Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Should Mission Presidents Attend Their Missionaries Weddings After Their Missions

Yesterday my oldest daughter Genevieve was married in the Salt Lake City Temple to Stuart Larsen. Both were returned missionaries my daughter served in Korea and he in Brazil. My wife and I are the only members of our family and both of us served mission. At the sealing and receptions we had no relatives other than our children. My oldest three daughters were all endowed as the oldest one had served in Korea Daejeon and was the one getting married, the second served in Italy Rome, and the third is leaving in three weeks for Taiwan Taipei.

My daughter and her financee invited their mission presidents and a few mission companions. Only my daughter's mission president was able to come as well as three of her companions. One of his companions came but not his mission president. Norman Nemrow and his wife Cindy came for the sealing and they would have stayed for the reception in the Joseph Smith Building but had he not had another sister missionary who was getting married and was making the effort to attend both driving immediately after to Midway for the other missionaries reception.

He told my wife that if possible he would attend all of his missionaries weddings and receptions since he loved everyone of his missionaries so much. He was a very kind and considerate man. He said many of his missionaries temporarily stayed with him and his wife when needed when they transitioned to their education in different places in Utah. He considered his missionaries like his own children.

I was very impressed with his love for his missionaries and his sacrifice of time, money to keep their bonds of friendship after their missions.

I understand the love of a missionary for his mission president. All the missionaries in my mission field loved our mission president so much that we wanted him to seal us as he was a general authority. Today the few that had him do it and a few that didn't ask him to do the dame for our children. He really can't because there are too many of us. Even though it is disappointing that he can't share our most precious moments we all realize how hard it is for him to make that happen because of the demands on his time from his own family and church duties. Even if a former mission president were not a general authority it would take a tremendous effort in time and money to attend the two or three hundred missionaries major life events.

I realize that not every missionary feels as close to their mission presidents as I or my daughter might and that only fifty percent might even invite him. It even gets more complicated when you have three mission presidents like I did. I think there are a lot of factors to consider if a mission president can or will attend their missionaries weddings. I think relationship is a primary factor. Also you need to be considerate of the man and his families circumstances. There are a lot of other factors that can be discussed.

I do know that when they attend it affirms their respect for you and show how much they value you. I don't think if they don't attend it says they don't but it sure made my daughter's event special that he loved her enough to be there. I sure was impressed.


Raymond Teodo a.k.a. was_bedeutet_jemanden said...

Thanks for sharing this! What a beautiful story! Well, for me, my mission president would have to travel half-way across the world in order to attend, so I wouldn't expect him to come. He's from Utah. I'm here in Brisbane. I can't even afford to make it over there for when they have their reunions, so I certainly don't expect him to come and visit me here!

Also, I wish your daughter (the one that's leaving on her mission soon), all the best! :-)

brandt said...

Here's a second huzzah to President Nemrow. I've never known a more thoughtful man, and it doesn't surprise me that he keeps tracks on his missionaries as well as he does.