Many people know that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), can go on two year “missions”. They generally pay their own way (Meaning they don’t get paid for this it is voluntary), and can do a variety of various tasks which include genealogy work, procolitying, be site guides, and service.
The daily schedule for a missionary is rigorous by comparison to many today. Waking up by six thirty each morning, working out, two hours of study in what Latter Day Saints (LDS) consider scripture(Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price). This can all be stressful and many struggle. Their days consist of biking for hours, walking for hours, and teaching and speaking to everyone who is willing to speak with them. Their days do not usually end until around 9.30 at night. This can be exhausting mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is sad to say that some people are rejected from being able to serve full time missions based on physical, mental or spiritual ailment, while others like my self return home early from missions that usually last two years, due to injury or illness ranging from the physical to the spiritual.
Many early returned missionaries often feel a sense of guilt over not being able to complete their service. While away from home you build a camaraderie with those you work with, your mission “companions” with whom you spend day and night. I know from personal experience that this friendship goes very deep, and is a powerful connection. Often these feelings of guilt can stem from knowing they are still laboring in the lords vineyard while you are at home watching TV, playing video games with family, sometimes they can even come when you are sitting on the surgery bed waiting for the nitris to knock you out.
Something that has brought me solace during this time (I have only been home from my mission for six days), has been Jesus Christ’s teaching about removing the beam in your own eye before you help others remove the mote in theirs. This commandment many think of only in spiritual terms. However as God has revealed to people whom the members of the LDS church view as prophets, there has never been a law given that is only temporal (physical), nore spiritual only, but all laws that are temporal are spiritual, and spiritual temporal (I am butchering this quote so please forgive me).
The idea is that this commandment from Christ, God’s son who speaks with his authority applies not just to spiritual matters but to physical, spiritual, and emotional matters as well. If we are injured how can we help others who are also? if we are spiritually weak how can we preach and teach of the word of god? if we are emotionally unstable, then how can we help others understand and control the profoundly powerful emotions that often times appear in our lives and that can accompany spiritual experiences?
in the short term these problems cripple you, it is true. They have crippled me, even as i am sitting here writing this article. However in the long term these experiences and trials or problems we face in our lives will be for our good. They will help us empathize with those who go through what we have been through, they will help us understand others pains and hardships, and they will help us grow. They can only do that however if we follow God, Jesus Christ and his Prophets.
So please, be of good cheer, do not get discouraged. Know your limitations and strive and ask for the strength to overcome them. If healing does not come immediately don’t fear, it simply means you have more to learn, experience or to remember. If it never comes in this life, then it will come in the next. Just keep trying! never give up, and every time you fall (Physically, spiritually or emotionally) then get right back up! That is all we have to do.