Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


return missionaries, judgment, mission

Document Type



In 2002, my world changed when my oldest son returned home from his mission after only a few months. I was stunned and bewildered, and I had no idea what I should do. This is not something I knew how to prepare for. The idea of an early return never occurred to me. My son seemed to do just fine in his adjustment; I was the one who struggled with grief and loss. I mourned the spiritual experiences he would not have and the growth he would not gain. What made it worse was that I knew only one other young man who had returned early, and his parents moved away shortly afterwards, so I felt alone. Few friends talked with me about it. My ward family said little. Some of those who ventured to say anything at all said hurtful things in the awkwardness of the situation. In the absence of knowing how to handle such a tender topic and trying to avoid aggravating the pain, most said nothing at all.