Friday, June 7, 2013

The Unfairness of Missions

I'm planning on serving a mission at the end of this summer. (I'm working on a post that tells that whole story, so stay tuned for that). I am more grateful and excited than I can explain. And guess what?
It isn't fair.

I attended both of my older brothers' high school graduation ceremonies. In other words, I endured the most boring hours of my life to support those guys. Seriously. Graduation is BORING. Don't even try to argue with me on this.
They were both serving missions in different parts of the world during my high school graduation. Not. Fair.
You'd think I might just give the same treatment for my other siblings, right? Nope. I'll be back in time for my other siblings' graduation ceremonies, and I will attend with all the love and support I can muster. (It will be hard, because like I said, graduation ceremonies are literally the worst).

My family always grows a big garden. One of my older brothers was here for the planting, but left for his mission before all of the harvest. This year, he will be returning in time for some of the harvest, after missing all of the planting.
I am here for the planting right now, and I will not reap the rewards. I will get the harvest when I return, of course, but I will also be home in time for the planting. Fair? No!

One of my brothers decided to go away for the summer to pursue an economic endeavor. (Sales. Wish him luck, that crazy man). So, while I was forced to play the piano at his farewell service and homecoming service, he won't even be attending my farewell. This one's just downright sad. And unfair. My other brother is still serving his mission, so he won't be attending either.

I could continue. But I won't, because I'm kind of illustrating the opposite of the point I'm trying to make. The importance of these examples is grossly exaggerated here - who flipping cares about whether they attended my graduation ceremony? My parents bought the DVD of it anyway. Who cares whether they are at my farewell? The important thing is that I am going to share the gospel with others, not who hears me speak before I leave.

The real point I want to make is this: We can perceive all kinds of reasons why missionary service is inconvenient. Why life isn't fair. And we are right about it not being fair. Just sometimes we're thinking of it from the wrong perspective. We think it isn't fair for us, when it's actually unfair on the other end. The Lord blesses us so much for the small sacrifices we make. The blessings of missionary service are immense, immeasurable, beautiful, and wonderful. No matter what we do, no matter how hard we think we are working, the blessings (whether they be in this life or the next), outweigh them by a million times. It's not fair that we only have to improve ourselves a little bit every day to receive strength and inspiration. It's not fair that we only have to keep the covenants we have made so that we can have the Holy Ghost with us constantly. It's not fair that all we have to do is speak a few words to ask for an answer to any number of important questions. It's not fair because God loves us just that much.

In the end, fairness doesn't matter. All things are justified in the end. What matters is doing what's right.

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