The Building of ‘No Regrets’


I opened the door to the past by visiting a building on BYU’s campus called Knight-Mangum Hall. What once had been home to the “Language Training Mission,” was now empty and under renovation. Home to missionaries being trained to go overseas, Knight-Mangum Hall was the precursor to the present day “Missionary Training Center.” I spent eight weeks in the summer of 1975 within its walls.

Memories flooded back into my mind as I walked, unmolested, in the empty torn apart rooms of its walls. As I entered what was once the “cafeteria” I could almost hear the sounds of the Elders as we ate together, learned together, and more importantly prepared ourselves to go forth as messengers of the restoration. I wandered throughout the building until I found my old room. I stood in its entrance and envisioned the bunk bed where I slept. As I looked at that space, I remembered so vividly a nineteen year old missionary as he knelt by his bedside, pleading with the Lord to open his mind and heart. To give him a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the message he was preparing to teach. To loosen his tongue so he might learn the language he was called to preach in. I remember the tears as they flowed down his cheeks as his prayers began to be answered. As I imagined that boy, who now 40 years later was now a husband, a father, and now a grandfather, I felt gratitude in my heart for the experience I had in serving the Lord so many years ago. I have never regretted serving a full-time mission, I have never regretted both the joy and trials that followed me upon leaving Knight-Mangum Hall. I have never regretted being a member of this great church. “No regrets,” I have always preached.

I have spoken to many men and women over the decades who have served. A number of them have long since left the church of their youth. But not a one, I have ever spoken with, has regrets about serving as a missionary. Regardless of how someone might feel about the specifics of the church, all have had their lives enriched by learning to serve others unselfishly.

As I left the building, I turned and looked hard at the history of my life that stood before me. There before me was a building of “no regrets,” which made me happy and which brought me to tears of joy.

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