HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD GET MARRIED OR GO ON A MISSION?
You must seek a confirmation from the Spirit that your choice is acceptable to the Lord. He may counsel you not to serve. He may ask you to go, leaving behind a marriage possibility that may not be there when you return but please know that the Lord knows the end from the beginning.
When Jesus visited Mary and Martha in their home, Martha was concerned about the chores and serving her Lord while Mary worried more about learning at His feet. Both were important things, but the Savior answered Martha that her sister had chosen the one thing which was needful, the good part. We will realize that even the Savior asked us to analyze our activities and choose what is best. If we apply this idea to our personal lives, we must be prayerful about which is the “good part” for us.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks offered the following counsel. “Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.”1
Not every person has the difficult decision of choosing between a mission and marriage. As you search out what the Lord wants you to do, you also need to weigh the options out in your mind. When looking at serving a mission or getting married, both of those things are good. Getting married is something we are all asked to do if the right opportunity presents itself. Going on a mission is a commandment to the young men of the Church but is left up to the young women to decide for themselves. You must then determine if either of these things are a commandment in your life.
If you serve a mission, is your marriage opportunity going to be eradicated? Is this person someone you want to spend eternity with and know that they honor God first and foremost? Have you discussed the possibility of marriage a little farther down the road?
On one hand, missionary service is excellent marriage preparation and the blessings that come from it will continue throughout your life, but it isn’t the only preparation for marriage and source of blessings. Serving a mission is a wonderful way to develop faith, learn the doctrines of the gospel and share its message with others, but missionary service isn’t the only way to increase faith, learn and share.
I have seen a maturity in some people that I seriously lacked at the same age. I personally needed to go on a mission so that I could continue to grow into the woman I needed to become before I could enter into marriage. Some people are already prepared for that union.
Once you have studied everything out in your heart, looked at all options and discussed the pros and cons with anyone else who might be affected by this decision, you must seek a confirmation from the Spirit that your choice is acceptable to the Lord. He may counsel you not to serve. He may ask you to go, leaving behind a marriage possibility that may not be there when you return but please know that the Lord knows the end from the beginning. He knows where you will grow the most and do the most good. Trust in His answers as you seek His will. You will see the wisdom of His guidance in time.