The definition of worries or worry is to “give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles” and “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” “Worries” may cause people to lose sleep, cause indigestion, even cause ulcers. Worries are anxiety over actual or potential or imagined problems.
One definition of concern is “a matter of interest or importance to someone” related to people, situations or events.
Often people use the terms “worries” and “concerns” as meaning the same thing. The simple solution for changing “worries” into “concerns” is to surrender our desire to control those things that are actually outside of our control. By recognizing the difference, we can effectively use our time and energy to identify problems, create solutions, and resolve those concerns. We do our part and turn the rest over to the Lord. As we learn to trust Him, we find peace and joy. We sleep better. It is easier to concentrate as we study. It is easier to talk to people. It helps improve our relationship with our family, friends, and people we meet each day. It is easier to feel the Spirit.
Adjusting to Missionary Life (AML) teaches us to “Let go of what you cannot control. The past, the agency of others, the rules, the weather, government bureaucracies, the culture, your limitations, or the personality of other people are outside of our control. Focus on things we can do something about, such as our behavior, our part in a relationship, our current choices, and our attitude.” We are taught to “Cheerfully do what you can, and let God make up the difference.” In addiction recovery, we often hear the words: “Let go, let God.” We can turn our worries over to Him.
Young Single Adults
In talking with young missionaries and students at BYU-Hawaii, I learned that there is one common worry for many of them: the future. First of all, can we change that phrase from “worry about the future,” to “concern for the future?”
You may be wondering about where you will live, jobs, education, finances, family, friends, and marriage. The good news is there are many resources available through your Bishops, your Stake Presidents and through many Church programs.
The Church continues to expand resources worldwide including courses in Self-Reliance, Institute, Family History, Typing Club, Pathway Worldwide, Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) and others. These will help prepare you for employment and help you remain on the covenant path. They will also provide opportunities to enjoy wholesome activities, social events, and fellowship with other Young Single Adults.
What about family concerns? Maybe your families are not members of the Church or they live in a different area. Maybe your family cannot provide any financial support or maybe you have no family at all. Please remember that you always have a Church family. Your Bishop and Stake President want you to be successful and they want to help. Never forget that the Lord has always been with you on your mission or at school and He will continue to be with you when you return home or wherever you are.
Maybe one of your concerns is about who and when to marry. Missionaries do not need to worry about this right now. Flirting or romantic relationships are not appropriate during your mission. However, after a mission, there is considerable pressure/encouragement to begin dating that will lead to courtship and temple marriage. One important thing that you can do is observe people and couples, parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, your mission president and his wife, your bishop and his wife, and other couples you admire so you can discover the qualities and type of relationship you would want with a future spouse. Another good starting point is to study the attributes of Christ in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel and to develop those attributes yourself.
Senior Missionaries, Parents, and Grandparents
Typical concerns for senior missionaries, parents, grandparents are our children and grandchildren, extended family and friends, our homes, our health, our finances, any strains to our marriage, our relationships with other missionaries, and the progress or lack of progress in our various missionary, church, and secular responsibilities.
We learn to respect the power of choice in our own lives and we learn to respect the power of choice of others. We learn how to be patient, humble, kind, long-suffering, gentle, teachable and we continue to express our love. We trust the Lord to bless them and us according to His timing and His will.
Life has so many concerns that not all can be listed. But no matter what your circumstances and concerns are, please know that the Lord loves you, He knows you by name, He knows the righteous desires of your heart, and He is in charge. We can have His peace even in the midst of our concerns.
From Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” And in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
May the Lord continue to bless us with His peace in all of our concerns.