My mom (Hi Mom!) is always amazed when two people who were married in the temple are getting a divorce. Similarly she is amazed a man who served a mission has been convicted of child abuse, murder, or any other heinous crime. To me, the only thing that these statements (“married in the temple” or “served a mission”) indicate, is that at some point, those people declared themselves to be worthy of being in the temple. That’s it. We can't know if these people were ever truly worthy to be in the temple. (Remember the one woman who married a man in the temple, only to come to find out six months later that the woman was in fact a man?!)
I love that the Church leadership leaves this question of worthiness to us. I love that when the Stake President asks me if I’m keeping the Word of Wisdom, a simple “yes” is sufficient; no blood work necessary. I love that we're not required to bring our W-2s to tithing settlement. Rather, the bishop asks if we’re full tithe payers, we give an answer, and that's it. But I just want to scream when newspaper articles, items on local news, or stories (a.k.a “gossip”) include the qualifiers that so-and-so was a returned missionary, because really, why does that matter?
I would like to believe that calling someone a “returned missionary” does say something about that person. I would like to believe that saying a couple was “married in the temple” says something about that couple. (This doesn’t mean that I think serving a mission and a temple marriage don’t mean anything, by the way). In fact, it saddens me that these types of statements really don’t say good things to me. But should they?