After Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, Adam offered the firstlings of their flocks unto the Lord. An angel appeared to Adam and asked him why he was offering sacrifices. “ . . .And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me,” (Moses 5:6). Adam didn’t know why he was offering these animals, only that he had been commanded to do so. Adam was willing to be obedient even when he didn’t understand why.
One year, my father presented my mother with diamond stud earrings. Since they were a young couple, they couldn’t really afford such an extravagant gift, but he wanted to give my mom something special. Not too long after that, my father was killed in an automobile accident. Those earrings became a symbol of a love and marriage that was tragically cut short.
A few years later, my mother let a neighbor pierce my ears. The neighbor marked my ears and then took a needle and thread and pierced my ears. Again, my small family was forever changed when my mother passed away.
As I grew into a teenager, the holes in my ears became uneven. I didn’t want my earrings to look off-balance so my grandmother allowed me to have them pierced again. Since I then had two holes in my ears, I chose to wear one of my mother’s diamond studs in one ear and gave the other stud to my sister to wear.
I wore my mother’s diamond stud earring for years and years in addition to another pair of earrings. I never removed my mom’s earring because it was symbolic to me and very sentimental. One day, I listened to President Hinckley as he reiterated the counsel about body piercings. He asked that we only wear one pair of earrings. I was torn. I reasoned that it was such a small earring; no one would know the difference. I also believed that wearing that one earring would not change my testimony or cause me to fall away from the church. I could absolutely justify wearing my mom’s earring, until I realized it was really a question of obedience.
Was I willing to be obedient even though I didn’t understand or necessarily agree? Would an earring really stop me from progressing? I decided to remove the earring in hopes of helping me become more obedient in other things.
Just as Adam was obedient, so must missionaries be obedient to the Lord by obeying the mission rules. Some of the rules may not make sense or the missionaries may not agree with them, but there is power in obedience. As missionaries bend their wills to the Lord’s will and serve with obedience in all things, they will be blessed in their efforts to teach the gospel.
Mission rules are there for a reason. Whether the rules are to keep the missionaries safe physically or spiritually, it’s imperative that missionaries keep the rules because obedience brings forth blessings.
Return to the neighborhood.