiting, I got my answer. I've never regretted coming home after 18 months ... further, if I had not had the revelation I had while waiting outside my Presidents office, I may have wondered if I had made the right decision. I mean, would I have ever felt like I had done what the Lord had sent me to do after being on a mission in three missions, 4 mission presidents, 12 companions, in 18 months? :shok: But when the Lord took me on a tour of the people I had taught, the experiences I had, and finally thanking me for the sacrifice - I knew it was fulfilled. I will say this ...... The lord loves his missionaries, he also loves families.

You see, we can all look from the outside in and SAY what we would do. But is that really what we would do? Would we just decide and that’s that? I don’t think so. I think that we pray for inspiration, to know the situation, and being priesthood holders we are able to use that power to decide, and have courage to follow through.

We are all called to sacrifice from time to time, and maybe our lives if asked. I would encourage you to think about this .... Would that be one of those times? Do you think you could make that decision without the Lords help? Further, would you follow the direction the Lord gave you if he asked? Because if you can't, you shouldn’t ask.

Further, I will say this… the experience had taught me a lot. Looking back, I would say “not bad” for a young convert only 19 years old.

;)

I think there's a difference between what Papa asked and what you are talking about here. Papa asked if someone would call their missionary home. That's a different question altogether than whether or not a missionary would go home at the death of a loved one (or for surgery, like your experience).

From what i've read here, most people seem to believe that it's not the parents right to call a missionary home since they aren't the ones who called him or her on a mission. I tend to agree with them.

I agree with you that it should be the missionary's decision (made through pondering and prayer) as to whether or not they should go home for a short time in the event of a tragedy.

Link to comment

Really? I suppose some might think that. And I respect that. For me, however, I never doubted that I was called to Australia - In fact I had a pretty good spiritual experience regarding going there. But, when I prayed about going home after a year to get knee surgery, I was willing to sacrifice my health to stay if that’s what the Lord wanted. My knee had damage to the cartilage under my knee cap which made it not only impossible to walk without pain, but every step also made it more likely the damage would not heal by growing more cartilage; eventually it would become permanent. Knowing this, I went to Heavenly Father and asked him for help in deciding. The factors that came to my mind were these ...

1) How useful am I to the Lord in my condition?

2) Because of my condition, how likely would I be able to serve him in the way he intends me to serve?

3) How much time would it take to have surgery and be sent back out?

4) Would the Lord want me to sacrifice my knee, to stay?

It was clear to me, I was not nearly as useful as I could be if I had the surgery and finished up stateside. I was back out on my mission in two weeks. I was sent to South Dakota, where we taught a family, and baptized them. When my 18 months was up, I had an opportunity to extend. I prayed about it and wanted some inspiration about what to do.

I was sitting outside my 4th mission president’s office waiting for an interview to discuss what I wanted to do. My mission president left it up to me. While waiting, I got my answer. I've never regretted coming home after 18 months ... further, if I had not had the revelation I had while waiting outside my Presidents office, I may have wondered if I had made the right decision. I mean, would I have ever felt like I had done what the Lord had sent me to do after being on a mission in three missions, 4 mission presidents, 12 companions, in 18 months? :shok: But when the Lord took me on a tour of the people I had taught, the experiences I had, and finally thanking me for the sacrifice - I knew it was fulfilled. I will say this ...... The lord loves his missionaries, he also loves families.

You see, we can all look from the outside in and SAY what we would do. But is that really what we would do? Would we just decide and that’s that? I don’t think so. I think that we pray for inspiration, to know the situation, and being priesthood holders we are able to use that power to decide, and have courage to follow through.

We are all called to sacrifice from time to time, and maybe our lives if asked. I would encourage you to think about this .... Would that be one of those times? Do you think you could make that decision without the Lords help? Further, would you follow the direction the Lord gave you if he asked? Because if you can't, you shouldn’t ask.

Further, I will say this… the experience had taught me a lot. Looking back, I would say “not bad” for a young convert only 19 years old.

;)

I agree with Bluebell.

I think you are misunderstanding. The question was whether or not a PARENT should ask their child to come home from a mission if the parent is dying. You are talking about a different situation entirely and I believe you are taking this personally because you came home for surgery after a year and for some reason you think the two situations are the same. I don't believe they are and I think what you've brought up is actually a different topic.

Every situation where a missionary needs to come home is different. My daughter had two companions return home during their service. One, because she needed a tumor removed from her spine and the other because she was legally required to by the state to handle her father's estate when he was comatose and dying. In both situations, the missionaries did not have a choice--the mission president required them to return home and when they were able to, they came back to the mission field.

In the case where the sister returned home to take care of her father's medical needs and his estate, she said she never would have left if she'd had a choice. Most of the time, it is up to the missionary to decide, never the parent. Papa's question was whether or not he should ask his child, or put pressure on his child to come home. It is impossible to know for sure what he should do; he was vague as to the details, but in general, I think missionaries feel and are encouraged to stay in the field whenever possible, especially when it is not life- or health related to the missionary in question. If a parent dies while a missionary is serving, they have the option of returning, but it is usually not required, unless for legal reasons as I mentioned in the situation I noted. I don't think anyone is criticizing a missionary for choosing to return home--it's their decision and either way, I don't think most people would judge them for either choice. What I believe should be avoided is a parent putting pressure on the missionary and trying to sway them to return or make them feel guilty about a decision they might make that goes against what the parent wants.

To go back to your situation. You had a medical condition which needed treatment. You are the one who ultimately needed to decide what was best and I completely agree that if you felt you should return home for surgery, that was the correct decision. My daughter's companion who needed a tumor removed could have stayed in Texas for treatment--they have great doctors there also, but the decision was made that it would be in her best interest to return to Utah for treatment and recovery. She didn't want to leave but her Mission Pres. insisted and more often than not, the President will be the one to have to push a missionary to consider their own well-being. You were in Australia, I would expect that returning home for knee surgery would have been the wisest option. Knees are very tricky and I would want the best treatment possible, If I had been in your situation, I would have made the same decision, no question about it. :good:

Link to comment

If you were dying; would you call your child home from a mission?.

Simple question…no more information.

PaPa, I don't understand your subtitle "Whisperings of the Spirit?". Have you been told by doctors that you are dying or do you have thoughts that maybe you are? I know a young man who said goodbye to his father when he went on his mission and returned briefly for his funeral months later. You should let your missionary decide prayerfully what he needs to do.

Link to comment

I think there's a difference between what Papa asked and what you are talking about here. Papa asked if someone would call their missionary home. That's a different question altogether than whether or not a missionary would go home at the death of a loved one (or for surgery, like your experience).

From what i've read here, most people seem to believe that it's not the parents right to call a missionary home since they aren't the ones who called him or her on a mission. I tend to agree with them.

I agree with you that it should be the missionary's decision (made through pondering and prayer) as to whether or not they should go home for a short time in the event of a tragedy.

Thank you for pointing that out. Is it a parent’s right to call a missionary home if they were dying? I would have to say no. But I also believe it is well within a parent’s right to REQUEST it. In the end, it’s up to missionary with help from his leaders, and through thoughtful prayer if he does go home or takes a temporary leave from his/her mission. However, it does beg the question ... How does one REQUEST from his son or daughter on a mission to come home for his or her death? Perhaps it would be done as an invitation. If I was a missionary, my natural tendency would be to be with my father. But I say that because he is not a member and there could be an opportunity for him to learn some truth before he goes. He may even communicate with me, which he hasn’t done for years.

Link to comment

I agree with Bluebell.

I think you are misunderstanding. The question was whether or not a PARENT should ask their child to come home from a mission if the parent is dying.

Actually, thats how I read it. Asking. But Pa Pa actually put Call home from a mission. Perhaps, the question should be this ....

1) Is it the right of a dying parent to REQUIRE a missionary return home. I would say no.

2) Is it the right of a dying parent to ASK or REQUEST a missionary to return home. As long as its up to the missionary with guidance from leaders and prayer, I would say YES!

One thing that people have left out here is that just as a missionary has medical requirements to go home, my point I was trying to make was that SO DOES A DYING PARENT. I have no problem with a parent asking for a missionary son or daughter to return home. It would have to be done tactfully and knowing that the Son may feel obligated to stay if thats what the Lord is asking him to do. At the same time, the Lord may recognize that the Parents needs may outweigh the current mission situation. There is only a few that would have enough knowledge to really know that - Heavanly Father.

I'll be honest, my way of thinking with ADHD is not always everyone elses. I see the needs of the missionary as valid, and I also see the needs of the parent as valid. Like I have already suggested, its ultimately the Missionary's decision in my opinion. But if the parent feels he should ask, I dont see why they shouldnt especially if they have been directed to ask by Heavanly Father. Granted, there are potential issues of asking. That perhaps is another topic. But if a parent does ask, he should feel he is giving the right to the missionary to actually feel free to make that decision without guilt.

Perhaps, the Parent should explore why they would ask a missionary to come home to begin with. Then prayerfully find out if that might be a correct reason to temporarily suspend a mission.

Link to comment

If you believe that the Lord called him on a mission, then no, I would leave him there. But I would tell his MP that I was dying and ask for dispensation to talk with my son before it happened, even flying to the mission to see him and tell him personally, if that is physically possible. For some children, telling and giving the choice to stay or come home (and telling them that you want them to stay) will help them feel good about staying.

And, PaPa, if this is for real. Godspeed.

A for real debate with a fiend. I think it should happen. Some things you cannot get back.

Link to comment

Simple answer based on the info you have shared:

Absolutely not. If I had a conclusive medical diagnosis that I was dying and had a short time to live and this time expired before my child were to return, then I would discuss it with my Stake President and inform the Mission President to get their counsel on how best to deal with the situation.

It is also not the place of a parent to 'call' them home--the missionary is not serving at the pleasure or behest of the parents, they serve the Lord Jesus Christ as one of his representatives on earth and under the authority of his church leadership.

In this case there is a very good chance that this young man’s baby brother will be gone before he gets home. It is a 100% chance he will die before 10 or 11 (now 8 just baptized), this missionary lost his sister tot the same disease. Chances are about 90% he know his big brother (the 8 year old) when he gets home. I am just struggling with this and needed some opinions. I don’t get life and the death of children very well. This missionary’s Father was just in a serious accident…yet they press on, they truly are my hero’s. The son on a mission is my son’s best friend, he is in AZ.

Be in prayer for the Crawford Family

Steve

Cindy

John

Will (the missionary)

Brent

Aaron, the child I am speaking of…

Julie has already gone home at 10 years of age.

Link to comment

This is a very emotional topic. There really is no good answer as each situation would be very different. The only thing that is for sure: The parents should not demand that the missionary come home. They can request, but certainly not demand, and it is important to factor in the missionary's desire as they are the ones who are going to have to live with the choice. It isn't exactly like the military, but I think its closer to that than say, being away at college. It's kind of a unique situation.

Link to comment

If you believe that the Lord called him on a mission, then no, I would leave him there.

I don't view missions quite so rigidly. I was called to a specific mission and felt sure that the Lord had called me there. Then, about halfway through the MTC, our entire district was transferred to a different mission because another mission president had forgotten to order new missionaries and they were quite short. It was difficult to reconcile at the time, but it all worked out great. (I even met my husband there!) I think the Lord is very, very flexible.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...