Over at Times & Seasons, the thread about "raising the bar" for mission worthiness has taken a nasty turn. It seems to me that people are a little to quick to condemn their fellow saints as unworthy for missionary service.
One commenter makes the point that serving a mission is not a right. Obviously, this is true. But given the social importance of missions in our tightly-knit religious community, I think we're fooling ourselves if we don't acknowledge the stigma attached to non-mission servers.
Lest it be thought that I do protest too much, let me say that I would have qualified under the new standards when I went on my mission. Which is, really, part of the problem. At certain times of my mission, I was probably the exact kind of elder these people want to purge, but I had no previous transgressions making me act that way.
Even though I have ambivalent feelings about my mission, I am still glad that I went, and I think that I did some good while I was there. I wasn't always convinced I was doing the right thing, but I think it would be a shame to deprive thousands of young men of this irreplaceable growth opportunity.