Have you ever felt like something was impossible to change about yourself? Something so deeply ingrained in you, that you simply could not ever see it going away? Have you ever slipped into thinking that the Atonement was good enough to change everyone else, but that something was just too hard for you?

If you’ve had these feelings, as I’ll admit to having in weaker moments, then this story is for you. As I tell this story, I want you to think about the thing that seems nearly impossible for you to change, because that’s exactly how Elder Riley felt trying to get on a mission. This wasn’t a difficult journey for him, it was nearly impossible.

On a Tuesday afternoon I called a recently returned missionary named Riley Murdock, he sounded calm, converted and hopeful for the future. I asked him to tell me a bit about his story. Riley began by explaining that he spent his formative years quite overweight. At the peak of his size he weight over 460 pounds, (208.6kgs).

Riley turned 18 just as the church was ‘raising the bar’ (qualifying standards) on missionary service. These raised standards included, among other things, tighter regulations on a missionaries weight due to the physical demands of missionary service. However, when Riley submitted his papers he was not aware of these changes, so it was a huge disappointment to have his mission application declined.

To read the full article on Mission Geek, click here