For those of you who are LDS or attend meetings, how often have you heard the phrase “When I was on my mission…”? If you’re like me, it’s a phrase you hear almost as much as “I know this church is true.
Whenever I hear the “mission” phrase I think to myself “what about today?” Let me share an example.
Today in church we studied President Monson’s most recent article on faith and prayer. The teacher did a great thing, I thought and opened up discussion for people to share their experiences they’ve had with prayer.
As we were reading, I thought about an experience I’d had with my younger sister and thought it would be great to share. I’ll admit it. I’m guilty. I started the comment by saying “When I was on my mission I learned how to truly pray intimately with the Lord in someone’s behalf…” and then I preceded to explain a very personal and spiritual experience my sister and I had while we prayed together.
I hadn’t realized what I’d done until hands started firing up all over the place with people saying “When I was on my mission…” Suddenly, I realized what I’d done.
The whole rest of the lesson was about experiences people had had 5 -30 years ago while they were on their missions. I appreciate them sharing these comments, and have definitely been to worse meetings where people don’t even want to participate at all, but after the 5th time of hearing the “mission” phrase I started thinking about the LDS culture a bit more.
First, an LDS mission is amazing and filled with opportunities to grow closer to Jesus than almost anything else I’ve ever done. I was fully immersed in studying about the Lord and helping others. I’m sure this is why people love to talk about their missions. However, I asked myself the question: “What about today?”
That’s great that we had spiritual experiences to fall back on, but what are we doing today to have them? Maybe I’m off-base, but it seems that we as Mormons tend to fall back on our missions too often and don’t have daily spiritual experiences through faith and prayer like we once did.
What are your thoughts?