Subject: question for returned missionaries
Date: Mar 20 10:03
Author: Dent
Mail Address:

Now that you know the truth about the church are you still glad you went on a mission? I realize you feel like you were brainwashed into teaching people, but what about the things you did learn such as a language, how to work, how to get along with people etc. Would you be where you are today if you hadn't gone?

I was curious because I am glad I went on a mission. If I hadn't I don't know if I would have gone to college, I wouldn't have gone down any successful path. I had a lot of good experiences with people, and learned some discipline. I was just wondering if most of you were angry that you wasted two years or feel you are better off for going.

Subject: waste of my time
Date: Mar 20 10:07
Author: rm
Mail Address:

I feel as though I lied through my teeth the entire time, but family pressures kept me from coming back home any sooner than the full two years.

Subject: Re: waste of my time also but...
Date: Mar 20 10:25
Author: TAK
Mail Address:

The one good this thing to come out of it, is that my parents/family know - that I know and understand what the church is about and that my leaving is a result of that knowlege. I know what it teaches and believes and have rejected it as being false.

It make them second guessing my decision more difficult, than if I left without any real understanding of the religion.

Subject: wasted more than 2 years
Date: Mar 20 14:43
Author: willie nelson
Mail Address:

I had friends who told me, at age 18, that I would be wasting my life. I was defensive, and I refused to consider it. At times on my mission, out of frustration, I thought I was wasting my time. Now that I am a lot older, not only do I consider the 2 years a waste, a horrible waste of precious 19-21 years, but I also realize that the mission set me on a path that wasted an additional 15 years until I came to my senses. So, yes, the mission was indeed a monumental and sad waste of my life. Just as it is a waste of life for thousands of young people. Damn those old men.

Subject: I'm glad I went
Date: Mar 20 10:16
Author: brainbutter
Mail Address:

I grew, learned, matured...and if I hadn't gone, I'm pretty sure I'd still be a morgbot today. Looking back, the window of opportunity that let me escape the morg was only open because of the combination of many factors that happened just at the right place at the right time. without the mission, it's hard to image how else it would have happened for me.

Subject: It was worthwhile for me....
Date: Mar 20 10:20
Author: lump
Mail Address:

I gained a lot from my mission. I learned a language. I learned how to get along with others. I overcame a serious shyness condition. I met a lot of great people and saw part of the world I hadn't seen.

Having said all of that, I would just as soon my sons and grandsons did not serve.

Subject: Definitely
Date: Mar 20 11:02
Author: Peekay
Mail Address:

I didn't at all enjoy preaching and teaching - not in the slightest. But I enjoyed my mission (to Japan) otherwise. I made friendships that continue to this day. I learned a language that has been valuable to me in my work. Most of all, I saw for myself that people could be good human beings without having Mormonism, or any form of Christianity, in their lives. It was a real eye opener, and I think it was my first step away from the fraud of religion.

Subject: Let me think about that...
Date: Mar 20 11:15
Author: Hmmmm
Mail Address:

Just like a lot of trials in life, I'm glad it's over, but I can see some growth from it.

Like Brainbutter, I think I still might be a morgbot if I hadn't served. I've seen a few people like that - always trying to make up the lost opportunity.

Subject: It's an experience I'm glad to have had . . .
Date: Mar 20 11:20
Author: Schweizerkind

and-wouldn't-repeat-for-a-million-bucks-ly yours,


Subject: Re: question for returned missionaries
Date: Mar 20 11:41
Author: passing through
Mail Address:

I wish I hadn't gone.
I would be better off today if I hadn't.
The only two days of my mission I enjoyed were the summer zone conference where we got to play football.
I learned a lot of things, but I doubt many are beneficial, useful, or practical.

I was an obedient puppet.

Subject: Mixed feelings...
Date: Mar 20 12:19
Author: Justanotherexmo
Mail Address:

Given the position I was in at the time, I came back a better and more mature person than I started out as, and that's not a bad thing. I wonder where I might have ended up if not for my mission, and I can't see a whole lot of plus side.

On the other hand, it was mostly a waste, especially of hard-earned money, and I could have no doubt gained that same maturity and better experience to boot, had I done something else productive in those same two years.

Mostly, I guess, I just consider the past over and done with, and we can't really predict what would happen otherwise. I'm happy with who I am today, and that's a product of my past, which includes my mission, so I can't really say I have big regrets about that.

Subject: I guess I'm glad I went...
Date: Mar 20 12:58
Author: Sister Stricht

I did a lot of personal growing and maturing that I sorely needed at the time, so for where I was in my life right before I went on my mission, it was a decent choice in that respect. I learned a lot of practical skills around how to take care of myself, and did a lot of 'finding myself' and learning just what my priorities were.

Granted, I could have learned those same lessons elsewhere, but in hindsight everything's clearer, isn't it? I know that there were some positives in there, and since at this point I can only speculate where I would or wouldn't be had I not gone, it's hard to know what would have been better or worse.

I got to meet a lot of great people in the church and outside of it. Got to meet a lot of assh*les and learned how to deal with them, too (also both within and outside of the church). Came away with a killer reciepe for tomato sauce :-) Had some great companions.

I guess I feel mostly positive towards the experience. I view it mostly as water under the bridge. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone now, but at the time and for who I was, it worked for me.


Subject: Mixed feelings also
Date: Mar 20 13:09
Author: jolimont

I'm not angry about my mission but had I known what I know now I wouldn't have gone. My opinion today is that proseletizing of any kind is wrong and preys on the weak. Were I to have any contact with the folks who got baptized through my efforts I would apologize to them and ask them to consider the church on its merits, not on the warm fuzzies I created for them. I loved London, though, and learned a lot from talking to British people, so that part I don't regret.

Subject: Re: question for returned missionaries
Date: Mar 20 14:29
Author: minasdad

It is very interesting that you posed this questions as I was just thinking about it last night.

No, I do not regret going on the mission. While I despise the church now, I did learn a language and eventually spent many years there and now that experience is really paying in my business life. I addition while I was working in that country I met my wife and now I have a beautiful wife and duaghter.

Subject: You wouldn't have gone down any successful path?
Date: Mar 20 14:44
Author: Wow
Mail Address:

Sounds to me like you've still got some breaking away to do. Good grief, give yourself some credit. This sounds like the brainwashing the church does to get it's young men to serve missions. I've actually heard mormons say that young men will not be successful unless they serve a mission. How insane.

Did you learn some things? I hope so, at least so it wasn't a total waste of time and money. But was a mission the direct reason you are successful in life? Give me and yourself a break.

Subject: If I'd gone anywhere else...
Date: Mar 20 14:49
Author: v
Mail Address:

I'd probably consider it a waste of time. I was called, however, to the Netherlands, where my grandfather was born. I learned the language, the culture, met some relatives and had a blast. With the majority of Dutch being athiest (according to the Microsoft atlas) I didn't have any success converting people, so I have no regrets there, either...

Subject: I feel the same ambivalence that others have alluded to....
Date: Mar 20 15:00
Author: Sylvain Pitiot some of the posts above. On one hand, I learned to speak Chinese, which was valuable both in itself and in that it has made the study of other languages easier for me (i.e., I "learned how to learn" a foreign language). I had a truly shitty draft lottery number, so my 4-D "ministerial deferment" kept my sorry ass out of Vietnam. I acquired such a strong taste for other peoples, cultures, and worldviews that it became almost inevitable that I would eventually jettison the whole absurd notion of there being one universal and immutable truth that would apply to every person in the world. My great passion for travel, while likely to have been born at some point, was developed relatively early in my life as a result of going on a mission to Hong Kong at 19.

On the other hand, how can I be proud of having sold people (only a few, thank goodness, as high baptism numbers were not the norm in my mission) a fictional/mythological belief system? It also put me at least two years behind my never-Mo peers in terms of discovering and indulging in the pleasures of the flesh (though I spent the next decade-and-a-half feverishly trying to catch up).

Subject: My mission sucked
Date: Mar 20 15:58
Author: someone
Mail Address:

Oh sure, I met some nice people, and I overcame some serious shyness. But there was a LOT of pressure on us to baptise and we had a very low baptismal rate. Baptism was said to equal righteousness and the quota was extremely unrealistic. Some of the stuff said by the GA and mission pres was truly destructive to us, if we took them seriously, and as a young man who was as true believing as they came, I swallowed it hook line and sinker and suffered for years afteward as I tried to come to grips that everyone in my mission was a failure, including me and that we were all going to be accountable for that failure in this life (baptisms= success or failure after mission) and in the next. I cannot think of one positive thing from my mission that could not have been learned in a better environment doing something truly of value to mankind, like serving in the peace corps, volunteering at the homeless kitchen, becoming a big brother, helping teach english or reading to immigrants, or any other dozens of things. On the other hand, I doubt that I would have ever done any of those things anyway. But I still consider my mission a bad spot in my life. Another side point- the entire focus of my family and church leaders to me as a teen was that I needed to focus on going on a mission and everything else would work out. Considering what the heck I was going to do with my life afterward was never given much thought or emphasis. THAT was a mistake that cost me several years after my mission.

Subject: I can relate
Date: Mar 23 10:56
Author: backslider
Mail Address:

I feel very much like you do. The mission wrecked my self confidence. I am still recovering and it's been almost 20 years now. The only positive thing I can think of is if it is the determining factor in my leaving the morg. Although attending BYU runs a close second if it's not a tie.

Subject: Definitely a plus for me; I learned___________
Date: Mar 20 16:29
Author: Lurker 2
Mail Address:

some personal discipline, some good work habits, how to make friends and very importantly, that others had beliefs which were just as important to them as mine were to me - even if I did have buoyant doubts about them.

Subject: I have mixed feelings about it also
Date: Mar 20 17:18
Author: Born Again Pagan
Mail Address:

If I knew then what I know now I would not have gone. I am glad I went to the Amazon. It was hard to get used to at first but experiencing the culture, learning the language, and living on my own was worth it. On the other side I would have been done with school by now, and the two years in the equitorial son did a number on my skin. I had to get some precancerous spots removed and I have to keep getting checked for them. That is why I have mixed feelings about the experience.

Subject: It was definitely an opportunity for a small town kid to
Date: Mar 20 21:55
Author: Dark Sparks

see something WAY different than I had ever known...climate, culture, food, hospitality, extreeme poverty.

It was a great opportunity to go abroad considering my circumstance.

But the peace corp would have been much more helpful to the people and I am sure much more fulfulling to me personally.

Brainwashing cannot be good, and I was definitely brainwashed for a long long time. The experience of going on a mission was no miracle for me. The miracle was that I ever saw my way out of the Morg.

Subject: It was a good, worthwhile experience....
Date: Mar 23 11:39
Author: D. Perkins
Mail Address:

and I'm glad I went. I had my doubts, even while I was on my mission (New England), and ultimately rejected (and resigned from) the LDS Church. But to some extent, the experience offered by a religious mission is unique, and I returned to college at BYU a more mature, serious person in possession of certain lifeskills I lacked prior to going. There were, of course, lots of other activities I could have benefitted from other than an LDS mission, but the experience was nevertheless a positive one.

Subject: My 18 months of hell were worth it. I have my autographed ABBA LP. nt
Date: Mar 20 22:05
Author: Doug
Mail Address:


Subject: I'm TOO jealous!!! Which one? nt
Date: Mar 23 13:14
Author: Afx
Mail Address:


Subject: Glad I went. It helped me "see the light." nt
Date: Mar 20 22:25
Author: Cezoram
Mail Address:


Subject: Because I went to Japan, alls good. Had it been a bread basket state, I'd be pissed. nt
Date: Mar 20 22:46
Author: Shaggy
Mail Address:


Subject: Great experience with few regrets
Date: Mar 20 22:47
Author: JayT
Mail Address:

I fell in love with the European culture and had a wonderful experience overall. However, I wish I had slept-in more without the guilt (I was always tired from all the tracting), and had taken the whole thing less seriously.

Subject: Re: question for returned missionaries
Date: Mar 21 10:21
Author: Franz
Mail Address:

It was a horrible experience. I worked mostly with good people, actually, but the system is broken and takes advantage of naive kids. I would have been better off had I not gone. Still, I have made some sort of peace with it all and I have moved on. I realize that I tried to do what I thought was right at the time. As far as skills, I did learn a language, but that's about all.

Subject: Re: question for returned missionaries
Date: Mar 23 01:49
Author: randy
Mail Address:

I'm glad I got to see another country, learn another language, see how people lived there actually being in their homes, that is what I remember most. The 'work' was a waste but mostly we just talked to people and listening to their stories was invaluable and mind-expanding for the sheltered naive kid that I was.

It's funny how even with the all parts of the world and ways of living that missionaries are exposed to, the church remains so narrow and conservative. I think the problem is that most of them go overseas with a colonial arrogance and so often don't bring anything of value back.

Subject: tough question
Date: Mar 23 10:49
Author: backslider
Mail Address:

I have mixed feelings about this and it's been almost 20 years now. I have fond memories of the country, South Korea, but feelings of inadequacy still effect my life. I wonder if I'd have left the church without the missionary experience where I learned the guy behind the curtain is the wizard and just a con-man. It was a learning experience. But was it worth it? I don't know, but I'd sure like to have that time back and not go. Hindsight is 20/20.

Subject: I have mixed emotions about my mission as I come to understand the gray...
Date: Mar 23 12:45
Author: nwguy
Mail Address:

Similar to other life experiences, I've come to realize both the positive and the negative aspects of my mission experience.

The positives for me include developing fluency of a foreign language (german), living abroad for 2 years, learning a second culture, developing some strong friendships, seeing some fanstatic art and architecture. I also learned some sales skills, developed strong studying habits that served me well in helping achieve undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The negatives? mindless tracting, overwhelming guilt and pressure about succeeding as a missionary, never knowing if I was good enough in the eyes of god, jerk companions, pompous zone leaders, tracting in the rain and snow, slammed doors, oh and the mindfuck experience from reading von harrison's 'drawing on the powers of heaven'.

On balance: I'd have to say the experience was more positive than negative. Would I do it again knowing what I know today? Probably not.

Subject: loved it!
Date: Mar 23 14:29
Author: carmella
Mail Address:

I loved my mission! I got to learn a new language, eat wierd food, live in run down apartments and sleep on a cement floor. I met some great people (even married one of them). My only regret is that I didn't spend all my time in pure service and not all the proselyting bs.

Subject: It was more than a waste of time, it was suffocating
Date: Mar 23 15:37
Author: heimatlos

I was engaged to the man I still love and am married to. I was thinking about going on a mission while he was also going but for different reasons I decided not to go. Then the stakepresidents councilor came to our branch and talked to me. He wouldnŽt take no for an answer. And I was young and not very selfconfident.
So I went. I worked as hard as possible, but never felt good enough. I was depressed many times, still working any way.I lost weight, and I didnŽt need to at all.I felt suffocated of not being allowed to leave my companions side and not being allowed to read other books than the scriptures and Jesus the Christ.
I had some nice companions and some good expieriences with investigators and members.But the companion I was 5 months with was very emotional abusive. When I took a just 10 minutes walk around the block to get away from her, she called the mission president. I had trusted him and thought he liked me, but he told her I was immature and threatened my dishonorable release, and that just 5 days before I was sceduled to go home.
My future husband and I had used up all our money that we had worked for ourselves for the mission. When we got married 3 weeks after I got home. We only had the money for a 20$ wedding-rings. The jeweler told the salesassistent, who wanted to be nice to us, not to put them in a box because they were just friendship-rings.(Well it was quite allright. The friendship-marriage still lasts, and that is already 18 years. And we are still wearing the same rings.)
Anyway that time just before I went home I felt used and disappointed. And the best I could say afterwards to myself, was that I survived.
The church got afterwards another 9 years time and money out of me and is still getting ist out of my husband. Now my eldest son is preparing to go on a mission in a few years. I just hope heŽll have a better time than I had or still better heŽll change his mind.

Subject: to top
Date: Mar 23 18:13
Author: topper
Mail Address:


Subject: I wouldn't have met my wife. I'm 15 years ex-mo and don't regret
Date: Mar 23 18:22
Author: GregInLA
Mail Address:

going on my mission. I learned Spanish and got to know the wonderful people and culture of Argentina.


3. Mormon Missions - regrets?      

29. Missionaries Were Here 

39. Missionary and Death of a Parent 

50. Missionaries Use Manipulation 

74. Missionary Companions

76. Crazy Mission Rules 

85. Regrets of LDS Mission II 

 94. New Missionary Standards

99. Missionary Farewells 

120 Missions Promote Lying 

116 Met with Missionaries

142 Regrets Mormon Mission III

151  Saying  'No' to Mormon Missionaries 

154  European Mission Experiences

181  1st Presidency on Missionary Work

205  Missions - Future Apostasy 

209  Control at the MTC 

214  Breaking Mission Rules 

241  Suicides after a Mission 

244  Some Mission Rules 

257  Mormon Grandparents are Stalkers

289 Not Allowed to Serve a Mission

298  Mormon Malignancy Seen in Missions

299 "Get the Fire" PBS Film - Missionaries

309  Happy that Your Mission was Finally Over?

328 Mormon Parents Rat on Missionary Son

361  Missionaries Pressured to Marry Soon after Missions

364 Breakdown of a Mormon Missionary in Japan

404  Missionary Program and Immigration Fraud

395 More Mormon Missionary Abuse

425  More on Mormon Missionary Abuse II

431 More on Mormon Missionary Abuse III

454  Depression and Mormon Missions

477  A Missionary's Food Budget is Reduced to $130/mo

522.  Nightmares of Being Called to a Second Mission 555  Japan Mission under Groberg - a Cruel Experiment



Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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