I have heard, increasingly I feel, stories over the years about devoted boys who serve a mission and whose Mission President’s then take that sacrifice and pour it down the toilet in an effort to keep a rebellious minority to “stay out on their mission”, or even worse, because he so completely lacks valiance about truth that a rebellious minority has developed into a rebellious majority and all he really wants is to do is to make sure none of them gets sent home.
I knew one devoted boy whose family was shocked when a year into his mission he said he wanted to come home. Nothing could have astonished them more. I was astonished myself. He had been very devoted to the church. Why did he want to come home?
It was because he had spent the vast bulk of his first year with a companion who was in open rebellion to doing the work. He had not spent a year doing missionary work at all. By putting them together the president didn’t hope that good missionary work would be done. He simply hoped that the companion wouldn’t do something so bad that he would be “forced” to send him home. The mission president knew, and frankly admitted, that no missionary work could be done by anyone with that companion. He knew that they would simply stay in the apartment each day, but that was fine because then this companion was not getting into trouble.
And that is disgusting.
That mission president maybe hopes that his sacrifice would bring him great blessings.
But if he is throwing away the sacrifices of the very missionaries he presides over, what will be the net weight of his account at the end of his “service”?
When we hold something as sacred in our hands as the sacrifice made by a faithful young man who has look forward with anticipation to the days he would serve the Lord as a missionary, we had best look to ourselves.
We have no right to toy with such sacred things.
We do not save souls by allowing a culture of rebellion to foster because we apparently believe that God is not a being of any consequence. We have those among us that think God will be mocked and that a good leader is one that uses his authority to enforce that.
But God will not be mocked.
Not by rebellious missionaries. Not even by mission presidents.
Let us look to ourselves when we have authority, as we suppose, over such sacred things.