I was intending to throw this up at Blogger of Jared, but they appear to be down. So, while Conner and Eric give that blog a healing blessing of some sort, I thought I’d ask for input here. Besides, now that Geoff has turned the corner, and this is no longer the speculative theology blog, but just another general mormonalia blog, perhaps this is as good a home as any.
So, I ask you, will you serve a Senior mission? Why or Why not?
I committed to do so as I began my own Junior mission years ago, but as time has gone on, I am less sure I will be able to keep that commitment. As I see it, there are three requirements to be a senior missionary.
I have the desire (at 29, and only 5 years after returning from my first mission, this is not hard.) but I have no idea about the health issue and the third factor plays closely into it, and I am very skeptical that I will ever have the wealth to retire, or take even a 1 year hiatus from Work.
And as for Desire Health and Wealth, those who have the desire to serve are typically better in health than those who do not have the desire to serve. Those who have the health to serve are younger or have had better medical care, and thus have been better at gaining wealth to serve. So, in a way, desire and health are both connected to whether we have the wealth to serve. So it boils down to our capability to get gain.
Now, I am not going to inherit millions, I’m not good looking enough or talented enough for movies or sports, and in this post modern world, so If I want to be a senior missionary, two options are available.
The harder one is to dedicate my current whole life to getting rich, and divert all my energy through this. The problem here is that many I know who have done this have ended up falling away from the church due to an eventual degradation of standards that comes along with focusing on finances and not people.
The easier option and the one with the highest probability of having the wealth to retire and serve enjoyable missions, it seems, are those who go into the military or some other form of government job where retirement or pension is available. For those of us hoping our 401K is going to pan out, there certainly are no guarantees that our health is going to be sufficient to go hang around in India, Africa, or some other third world opportunity when we are 65+ years old.
Now you may say to yourself, c’mon Matt, the military doesn’t pay anything! You’re right, but being in 20 years, you get more than enough (The most expensive senior missions I have seen are $4500 a month in London, but the ones in Argentina are less than 1k a month for the couple) to serve a full-time mission without worrying about eating after the mission, and you are senior mission eligible at or before age 50 instead of 65….
So, my last question is this: If I really want to be a senior missionary, should I quit working in the private sector, suck it up, and join the Army? Or am I not really desirous to be a missionary because I am not willing to “pay the price” to get there?
Maybe I should have titled this post, How much Cash does a Man Need?