‘The Mission’ follows a few LDS (Latter-Day Saint) members as they embark on their missions to preach the gospel to the people of Finland. We see from getting their assignment letters to when they return home, and get a deeper look than we’ve ever gotten into what a Mission is truly like, and how it effects the members that embark on that 18 month-2 year journey.
I need to give proper acknowledgment of my bias towards this documentary. I served a Mission for the LDS church! I served in Hawaii, and returned home after 6 months of service and seeing the experiences from the missionaries reminds me very much of some of my experiences I also had, good and bad. Tania Anderson does a fantastic job of giving an unbiased look into the LDS church’s missionary institution.
The church had approved this film after months and months of waiting. That being said, for any non-member to be getting the access and look into what a mission is like is kind of unheard of. No, you don’t get to go into a temple, but I am very interested to know what things struck non-members most with regards to the mission rules, funding, or just how expansive the world of missionary work is within the church.
I love the members that we follow in the film, and feel that it accurately represents a large portion of who decides to go out and serve. The struggles being away from your family for the first time, in a foreign country with a tenuous grasp of the language is hard enough, now add saving souls and teaching them about your faith in order to convert them? Most missionaries haven’t even started college and are in these incredible positions that you can see affects their mental health in irreparable ways, good and bad. Having a focus on that aspect I thought was brilliant and makes this a necessary watch for any young man or woman wanting to dedicate 2 years to it.
Overall, I really loved watching ‘The Mission’. Does it delve deep into the true issues of the institution? Not so much in many ways, but it’s also the closest look we’ve gotten and comes to us unbiased and genuine. Tania Anderson did a wonderful job showing the struggles and highlights of a LDS mission, and I would definitely recommend checking it out.