Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Mission Field

I heard this term "The Mission Field" used a lot by people that would come to the mid west from Utah.  When I first joined the Church I suppose it didn't bother me much, but it irritates a bit more as the years go on and as I hear it frequently here in Utah.

I was pondering today as someone said it.  Where is the line where the mission field begins?  Is it the Utah boarder.  Is there some distance I can drive down I-80 and all of a sudden I find myself in the mission field?  Is Oregon in the mission field.

What is the opposite of the mission field?  I am assuming that the opposite that people have in their mind is Zion. As I understand it, every stake is a stake of Zion, which means Zion is everywhere that a stake is organized.

If one is envisioning Zion being established in the tops of the mountains, then I supposed the mission field would be anything outside the Rockies.

If one is envisioning Zion as "This is the place.", then clearly Ogden is the mission field.  So is Provo and Orem and Logan and Brigham City and all the rest of Utah outside of Salt Lake City.

When I served my mission the impression I got was that once I left the Missionary Training Center property I was in the mission field.  When we took a trip into Provo to get some clothing we were in the mission field.  When we returned to the MTC we were not.  When they took us to the airport to depart to our various assignments we were in the mission field.  When we were on the planes or vans or buses, we were in the mission field.  When we arrived at our assigned area, we were in the mission field.  Some of those I was in the MTC with went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  Was that not the mission field?  If not, why would missionaries be sent there?

The only reason I didn't consider the MTC the mission field was because it was a controlled environment where the only people we had to teach was other missionaries.

It is probably ridiculous for this to irritate me.  I realize it is just an easy way to refer to places where the Church is less established than in Utah, but let's keep in mind that the mission field is white and it is everywhere, all around us, no matter where we live.

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