As puny humans, we live in an immediate world. We are always instinctively looking now for the answers to current problems. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. If the house is on fire, the answer is to douse it with water now, after first evacuating your family and your computers.
The Lord however, sees across generations and millennia, and routinely warns us beforehand of difficult challenges on the horizon. He also offers us solutions if we are open to the concept of trusting him and his version of human development. We know, for example, that a little less than 1600 years ago, the prophet Mormon, through revelation, saw our day and offered divine counsel on meeting our challenges. An even more relevant example would be the Proclamation to the World on the Family. How many of us 16 years ago saw today’s assault on the divine definition of marriage between a man and a woman and realized that the Proclamation’s message was preparing us to be ideologically armed for the current struggle?
The Mormon Third Eye is adopting this same approach to attaching significance to the recent policy change allowing young women to serve missions at age 19. The common short view applied to the utility of this major policy change is that the Lord is hastening his work, and to a lesser extent, focusing more on harnessing the spiritual power naturally evident in the hearts and testimonies of the women of the church. While this is no doubt right and true, the Mormon Third Eye looks farther into the future and assesses a more long-term unintended but wholly appropriate consequence- the strengthening of marriages and families.
Here is how it works. When I was prowling the sacred halls of BYU over thirty years ago hunting for a worthy wife to share the rest of my life with, one quality high on the checklist was service as a fulltime missionary. I reasoned that marriage to a complete stranger of the really opposite sex would be difficult enough on its own, and so it was critical that my future mate and I possessed shared experiences acting as spiritual “currency” in correctly communicating on relationship issues of profound importance. I was certain that I would instinctively have more in common with a returned sister missionary, so I married my wife after she returned from serving a mission in the Dominican Republic.
Applying that same logic to today’s new missionary policies, I wonder if the Lord knew that many future families would be challenged by immense financial, cultural, and moral pressures designed to pull them apart? I wonder if he knew that some of tomorrow’s marriages might need the currency of service as a fulltime missionary to stay united and strong? Imagine armies of valiant returned sister missionaries strengthening husbands and children with their experiences! I wonder if the Lord knew that some of tomorrow’s families might better endure the stormy seas of debt, immorality, worldliness, and sanctioned selfishness led by a team of returned missionaries?
The Mormon Third Eye contends that He did. And so He inspired a generation of current church leaders to counsel together and receive revelation on promoting missionary service among young women of the church. Certainly this is one splendid side effect available to young women who freely choose to serve a mission. And we thought it was merely about “hastening the work…”