Heavily Yoked Missionaries
By migail3
10/12/2010 9:34:39 PM
I have known many full time missionaries who had the double burden of laboring for the Lord while trying to handle and deal with dysfunctional and addicted members of their own families. My son, while serving his mission had a companion who received a letter from his father stating that he was leaving his mother for a much younger woman. This poor Elder, who was rather large in stature, with tears streaming down his face, put both fists through the wall.

Then there was Elder "T". His older brother was a drug addict and was very skilled at sabotaging anything good that happened in the family. There was always a crisis. Always something to be angry about and always some reason why he had to get high. I sensed that Elder T was carrying some very heavy burdens. He confided in me that it was difficult to keep focused when his own family was always on the verge of collapse. Elder T was one of the most spiritual Elders that I have ever worked with. He exhibited what the Lord said in Matthew 11:28,29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light".

Some Elders crumble and end up going home early. Some sister missionaries carry such heavy burdens that the idea of going home frightens them. Lately we have had the full time Elders and Sisters attending our AR group meetings with their addicted investigators. We have given them their own copy of the 12 step program. This is turning into an effective missionary tool. We have had one baptism from our AR Group.

It is also a tool for these "Valiant" servants as it helps them to strengthen their own testimony. The program also resonates with some of our missionaries because, as we have seen on this site, that even though they may be abstinent for the time of their service, soon after "Returning With Honor" they succumb and go back into the shadows. My Stake President told me that they average about one RM being excommunicated each month. Once, I had to meet with the Stake Clerk and saw a young RM quietly come through the door of the Stake High Council Room where his "Court" had just convened. He had tears in his eyes. I watched him walk the hall way that led to the back door. He was all alone. That in itself made me cry.


Ideas worth passing on    
"You have some excellent points. So many on this site are RM's or married to them. My son had similar frustrations while serving his mission. He knew my husband and I were barely hanging on and none of us were certain he'd be returning home to a family that resembled the one he left. He wrote home frustrated that he knew information was being withheld. We just agreed and told him to focus on his mission. I know it was so much more difficult than it needed to be because of my husband's addiction.
In the past, as ARP missionaries, we've been advised to discourage full-time missionaries from attending. You bring up some excellent points that I will make our area coordinators aware of. We could be doing an additional service by helping those who are in a period of remission develop skills that will help them when they get home."
posted at 17:21:17 on October 13, 2010 by SEEINGLIGHT
Very real challenge    
"My dear son just returned from his mission in August. He was a Senior in High School when his dad died from health issues associated with Drug abuse and Alcohol abuse. He was very strong in his faith and obedience to the gospel principals. He saw me go through ARP and how it helped me. I was/am a facilitator and talked about my recovery as a spouse and codependent of an addict. When he got to the MTC, they talked briefly about ARP. He knew all about it and could share what he knew about it. When he was on his mission, he was able to talk to people who were struggling with addictions in a personal, positive way. He was able to love them unconditionally, because that's how he loved his father. It was a burden of some sorts, but also gave him great insight into the lives of those searching for the truth who have real addictions.
I am so very grateful for ARP. I know that there are many RM's who have the challenges you speak of, and as I facilitate our Family Support Groups, it breaks my heart to hear their stories of how they married an RM thinking it was something it's not. The Atonement is far reaching, may we keep all these missionaries in our prayers and thoughts as we continue in our own recovery."
posted at 18:50:46 on October 13, 2010 by BTTB
God Bless us Everyone.    
posted at 20:27:38 on October 13, 2010 by migail3

Add a Comment:

***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)

"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987