saying goodbye to a missionary mtc

A Message to the Most Ardent Critic of the Mormon Church

During fast and testimony meeting a brother slowly made his way to the podium after one sister had just wept while talking about her soon-to-be-missionary son.

She expressed how hard it was to be a mother in this situation, soon having to let her son go. “I would never let my child go on a mission if I didn’t know this Church was true.”

As this Sister made her way to her pew this good brother took his place at the podium and turned to her and said, “Just wait until you drop him off at the MTC. That’s even harder.”


He then shared his two recent experiences, as he and his family dropped off his 19-year-old daughter to serve in Australia and his 18-year-old son to serve in Malaysia.

“I stood there waiting for the long line of cars to each pull up to the curb, unload their son or daughter, along with their luggage, and say goodbye for 18 months to 2 years. I was completely overcome with emotion as the reality of what these families were doing set in.”

saying goodbye to a missionary mtc

“These families, which come from all walks of life and arrive in anything from a beat-up mini-van to a $60,000 SUV, send their children off to unknown countries where they trudge through mud, eat bugs, and endure poor living conditions .”

As this brother silently watched each family say their goodbyes, one after another, after another – he felt the weight of their sacrifice.

Just wait until you drop him off at the MTC. That’s even harder.

His mind drifted and thought of those who have left the Church and those who are now ardent critics, and he wished at that moment they could be by his side.

“I wish I could go to those who have walked away from the Church, and those who are its ardent critics and say, “Come with me to the MTC on a Wednesday morning and let’s just watch. Let’s stand together and watch these families say goodbye to their sons and daughters.”

saying goodbye to a missionary mtc

“You mean to tell me you think these people are brainwashed? These individuals and families who in all other walks of life, in their education, in their careers, and in their communities are successful, smart, and industrious – you mean to tell me in this one area they are so ignorant and brainwashed that they would send away their sons and daughters?

Never. They would never do it.

But the reason they do allow their children to sacrifice two years of their lives is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.”

As this brother concluded his testimony, tears streamed down his face, and the hearts of those in the congregation burned as they felt the power of the image that had been painted in their minds and hearts.

The image of a young missionary slowly exiting a car with luggage in tow. The image of family hugs and tears being shared one last time. And the image of a missionary called of God, waving goodbye to his family as he turns his efforts to invite all to come unto Jesus Christ.

mtc critic

While the willingness of members to allow their children to serve missions isn’t proof of truth, the willingness to sacrifice for what you believe is an earmark of truth. However, there are many other earmarks that need to be present as well.

Many have responded to this article stating that some cultures have murdered their children because of what they feel is “truth”, which proves that sacrifice isn’t the only earmark of truth. That is a point that I totally agree with.

At the same time, we are comparing cultures who murder their children with Latter-day Saints who send off their children to serve and love their fellow man and bring souls unto Christ. Quite a different thing. Not to mention it is a mandate which Christ himself gave:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

missionary service mormons

God be thanked for the incredible mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who send off these dear missionaries to serve the Lord and their fellow men. What a beautiful legacy of faith that is the missionary service of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


52 thoughts on “A Message to the Most Ardent Critic of the Mormon Church

  1. We have experienced this (six of our own and now Grands and when we ourselves went as Senior couple) and yes indeed it is one of those teary, bitter/sweet moments—no Church video prepares you; BUT once those letters start (and now phone calls) coming! You settle down and when that missionary comes down the escalator returning home…………..there are no words, so the best I can do is JOY, Peace and LOve! just what the Savior taught fills your very being. To hear them express their love for the people they served, for the Lord, for other things that will forever influence their lives, even the very difficult moments, you know you would do it all over again. I have read some interesting comments in this and am sad people are so judgmental and/or miss the real message and/or have been told some very questionable stories. Most of what I have read are simple testimonies of the work of the Lord and humility to send and/or go………….It really isn’t that long;-) when it comes to the end, and one looks back it was a blink of the eye. I have a feeling that is how we will feel about mortal life when it comes to the end…Thankful, I am for my testimony of Jesus Christ and want to do all I can that others might have the same opportunity to learn and know for themselves His gospel is restored……………

  2. All the unbelievable people who posted, that are not of this faith, sheesh I would love to save you but reading all your dumb stupid words I gotta just watch ya all burn!!! I might have to join the Saints just because I know they are the only ones with the true Priesthood on this earth,,,

  3. Would someone who is brainwashed or part of a culture that brainwashes its peopleactually be able to recognize they are brainwashed from the inside lol? Nooooope…

  4. I wish all faiths didn’t have to endure ridicule and criticism from people. I wish that respect would over run all the bad an negative words that get shared about all religion. I wish people could live day to day and focus on how they are living their religion and be grateful at the end of the day for the blessing they received for being faithful to their religion or for just being a good person even if they serve no religion. Why does it matter which you choose? Why is it weird to some people that I can still love my neighbor even if they are not found the same religion I’m doing? Why when someone leaves a religion that they have spent most their life in do they degrade what they left and continue to poke and ridicule those that are still members? This goes for any religion. Why does it matter? There is so much going on in the world that needs more attention than how I or you are dedicating your faith in. In the end we will all eventually be in the next stage after death. Just enjoy this life while you are here. Focus on loving your family, being a hard worker, stopping to serve who may need help in your neighborhood, make memories and just be kind. Stop worrying about how everyone else is living. Stop worrying about what others might be thinking about you, stop trying to be one up on others and stop feeling like you need to put others down so you can feel better about yourself. Common sense tells
    Me the world isn’t going to get better but worse.
    Yes i am LDS and have sent out a missionary and its the hardest most beautiful thing and will do it again if my children continue to make choices on their own to serve. I love the LDS church and will continue to serve. #liveandletliveinpeace

  5. This article is meaningless as a demonstrative evidence for the Truth of LDS claims…. It is meaningless in terms of proving historic claim of the restoration or the validity of member testimonies – though such goodbyes are indeed emotional and heart-felt – that’s all they are. (I know, I watched 3 sons leave for missions) The strength, happiness, misery or wickedness of any particular member of any organization says absolutely NOTHING about the Truth of that organizational claims. Mormonism is a minority – far more – billions more, both religious and non religious, live lives of happiness, sacrifice and dedication.
    The trouble with living in the bubble of one sub-culture where the leadership keep telling you, you are ‘special’ and that your particular religion is indispensable for moral integrity and celestial standards, is that you actually come to believe it!

  6. I believe in the BoM, but not the LDS / Brighamite church.

    You have been oppressed by King Brigham.

    Mosiah (LDS 23:12-14) (RLDS 11:12-15)
    12 And now I say unto you, ye have been oppressed by king Noah, and have been in bondage to him and his priests, and have been brought into iniquity by them; therefore ye were bound with the bands of iniquity. 13 And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you. 14 And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.

  7. Drop your kid off for his/her trip to basic military training and, THEN talk to me about “service” and real sacrifices.

  8. Yeah, what Rex said. I was about to say the same thing. Many a young person have come back from those missions in terrible mental states. I have heard story after story of people who should have been sent home, but their mission president would not allow it. People have been raised in the MTC. And these young people are sent off to tell people things that they don’t even know the beginning of. Comparing to a suicide bomber may be strong, but the fruits are not all good…

  9. By their fruits…
    I invite the author and other members of the faith to open their eyes regarding this statement. The members see their fruits as being good but non-members see most of their fruits as being bad. People outside the church see the mormon’s high rates of depression, suicide, addiction, drug abuse, porn usage, combined with the horrible treatment of LGBT individuals and their elitist attitude and come to a much different conclusion about the fruits of the Mormon church. People outside the church say “by their fruits you shall know them…” with the conclusion being that the fruits are very bad.

  10. As stated in other comments, the author incorrectly relates devotion and truthfulness – this is a logical fallacy. Devotion and self-sacrifice may demonstrate a believer’s belief, not the validity of the belief itself.

  11. The central premise of the article is that ones devotion and sacrifice is indicative of truthfulness. This is simply false. No matter how strongly you believe in something or how much you are willing to sacrifice for it, that does not make it true.

    There are numerous religions throughout the course of history and currently in existence where members dedicate much more then Mormons do. According to the logic used in the article, a religion whose members dedicate and sacrifice everything they have must be part of the true religion. The more fanatic the members devotion, the more true the religion.

    The premise the author is using could be used to support the idea that the member truly believes the religion but not that the religion is true. Someone who makes this argument either hasn’t thought it through very far or is completely unaware of religious devotion throughout the world and throughout history.

  12. Baptism is the gate that leads to eternal life. It’s a beginning. I don’t think 8 is such a young age. No one is forced to get baptized at age 8. If someone chooses to wait, they can.

  13. Mayans literally sacrificed their family members…so by that logic we should really start living like Mayans again! Their testimonies were the strongest. I’m gonna go fetch my loin cloth. I went on a mission and this is a stupid argument to have made

  14. I hated this article so much. So many thoughts and… how do you believe and preach such mindless gibberish. I wish you would use the brain god gave you to think.

  15. The Saviour cut through all arguments of competing comparisons simply by stating “By their fruits ye shall know them” i.e whether they be true or false, good or bad, right or wrong. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a very fruitful vine and its produce is delicious.

  16. Thank you Nina! It was a great sacrifice to let your daughter serve and we are so glad you did it. We are thankful for your current service as well!

  17. At the time my daughter went on her mission my husband and I were not even members. I knew even then she was giving our Lord and Savior a chunk of her life to bring more people to him. We became members 10 yrs later and now totally understand why she felt the need to go. It was a rough time for me not being allowed to contact her except on Mondays. We are ward missionaries now. We love and respect our young people who chose to follow our Saviors steps.

  18. I went on a mission, I said goodbye to my family, and though it’s a sacrifice, it’s nothing like seeing a loved one to ear, or something like that. And yet, people do it all the time. And the Church of Scientology has lot of extremely successful members, but no one would say it’s not a horribly harmful cult. So yeah, poor arguments.

  19. This is a joke – I was a missionary. Not a member anymore. It’s a brainwash.

    Also every single church thinks their “the only true church on the earth today”.

  20. I am so thankful for parents who let their son’s and daughters go and serve a mission. If it was not for the parents letting their sons go on a mission I would not be in the church today. I am a recent convert to the church. I will be celebrating my 1 year baptismal anniversary on June 3rd, 2018. I love the elders that taught me the gospel. My life has been changed.

  21. Yes, it sounds like brainwashing, exactly, that parents would send their kids off this way, isolated from everything familiar, and out if communication.

  22. I’m sure parents of children being taken for human sacrifice in pre-Columbian societies knew their church was true too.

  23. The church is not true. We have been lying to the members for far too long. I am ashamed of what I have done, it is time to speak out and finally end the heartbreak that the church has caused families since it’s conception.

  24. This article is completely biased. The leaders of the church have time and again shown us that god is NOT the same yesterday, today and forever through constantly changing church policies when the church has pressure put on it by governments and social movements. Think that isn’t true? Why then have the teachings of so many past “prophets” been disavowed by the newer leadership? You can’t give me an explanation that holds water. Constantly being told that, “if you don’t have a testimony yet, just say the words over and over again and your “testimony” will be developed by the grace of god”, is in fact a real form of BRAINWASHING. Anyone can see the facts, a good place to start is CESLETTER.ORG. In this explanation is a very well put together and painstakingly accurate explanation of why so many have come to realize this. All information in this 100% cited from several articles on the official church website. If you really believe that the church is true 110%, then what have you got to lose? Go ahead, I dare you to read this book and continue to go to church.

  25. “You mean to tell me you think these people are brainwashed? These individuals and families who in all other walks of life, in their education, in their careers, and in their communities are successful, smart, and industrious – you mean to tell me in this one area they are so ignorant and brainwashed that they would send away their sons and daughters?” “Never. They would never do it.’— Yes, that is exactly what brainwashing is. You would do these things even if you are being lied to because you are being brainwashed… google the definition of brainwashing.

  26. Ridiculous logic in this article. It appeals to emotions only but there is nothing intelligent about it.

  27. Parents sacrificed their 12 and 14 year old daughters to Warren Jeffs to have had his 80+ wives so he could have sex with them against their wills. Does NOT make their religion true!!
    Parents the other day in Indonesia strapped bombs to their 8 year old daughter.
    Does NOT make their religion true!!
    This logic is so flawed….

  28. It was 6.30 a.m. My son, about to leave on his mission to Wisconsin and the MTC in Provo had come to the hospital to say good bye. I had leukaemia and my survival had been in the balance. Can you imagine our good byes? Yet we felt blessed and privileged. This was his choice and it was a prayer answered that he would serve. This was what he wanted because he had faith and a testimony. He had not been brainwashed. His father was less active. Missionary service had not been preached in our home, because father had not served. Our boy made his own choice, served faithfully and returned home with honour. These are the sacrifices people make because they love the Lord and want to share what they have.

  29. Its important to see what the beliefs of the LDS Church are and how they have impacted the lives of its members. I measure the correctness of a doctrine or principle by how it influences the behavior of those that believe them. Are they happier in their lives? Are they productive and positive influences in society? I can see how many of these people have. Missions have saved the lives of many youth, converting them to mature and family-oriented individuals, anchored on their faith in the living Christ. I have friends before who thought the Church was just another good church that teaches good morals. After i eventually joined many years after, i began to understand where the goodness is coming from. It is spiritually founded. Church doctrines to those who will carefully study them, would see the relevance and how they can impact our daily lives positively.

  30. I’ve been studying this for a few additional weeks, and I would like to redact my previous comment. Neither parents or their children are “brainwashed” (“brainwashing” wouldn’t be the term psychologists would use to describe the processes motivating this kind of action). Rather, this phenomenon is best explained by socialization. The well-respected psychologist of religion, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, explained:

    > Social learning, despite its seeming simplicity…remains the best explanation for most religious actions. It is the best explanation for the overall prevalence of religion, for individual religiosity, and for … the most dramatic of religious acts and movements. … The variety of religious traditions and the correspondence between the dominant tradition in the social environment and the religious beliefs of the individual are the most obvious proofs to the validity of the social learning approach, which is also able to explain what are considered intense religious experiences. Supernaturalism is inherently accessible, and children learn just one local version of it and in most cases become inexorably attached to it.

  31. I believe this church was true, because of the fact that I knew in my heart being raised in a church, that there was MORE, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterdays Saints, answer that feeling there is more that Heavenly Father has for us. This long for more was satisfied.

  32. Ahaha the antichrist that is a new one. The funny thing is that the Book of Mormon is filled with verses all about Christ and faith and it corresponds with the old and New Testament which every other church in the world uses. On top of that with the pearl of great price which is from Moses and then the doctrine and covenants it is filled with more verses of Christ. It is an arch pillar each part holds the other as strong foundation up the thing is I used to do as you are but I know now without a doubt the Book of Mormon is true yes some members have ventured away from the teachings but it is how you hold fast that matters and denying Christ is the last thing you want to do as it’s in alma and 3 nephi where Jesus Christ himself testified himself to the people that it is he that shook city’s into the ocean and caused fires and destruction and destroyed places now think of ancient history where is Pompeii where is city of atlantis it is in 3 nephi he says I smite them before my face for brig wicked now think about your hurricane Harvey and now Irma that is about to hit. All you critics that have walked away will face him and I know a lot of you have been to temples and taken covenants your wrath won’t be light. Yes I’m on probation but I do not judge you I just challenge you read from book of alma thru and then ponder it. But as for the antichrist your very wrong.

  33. Some still say the holicos is a fake, but it does not change the fact that it did happen. God the father and Jesus Christ did restore the fullness of the gospel and that fact cannot change just because some are not willing to ask god if it is true really wanting to know. All are promised to receive that knowledge if they truly want to know, l did and testify that it is true.

  34. Let`s dedicates our families for the work of God as this family did,
    for there will be a grate reward from God.

  35. Even though it’s been well over a decade since our son served his mission in Spain, I still recall the feelings and emotions we had when we dropped our son off at the MTC. So hard at first to realize he’d be gone for two years. But my wife and I were blessed in so many ways. The Lord’s spirit was with us like no other time. Our testimonies grew, and we felt peace. The Lord does bless the families of missionaries.

  36. We are just about to send our 6th of hopefully 8 Missionaries into the field. What a wonderful sacrifice (one could actually call it a Sacrament since it is so spiritually transcendent) to serve the Lord and invite others to “come unto Him”. They are truly The Best Two Years that will always be used a the benchmark for “Goodness and Love unfeigned” for the rest of our lives. The Church is true and everything that goes along with it.

  37. I am so grateful to the missionaries who taught my aunt and uncle, who then bore testimony to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the missionaries who taught and baptized me and gave me the Git of the Holy Ghost. They gave me my greatest eternal gift. Thank you Elders Jensen, Goates and Guymon. May the Lord bless you always.

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