A few days ago, I put out a quick survey for one of my classes. The purpose of the assignment was to collect information that we could use to prepare a persuasive speech. The topic I chose concerned the LDS culture and how we talk about missions and unintentionally (hopefully never intentionally) disaffect those who have chosen not to serve or have returned early from a “full-time mission.” Before I continue, I would like to say that by no means do I think it is a bad thing to talk about a mission and the blessings gained from it. I just know that there is moderation in all things and sometimes people may tend to overglorify it and rely on their experiences too much rather than continue to create new experiences.
I didn’t expect much of a response after I put the survey out; after all, it was a school survey. But within a few days, I was overwhelmed as dozens of responses continued to come in. I asked 6 simple questions with a short, free response at the end (some of the free responses are quoted and interspersed throughout the article). The answers given were somewhat surprising and disheartening. Although I didn’t originally intend to share what I collected, I felt that I needed to share the information and hopefully raise awareness to an issue that is likely being caused unintentionally.