While reading this month’s Ensign, I came across a great quote by Elder Lance B Wickman of the Seventy.  He states:

[When deciding whom to marry] be careful not to base your judgements merely on..whether someone has served a full-time mission or holds a particular calling in your ward…know someone well enough to learn his or her heart and character firsthand and not just his or her “gospel resume”. (Wickman, Apr 2010 Ensign p.15)

For those not familiar with the LDS faith, this advice is probably a no brainer.  However, somehow it is a part of the LDS culture that girls must marry a return missionary (a young man who has faithfully served the 2 year LDS mission) or else they’re getting a second-rate guy. 

When I was attending Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) I remember girls treating me much differently before my mission than after my mission.  Girls who were serious about hunkering down and “getting hitched” didn’t want anything to do with me before the mission, but afterwards somehow every girl assumed since I was a return missionary that I was on the hunt to get married.  Truth be told, I wasn’t ready (for another 8 years or so, but that’s a different story).

Anyways, I’ve been out of the dating scene for awhile, but I thought it would be interesting to discuss thoughts on having to marry a return missionary.  Is the church getting away from this?  Also, where did this notion originate?

I’m sure there are some of you well more versed in LDS history who can enlighten us!