Why is there so much pressure on young men to go on a mission? Isn’t it a personal decision?
The personal decision each young man must make is whether or not he will fulfill his priesthood duty to serve a mission. As President Thomas S. Monson has said: “Every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary” (“As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 5–6).
Preparing for a mission is part of a young man’s Aaronic Priesthood experience. It is his duty, and he should feel the appropriate weight of that duty. Of course, he should not serve a mission simply because it is expected or because he feels pressure; he should serve because he desires to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
But as he prays about serving a mission, he should also remember that by receiving the priesthood, he has already accepted the sacred responsibility to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ” (D&C 20:59), including by serving as a full-time missionary. If young men are not able to serve because of poor health or a disability, they are honorably excused.
Are there guardian angels? Do I have one assigned to me?
The term “guardian angel” is not used in the scriptures; instead, angels are spoken of as “ministering” (see Omni 1:25; Moroni 7:22–29). “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 32:3) and often share in the Holy Ghost’s mission to comfort, guide, protect the faithful, and reveal or confirm truth. Thus, the Holy Ghost Himself can be considered a guardian angel.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels … in conveying love and concern for His children. … Seen or unseen they are always near” (“The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 29).
The Lord has not revealed whether one specific angel is assigned to watch over each person, but you can be assured that divine protection and comfort are available. If you exercise faith, you will have God’s help, including angels sent to strengthen and comfort you and give you courage to do what is right.
What is the Church’s position on homosexuality? Is it OK to be friends with people who have homosexual feelings?
The Church opposes homosexual behavior, and we reach out with understanding and respect to people with same-gender attraction.
If you know people who have a same-gender attraction, follow the same principles you do in your other friendships: “Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become. Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other in living high standards. A true friend will encourage you to be your best self. … Treat everyone with kindness and respect” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2001], 12).
The Church teaches that human sexuality has a purpose in Heavenly Father’s plan. In order for us to be happy and to fulfill that purpose, we are commanded to live the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is contrary to that purpose and violates God’s commandments.
However, if someone is attracted to people of the same gender and does not act on those feelings, he or she has not sinned. The Church’s standard for morality is the same for everyone, no matter which gender one feels attracted to. Neither the Lord nor His Church can condone any behavior that violates His laws. Again, we condemn the immoral behavior, not the person.
For more on this topic, read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland,