Sacrificing Two Years

LDS Church Members Decide to Go on a Church Mission Rather Than Going to College


Janae Schmidt


Most seniors right about now are applying to colleges and making plans for after high school. But members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have the chance to go on missions to share their faith at the ages 19 and 18. Boys are able to leave at age 18, but girls must be 19. Girls serve for a long 18 months, and boys serve for an even longer two years (24 months).

In order to leave on a mission, they must fill out their mission papers and send them to the church headquarters. After a few weeks they get a letter in the mail with their mission call which says where they will be serving and when they will leave. They can be called to go anywhere in the world and to speak any language. It’s the boys’, or girls’ choice when they submit their papers and when they feel ready to go.

This creates a difficult choice for boys who turn 18 during their senior year. They could leave right out of high school, or they could go to college for a year beforehand. Either way, they postpone their schooling for the sole purpose of sharing their beliefs around the globe.

When asked how to make this decision, senior Ryley Dyson said,“It’s better to go out and serve people, rather than focusing on myself.”

“You just know it’s the right thing to do,” said senior Noah Dyson who plans to leave right out of high school.

He wants to go right out of high school instead of doing a year of school first because “there are more distractions at college and you need to be focused.”

It used to be the “norm” for boys to go to a year of school first because up until 2012, boys had to be 19 to leave and girls had to be 21. In October of 2012 the church lowered the eligible age to 18 for boys and 19 for girls.

Matt Ford, another senior boy said, “I plan to go to a summer term of school first, then go on my mission because it’s good to get out of the house for a little bit first. After your mission you are a better student.”

He made the choice to go on a mission rather than school because, “it’s a good experience to serve, travel, and talk about what you love with people.”

It’s hard for these boys and girls to leave their life behind, go to a foreign state or country and do something they’ve never done before. Missions are hard work. They serve others everyday, do their best to share their religion with others and sacrifice two years of their lives for something bigger and more important.