Summary: Elder Renlund says young women who follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost NOT to serve a full-time mission will be blessed as just much as those who follow the inspiration to serve.
In a Face to Face event, held in August 2017 from Accra Ghana, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, spoke to the youth of the Church for about an hour. While listening to an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ speak is always good mission prep, there was one question that was particularly relevant to young women considering serving a full-time mission.
Joy from Nigeria asked this question: Will blessings from Heavenly Father be denied to young women if they choose not to serve a full-time mission?
Sister Renlund first spoke up and explained that young women are invited to serve full-time missions if they feel prompted by the Spirit of God. Young men, she said, are under an obligation to serve because it is part of the priesthood they have received. Because the priesthood carries the duty to preach the gospel to all the world, young men accept this responsibility to serve a full-time mission when they accepted the priesthood. Young women are invited to participate as sister missionaries when prompted by the Holy Ghost.
Elder Renlund then gave his answer:
“I think the answer to the question of ‘will any blessings be denied the sister who doesn’t serve [a full time mission]?’, the answer is no, of course not. But the answer also is, she will never be denied blessings when she always does what the Holy Ghost directs her to do. So a sister who is directed not to go on a mission is blessed by following that direction. A sister who is directed to go on a mission by the Holy Ghost is blessed by following that direction.”
I’m glad Elder Renlund pointed out that young women who follow the promptings of the Spirit of God not to serve a mission will be blessed just as much as those who follow the spiritual promptings to serve. The key to being blessed, I think he points out well, is to follow the inspiration of the Spirit of God, wherever it leads you.