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)However, those who didn’t serve missions can be just as loving and righteous, too.As some of our online readers pointed out, there are a number of reasons why someone might not be able to serve.His mother got cancer while he was at college, and he paused his education to spend more time at home with her. When it finally did come up, I was already deeply in love with Mark.When I met him a few years later at BYU, he was already back on the strait and narrow, making valiant strides to clean up his life, and was about to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. But did that one fact, a past mistake that was too late to fix, suddenly make my Mr. Not only was he smart and charming, he was faithful.Health reasons, family issues, even past sins can prevent a potential missionary from entering the field.And all these things have almost no bearing on current worthiness, spirituality, or eligibility.Our current standing with the Lord is more important than our past condition.Back when I was in the Young Women program, I remember being told that RM needed to be at the top of my dating criteria list.
He was attending church and had a calling as a ward missionary, which he did his best to magnify. Any doubts I might have had upon learning about his past were overshadowed by what I knew of his character in the present.By all accounts, he was a good, strong, Latter-day Saint. (It didn’t hurt that my mother said, on meeting him, that I would be hard-pressed to find someone else who would love me the way she could see Mark did.)But for some people, even deep into a relationship, learning of Mark’s non-RM status might have been a deal breaker.But that got me into trouble, more than once, when I asked sweet, active members about their missions—and they hadn’t served or had returned home early. He was a quiet boy, but sweet, and as I later learned, he had a crush on me from our first meeting. As we got to know each other throughout the semester, he felt ashamed of his past and was afraid to tell me that he hadn’t served.It was always awkward, and I felt terrible for intruding into something they clearly found painful. More than once, he had experienced rejection at the hands of other LDS women who’d also been told, “RM or bust.”See, while Mark was born in the Church, he had become inactive during his late teens and early twenties.
Any woman would be lucky to marry him, and I was thrilled he’d fallen for me. Especially if they were raised to believe that the title “RM” is a guarantee for righteousness. Serving a mission mean he honors his priesthood, loves the Lord, and is closer to becoming the “Prince Charming” young women are too-frequently promised.(Imagine the pressure this puts on those poor RMs to be perfect!