Thursday, January 16, 2014

Being Endowed While Still in High School

Since the minimum age to go on a mission was lowered for young men to 18, I have been asked at least twice about how I view high school students going through the temple in preparation for leaving on a mission.  Obviously, this applies to the ones who are 18 before they graduate and are trying to leave as soon after graduation as possible. 

In general, I don't like the idea for young men in the United States, but I'm willing to accept exceptions. It's not so much the age factor as it is their place and role in the society in which we live while in high school. I also believe that there is time, no matter the circumstances, for young men to graduate from high school and then attend the temple prior to leaving on a mission.  I don't see any need to rush that process for almost every individual preparing for a mission. 

Having said that, we had neighbors growing up who were best friends of my parents. They were wonderful people and great parents. They got married in the temple when he was 23 and she was 16. She dropped out of high school to get married in the temple.

Without knowing that particular couple, I would have opposed that situation passionately - and, in general, I do oppose it. Knowing them, however, I am open to exceptions.


Heather said...

My husband turned 19 while in his Senior Year of High School. So the day after graduation he went to the Temple and then a few weeks later he was on his mission. He says that he did not remember much of the Temple that day. It was all a blur, and coupled with being really tired from the graduation party the night before. I think that waiting until after graduation forces the individual to rush the process. It is more like checking off an item on the to do list. I would rather see them have the opportunity to savor the experience. I see our Youth doing amazing things. I think it is truely something that has to be decided on an individual basis, according to each persons unique set of circumstances.

Papa D said...

I agree, Heather, that the day after graduation is not the best time, either. I think we tend to focus too much on going right right at 19 (or, now, immediately after graduation), when there is no harm whatsoever in going a month or two after graduation, for those who are old enough.

There is a huge difference between waiting for a year or two after graduation (even though that absolutely is the best option for some young men and women) and leaving within a month or two (or three of four).

It's not a particular time frame that concerns me at all, since the best time frame will vary for each missionary (as you said); what concerns me is rushing a process that shouldn't be rushed.