I used to have this delusion that once you put a name tag on you undergo a fundamental internal change, as if you have a new identity—all desires to do wrong disappear, all knowledge of the scriptures floods your mind, and every romantic inclination is whisked away with one handshake from your mission president.
This is not the case. I felt nothing but culture shock when I put my name tag on, having just arrived in South Africa at the Missionary Training Center. Unfortunately, though you are a set apart servant of Jesus Christ, you are still merely a young single adult, one of “the weak and the simple” (D&C 1:23), and hormones do not take a break for 18-24 months. Navigating your romantic feelings on a mission can be one of the more challenging things you may face.
While these feelings are natural, Satan uses them as a tool to make you feel guilty or inadequate—feelings that are already pervasive when you are part of something so much bigger than your mortal shortcomings can amount to. The truth is, when you are surrounded by young men of your same age and stage striving with all their might to serve the Lord, it isn’t easy to suppress feelings of admiration and love.
As you come closer to the Lord it is in the very order of the universe that “virtue loveth virtue” and “light cleaveth unto light” (D&C 88:40). But the beauty of a mission is that it challenges you to learn to harness those feelings and control your passions; to accept God’s will for you and His timing (for there is “a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (Eccl 3:5)). The skill of self-control will bless you throughout your life, both as a single and married person.
Read the full article at SheTraveled.
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