Return With Honor?
I recently came home from my mission early because of medical reasons (I need surgery).
Today a youth from the ward I was serving in where I was sent home from sent me a message asking for advice.
It feels good to know that there were people there who valued my contributions.
I’ll consider it a tender mercy from the Lord.
The idea that anyone who either doesn't go on a mission or returns early is not "honorable" is a horrifically toxic part of Mormon culture. Even as an ex-member I know this is not an official teaching of the church in any way...it's just one of those things that somehow happened.
You sacrificed to go, you made the commitment, and stayed as long as you could. That is absolutely honorable in my book. Good work :)
As an active member (and RM), I agree 100% with this statement. It is so toxic. Whether you were out for 2 years, 6 months or 2 days (or even no mission at all) it doesn’t matter. We do what we can. No one can ask for more than that. Be proud of your mission, however long it was. Don’t let anyone take your mission experience away from you.
Converted in my early 20's. Until my late 20's nearly every member of the ward would stop me "when are you going to serve a mission Brother Mercer" "Have you thought about serving a mission?" "you should probably get to serving your mission"
Hi, I have a job (that I'm still at over a decade later) and debt and belongings and am a convert. I can't sell all of my worldly possessions, pay off my debt, quit my job, and run off to knock on doors for 2 years to come back to no money, no place to live, nothing but the clothes on my back.
They absolutely acted like I was a bad person since I didn't want to sacrifice 2 years of my life, while being brand new to the church. Feh!
And of course, in the singles ward, it was always "where'd you serve your mission" I'm a convert cloud of Road Runner dust where woman talking to you was standing.
I came home early due to illness and I was told by a close friend that it was probably because I was disobedient and the Lord didn't need that. She can suck an egg. As for your mission, you served what the Lord wanted you to serve and you have served honorably. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Welcome home. Heal quickly. :)
You did what you were asked until you were released. Honorable as all get out.
Thanks for doing your best, serving with honor, and being someone others could look to for advice.
The time that you as a missionary serve, regardless of length, is sacred to the Lord. To think one missionary better than the other because of time served is heresy. The Lord doesn't esteem one above the other for how long they served a mission, so we shouldn't either. /u/DankCryptoMemes hit the nail right on the head that the belief that early returned missionaries are not honorable (regardless of reason for returning, I might add), is one of the worst and most toxic parts of this culture.
I'm glad you can help this brother. I can't imagine what you've both gone through in your personal lives and in mormondom culture, but thank you for serving.
I came home early as well for back problems. I have experienced 0 negative reactions to it and found that everyone was very supportive. I have a few friends who also came home for medical reasons and I think they can attest similarly.
Oh goodness... I know how you feel, although I was born into the Church.
There are those of us who never served a mission because of disabilities; like me. Again, born into the the Church, and... it's like girls have been raised to believe they MUST marry a RM. Some have bended that belief to allow guys who have done Service Missions, which is wonderful. But not everyone is going to be able to serve a Mission.
Alienating those who don't have the chance to serve a mission or who are sent home is just awful. Our Savior wouldn't want us to do that. He wants His Church to be united.