The Big, White Envelope—A Rite of Passage
|photo credit: madeline-marie.blogspot.com|
Sorry it has been a few days since I have posted. We have a sick baby–enough said.
Today we await the arrival of the big, white envelope from Salt Lake City, UT. The contents and instructions inside will determine Scuff’s life for the next 24-30 months, depending upon the date they ask him to report to his Missionary Training Center. He will put his academic and social endeavors on hold for two years as he immerses himself in the work of the kingdom and learns how to serve others and the Lord.
As parents, this is one of the moments we hope for and dream of. There are others—for sure and more important ones, like the day they will take a companion of their choice to the temple to establish their eternal family, and then there are the grandchildren……………..(but I am getting way ahead of myself!!) But the mission—-the mission prepares my boys to become men, righteous men who love and serve.
Think about it—most young adults between the ages of 18-22 are finally old enough to be recognized by the law as adults. They are capable and encouraged to move out, go to college, get a job, drive/own a car, manage their own finances, medical, food, living quarters, laundry, and relationships. But how many of them are actually mature enough to really handle all of that well??? (Now I am not speaking of the sisters, just the men.) If a young adult male is going to get into some serious trouble and make mistakes that could be life-altering, he will usually do it during this time period.
So what does the Lord do??
He sends them on missions—where they have a constant companion 24/7 for two years, have weekly check-ins with their mission presidents, are given a monthly allotment to manage finances, have periodic apartment checks, may drive a car but aren’t responsible for maintenance or insurance, do their own laundry, and write to their families weekly…….. those are just some of the temporal perks. Spiritually, they have personal and companion scripture study and prayer, go out to find people who would like to know more about Jesus Christ and His gospel, teach them true principles, ask for their commitments to live the principles, encourage them and serve them, pretty much on a daily basis….and then there’s a dress code….but we won’t go into that.
They are so busy, if they are trying to be obedient, they would have to go looking for trouble before they could get into any. (Now, I know there are those few who get into trouble and do dumb things….but those young adult who are trying to do what they were sent out to do learn responsibility, service, and love!)
My boys who are serving or who have served say, “It is the hardest and best two years of my life!” Isn’t that great?? The Lord takes boys who might otherwise have enough freedom and resources to get into trouble and turns them into men who love and serve God and others, who can learn to let go of self—an amazing process for sure!
So, tonight we wait, as one more of our sons approaches his rite of passage into manhood—-the opening of the Big, White Envelope!
Wish him luck!