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Engagement Before Mission


Should people get engaged if one is about to serve a mission?  

48 members have voted

  1. 1. Should people get engaged if one is about to serve a mission?

    • Absolutely not. They stand no chance.
      11
    • Love conquers all!
      3
    • I doubt it would be a good idea for most, but maybe for some.
      35


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Hey all.

1) I know there is a hard and fast rule about not being married before going on a mission. But what about being engaged?

2) Also I would like to hear personal insights and opinions as to this.

My thoughts are this:

I know that some girls/guys wait for their partners. I know some frown upon it through bad stories. However, we also talk about faith all the time. If two people can't make it through a mission, how can anyone expect to make it through any marriage? Women wait for men overseas all the time in war. I have heard some say they would lose focus to the lord. As if being homesick or something similar would not? Who says that the person could not be a source of strength for the other on a mission instead of this burden?

We talk so much about Eternal Marriage...what's 1 1/2 or two years compared to that? We speak so much of commitment it just seems backwards that some oppose this idea. I do not know the numbers of how many do or do not think it is a good idea (hence the poll, just for a glimpse) Are eternal companions replaceable?

Edited by thatjimguy
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Well, the rule about being married isn't such a hard a fast rule as the Church news a bit ago profiled a young sister who was divorced and she went on a mission, after getting First Pres. approval. I am quite sure there have been people who got engaged before their missions and got married upon arrival. There is a yung sister in our Stake that got a mission call to Poland and then a RM who served here came back and now they are engaged to be married. The theological implications of her, or anyone, not serving after getting a mission call is something I don't understand but life moves on!

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The theological implications of her, or anyone, not serving after getting a mission call is something I don't understand but life moves on!

My first thought is it's like tithing. Everyone know the hard and fast rule, but it's between you and the lord. Not everyone has the same circumstances in life. If something like tithing is between you and the Lord, I can only imagine that Eternal Marriage is even moreso. Missions are cool, but not the only way to bring people to Christ. This is an example of spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law.

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I was engaged before my mission. About a year before my call.

The engagement tanked in the middle -- no dear john, though. I dear janed her. Sort of. There was still a chance it would get back on the rails afterwards, but it never did. For which I'm grateful.

It was an odd situation, though.

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Almost certainly a misguided thing. But not absolutely certainly.

I agree with CASteinman.

Mainly because 2 years changes people a lot. The person who returns (or the person you return to) might not be the person from when the mission started. Having the engagement in place puts a lot of pressure to go through with it. Frankly I think it's better to cut off all relationships when going on a mission which allows the missionary to focus and get on with it.

I also don't believe in 'the one' - but 'the many' who would make good marriage partners. (Not at the same time of course... that would be bad... unless you live 170 years ago)

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I also don't believe in 'the one' - but 'the many' who would make good marriage partners. (Not at the same time of course... that would be bad... unless you live 170 years ago)

doesn't that kind of grind against the idea of eternal companion? How many of you feel the same as Canard78?

Edited by thatjimguy
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My mission was 2 1/2 years, back in the day. At the time I left on my mission, I thought my girlfriend would wait, and I also thought I knew my own mind. We promised ourselves to each other. Thank goodness that didn't go as planned.

I met the woman who would be my wife and mother to our six children three weeks before my mission ended. But it took two years of letter writing and phone calls before we met up again. So the waiting part is definitely possible.

Someone else wrote that a missionary should be focused on the mission work and I totally agree.

Engage? Don't do it.

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I agree with CASteinman.

Mainly because 2 years changes people a lot. The person who returns (or the person you return to) might not be the person from when the mission started. Having the engagement in place puts a lot of pressure to go through with it. Frankly I think it's better to cut off all relationships when going on a mission which allows the missionary to focus and get on with it.

I also don't believe in 'the one' - but 'the many' who would make good marriage partners. (Not at the same time of course... that would be bad... unless you live 170 years ago)

I agree.

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doesn't that kind of grind against the idea of eternal companion? How many of you feel the same as Canard78?

I should clarify. Now that we're married I plan on her being the one for eternity. Well, I hope she is anyway (she's not active, she was when we married... time will tell). So I don't believe that we were given to each other in the pre-existence. I think I could have married several different good women. But I'm very glad I married the one I did. But I don't believe our spouse is our eternal companion from pre to post existence. I believe we only start that process in this life.

I see no doctrine taught that our wife is assigned to us in the pre-existence.

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I was engaged before my mission, as a 25-year-old convert. My fiancee served a mission during the same period I did. We were married a month after I returned. I consider it a unique situation, but it was right for us.

I had a friend who was engaged before leaving. He and his fiance left on their missions pretty much together. She then had 6 months on return to prep the wedding and they were married within 2-3 months of their return. 15 years later they are doing very well together with a houseful of kids. I'm glad it worked for them and glad it worked for you. But wouldn't encourage it as a general piece of advice.

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Love conquers all. When I met my wife I knew she was the one for me. I had never even heard of the LDS Church but I knew I had met her before in the premortal kingdom and loved her. We were young. 17 and 15. We got married against all odds at 19 and 17, all of our friends said it would never last, even our family planning teacher at the college said it would never work out. During those 2 years we were engaged I fought for her, to show her I loved her and could support her. I knew she was my soulmate. We've been married now for 39 years, all of my friends have been divorced at least once. Perhaps they didn't find their soulmate, perhaps they didn't work through the rough patches or honor their spouse. If you meet your soulmate, your bersherta, don't make the mistake of letting them go you could regret it for all eternity.

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There was a sister missionary in our ward who had an engagement ring. She had.... issues.

"Love conquers all," OK, having someone special waiting for you is great, but what is the point of having a formal engagement. Is this somehow supposed to strengthen the commitment? How healthy is that.

Wearing an engagement ring on your mission is like swimming in a race wearing a pair of boots.

Edited by cdowis
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"Love conquers all," OK, having someone special waiting for you is great, but what is the point of having a formal engagement. Is this somehow supposed to strengthen the commitment? How healthy is that.

The difference between waiting and formal engagement is commitment. For something called eternal companionship, I would figure this kind of trial would be encouraged.We are so committed and obedient with things in this church, why is this so different? We are told that having the faith of Abraham or Job is a good thing for anything else. Why not this?

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I know a missionary who got engaged while ON his mission. Then he had to go home.

Since it's Eternal Marriage, I would imagine that (as long as he had righteous intent) that the Holy Spirit told him he was ok. Who would argue with the Holy Spirit?

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At that age, personality and lifestyle habits are still developing. If one is side by side with someone, one can develop as well in response to the other's behaviours, etc.....both grow together so to speak; however, if one has very limited contact, it is possible that after two years those differences are significant, possible too significant to overcome.

I think in general it is better to have an agreement not to wait or if waiting, it is a 'wait and see' rather than a 'wait and get married for sure'.

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The difference between waiting and formal engagement is commitment. For something called eternal companionship, I would figure this kind of trial would be encouraged.We are so committed and obedient with things in this church, why is this so different? We are told that having the faith of Abraham or Job is a good thing for anything else. Why not this?

Just because the church believes in the importance of committment, doesn't mean that committment is always a good thing. People can be committed to the wrong things or the wrong people, and a trial of committment under those circumstances is just a waste of mental and emotional energy.

Also, realistically, an engagement is not that much of a committment-they fall through all the time among members of the church. If someone is going to wait for another that is serving a mission, then they will wait, and if both want to get married after the mission is over, that will still be true regardless of an engagement. If it turns out that that someone falls out of love with the other and they want to be with someone else, then they won't wait, also regardless of an engagement (and that's how it should be. Being engaged is not the same thing as being married).

Having the faith of abraham really has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not to get engaged before a mission. Two years apart for people who love each other is difficult under any circumstances, but unless both have confirmation that it is God's commandment that they be together, it's not a matter of obedience or faith in God to wait.

This doesn't mean that people don't get engaged before they go on missions and that when it happens, it's always a horrible thing. Just because something is not a great idea in general doesn't mean it's not sometimes right, or doesn't sometimes turn out alright, despite it not being the best plan.

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Since it's Eternal Marriage, I would imagine that (as long as he had righteous intent) that the Holy Spirit told him he was ok. Who would argue with the Holy Spirit?

Just because two people get engaged, doesn't mean that it's an eternal marriage, and it certainly doesn't mean that the Holy Spirit was involved.

And, the elder made a committment to serve the Lord for two years, putting everything else second to that goal. Getting engaged on his mission meant he broke that committment to the Lord, and who would argue that that is ever a good thing?

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Where a commitment is a pledge and an obligation that needs to be constantly worked on and kept fresh, it would be difficult for the unmarried couple to maintain a parallel, concurrent commitment to both the mission (or both missions if both are on a mission) and their engagement for marriage. The personal investment required of a mission and a commitment to future marriage are too high for most people to balance effectively, and one is bound to give way to the other at appropriate of times. At least in the case of the early Church missionaries where married couples suffered separation, the commitment to marriage, a “higher law” than an engagement to be married at some future date, had been established.

Also, the commitment to the Lord is typically a purely spiritual interpersonal relationship. The unconsummated commitment to another important person in one’s life takes on a typically more complicated interpersonal relationship with daily spiritual, emotional, social, economic, physical, sexual, personality, and many other dynamics. Life as a missionary is not conducive to complicated unconsummated relationships, and complicated unconsummated relationships are not conducive to missionary work. Lengthy separations are also not conducive to improving complicated unconsummated relationships, and vice-versa.

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