Before my mission and during my mission I was a huge advocate for sisters serving missions. If a girl told me she was going to leave a boyfriend to serve a mission I supported that decision. In my mind nothing could be better than a mission. If things were truly meant to be between the girl and her boy, it would work out.

It’s weird. Now that I’ve been a missionary my thoughts have actually changed. I loved being a full-time missionary and I know it was part of God’s plan for me. I still smile when people from my mission call me “Hermana Williams.” But now I look forward to the time when I get the eternal titles of “wife” and “mother.”

 

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Sister Williams, having just returned home.

Chances are you, or someone you know, will eventually face the question of, “Should I stay with my boyfriend or should I serve a mission?”

Luckily for you, you found this article. Now I’m going to give you the exact way to figure out how to choose between a boyfriend and a mission. Are you ready for this?

Hahaha, just kidding. There is no exact way. But, I am going to give you the best advice I can to help you make this decision.

Why should you serve a mission? Well, if I were to give just a few of the many, many reasons, these are some of the ones I would give:

  • The experience. A mission is the best 18 months for your life. Nothing really compares to it. There will never be a time, other than on a mission, where you can dedicate your whole soul to God’s work.
  • The happiness. Something about planning every action of your day around others and not yourself brings a happiness that you never felt before.  One of my favorite lines of Preach My Gospel  reads, “More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children.”
  • The preparation. In my opinion, a mission is great preparation for a marriage. You learn how to be around someone 24/7. You spend a lot of time with a lot of different families. Growing up, I was really only close with a few different families. On my mission, I spent every evening in someone’s home having dinner and seeing what made that family work.
  • If you need more reasons, check out our article So You’re Not Sure About Serving a Mission?

 

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Now, why should you stay with a boyfriend? If you don’t have any intention on marrying your boyfriend, ever, then I would say go on a mission. God wants us to become like Him, to progress. For that reason, during this article when I refer to a boyfriend, what I really mean is a boyfriend who has the possibility of becoming your spouse. So, on that note, here are some of the reasons you should stay with a boyfriend:

  • The covenant. A mission is a great life experience. It builds your testimony. You introduce people to the gospel and guide them to the path of true happiness. However, serving a mission is not a requirement for exaltation. Marriage is. The opportunity to make a covenant with God and continue to progress is one of the most important steps you can take in your life. In the words of  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “I believe that second only to your membership in the Church, your ‘membership in a marriage’ is the most important association you will have in time and eternity.”

 

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  • The future investigators. Some people think that the only opportunity you have to truly be a part of someone’s conversion process is as a missionary. That is false. When I think about the people who had the most influence on my testimony and my conversion, I think of my mom and my dad.  A parent is always a part of a child’s life. By becoming married and having kids, you have the opportunity to be a part of someone’s lifelong conversion process.
  • The option. There is nothing wrong with not serving a mission. Remember, it is an option. I love the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Again to the sisters I say that you will be as highly respected, you will be considered as being as much in the line of duty, your efforts will be as acceptable to the Lord and to the Church whether you go on a mission or do not go on a mission.”

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So here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Have you prayed about it?
  2. If you haven’t gotten a specific answer to your prayer of “mission or boyfriend” have you tried making a decision and seeking the Lord’s confirmation?
  3. If you stayed, would you marry your boyfriend?
  4. If you’re not sure you want to marry your boyfriend right now, do you think waiting to go on a mission would help you make a decision about him? Remember, 19 is just the minimum age, not the requirement.
  5. How important is a mission to you?
  6. Why do you want to serve a mission?
  7. Have you considered other opportunities to serve, other than a mission?
  8. Would you regret not serving a mission?
  9. What is the impact of him waiting?
  10. How does he feel about the situation?
  11. If you stayed, would you marry in the next eighteen months?
  12. What do you think The Lord wants you to do?

I wish you the best of luck on this decision. It is an incredibly hard decision to make. Just know that I support you, either way.

Want to chat? Feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]

 

If you are thinking about serving a mission with a boyfriend at home, check out our article, Should I have a girlfriend or boyfriend at home while I serve?

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