On Using Cosmetic Surgery to Bag a Temple Marriage

I don't know what bothers me more about this: young women being sent toxic messages about their bodies, or encouraging them to internalize those messages for the sake of marrying a returned missionary from the Church.

I married a returned missionary. I was instrumental in why he became an returned missionary. I understand the desire to have that quality in a spouse. But I also served a mission, and I can tell you that returned missionaries are not the be all and end all of existence. Some of the most unfocused, selfish, rude, sexist, and irresponsible people I've ever met were missionaries, who are now home.

Serving a mission doesn't guarantee discipleship. Not all returned missionaries are good people who are prepared to be good marriage partners. Young people come home unchanged by their missions every week of the year. If marrying an RM is that important of a bar for you, to permanently alter yourself for it because there's no other way to obtain it, you are in for a very rude surprise.

I married a returned missionary because I wanted someone who was investing in the Lord and in others. I didn't want someone consumed with investing in himself. That's why there were plenty of returned missionaries I said no to along the way. They were more focused on themselves than anyone else. That might've allowed me to be married in the temple, but it wasn't a good foundation for an eternal marriage. Whether Latter-day Saints want to acknowledge it or not, there is a difference between the two.

Preying on the insecurities of young people by telling them to "invest" in their appearances and linking it to finding a spouse is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to sell cosmetic surgery. If spirituality and selflessness in a partner is what matters most, why try to make physical appearance your most distinguishing feature? That's not how you find it. It's totally incongruent with what matters most about having served a mission, which should be becoming a more Christ-like person.

That is why God taught Samuel that "the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

Not to mention breast augmentation is painful. I had a roommate in college who "downsized" for the sake of her own health years before I met her. She was still experiencing side effects for years afterwards. Expecting anyone to experience that pain for the sake of being "attractive" is despicable, sexist, and wrong.

Beauty fades. We all age, wrinkle, and sag. If a person can't accept that, they are unprepared to be married, especially not forever. Because forever is a long time, too long in fact, to live with someone who is incapable of loving you as you are.

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