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Posted by: Silence is Golden ( )
Date: November 26, 2023 10:24PM

Went to a missionary farewell. As I arrived my wife reminded me to put my tie on, then I thought to myself, why? So I did not. I wore one of my work suits, with a dark blue shirt. Nobody seemed to notice, nor care. The meeting lasted 65 minutes, three speakers, and one musical presentation. Overall it was bland. But I noticed the following.

Missionary was putting a business he had started on hold to go on his mission, "Because it was the right thing to do."

Missionary was going stateside, so he had been sitting for 8 hours a day being taught by a computer connection. He had been set apart, wore a suit, and the all ever so present pocket nametag. I asked him when he was leaving which is mid-week, so I figure two weeks of on line training and he shows up at the airport to fly out. His bedtime and time getting up was already determined, as well as when he was allowed to eat. So he was expected to follow the church rules the minute he was set apart as a missionary.

Missionary has been in a high TBM area all his life, I have no doubt that his experience in California will be educating for him.

He mentioned one item that caught my attenton from his 8 hour daily training. He said that he had been taught that in order for him to feel the spirit, he had to abandon all thoughts of the outside world and only listen to church leadership.

The other two talks were assigned by the bishopric, and had nothing to do with the missionary, or the subject of a mission. They were focused on following Christ and Gods Commandments.

The last talk went on and on about how we are tested in this life, and without the church we would all be lost and under the influence of satan. The speaker then spoke about Alma and the wicked king Noah in the BOM and how good overcomes evil. I knew that it was a fabricated story, but the speaker was absolutely sure it was all true. The speaker also went on and on about how JS was human, but he had found a way to conquer his human side and become a great leader. I thought to myself that the speaker would probably have a heart attack if information about JS and his multiple wifes was presented, or that the BOM was actually written by staring at a rock in a hat. Even though all factual information is available about the real JS, it was obvious this speaker had not moved outside the confines of the LDS bubble.

When it was all over, I felt sad. There is so much more to life than fear of Gods judgement, and so much more to accomplish and grow from over a controlling religion. But overall it really did not bother me much. I knew I was out, and I knew LDS Corp no longer has any control over me. So overall it did not really upset me at all. I guess that is the best part, it just did not cause me any great upset.

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Posted by: Nevermish ( )
Date: November 27, 2023 07:50AM

This seems similar to what I've heard recently. The missionaries now do a lot of training on Zoom or whatever before even heading into the MTC. Very different experience to yesteryear. I think they're expected to spend a lot of time on social media (Salt Lake is fixated on Facebook, so mostly on there. I don't think they use other platforms nearly as much.)

I don't think they go round people's homes half as much as they used to. I also barely see them outdoors like I used to.

One of my friends was moaning about this to me because his already near-shut-in son was being forced to stay in his bedroom staring at a computer screen all day. Whatever you think of Mormon missions, that doesn't really prepare you for working the street.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: November 27, 2023 10:06AM

First, parents are paying their first supplemental support (500) to the church but keeping their missionary sons and daughters at home. This means that the family is still absorbing the cost to keep their missionaries at home, but with the stipulation that the missionary in training follow a daily routine. And I don't think their mission advisors (or trainers- I haven't a clue as to what the church calls them) who are monitoring the zoom want to see missionaries wolfing down pop-tarts while conducting themselves as representatives of Christ.

Secondly, the church has learned the hard way since the 2000s that the younger people are tethered to their phones and devices. The church has (reluctantly) had to revamp how they train missionaries. They have to allow young people to use their phones and tablets. Otherwise, they experience some sort of emotional shock if being disconnected.

Speaking of how missionary farewells, it used to be the only time the ward actually had an opportunity to hear certain members speak. To my knowledge, my dad only spoke twice in sacrament meeting. Once at my farewell (and he was pretty teary eyed and shook up) and the other time was when he was called as the 2nd assistant of the high priest group.

I think it's disappointing that the church no longer encourages the family to speak, but assigns mundane topics like following the profit and keeping the commndments.

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