Decolonizing Missionary Service

Part of the issue I have with the idea of all missionaries being colonizers is how it assumes missionary work looks the same from every person who serves, when that certainly isn't the case.

Because missionary work within the Church is gendered, with only men being allowed to perform baptisms, there is a huge difference between what missionary labor looks like between genders.

When I served at Temple Square and in Brazil from 2011 to 2012, the vast majority of my labor was invested in a combination of hospitality and tourism, training local leadership, and ministering to the physical and emotional needs of other church members and my companions. That easily represents 85-90% of my mission pie chart.

A good amount of the conflicts I had between myself and the elders I served with was because finding people for them to baptize was not my number one priority. And that was not entirely a white failure. It was universal to elders in my mission, regardless of their background. 

If we want to decolonize missionary service, it would begin by training all missionaries to serve how, in my experience, many women already serve as missionaries: decentralizing the importance of baptism and increasing emphasis on supporting local leaders and members.


If you're shocked that this is happening...

I mean, I guess I just live in Idaho and we are not the same.

I watched my husband defend a store employee at Goodwill while she was asking someone to put on a mask the other day, and it turned into an altercation. 

I found myself praying to a God I have a very complicated relationship with right now that my husband wouldn't get shot.


If you're surprised by any of this, you live in a much more cushioned, protected, insulated version of reality than the rest of us.

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